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Topic: JSMsg Progress Report - Getting Closer       [Link=72]
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    JSMsg Progress Report - Getting Closer   (Date posted: 02/03/04 at 10:13:33) Quote Modify Delete


Work on the JSMsg convention has come a long way here at and is almost ready for the day when it can be announced as a real offering.

This message provides an informational update on what I've been doing in the JSMsg pages to make the JSMsg convention easy for content providers and content consumers to use. Because reading content feeds and using them in web sites should be easy for everyone.

What is JSMsg?

JSMsg is a JavaScript syndication file convention that permits display of dynamic content using only client-side scripting. The convention was created and is maintained by Creativyst. It is shared freely with anyone wishing to use or support it in their personal or commercial offerings.


There are a few reasons for JSMsg. Among the most important reasons are the millions of AOL and other ISP users who should be able to easily display dynamic content feeds on their personal client-side-only web-sites. For more benefits see the JSMsg Details document.

Here's what's new...

A New JSMsg Tool for Bloggers and Content Providers

By publishing feeds in JSMsg in addition to their RSS feeds, bloggers and other content providers can make their dynamic content available for consumption by a large and otherwise excluded group of people who maintain personal webpages.

For this reason one of the first things needed in order for people to use JSMsg is an easy way to let bloggers and other content providers include a JSMsg feed.

. . . . . . .
Note: Please list your JSMsg feed at Creativyst! - If you've added a JSMsg feed to your content providing site your help is needed! Please contact me about listing your site on the feed listing page here at Creativsyt.
. . . . .

New Tools to Help Webmasters Use JSMsg Feeds

The other side of the JSMsg equation is to make it easy for webmasters of all stripes (not just client-siders) to use and display JSMsg feeds within their pages.

I've added two new listing pages this month to help with that.

  1. A List of Existing JSMsg Content Feeds - The first addition is a page containing a list of JSMsg feeds that can be linked into web pages right now. Each feed is shown as the actual script element that needs to be included in the HTML page. This allows webmasters to cut and paste the script element directly from the listing page into their HTML or templates.

  2. A List of Scrollers & Faders That Work With JSMsg - Another webmaster tool added to the site this month is a list of JSMsg-ready content scrollers and faders that can be used to display messages from dynamic JSMsg feeds.

    Page designers can use JSMsg directly in the HTML of their page. But it has also been designed to interface easily to existing JavaScripts such as scrollers and faders. These scripts typically present information in appealing and space saving ways.

    The new page lists JavaScript display scripts that can interface to dynamic JSMsg feeds. So far, I've written three different content scrollers to get the page started. I may write more, but would prefer to accept listings from other JavaScript coders who have added JSMsg capabilities to their scripts. Each listing will give an example and a link back to the sites where visitors can go to cut & paste them.

What's Still Needed

Technical specification, software design, and coding all come easy to me.

What's needed now is something I am mostly clueless about: Getting people to recognize the value of this convention and start providing their feeds in it.

This task is not helped by the fact that JSMsg doesn't utilize the latest coding fashions, like XML. If I could design it in XML to still do what it does I wouldn't hesitate, but one of the design goals of JSMsg is for it to be usable to display dynamic content -without plug-ins or third-party software- in only existing client-side browsers (even back to NS4.x if you're a glutton for punishment).

As of this writing about 450 people have downloaded, but few have listed JSMsg feeds on the listing page. Though, to be honest, I haven't really begun asking people to do that yet (I told you I was clueless at this part).

For now my only tactic regarding JSMsg will be to keep doing the technical stuff, like adding tools for content providers, in the expectation that the availability of these tools will eventually be enough to convince people to try it. If you have a better suggestion I hope you will take pity and share it with me.


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