I have to phone the Letting Agency tomorrow, and I’ve no idea why. I got the message about half an hour after the saga was posted, having forgotten that I missed a phone-call whilst on the tube. This is ever-so-slightly worrying, so displacement activity happens.

First, flick your eyes to your left and you shall notice a new suite of icons for the various meta-datas. The icons are variously by Antipixel, who created them originally; Mark, who created more of them for his Raging Platypus parody thing (In which the icon for ESF is labeled “For the Angry and Embittered” – which I like – though if he is using MT, does that mean it supports Epoch time format now? If so, I’ll start writing the ESF Syndication Template :-)), and I created a couple more (Only one of which – blogtree – is currently there). Eventually we’ll have the full suite of Blogicons there, and it’ll take a month to load…

But ho! There appears to be more! Can I have been creating /new/ stuff? Well, yeah. After several hours work and a series of low-grade headaches, I’ve finally managed to grok XFML to the point where it works. Thus you can grab XFML feeds of the site. Now I just have to finish the system which will allow me to connect categories of mine to those of other people who also have XFML feeds, and it’ll be finished.

And what was all the point of that crap? Well, it’s another acronym to place on my under-reconstruction CV, and you can see what it can do in the worlds only XFML Explorer… and that’s sort of the point. “Worlds Only XFML Explorer”, there is no software out there that reads it right now, and no earthly real use for it apart from being able to connect to Mark’s:http://diveintomark.org/xml/diveintomark.xfml so that when we are talking about the same things, I can automagically link to stuff he writes on it. As if our blogspheres crossed over that much anyway. The only topic we appear to share is Cat Pictures, and his are very differant to Mine. Not to mention the fact his XFML file is not updated any more.

As much fun as it is riding the leading edge of the development curve, it isn’t half pointless at times.

Oh, yeah. Pointlessness.

I’ve been attacked.

Well, not me personally, but the Epistula Syndication Format has been accused of being pointless, in an article that misses the point slightly. It doesn’t save bandwidth just because RSS is bloated with XML tags – which it is, but then again so is XFML, XML, and most of the other XML standards out there right now. If you look at them, you’ll note that without the article itself, the content-to-exposition ratio is worse than your average maths exam. ESF merely has an order in which things appear, requiring no exposition once you’ve read the spec. But that isn’t it, as I said. The point is that when you download an ESF feed, you only download an X+6 line file, where X is the number of headlines. There is no place in the standard for the content itself, and no place where (as was in the original RSS spec) you can bend the standard to put the site. When you get an ESF feed you just get the newest headlines. If you want the rest, go for a more bloated standard. It’s not designed to replace RSS, it’s designed as a scaled-down version for people who will read the content on the site that it was published on (In exactly the same way as 90% of all “Trimmed down content” RSS feeds do).

When I summoned it into existance (ESF, Syndication format level 9, Plus four against bandwidth, minus six against RSS Developers), I said “It’s Just Data”. Partly as a ‘publicity stunt’, I agree, but mostly because it is just data. Knowledge is information in context, Information is processed data, Data is flat alphanumerics. XML is Information, ESF is data, RSS is information, Ampetadesk is knowledge. ESF has, in classic geek style, not got the information at hand, but knows where to get it if you need it. If you don’t need it, you didn’t just download it.

And yeah, I know it’s similer to RSS 3.0, but I dislike polluting namespaces, so I didn’t read it until after someone pointed it out as a similer idea.