Now that OPML 2.0 is out as a draft specification, I want to bring up the issue of the lack of support for OPML on the Java side. There are 2 libraries dealing with the idea of creation and consuming of syndication feeds: Informa and ROME.
Informa is an open-source (LPGL) Java framework for parsing, processing, and creating syndication feeds. The current release supports RSS 0.9x, RSS 1.0 / RDF, RSS 2.0, and Atom 0.3. Informa also support for OPML documents but it hasn’t seen any development since early June 2004. The news section of the Informa site claims that there is active development but I haven’t seen anything from them yet. I have used Informa in the past and it works great but hasn’t kept up with changing specifications.
The other open-source (Apache) Java library ROME, created by 3 Sun engineers is also a Java library for creating and parsing RSS and ATOM feeds. Today it accepts all flavors of RSS (0.90, RSS 0.91 Netscape, RSS 0.91 Userland, RSS 0.92, RSS 0.93, RSS 0.94, RSS 1.0, RSS 2.0,) and Atom 0.3 and 1.0 feeds. Unlike Informa, ROME has active development going on and the team is putting releases quite frequently. But the major item missing is OPML support – ROME does not support OPML at this time and have no timelines documented on their roadmap.
Jakarta FeedParser is another project that I should probably mention but it’s currently dormant in the Jakarta commons sandbox.
Is anyone looking at implementing OPML support for Java? Anyone know of another open-source effort going on to support OPML creation and consumption? Is Informa ever going to come out of hibernation? Anyone interested in starting a new project to implement a Java library for OPML?
I’m sure everyone’s heard the rumorsaboutGoogle’s new GDrive service that will supposedly provide users with unlimited amounts of storage space so that any type of file can be uploaded and stored on Google’s massive computers. Privacy concerns are important here and have major implications but putting all the aside and assuming we can solve the privacy issue; we need a solution like this. I for one would love an online backup service where I can dump all my content (code, email, music, pictures, videos, documents, etc) and have them backed up and maybe even versioned. And if they can make it seamless to sync where things are automatically backed up like the Mirra, why wouldn’t you use it?
I have automated backups for my machines running on an external USB 2.0 Western Digital drive and it works great. But recently that drive has started making funny sounds and I am starting to worry about the state of my backups. I don’t want to backup on CD/DVD as that’s a time consuming operation and I just don’t have that much time. Garett Rogers on ZDNet has a really interesting idea on how Google can monetize this whole GDrive. Maybe offer the service for free and then provide users a DVD backup of their data for a small monthly fee. Depending on how often a GDrive is used by someone, it could make sense to receive a backup on a regular schedule and you can add ‘extras’ on the DVD ala Google Pack.
I was really glad TechCrunch did a summary of all of the online storage companies out there and based on Michael’s recommendation, I’ve signed up for box.net account. In reading the box.net site, they mentioned a sync tool called Box Desktop that allows you to save and sync files to your Box.net account directly from your desktop. The sync feature is supposed to allow you to schedule automated backups of any folder(s) on your computer. But this tool is Vaporware and will be released ‘soon’ and so I am thinking about canceling my account at box.net. I want to backup about 100GB and I want to pay but it’s been really hard to find an online provider that’s really come through for me.
I love the convenience of an online provider because of the data accessibility but there are many NAS/DAS solutions that will do that and so maybe I should just quit my bitching and buy a Mirra or another similar attached or near-line storage solution and use tools like Avvenu to make my data accessible. At least then, I won’t have to worry about privacy and potentially data theft issues.
If you are fan or even a casual viewer of The Simpsons, you have to see this video. Apparently, the British Satellite provider Sky created this awesome parity that reenacts the Simpsons intro with real life actors. 🙂
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