No more walled gardens, no more chains of complexity.

Today I declare what once was, is again. Never again will I run another
invocation of a static site generator or document renderer. 80 to 100 characters
per line is and will continue to be maximum width of English documents. No
longer do I pull from social networks, but they will pull from me.

This is MY writing platform. Mine. Me. There is no way to censor or revoke my
power. The Internet does not forget one byte, or one bit.

http://len.falken.ink is an RSS feed of my writing which never has to be visited
twice. With an RSS reader, readers only need my URL to begin receiving my posts,
and at any time, can revoke their subscription on their terms. Once a piece goes
out, it can never be retrieved back. It can be presented in any fashion.
Discussions can happen on any platform and be linked using the tag.

No one needs special software to establish a push-based publishing system as I
have here. RSS is well supported, and so is plain text. Using monospace fonts,
it is possible to create multi-column layouts and other typesetting features
without involving complex software stacks. Many papers in the 1900s were
typeset this way, and there's no reason why this is not good enough for most

For those who need the extra precision: use it. This is not an argument against
tools like Microsoft Word or LaTeX; this is a wake up call, that most of us don't
need them.

But then I hear: what about links? Images?

I respond: URLs.

Plain text supports URLs no problem.


Look at that, you can see that image if you want by clicking. (Hi Google)

Does your platform support uploading SVGs, 3D print files, and programs?

This one does: you just link to it in your feed.

Now maybe you wonder what this system is composed of. No problem I say, check
this list: ASCII, sh, awk, grep, find, cd, mkdir, head, tail and editor.

Here's the RSS generator (35 lines of sh):


  find public -type f                 | \
  grep -v .git                        | \
  xargs ls -Stl --time-style=long-iso | \
  awk '{ print $6 "T" $7 ":00 " $8 }' | \
  sed 's/public\///'                    \

echo "<?xml-stylesheet href=\"index.css\"?>
<rss version=\"2.0\">
    <title>Len Falken's Writing</title>
    <description>Len's collection of writing on all topics of
    <copyright>Copyright 2020, Len Falken</copyright>

echo "$posts" | while read -r time file; do
    echo "    <item>
        <title>$(head -n 1 $PUBLIC_DIR$file)</title>
        <description>$(head -n 2 $PUBLIC_DIR$file | tail -n 1)</description>

echo "  </channel>

Run rss.sh > index.xml, and upload your writing directory (folder), index.xml
and index.css to your web server. It's up to the reader what text editor, file
transfer tool and web hosting solution they use.

They can even decide on not using HTTP.

All documents are already rendered, there is no software required to read these
in 100, 200, 300 years. It is warming to know what I write will be accessible
to the next generations of the Internet , not just 2 years from now. I hope
this inspires others to adopt similar methods, in order to invoke interesting
conversation and end running in circles, and to be remembered for their

Enjoy and read you later,
-- Len


saved that .txt file to my hard drive. then i edited it lightly. i added a blank line between the first two lines, and i added the three backtick block code commands around the code block.

then i executed the following:

pandoc len.txt -f markdown+autolink_bare_uris+hard_line_breaks -t markdown -s -o len.md

i copied the contents of len.md and pasted the info here.


Published by Sora on .