Eran's blog

Really? Simple Sharing?

I hate specs, they bore me. I’d rather see a few examples and keep a handy reference for any questions not covered by the examples. I’ve decided, however, to make an exception for Microsoft’s SSE and read the actual spec. All I could see was a simplified version control system that, for some unknown reason, is published with RSS and OPML. I quickly turned to Ray Ozzie’s post to see if maybe he’s got some motivation for me.

It seems that Ozzie is really excited about SSE because it will let him better coordinate schedules and contacts with his wife’s staff – heart warming, really! Personally I think that would work just as well using a phone but I can see how a protocol would scale better. So assuming we agree that a protocol is desirable for this new-found problem of synching our PIMs that leaves the question, why RSS and OPML?

Ozzie seems to have two reasons for that: the existing support for those standards and the simplicity of RSS. Reason one is not good enough; it’s what leads you to backwards-compatibility hell. This is even worse when the proposed enhancements break reason two. Synchronization isn’t simple and RSS + SX isn’t simple either.

So if we do still want this subscription model and RSS + SX is not the solution, what is? And what do we stand to gain from a new solution? The answer is very simple, actually, it’s XHTML (with microformats for seasoning).

We already know that anything OPML can do, XOXO can do as well so that’s easy. As for RSS, well, it’s about time we got rid of this hack anyway. There’s no reason for RSS to exist when it can be replaced by XHTML, banishing that ugly XML link from our blogs and maintaining style at the same time. The gain here is obvious, feeds become readable or even (how’s this for magic?) disappear completely – the content is the feed.

Calendar data? Easy. Contacts? Easy. Just use hCalendar and hCard to represent those. What did you just get? Is this a feed of your events that also serves as your calendar? Amazing! And importing contacts into your favorite PIM application is as easy as applying a XSLT? Magic! Synchronization can be done as per Microsoft’s schema or, since we’re just dealing with XHTML here, use any existing solution. How about DAV?

That’s what I call simple.


Filed under: MicroFormats, The Net

4 Responses - Comments are closed.

  1. Mashable* says:

    Simple Sharing Extensions – RSS Goes Both Ways!

    Great news! Microsoft has introduced a concept called Simple Sharing Extensions. From SeattlePI:
    RSS feeds are streams of data commonly used by people to receive news and information. But what about using them for two-way sharing of information? Mi…

  2. Simple Sharing Extensions up close…

    I’ve been looking more closely at the SSE announcement since it came out; the next few posts are likely to be about this, and some (like this one) fairly (ok, very) long, so be forewarned….
    After reading through the spec and accompanying …

  3. […] 30November2005 SSE: Everything old is 2.0 again Replying to Eran’s post about SSE (because real man don’t comment, real man backtrack): Calendar data? Easy. Co […]

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