Jon Udell on Bloglines

Jon (and many others) really like Bloglines a lot; I recommend his article - there's a lot to learn there.

I want to address just one point, which is Jon's prediction of the coming world domination by web apps. There's an interesting paradox, inconsistency or contradiction here, if you look at the following qoutes from his piece:

  • "Web applications such as Gmail and Bloglines are already hard to beat. With a touch of alchemy they just might become unstoppable. "
  • "... that Bloglines, like Zope, handles foldering about as well as you can in a Web UI -- which is to say, well enough. With an intelligent local cache it could be really good; more on that later."
  • "Finally, I'd love it if Bloglines cached everything in a local database, not only for offline reading but also to make the UI more responsive and to accelerate queries that reach back into the archive."

Is there a way to have our cake and eat it too? Is it possible to have the user experience of a real application with the universal access of a web application?

That's the BlogBridge experiment: a total inversion of the Web Application scheme. BlogBridge has a thick client (Java based) with the local cache and the flashy responsive UI and offline operation.

And we are about to launch the BlogBridge Service which is a Web Service (XML-RPC) allowing BlogBridge to synchronize both your feeds and folders as well as their unread status periodically.

In other words, you run the BlogBridge application and periodically it talks to the service (behind the scenes) and uploads your latest feeds, folders and unread state. If you run BlogBridge somewhere else, you BlogBridge talks to the service and grabs your latest info and you continue where you left off.

What do you think?
Posted on July 26, 2004 and filed under Blogs.