There’s lots of talk going on early this week about Twitter and their intentions towards third-party clients. Will they permit them? Will Tweetbot still be around in six months? How am I going to connect with other people if Twitter goes the Facebook route and makes me use official clients that aren’t as nice as the third-party ones I have now?
I was going to write a bunch of words about this, but in the end it comes down to something very simple.
Your blog has always loved you. Open—or at least agreed-upon and widely used—standards are not going to magically grow walls and keep you or others out.
WordPress. RSS. Comments. Pingbacks.
Digging deeper: PHP. MySQL. Apache/Nginx. Linux.
These things don’t belong to someone else. They don’t belong to a company that needs to please its investors. They don’t have reasons to keep you out or to stop you from doing what you want.
They belong to you. You use them to make great things. You contribute to them and make not only your stuff, but other people’s stuff, better. You use them to read others’ content and to enter the discussion. If your blog hasn’t been the center of your digital presence, why not?
rStat.us is an OStatus-based microblogging service built by Steve Klabnik and others using Ruby, Sinatra and MongoDB. Because it uses OStatus, it’s compatible with Identi.ca and StatusNet microblogs. In order to follow someone from Identi.ca, just paste the ATOM feed from their profile into rStat.us. Theoretically this should work both ways, but I was unable to subscribe to my own rStat.us account from Identi.ca account.
Yeah, good luck with that.
WordPress and other publishing platforms work well decentralized specifically because they don’t require a single locus to function with each other. There are pingbacks and comments—and if you want to follow another site you generally do it with RSS. It’s the language of publishing platforms. You can do neat stuff with a single locus (like the social features on WordPress.com), but it’s not necessary for the ecosystem to function.
Social services like Twitter and Facebook are popular because they focus people’s attention in the same area. It’s a single place where people can find their friends and people they want to Internet-stalk, and that makes it easy to connect.
Pasting an Atom feed? It’s not going to work because that’s not the language of social services. You’ve already made it too hard.
A few days ago I had the mixed pleasure of buying a new digital camera, a Canon IXUS 130. It was instructive and very disturbing to be able to verify that also this camera producer have the nerve to specify how I can or can not use the videos produced with the camera. Even thought I was aware of the issue, the options with new cameras are limited and I ended up bying the camera anyway. What is the problem, you might ask? It is software patents, MPEG-4, H.264 and the MPEG-LA that is the problem, and our right to record our experiences without asking for permissions that is at risk.
In short, the camera producer have chosen to use technology (MPEG-4/H.264) that is only provided if I used it for personal and non-commercial purposes, or ask for permission from the organisations holding the knowledge monopoly (patent) for technology used.
As the worlds of digital and analogue become intertwined, so the fundamental idea behind free software – that people have a right to see what this stuff is doing – becomes not a theoretical matter of ethics, but a practical, quotidian necessity if we are to avoid the situation where bad code leads to the ultimate Blue Screen of Death – ours.
A fascinating solution proposed for what sounds like a very real problem. It would benefit more and more people for embedded source to be available for perusal for more things, like medical devices, telemetry systems in vehicles, and voting machines—then again, could we trust that the code released is the real stuff in use?
Today, we’re overwhelmingly, insanely, ridiculously excited to introduce Sencha Touch, the first HTML5 framework for mobile devices. We think it’s the first cross-platform framework that builds web apps that make sense for mobile devices. It comes with a comprehensive UI widget library, complete touch event management with CSS transitions and an extensive data package.
This has the potential to become very, very popular—and it’s licensed under the GPL.