Re: Survey on the evolution of RSS

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From: Dave Winer (
Date: Tue Sep 05 2000 - 09:27:15 PDT

Gerald, as a software designer, I ask the question the other way.

For every feature, ask what value does it add?

And if the value isn't great, out it goes.

From Sunday's piece:

"I believe XML formats should be designed as end-user software is designed.
Hack at the details, make every feature justify itself, reduce every
three-step process to one if you can. Do it over and over, and then work on
the top level. Then and only then does it get simple enough for ordinary
people to use. I'm like Steve Jobs on this. I think when you lift the hood
you should see a beautifully designed machine that invites you to understand
and then use it.

"Imho, if you want to work at the top of the pyramid, designing stuff that
lots of people use, this is the price of admission. Roll up your sleeves and
sweat the details. When you're done, the result you present to the users
must be easy to understand and its power should be immediately evident. If
you have to understand complex ideas before you even understand the purpose
of a format, you lose most busy people, and your format doesn't catch on.

"Now, it's OK if others don't want to invest the effort doing this, but I
feel I've already paid my dues. I've been making end-user software for 20
years. I want to make end-user level syndication formats that are
transparently simple. Formats like RSS."


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