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Permanent link to archive for Wednesday, May 31, 2000. Wednesday, May 31, 2000

News

News.Com: Amazon snags patent for recommendation service. "The new patent could spell trouble for dozens of e-commerce sites that use similar technology to recommend books, videos or other products to customers, patent experts say."

MSNBC: "Amazon.com is in this jam because so far it hasnít been able to make any money. Yet, in violation of what might properly be termed the First Rule of Holes (when youíre in one, stop digging), the company keeps pushing ahead with a business plan in which the more you sell, the more you lose."

News.Com: Microsoft files last word in landmark trial. "In a court filing this afternoon, Microsoft argued again that breaking the company into two pieces is extreme and exceeds the trial record."

Since Zeldman and Nielsen are celebrating their five-years-on-the-web anniversaries, here's the DaveNet piece I wrote five years ago today. "Can you imagine the Indigo Girls singing in three-piece suits?" Sounds like yesterday's software commune idea. Maybe someday it'll happen.

Red Herring: An incubator by geeks, for geeks.

PythonWare: PythonWorks 1.0.

Getting some nibbles on our proposal to Search Engine developers. These things take time. Eventually we will get the CMS-aware search engine we want. And it'll be a lot kinder to the Web than the one described in the following News.Com piece.

News.Com: Napster-like technology takes Web search to new level. "The bare-bones site is short on design and functionality at this point but provides a look at a search tool that goes beyond the capabilities of most existing Web search engines."

Duncan Smeed's Manila Clipper is morphing into a Quoter.

BusinessWeek: Core Changes to the Mac System.

Craig Jensen has George W. Bush quotes that would be funnier if there wasn't a good chance he'll be our next president, or if Gore were any better.

Is WAP the Web?

Lance Knobel: "Yesterday's Wall Street Journal Europe had a fascinating piece on the strategy telecoms companies are following with WAP. They are 'locking' their phones so that you can only access their portal, or even in some cases only access sites that have agreements with them. Have these people learned nothing from the Web? Yesterday, the French courts ruled that France Telecom had to unlock its phones -- but only at users' request!"

Let's ask Tim Berners-Lee what he thinks. Tim, in hindsight, I wish you had trademarked the term Web, so that they would have to license it from you. Then you could put a stop to their claims that you're getting the Web through your cellphone. If you can only access part of the Web, you're not getting the Web. That's fundamental. Maybe a simple whitepaper from TBL would do the trick?

Yesterday at lunch with Rohit, we talked about doing some whitepapers. I asked Rohit if he is a writer, and he told me about the O'Reilly books he wrote. That's a good start. A couple of weeks ago I volunteered to help TBL write a whitepaper on his Semantic Web vision. I figured that by doing it I would have to understand what it is, which would make it worth writing about to me.

I believe that among a group of about 25 people we have in our heads a fairly clear vision for what the next layer on the Web will look like. We're lucky that Microsoft left a gap of 22 days for us to play with.

BTW there's probably a flaw to Microsoft's NGWS strategy, it revolves around the W in NGWS. According to Microsoft the W stands for "Windows". According to Rohit (and I agree) the W must stand for Web.

XML-RPC validator progress

This page contains the Frontier source for a server for the validator1 suite.

New CSS features in Manila

CSS can now control the rendering of calendars and the discussion group.

Software reviews at Internet speed

Yesterday's query about software reviews got a nibble from Lennart Pettersson, the editor-in-chief of the Swedish IT magazine, Datateknik 3.0. An interesting email exchange resulted.

In the last email I said "We're going to have an interesting problem here. The development cycle is much shorter these days, the beta periods are practically non-existent. Frontier 6.2 is slated to ship this month, probably before the middle of the month. However that should give us a good target to work with, because it will probably remain relatively frozen for the next sixty days or so as we gear up for Frontier 7.0.

"We'd be happy to have 6.2 reviewed, but there certainly will be updates and new features and fixes starting the day after we ship. Can that kind of product fit into your review process? This is the interesting challenge about getting software reviewed these days!"

RSS in ICE?

Laird Popkin, the chair of the W3C ICE working group, posted a followup to a heated email exchange on the xml-dist-apps mail list suggesting how RSS and ICE could be merged.

I haven't had a chance to read beyond his comparison, it's kind of one-sided, for example, he says that there are no access controls in RSS, which is a feature, not a bug. The Web doesn't have access controls either. (Which is to say RSS is part of the Web.)

And RSS was not an outgrowth of CDF. It was a coalescing of UserLand's syndication format and Netscape's. Designed for Web developers, and designed to be easy to understand and easy to implement. Not designed to line the pockets of developers of specific content management systems.

That said, I'd like to see if there's a way to bring the two specs together somehow. The people who love RSS love it, so polarizing statements are not going to get us anywhere. I could make equivalent statements about ICE, but won't do that at this time. I feel it's all been said, no need to repeat it.

1 Hour to Go

An exercise in saying-things-carefully.

It turns out that 47 days was not enough time to switch off Conxion. We were able to get the servers co-located to Exodus, in record time, before the end of April. Everything's running great there. We figured we were home-free. Not so.

The second part of the transition, getting me personally off the Conxion-PacBell T1 line, has not happened yet, and as I write this, we have exactly one hour remaining before the 47 days are up. I may lose my net connection at that time and will not be able to update Scripting News or be part of the Internet in any way.

We have requested that Conxion extend the T1 service for one more month, but we have not heard back from them.

All is well

Bierman talked with Steve Martin and he's taking care of it.

Close call!

     

Last update: Thursday, June 01, 2000 at 12:25 AM Eastern.

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