First they came for our RSS feeds and I said nothing…
Audi Piloted Driving at CES 2013 (by AudiofAmerica)
Last time I wrote about how I switched from Delicious to Google Reader's shared links feature only to find out that week that Google was removing the Google Reader shared links feature in favor of Google Plus social features (I'll save my Google Plus rant for another day).
Forced to find something new again, I'm now very pleased with Tumblr. Google Reader has Tumblr in its preset list of Send To sites which makes it relatively easy to add articles. And Tumblr's UX for adding things lets me easily pick a photo or video to display from the article - something which I had put together with a less convenient UX on my bespoke blogging system. For adding things outside of Google Reader I made a Tumblr accelerator to hookup to the Tumblr Add UX.
Of course they have an RSS feed which I hooked up to my blog. The only issue I had there is that when you add a link (and not a video or photo) to Tumblr, the RSS feed entry title for that link is repeated in the entry description as a link followed by a colon and then the actual description entered into Tumblr. I want my title separate so I can apply my own markup so I did a bit of parsing of the description to remove the repeated title from the description.
Describes forward HTTP headers to explicitly list proxying information that might otherwise be lost.
It was relatively easy, although still more difficult than I would have guessed, to hook my bespoke website's Atom feed up to Google Buzz. I already have a Google email account and associated profile so Buzz just showed up in my Gmail interface. Setting it up it offered to connect to my YouTube account or my Google Chat account but I didn't see an option to connect to an arbitrary RSS or Atom feed like I expected.
But of course hooking up an arbitrary Atom or RSS feed is documented. You hook it up in the same manner you claim a website as your own via the Google Profile (for some reason they want to ensure you own the feed connected to your Buzz account). You do this via Google's social graph API which uses XFN or FOAF. I used XFN by simply adding a link to my feed to my Google profile (And be sure to check the 'This is a profile page about me' which ensures that a rel="me" tag is added to the HTML on your profile. This is how XFN works.) And by adding a corresponding link in my feed back to my Google profile page with the following:
I used this Google tool to check my XFN connections and when I checked back the next day my feed showed up in Google Buzz's configuration dialog.
atom:link rel="me" href="http://www.google.com/profiles/david.risney"
So more difficult than I would have expected (more difficult than just an 'Add your feed' button and textbox) but not super difficult. And yet after reading this Buzz from DeWitt Clinton I feel better about opting-in to Google's Social API.
I've redone my blog's layout to remind myself how terrible CSS is -- err I mean to play with the more advanced features of CSS 2.1 which are all now available in IE8. As part of the new layout I've included my Delicious links by default but at a smaller size and I've replaced the navigation list options with Technical, Personal and Everything as I've heard from folks that that would actually be useful. Besides the layout I've also updated the back-end, switching from my handmade PHP+XSLT+RSS/Atom monster to a slightly less horrible PHP+DB solution. As a result everything should be much much faster including search which, incidentally, is so much easier to implement outside of XSLT.