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The Yahoo Problem

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If Dave can call something the “Yahoo Problem” then I can call it the Dave Winer Problem. It’s good way to make sure we see each other’s stuff, huh? :-)

Seriously, though… A reporter asked me if I’d comment on his recent posting titled The solution to the Yahoo problem. So I write this without having thought too hard about it or having talked to anyone on the My Yahoo! team about what they think (and some of them go back to the early RSS days and My Netscape).

Dave’s proposed solution sounds a bit complicated. In my mind, this has always been solely a client-side problem. The fact is that you click on an orange XML button and the browser does the wrong thing.

In my mind, the obvious solution is to fix the browser(s) or provide a helper app that can do the job if there’s no obvious way to extend the browser. I suspect that this would be fairly straightforward for Internet Explorer. Heck, we could do something like it as part of the Yahoo Toolbar. In fact, I’ve suggested it a few times in the past.

The situation with Firefox is even better–someone could build an extension for this. I’m not sure about the less popular popular browsers (Safari, Opera, etc). A helper app would certainly be the fallback position for them.

I’m don’t get grok why Dave is suggesting a centralized service that slings OPML files around. Perhaps he’ll clarify that need.

Update: Dan reminded me of his Make XML Button Do Something post. He makes the case from a user’s point of view.

Jeremy Zawodny is the author of the popular Jeremy Zawodny’s blog. Jeremy is part of the Yahoo search team and frequently posts in the Yahoo! Search blog as well.

Visit Jeremy’s blog: Jeremy Zawodny’s blog.

The Yahoo Problem
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