I don't get *really* excited about technical developments all that often. Sometimes the geek in me has a pretty exuberant "that's cool", but rarely does the user in me jump out of his seat and point at something and yell "AMAZING!"

I kind of did that this morning – I mean, I’m a pretty reserved guy, so I didn’t *actually* jump out of my chair and yell out, but I did pick up the phone, dial Tucows Special Ops Team* and say “Tom – this idea solves so many of the RSS subscription problems we’ve been trying to wrestle with in Skydasher – can you implement it today?”

Of course, asking these guys to drop something into development like this might mean that I blow an upcoming release date. But this idea is sooo wonderful in its simplicity and usefulness that I’m willing to take that risk (or alternatively, cut back on other features that don’t have the same utility to make the date).

Tom gave me a fairly confident yes.


My next stop was at Siobhan Mclaughlin’s desk. Siobhan is the gatekeeper for Blogware’s ToDo list. If a feature you want isn’t on her list, it ain’t getting built.

I explained it to her and she was interested enough to ask me for more details. She seemed especially interested in the simplicity of the idea – kind of liked the fact that it wouldn’t require us to make an changes to the underlying database, muck with any of the hardwired bits, etc. It looks like we would only need to update the default template set with some new markup.

So what’s this amazing idea that’s got me all hot and bothered?

New idea: Ray Ozzie's clipboard for the web.

– via Scripting News: 3/7/2006.

Here's why I'm excited about it - it lets me leverage standard operating system conventions for accessing data on the clipboard. Ray’s proposal is remarkable in its simplicity and brilliant in its execution. While it might seem like a small development to some, it really deals quite effectively with a massive usability issue that a lot of people have spent a lot of time trying to address using much more complicated and less useful mechanisms.

Hopefully by the end of the day, you will be able to subscribe to RSS feeds inside Skydasher – Tucows prototype “RSS Desktop” service. I’m also going to hand-code support for this into my blogware template and get AccordionGuy to do the same thing for the rest of the Tucows blogs’ that he and I are responsible for. These changes should show up sometime later today if all goes well. Just look for a mashup of Ray’s scissors Webclipboard and Dave’s XML icon Xml to appear on the page. I’ll also post some instructions how you can test the function inside Skydasher.

Wheee. I love stuff like this.

Thanks Ray!

*Tom manages a team of developers virtually colocated throughout the United States. I affectionately refer to them as my Special Ops Team because they take on the prototyping and exploratory work that’s been traditionally impossible for me to get done through our regular development practices. The OpenSRS platform is a pretty mature system that thousands of resellers run their businesses from – my experiments are typically too risky to inject “unchecked” into that environment.