||[Mar. 30th, 2008|01:22 pm]
While we were all scratching our collective head, the world seems to have moved someplace, and we'd better catch up. More and more of my friends are moving to standalone blogs. While the combination of RSS (or, rather, Atom) and OpenID and OPML (through which one can recreate one's friend list in a matter of seconds on any new RSS aggregator) gives the illusion of no functionality being lost, this is not entirely true. Here's what missing:|
1. Limited visibility blogging. Some would say this is better done through other means, such as closed mailing lists, but I disagree. Distributing your toddler's photos is something a) very well suited to the blog format b) something you may wish to limit to certain group of people. It can be easily solved using authenticated feeds, however there is just one tiny problem: the one most popular RSS aggregator (i.e. Google Reader) does not support authentication. I think I am able to solve this problem through an RSS proxy that adds the missing authentication functionality. Anyone knows another online RSS aggregator that does not have such a limitation?
2. High availability and failover. Here we have a real problem, but one (perhaps) more or less easily fixed through caching and some sort of notification protocol. I am willing to tackle this problem - offhand it doesn't seem too hard to fix.
3. Comments notification. LJR thought up a clever idea, where the number of comments is shown as a picture (which is not cached, and fetched from the server each time you look at the entry in question). However, I'm not at all sure it's a real problem, and possibly new comments notification is enough (and an easy way to subscribe to comments from RSS aggregator can be provided on a client - e.g., through a GreaseMonkey script).
If that is all there is, things are much-much easier than we thought initially. Maybe no end-to-end security is required after all - e.g., high availability of the entries of limited visibility is performed through the ones who have access to the entry being considered.