Dave Winer uses his Harvard weblog, and we assume the clout and prestige of his Harvard position, to push the weblogging industry into backing his versions of both RSS and a Weblogging MetaAPI.
There’s already been discussion about Winer taking on ‘co-creator’ claims with RSS — something I and others dispute. Now, he is doing the same types of power manipulation with the MetaWeblog API:
The same philosophy dictates an end to the disagreement over RSS. If they want respect for the formats and protocols they implement, they must do RSS exactly as UserLand does. The thing that Blogger and MT currently call RSS is not only not what UserLand does but it isn’t even an improvement over what UserLand does. Lose-lose.
Sure, other people encourage this nasty thing, but that doesn’t make it right. I’ve written to all the parties privately on this. It’s important, if the blogging API world is to come together in a rational way, we must have basic aggreement on RSS. It’s time to settle this argument now. This is the nasty stuff the big companies do. Let’s get over it and get some principles in place now.
About APIs, I request others support the MetaWeblog API without reservation. If you want me reorganize and move the docs to a neutral place and put an IETF-like disclaimer on it, I’m happy to do so. Maybe this is something Harvard could help with. I ain’t going with MIT, they’re the competition.
Smiley faces aside, these closed door discussions by private phone between “The Big Three” of weblogging, the re-writing of history about the tools, the use of a respected institution to add credibility for what is a dispute based on personality differences — Congratulations, weblogging: you’ve just become a true American industry.
Ford, Chrysler, and GM would be proud.
What’s next — a Userland RDF?