Steve Jenson's blog

Google Reader's Birth!

Google Reader's Birth!

Wetherell is determined to start a low-tech folklore-a-like about Google Reader. He drug me into the mix in Chapter 1. I would like to clairfy a few points:

I didn't say he sucked.

Chris does not suck. He said to me: "I have this framework for parsing atom feeds in javascript but I want it do more so I'm going to start parsing RSS in it."

I reeled at the thought of parsing 9 incompatible versions of RSS some of which were so badly generated by tools of the day that XML parsers threw up when they ran across them. "Are you freaking nuts?" I asked him.

It took me about two seconds to tell Chris: "Let me just make a tool that gives you everything as Atom."

I think I did make him watch me write it.

I can't remember why. It wasn't more than 20 lines of Python. I had already done the bulk of the work a few weekends earlier, I had written which generates atom 0.3 feeds so I slapped that together with Mark Pilgrim's Universal Feed Parser, made it a CGI, did the dirtiest thing possible and put it on the company intranet webserver. I later made a fancy scalable version in a fancy proprietary google webserver (thanks to greg stein) but that CGI ran the prototype for the first 100 in-house demo users, I think.

I didn't make Chris dance the jig.

Sometimes I'll do a little dance when something goes right. Everybody should dance! Chris agrees!

# — 18 May, 2007