You can import the OPML file of someone elses outline and integrate it into yours (or even take bits and pieces), but all you have done is integrate it, now this outline has become part of your outline and comes under your OPML file…if this other outline changes it will not reflect in your outline, as it is static.
But it seems that some outlines (OPML files) can incorporate another outline (OPML file), and at the same time it subscribes to this OPML file from within your own OPML file…so changes to the outline you have subscribed to will show up on your outline, as it is dynamic.
I don’t know if subscribe is the word as it is not RSS, in that it notifies you of new additions, it actually just reflects the changes, this sounds more like SSE.
At the end of his post, James Moore describes this, actually Dave Winer incorporated James’s OPML file into his outline, anyway here is an exerpt:
“Dave kindly put TopTenSources and its OPML on his directory roll […] and when we changed our OPML, it was in turn updated on Dave’s site. All this was accomplished without any direct communication this morning with Dave.”
These dynamics of OPML are now leading to people incorporating heaps of other OPML files into their own, making directories of directories, James’s post also compares this to a decentralised version of what Yahoo! directory was doing in the early days, but now in web2.0 fashion, the users are the editors, and when aggregated we make a hell of a directory.
The other great thing is that when you have someone else’s OPML file in your outline, it is dynamic and changes (additions or deletions) are reflected, so that section of your outline is never stale, unless the person who own’s that OPML file (that section of your outline) has abandoned it.
We can make directory headings to hold all these OPML files, and if you click on each entry maybe an ajax box can pop-up listing other OPML files also listed in this directory (listed maybe under another heading) that are incorporated in this entry (OPML file)…maybe a taxonomy type structure is old fashioned, a folksonomy could be the go, tagging OPML files
…this could get crazy, as a tag holding all these OPML files could be an OPML file itself.
You can always search OPML files with OPMLsearch, and also by category (if some has applied a subject term to the OPML file)
Alex Barnett has some input in the discussion.