The XML button orgy got nearly two thousand hits yesterday. Heh heh. And to think that some people don’t like our little white-on-orange friend. In all of comment threads I haven’t seen any recognition of the xml button’s most important function: marketing. What are we marketing? Weblogs? RSS? XML? No way. The XML button spreads the meme that good things happen when information is flexible. Readers, I support your ability to consume my content any way you’d like. If you want to read this weblog in a browser, great. A news aggregator, great. Wild unexpected applications that I’d never dreamed of, great. Good things happen when information is flexible. It’s not about formats, it’s not about usability, it’s not about precision. It’s a philosophy. The XML button is the anti broadcast flag.

Click here to see how OpenACS shows you how its pages are composed Web toolkits sometimes to evolve to the point where it becomes hard to figure out what file is responsible for a particular part of the page, and consequently difficult to debug or modify those pages when debugging or modification is necessary. It’s a byproduct of getting the ability to nest a page in a standard frame, or being able to include resuable templates from a template library. OpenACS mitigates the difficulty by running in a “developer mode” that lets you see where the different parts of the page come from.