[PP-main] What should be syndicated?

Joakim Ziegler joakim at simplemente.net
Fri Mar 3 15:16:06 CET 2000

On Thu, Mar 02, 2000 at 06:20:13PM -0500, Rusty Foster wrote:

>> * What can/should be syndicated?
>> Well, the news items/stories are the obvious thing. In addition, several
>> other aspects of sites have been mentioned as candidates for syndication.
>> Personally, I'm positive to this, but I strongly feel the other things
>> should be optional. Optional to export, and optional to import. In
>> addition, they should probably take second place in implementation, so they
>> wait until after the basic news wire service has been implemented, and
>> works. Things that have been mentioned are:

> I'd favor a kind of "selection of content objects" approach. Obviously,
> stories should be our first priority, and the testbed of the system. But
> the general scheme I'd recommend is that you can choose "things" to
> import and export. If you choose to import "stories," there will be some
> mandatory parts to each story. Title, author, attribution, etc. Same
> with "discussions," "user accounts," what have you.

> I'm really interested in the discusssion syndication idea, myself, so we
> should make sure any system is flexible enough to accommodate things
> that are perhaps more complicated than stories.

Yes. I noticed that Alan Cox mentioned a few very relevant points in a
comment to the Advogato article. First of all, message source IDs (easy to
do), good tools (a lot can be done, amongst other things, we're doing
Conglomerate here, which could, with time, be an excellent authoring tool to
tie into the feed), language support (easy), and timestamps (also easy).

The most interesting part is perhaps where he says that the format should be
able to carry software update news and other stuff. I think that's possible
to do, but it should be taken into consideration while designing the DTD. In
particular since software update news become an order of magnitude more
useful when it's fully machine parsable, in detail. This is very interesting
for the semi-mysterious site we're working on here at work.

So there's one content type, which is "Item" or something similar, which is
an article, news flash, software update announcement, or whatnot. This is the
base thing, which I think is what should be implemented first of all.

Others should be implemented in order of importance, as the requirements

> I think syndicating discussions is actually something that could help
> keep community sizes *down* to a managable level. Rather than having to
> make an account on a dozen weblogs, and troll through them all for my
> daily dose of news and commentary, I could stick to a site where the
> people speak my language (both literally and figuratively!) and still
> get content from far and wide. If the barrier to entry is low enough,
> then sites could proliferate and maintain their smallish, loyal readers,
> rather than bloating to slashdot-like proportions.

> There would need to be selection criteria and filters for what parts of
> the discussion get syndicated (all of it? Only comments with some kind
> of high rating? Comments from certain users?). This is obviously a
> multifacted problem, and we need to make the system flexible enough to
> accommodate the n^2 types of filtering that could be done.

There are a few practical concerns here, about what gets crossposted and what
doesn't, and how this is all handled. I think it can work, but it needs to be
figured out to great detail, and analyzed a bit. I know Raph had some ideas
on how to do this efficiently, we discussed it quite a bit the other night.

Joakim Ziegler - simplemente r&d director - joakim at simplemente.net
 FIX sysop - free software coder - FIDEL & Conglomerate developer
      http://www.avmaria.com/ - http://www.simplemente.net/

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