Permanent link to archive for 9/27/01. Thursday, September 27, 2001

Welcome to the transition site for Weblogs.Com.

On this page I'll explain what's going on, and link to specs and development of compatible tools for various scripting environments, and blogging tools and CMSes.


When we started development of Weblogs.Com in late 1999 there weren't very many weblogs.

We tried out a lot of ideas, some worked, others didn't. Now in late 2001, the whole thing doesn't work. There are so many weblogs to track, the server has gotten slow, it often doesn't finish its scan in the alotted time.

Further, the rate of growth in the weblogs world is accelerating, so we need a new approach for tracking changes to blogs, one that makes more efficient use of the central server.

How it works 

Here's how Weblogs.Com will work after the transition is complete.

Our server receives an XML-RPC or SOAP 1.1 message that says "This weblog changed." Two bits of information are provided, the name of the weblog and its URL. The server reads the page to determine if it really changed, and if so, it's added to an XML file that says which weblogs changed in the last three hours.

Flip the switch in mid-October? 

We're bootstrapping the new service, which means that the old service will remain operating until there's a critical mass of updates flowing through the new service, at which point we'll turn off the old service.

It's impossible to know when this will happen, but at a gut-level, I think it will probably happen in a couple of weeks, sometime in mid-October. We'll play it by ear.

No user interface 

We're looking to people to create new user interfaces for the Weblogs.Com updates flow, that's why we're only providing the information in XML. UserLand already has a client implemented in Radio 7.1, but that's all we have planned at this time.

We'll start a directory 

Sometime very soon we'll start an OPML directory of tools that people can use to link into the new network.

We're also going to explore new XML-RPC facilities for aggregating the results of a distributed network of changes-crawlers.

It may be a good time to get some real community-level development that ties together various weblog communities.


Mail list for announcements and discussion.

Specification for the Weblogs.Com XML-RPC interface.

Specification for the Weblogs.Com SOAP 1.1 interface.

Introduction on Scripting News, 9/30/01.

Dave Winer