Understanding‎ > ‎

rssCloud

I want to love rssCloud, but I don't understand it. I will use this page to document the answers to the questions I have based on the Implementors Guide.

Dave Winer offers his best explanation to date how rssCloud works at http://www.scripting.com/stories/2009/09/26/techcrunchIsCloudenabled.html As of Sept. 26th I'm keeping aware of progress of rssCloud while developing my understanding of something PubSubHubbub, a much more interesting protocol.

The story, with inline questions:
  1. The Writer gets an idea.

  2. He or she enters it into the authoring tool, saves, it goes to a file, a feed.

  3. The authoring software sends an Update ping to the Cloud (which is just a bit of software running on EC2).

    • All good up until this point. Now the questions:
      • To me, "the Cloud" is a synonym for "the Internet".
      • What does "the Cloud" look like? My understanding is that this "could" be any hosted software which accepts a ping with, presumably, a URL, timestamp, and text. 
      • Which leads to more questions: URL of the item or the feed? Which timestamp: of the item, of when the ping is sent or received?
  4. The Cloud checks to see if anyone is subscribing to the Writer, and finds that indeed the Aggregator is.

    • how does it check? Does "the Aggregator need to be registered with "the Cloud"? How is that achieved?
    • imagining: my copy of NetNewsWire for Mac is coupled with an aggregation synchronization service. This service could be Google Reader, so does that mean Google Reader is "the Cloud"?
    • imagining: my copy of NetNewsWire for Mac is coupled with a third-party EC2 server run as a service.
  5. He updated! says the Cloud to the Aggregator.

  6. The aggregator then reads the feed, finds the new stuff and informs the Reader.

    • the entire feed? It's fine, since we used to poll every half hour before Google Reader, now we let GR do all the "polling".
    • informs "the Reader" how? Is "the Reader" separate from "the Aggregator"? Is it *necessarily* separate? Maybe they can be the same thing or not?
Under "The authoring tool" we see that Lifeliner is a 140-character tool. It's my understanding that this is one possible implementation of an authoring tool. In fact, my understanding is all the authoring tool needs to do is produce an RSS feed.

Another clue to understanding rssCloud is that it's a server-to-server protocol. But aren't all computers servers now?