WriteTheWeb: The writeable web: lather, rinse, repeat (an interview with NetNewsWire creator Brent Simmons). I’m a few days late picking up this item; the last time I went to look at it I couldn’t reach the website. But it’s still good reading on a bunch of levels: application developers, bloggers, Internet philosophy, and on.
I do want to call attention to Brent’s last statement:
Ideally writing for the web should be about as easy as writing something in TextEdit. Create it, write it, save it. Lather, rinse, repeat.
Compare to this statement, made in these pages in October 2001:
I write this blog from an unaccustomed place: Apple’s TextEdit application. That I’m doing it from a text processor isn’t in and of itself unusual; normally I write my blog in BBEdit before uploading it to the web. The unusual part is that this blog will be published to the web without my opening a web browser.
This is what I started writing about in July when Apple quietly announced that they would make support for web services–web applications that can be addressed using either XML-RPC or SOAP–available in the operating system and accessible via AppleScript in Mac OS X 10.1. Yesterday I wrote a short AppleScript (available for download) that uses SOAP to call web services belonging to Manila, the publishing system that hosts this blog. The script takes the content of the topmost TextEdit window and makes it a story on my website.
Brent is right that writing for the web should be easy. That was the vision that drove me down the path of my first scripts, which allowed blogging from that simple text editor. Somewhere, though, it got complicated again. My Manila Envelope is not the most friendly writing UI I’ve ever seen. NetNewsWire’s blogging interface is the best so far I’ve seen, but it feels like an interface. Writing in a text processor feels different. Are we always doomed to have this layer of separation between us and the process of sharing our thoughts?