I haven't written anything here for a while (Father, its been 3 months since my last confession :) ).
Seriously I've had many second thoughts about how I was going about developing Neudist. I was very reliant on Java and various other opensource projects, that just weren't quite as stable yet as they should be. I know that I should have spent time trying to debug these, but it became much more of a chore than I wanted it to be.
Also I decided that what is really needed for something as radical as Neudist, is real applications and not just a framework hoping someone will use them. So now I'm rewriting one of my first real Perl projects TravelTalk in Perl as Yet another Community Framework. Now, why don't I just use one of the many others that are available today? Well, none of the ones I've tried really fit in with my vision of what I want, also it's more fun doing all of this from scratch anyway. So I'm doing this thing which will someday be available on http://talk.org. in Perl, mod_perl, Mason and using the Postgresql database as the underlying source.
Let me tell you after having spent several years doing Java and working with clueless commercial appserver vendors, coming back to Perl is like returning home. I absolutely love it, having forgotten how productive you can get in this environment.
So what exactly am I doing that is so different with Traveltalk. Well the current version that is up, was written many years ago (1994-95) and you know the web has changed since then. One of the things I found was that many users of the system in the Caribbean, who were in the travel trade were using it as an important way for them to reach new customers, whom they thought more about like there friends than customers. Having read the Cluetrain Manifesto, with their statement that markets are conversations, I realised that my 2 great app interests (online communities and digital commerce) are closely related. What would be more perfect than to use TravelTalk as an experiment to combine the two. I wont go into too many details right now, but I think it could be quite cool.
So technically speaking I'm putting the final bit of coding on the actual community part now, should be live the end of Feb. Then slowly I will be adding NeuDist functionality to it, allowing people to setup small online businesses. Soap and RSS will be important parts of this. I was glad to see Dave Winer on Advogato. Even though he sells closed source software, he has been really important in building up protocols such as XMLRPC, Soap and RSS. He also pretty much invented the idea of Weblogs. He has also always supported Opensource vendors using the protocols he's been developing.