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Permanent link to archive for Wednesday, May 10, 2000. Wednesday, May 10, 2000

Rasta don't work for no C.I.A.

Heads-up boys and squirrels, Scripting News is going to Amsterdam on Saturday. Yah man! Listening to Bob Marley right now getting ready. I leave SF at 4PM on Saturday. Of course I'm bringing the camera.

It's a total W3C trip. The xml-dist-app mail list is having a lengthy discussion on the format of the XML-over-HTTP summit on Wednesday. I mis-spelled the name of the World Wide Web Consortium in the lead paragraph in the press release. Disclaimer: I always got a D in Social Behavior. I apologized profusely.

So I'm very buzzed about going back to Europe. One week for work, one for play. I might go to Poland. Or Italy. Where should I go? Such problems!


On the xml-dist-app mail list, yesterday, a message from the ICE group. "We have had a perspective that ICE is associated with a single company."

Vignette. We were working with them on syndication in early 1998. Proud of the collaboration. "XML is moving forward thru coopetition. Something interesting is happening. Seriously."

While that was going on, they were doing ICE. We found out about it on the W3C submission. Caught us by surprise. Luckily we had already been working on our own methods for syndicating Web content.

Two years later, SOAP and XML-RPC are simpler than ICE, if such a high-tech approach is ever needed. The lower-tech method, RSS, static XML files, works better, imho, and is better aligned with what's really going on on the Web.

9/3/99: A Bright Future for Syndication.

Note to self

Keep the volume down at WWW9.

Listen, listen, listen.

Apologize when necessary.

"I'm not worthy!"

Big group hug for Garret

I want Garret to come back. Garret, I miss you. We have a great community. Garret is our Benjamin Franklin. Hey he freaked out. And then I did. Learned my lesson, we all have to fight our own demons. "We Africans shall fight, when necessary."

Some say it's wimpy to have a website. OK, there's a difference in values. We are a community of websites.

Reports from Garret on fires in Santa Fe. "Between 11,000 and 17,000 people need to be put up somewhere for the night. That's equivalent to 1/4 of the population of Santa Fe."

I'd like to call for a group hug for my brother Garret.


NY Times: "The Microsoft Corporation asked a federal judge today to immediately throw out the government's proposal to break the company in two, arguing that 'the laws and the facts do not support such a radical step.'"

NY Times: "However weak in substance, the Microsoft response is legally crafty."


Last night I posted a spec for Piking behind Firewalls, which explains how we'll change Manila so that the CMS doesn't have to send an XML-RPC message to the workstation to initiate editing of a document. Done.

Firewalls with Piking Sauce (Preview). "If it works as I think it should you should now be able to use Pike to edit a story on an experimental UserLand server, even if you're running behind a firewall."


Jacob Levy: "A group of us here where I work are having a discussion about SOAP 1.1. One of the participants agreed to let me quote him on a question that arose regarding the use of M-POST in SOAP 1.1, specifically about the forcing of its use as described in section 6.3."

Mark Alexander: Costs for SOAP intellectual property rights usage. "All parties are providing the spec to W3C for it's use without charge, but have different policies with regard to non-w3c implementations."

One of the nice things about having Hewlett-Packard in the loop on SOAP is that I have a place to deposit my wish for a scriptable scanner.

Cool apps

Speaking of scanners, I just got a microphone.

FreePDF is "the fastest way to turn HTML into PDF."

Deletia around the Net

"Moderation is imminent" on the Perl Porters mail list.

News.Com: Napster alters software to keep music pirates out.

Hole closed

Brent Simmons reports that the security hole posted yesterday on Zope.Org has been closed in Manila and Frontier's browser-based Control Panel. We now check the referer on every POST request, and if it is incorrect, we reject the request. This could cause compatibility problems for people who use browsers that don't send a referer attribute. We are also curious to know if there's any way to set the referer from JavaScript (remembering Murphy).

Open source

Meerkat: An Open Service API. "There's been considerable attention of late given to the wonders and power of Open Source. Not much is said, however, about the array of Open Services out there that are every bit as valuable as source code."

BTW, UserLand's aggregation backend has always been open and documented (to the extent that we have time to write docs).

Reading Rael's Meerkat piece, how unfair it is for the open source people to use a nasty adjective like "closed" for our software. We work hard on this stuff, and it's mostly a labor of love, certainly not greed or a desire to lock anyone in. Check out the quote from Brian Behlendorf on page one of the Meerkat story. Rael says what matters is that the APIs be open. I agree. And minds too, they must be open as well.

A lot of our ideas are being implemented in open source. This is not an accident. We evangelize it, and we invest time in helping people do it. By this time next year it will hardly matter if we ship source code, or how much we ship, or on what terms. Our APIs are being adopted. This is good. I may well be able to use Pike to edit a Zope site. Or use Word to write for a Manila site. Or..?

Stay focused on the Web, this is something Dale Dougherty says. This is where we and O'Reilly are in agreement, not on the small distinctions of who ships what amount of source code on what terms at what time. Let the chips fall where they may, we think we're doing the right thing, and think it's honorable. "Closed" is not honorable. What Behlendorf misses, imho, is the value of competition. Because Rael is barking up our tree, we are more motivated to bark back. This is good for users and developers, and us, and O'Reilly, and imho, the Web.

BTW, to Rael, the Web is also about linking. We point to your stuff, please point to ours. Let your readers know they have choice, they can use your backend for syndicated content, or they can use ours. This is the Web way, another way of being friends, as we compete for developers.

Love designers

Now, since I'm slaying dragons this morning, a few words for designers. We don't sweat the Photoshop bitmaps, but we have huge respect for people who do. I wonder if those people have any idea how hard it is to keep servers running 24-by-7, and to provide high level services to designers, so they can work their magic? I have an idea. Let's build a human network of respect. Designers need good geeks to make their creations come alive. And vice versa. We need each other to achieve our dreams. Thanks, once again, for listening.

Love Microsoft

BTW, our friends at Microsoft will help us come together, in June, when they roll out NGWS. The Open Source people (if they are good) will say "We can do that too!" And when they say that I hope they drop me a line.


Last update: Wednesday, May 10, 2000 at 11:16 PM Eastern.

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