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Chris Boyle

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One last migration update [Jun. 28th, 2010|08:31 am]


  • I recently finished setting up a blog on my own domain, That's where my future posts will appear. I'll still use this account ([info]shortcipher) for reading.

  • It's an external site like any other, and is not based on LiveJournal, although you can log in there with LiveJournal, InsaneJournal, any other OpenID, Twitter or Facebook.

  • It has a feed, and InsaneJournal syndicates that feed as [info]chris_boyle, which you can add to your friends page as if it were an InsaneJournal user.

  • As of 2010-06-28, there have been 3 posts: Hello, world!, Chrome to Phone CL and Lock on unplug. If you didn't see any of them, chances are you haven't set up a way to read the feed.
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RSS reader idea [Mar. 26th, 2008|12:33 pm]

[Tags|, ]
[Mood | quixotic]
[Music |De/Vision - Freedom]

This is a comment that became a post. I don't think reading friends' blogs through LJ, IJ, or any other similar centralised site, is secure, open, reliable or featureful enough; I'm looking for comments on an alternative idea, assuming nobody's done it already:

In [info]cartesiandaemon's journal, I suggested a feed viewer where instead of polling RSS feeds to get entire entries, you just retrieve an authenticated RSS feed with subjects only, at the time of viewing, and your viewer then uses something like an iframe to show you the post, its comments, a comment form, etc. The key ideas here are:
  • To use RSS for only the purpose for which it was originally designed: a list of links to new entries, so you can tell what's unread. The content, unlike in most RSS readers, would come from a GET of each item's URL.
  • To ditch the polling concept and retrieve the feed at viewing time.
To expand on that: it's actually possible to implement an RSS reader that does all this already; perhaps I will at some point, in my copious free time. My aim would be to create something I can suggest to my LJ friends list that won't produce all the usual objections to RSS readers, many of which are really objections to typical RSS feeds (and thus removed by embedding full page views). It could offer a view like a friends page or Google Reader's "expanded view", but for true full pages with comments, that would rapidly become silly. Better would be something vaguely like Reader's "list view": a keystroke goes to the next entry, a different keystroke scrolls down.

The dilemma (trilemma? N-lemma?) in doing that is choice of platform: as a provider of such an application, I want people to trust it, so I don't want the content or the credentials to pass through anything under my control. This rules out a simple website delivering a piece of JavaScript, because of browser security models (it wouldn't be able to fetch feeds from arbitrary sites). I don't really want it to be a stand-alone client-side application either; embedding a browser isn't really sensible because you inevitably frequently want to jump to a real browser. The middle ground would seem to be a Firefox extension, which excludes people running IE. Does anyone reading this run IE? Are there sensible platform options I've missed? Might it be worthwhile and possible to produce versions for mobile devices? (I've previously written apps for Java Mobile Edition and Palm, but don't know how one might embed HTML views, rather than switch to a browser for a single URL, on either platform.)

I do also want the option of some kind of central storage of read/unread information, but I'm not sure where that should be hosted and how access control should happen. The information, per user, would be just the URLs that still exist in published feeds and their read/unread state. Everything else is considered unread. Items that appear and disappear between uses of the application are not shown, because nothing has polled and stored them, but a simple heuristic could warn of their probable existence: if none of the current items were there last time, you've probably missed some items.

Thoughts? :-)
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LieJournal: [sic] and tired of all of this [Mar. 15th, 2008|09:46 am]

[Tags|, , , ]
[Mood | discontent]
[Music |Wir sind Helden - Guten Tag (Die Reklamation)]

This is a copy of my final post to LJ. Geekier post about migration coming soon.

To the management and owners of LiveJournal,   ← (can anyone suggest the best place to send this?)

Summary: paid user leaving LiveJournal because of issues of culture and communication

An open letter )

Last one out, lock the door.
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