It's all spinning wheels and self-doubt until the first pot of coffee.

Tagometers and Travesties

You know you've truly arrived in Silicon Valley when the darling new feature you just helped launch on a Web 2.0 site gets shredded in a rant by Dave Winer. :)

My day, having started with me in a foul mood, has been made. Pre-launch, the tooth marks in my tongue have gotten deep as I watch the comments pile up. It's exciting to have so many people debating something you've made. (Update: Seriously. I'm in a better mood now. It's made me laugh.)

Actually, it wasn't the feature itself that got shredded, so much as the new JSON data feed revealed before the intended star of the show made it on-stage, by way of a screencast preview on Y!DN by Matt McAlister and an amplification by Niall Kennedy.

The feed itself is mainly intended to power our new Tagometer page widget include thingy. Beyond that, leaving the feed decoupled from the include itself made sense to me, both for our own flexibility's sake and as a nod toward our mashup friends in the blogosphere and lazyweb.

You see, I like JSON. It was convenient in this use case of creating a remote blog widget fed by cross-domain sourced data. I, personally, didn't even have to reinvent anything that wasn't already implemented in assorted off-the-web tools. JSON worked for this purpose - it might not work for your purpose. If it doesn't, please accept my insincere apology, but yours wasn't my primary goal. Attempts to string me up for this travesty will be met with giggles and pointing. (Update: I realize I'm not the to-be-strung-up party responsible for the JSON travesty - I just couldn't resist being a smart ass for its own sake. I really do giggle and point a lot. My actual apologies for that.)

It's funny, laugh.

JSON URL feed is not really an API. JSON URL feed is not a bold declaration of side-taking in the grand war of web service specifications. Do not base business models on JSON URL feed. Caution: JSON URL feed may suddenly accelerate to dangerous speeds or stop altogether. JSON URL feed contains a liquid core, which, if exposed due to rupture, should not be touched, inhaled, or looked at. Ingredients of JSON URL feed include an unknown glowing substance which fell to Earth, presumably from outer space. If JSON URL feed begins to smoke, get away immediately. Seek shelter and cover head.

Do not taunt JSON URL feed.

Archived Comments

  • Not sure if I helped your mood or made it worse, but the rant wasn't about you.


    Tell me what you think of that bit of hyperbole. Someone there is trying to undermine a lot of work a lot of people did over a long period of time to get software to interoperate. When you say that's just my issue, you miss the point. It should be everyone's.

  • Aw, man. It should've been "Do not taunt happy JSON URL feed."

  • Honestly, it brightened my mood. The smiley was neither ironic nor sarcastic. Something big I helped launch has been stirring an interesting discussion, however tangential my blame in the making.

    Vanity and Carly Simon aside, I know I'm not the main perpetrator of JSON. I just couldn't resist an opportunity to be a smart ass. For that I have a sincere apology. I should probably strike it or delete it now that the giddiness of a major launch and a lot of attention has subsided.

    But seriously, what I meant above is not that this is your issue, per se. This post is really more directed at some comments on your blog post, in bulk.

    Our particular intentions behind using JSON here do not necessarily map to anyone else's expectation from a web service or standards-driven perspective. It seems like a lot of people are looking at this JSON data since its early release, divorced from it's main consumer: The Tagometer JS include. It works for that purpose - and incidentally might help others - but we're not working very hard to support other uses.

    Apropos of that, I don't particularly buy the hyperbole about JSON being XML's superior in the general case. JSON's a brilliant hack, but it's got issues. And seriously, if anyone thinks that adding and removing script tags on the fly in a browser DOM is the best overall way to go about things... they should be strung up. It just so happens that right now, it's the only way to do some things.

  • hooray, i'm glad to see the json url feed.

    however, i shouldn't have to generate the md5s of the urls i am interested in... i should just be able to give it the actual urls.

  • mmmmm, swilling the liquid core...!