Over the past couple of days there have been a number of queries as to the technical reasons why we need a new syndication format and API, rather than using RSS and the metaWeblog and/or Blogger API. Below I've outlined what I see as the primary technical ways that Echo can improve upon the foundation laid by RSS and the current weblog APIs (metaWeblog and Blogger). Where appropriate, I've tried to put these into context to show how they can benefit users and developers.
We've pledged our support for the format. We want to see it succeed for the technical reasons discussed below, and because a truly interoperable format for syndication, archiving, and communication benefits all of the existing tools and any tools that are written in the future.
The post below refers to the format as Echo, and the API as the EchoAPI. Because the name Echo is taken by another project, a new name will be chosen at some point. For now, it's easiest just to refer to it as Echo.
We've been watching with interest as Sam Ruby has led a productive and broad ranging effort to create a new syndication format and API for personal publishing, and we wanted to congratulate Sam and the community on the progress so far and announce our intention to support this effort. All signs point to the future success of this new format and its companion API, and we plan to integrate them into both TypePad and Movable Type in the future.
Six Apart plans to actively contribute to the effort going forward and we're looking forward to working with the other tool vendors, aggregator and client software creators, and the personal publishing community as a whole to make some open, extensible standards that can help grow our industry.
For more information, and a chance to contribute to this effort, visit the RoadMap wiki.
One of the ideas we've quietly promoted for a few years is that web standards aren't just an esoteric technical initiative, but can be part of a smart way of doing business on the Internet. To that end, we wanted to give a little technical information in an interview on A List Apart, called A Standards-Compliant Publishing Tool for the Rest of Us? The interview talks about how we're trying to make it possible for even an amateur to make pages that are semantically valid.
TypePad is aimed at users who are more interested in sharing ideas than talking technology, so we've been holding off on talking about the behind-the-scenes tech used to make the tool. But those of you who are into advocating standards compliance will be interested to find out about how we're not just using web standards for the output of the service, but for building TypePad itself.
We're excited to announce that our site movabletype.org was named the winner of the Webby Award yesterday in the category of Best Practices. We've got the full details on the site, but in short, we're very proud to have been recognized and we see this as another sign of strength for Movable Type and for the whole Six Apart user community.
Starting this week, Anil and I will be making the rounds on various panels discussing particular aspects of weblogging.
We'd love for these conferences to be an opportunity to meet our users, learn about what they're doing in the space and answer any questions they might have about our products or about the company.
We're especially looking to find out more about the needs of those audiences as we plan our upcoming release of Movable Type Pro, which will be aimed at intranet, marketing, nanopublishing, and power users.
If any of these topics interest you, be sure to check these conferences out. And if you can attend, come up and say hello to either Anil or myself.