Sunday, August 27, 2006

Old Man River keeps old-man-rivering along

Since Dave Winer deleted my comment on his Scripting News Wordpress annex on this issue, let me restate it here. Re his solution to duplicate entries in this river of news system he's in the middle of building, which Dave says would rely on unique titles, what about feeds where most entries don't even have titles... such as his very own blog?

Also, Dennis makes a good point:

I love the idea of NYTimesrRiver and BBCriver but I’m disappointed that they don’t work on most mainstream phones. The reason is simple and easy to fix - page size. The Rivers are 50 - 75 KBytes for the main page. Ordinary mobile phones like the RAZR for example, and just about anything without a keyboard or touchscreen have a page size limit of between 10 and 30 KB. If you limited the number of stories or broke the list of articles of articles up into multiple pages and kept page size down to under 10 KB you’d have a much larger mobile audience for these sites.

I don't understand why these sites are 50-75KB when, for instance, one of my own site's front pages (FanFooty) is only 6.8KB with about about a third of the character length (22,000 to 60,000). Is Dave doing something strange? Is there some compression issue here?

Finally, yesterday Dave railed against annoying Web bugs, such as counter scripts. Yet at the bottom of his river sites, there's this:

<script language="JavaScript" type="text/javascript"><!--
var imageUrl = "";
var imageTag = "<img src=\"" + imageUrl + "?group=staticRiver&referer="
+ escape (document.referrer) + "\" height=\"1\" width=\"1\">";
document.write (imageTag);

That looks suspiciously like an annoying Web bug to me, something which would be particularly egregious to mobile users to whom bandwidth is scarce. I want to support Dave, I really do, and I've been a supporter of his in the past on RSS politics because I think his heart's in the right place. But he makes it real hard to be one of his boosters when he contradicts himself so blatantly.


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