January 20, 2005
Reading mail list over RSS Probably old news - but I just found it today. Gmane - the mail-list-to-news gateway I'm using for most mailing lists - is also providing an RSS feed.
For example: http://rss.gmane.org/gmane.comp.jakarta.tomcat.devel

Also a 'weblog-like' view - check this out: http://blog.gmane.org/gmane.comp.jakarta.tomcat.devel

There is also gmail providing Atom feed for the mail - and livejournal providing mail to blog.

In related news, http://dougal.gunters.org/blog/2005/01/03/thunderbird-opml - Thunderbird is my favorite blog reader, and now it can
import and export OPML from bloglines for example. I used this ocasion to set up my feeds in bloglines - not bad service, but still no match for
the convenience of having the blogs in my mailbox, easy to move, lable, clasify or delete.

While all this weird remapping  of protocols may seem useless - I think it is going in a very interesting direction. I allways said that the right
solution for blogging is a smarter mail client - and Thunderbird, Outlook extensions and other prove this. But it also goes the other way around - maybe mail and
nntp would benefit by using Atom/RSS and weblog-like distribution and publishing.

The minimal benefit is that you can go around stupid firewalls that restrict POP3/IMAP/NNTP/SMTP - and use the HTTP/HTTPS and Atom/RSS/blogger APIs
to get and post what you need.  Web servers and web clients are far more advanced and dynamic than archaic POP3/NNTP/SMTP/IMAP servers.

So maybe the best solution for messaging is to just use simple http-based services. The lack of a single protocol standard may be compensated by the simplicity of each
variant ( and in time only few will survive ), and may also lead to what's more important than a single protocol - i.e. uniform treatement of messages,  received or sent via
any combination of smtp/pop/imap/nntp/rss/atom/web-based mail/sms/etc.


Posted by costin at January 20, 2005 09:26 PM
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