is go!

A few months ago I was talking to Hendrik about lifestreams, and in my ongoing struggle for his undying love (as a friend), I’ve whipped up a little somethingsomething using the wonderful Yahoo! Pipes.

“Lifestream?”, you ask. “What the deuce is a lifestream?!” A good question. A lifestream is basically a big bucket where all the updates and update notifications from your blog, your ADD-induced Twitter posts, your Flickr uploads etc come together in one concise way so it’s easier for others to ignore them. ;) Also, you only have one URL to hand out to hot women (or men) in pubs because the stream inadvertedly works as a hub page, too!

Now, while the prototype was quickly hacked together, it felt clunky. Sure, you can pass a dozen URLs or so to the pipe, but what if the URLs would change? Or if you wanted to add a new one or delete one from the list? Then it’d be a lot of tinkering with the script call in your HTML code.

So I had the idea to build a site where you could configure the list of URLs and the layout and everything, and which would give you a HTML badge for your blog or site, a snippet that wouldn’t change.

And today, I proudly open escaloop to the public.

I feel it’s good enough to test the waters, I believe. I’ve played around with it, fiddling with different implementations on different types of pages, and it looks okay. I guess I could try to think of every possibility for every site on earth, but we know how that would turn out.

It certainly looks fine on my own blog. (Considering that I don’t have that many active feeds, that is.)

So with that, I’ll release escaloop into the wild. It’s still a bit rough around the edges, and there might be bugs. That said: Please take a look, play around with it, build yourself a badge or two for your site, blog, MySpace page, whatever. If you have feedback, please let me know in the escaloop Google Group.

Have fun, Carlo

PS: You might ask what took me so long. In my defense, I am a lazy bastard. Also, I wrote the first rough draft in Python, then switched to Ruby. There I’ve wrote the first prototype using the Sinatra DSL, and finally settled to make use of nifty lightweight Ramaze framework. (By the way, Sinatra is nice, but not what I was looking for.)

During the last few months I’ve also had to put a lot of time into Mass Effect, which is a great game. You understand.

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Carlo Zottmann @czottmann