Trip report – PDC05 (day four)

Friday 9/16/2005

PNL14: The Future of RSS: Beyond Blogging – Robert Scoble et al

  • I attended this session because I believe that feeds represent a significant amount of content and I’m an ECM architect.
  • Robert Scoble MC’ed for the panel, which included a range of other individuals both inside and outside Microsoft.
  • RSS: What can it be used for, what does it need, what does platform incorporation mean, etc.?
  • One needs to really understand the existing infrastructure before reinventing wheels!

There was some good discussion concering “RSS extensions.”

  • Time-based feeds are sometimes problematic (e.g. publishers want to just create simple lists (Top 10) rather than reverse-chronological ordered feeds)
  • Unlocking back office data
  • Data here is not visible to a normal aggregator
  • Greg Reinacker (NewsGator CTO and founder) didn’t really answer the question Scoble asked him about his view on extensions. He did say that RSS in Vista is good for NewsGator’s business. It makes the medium and the user experience pervasive. It also requires NewsGator to continue innovating in order to provide unique, compelling value (i.e. provide significant motivation).
  • Security (e.g. DRM in RSS) – see Greg’s blog entry on leveraging existing HTTP authentication
  • Ability to apply lifecycle and retention on feeds (e.g. avoid undue system stress by aggregators asking for files that no longer exist and exist but are static (blogger has moved on); mark a feed for expiration, redirection (i.e. HTTP 410); seasonal feeds, recurring feeds – something more general than “it’s gone” (e.g. “I’m just quiet for now”))
  • Very large file enclosures and something like BitTorrent
  • Viruses tend to mutate via joining (e.g. RSS and BitTorrent)

The other end of security (i.e. tracking) was discussed.

  • Privacy issues
  • Advertising issues
  • Auditing issues
  • Identity isn’t enough – need to know that authenticating role initially is still the current role (or the current role is still auth’ed)
  • Not all feeds are public. There are organizations with 10K feeds behind the firewall that will never see the (public) light of day.

Enclosures were discussed.

  • Micro-formats (what?)
  • WinFS implications
  • VDMs, compound docs, etc.
  • There was mention of a Microsoft-Technorati meeting that occurred during PDC that focused in part on this subject (enclosures).

Other discussion topics included the following:

  • Dynamic feeds, interactive feeds … or just static feeds like today
  • Standard attacks that plague HTML, email, etc. will be applied to RSS once it’s truly mainstream. Therefore, a platform should responsibly anticipate this and guard its users.
  • Simple shouldn’t mean naïve
  • Check out Microsoft’s property, which is focused on providing richer user experiences above RSS.

PRS334 WPF + WCF = Magic – Doug Purdy and Chris Sells

I attended this session to see the combination of WPF and WCF to form a smart client solution. I also knew that the speakers would be entertaining from past “last day” PDC sessions, and in this regard, I wasn’t disappointed. However, the session was a bit too light on content. Both speakers are quite bright; however, although their humor was disarming and entertaining, it took center stage during a technical session where content should be king.

Best speaker quote during this session: “Caffeine-free…Diet…Coke…what’s the point?”