Weblog Archive >  2000 >  November Previous/Next

Scripting News, the weblog started in 1997 that bootstrapped the blogging revolution.

Permanent link to archive for Thursday, November 30, 2000. Thursday, November 30, 2000

DaveNet: Bootstrapping

Rogers Cadenhead: "I'm in the process of importing directories I have created on the Open Directory Project into RU. Since the ODP has a license that allows anyone to publish its content as long as some boilerplate HTML is included along with it, porting ODP data seems like a good opportunity for RU." A bootstrap. 

Steven Ivy did the flipside, converting OPML files produced by Radio into the RDF files used in ODP. 

Python is driving me crazy. I have a script that's getting the text of the home page, and that part works, now I want to save it in a file, and I'm getting nowhere reading the docs. Could it be that the Windows version of f.write doesn't work? Help, I'm a newbie!  

John VanDyk: Metadata Plug-In 2.0

Doc's dad was a bootstrapper.  

Wow, Doc found a picture of the bootstrapping process I described in today's essay. 

Yet another spin on AmIHotOrNot. What comes next? 

SJ Merc: Firm abandons $1 billion VC fund. "Unless we can look them in the eye and say we believe we have a great model to make all of this money, in good conscience, we can't go forward.''  

One of the most difficult parts of the Radio user interface has been the browser button you click on to edit a document in Radio. Bryan Bell, our designer, finally had enough of it and designed a more straightforward button, illustrated above. Since I'm the one writing the docs, I welcomed it immediately; even though I know that later it may be a problem, when other Two-Way-Web editors come online, it's going to seem weird to click on a button named Edit With Radio to edit a document in Emacs or BBEdit. We'll cross that bridge when we come to it. 

The latest AmIHotOrNot ripoff

New sample: Counting words in an outline

I was going to leave for New Orleans on Sunday, but with so many things piled up on my desk (good things) I've pushed it back to Wednesday. I've got to write my next XML Magazine column, on bootstrapping and SOAP; and I've got to finish the next version of the Radio UserLand website. We're also getting a new release of the Radio app ready, and a bunch of new websites are coming online. Busy busy busy. 

Permanent link to archive for Wednesday, November 29, 2000. Wednesday, November 29, 2000

DaveNet: Nixon is Dead

An important recommendation for Radio users who use MSIE/Win as their Web browser. (Updated with instructions for MSIE/Mac users.) 

An excellent start for the new Python site. Jonas Beckman posted a script that shows how to reply to Manila message using a Python script. And Brent Simmons added a script that adds an item to your home page, as Manila Express does in the browser. All kinds of information can flow through these interfaces, not just stuff that users type. Dave Warner, who writes for O'Reilly, is pumped too. Thanks to Daily Python URL for the welcome. Josh Lucas is posting to his Manila site with Python. We want to build bridges to the Python community. People describe our scripting language, UserTalk, as being Python-like. That suits me fine. I like Python. Let's keep moving here. 

I'm also building the directory on the Python site. This is how I burn in a new feature. Use it. Find out where it works and doesn't. I'm still feeling my way around, learning the art of Web directories. It's total fun, haven't had something this new to explore at an authoring level for quite some time. Here's a screen shot of the directory as I edit it on my system. 

Jason Levine: Manila altTemplate Plug-In. "One of the biggest problems with Manila is that every page is rendered through the exact same master template. This means that, if you want a pop-up window rendered out of your Manila site, or a page with a different background color, or without the stuff that you've framed every other page with, you're out of luck. A few days later, though, I realized that I could change it, and out of that realization came this, the altTemplate plug-in." 

CNN: "Many Internet users have found the information glut daunting and confusing. And frequently, it's a reference librarian they turn to make sense of it." 

NY Times: "Stephen King is suspending his independently offered Internet serial 'The Plant' to work on other projects. An aide said sales had fallen sharply and that fewer buyers were paying after downloading." 

Thanks to Dan Gillmor for the pointer to Microsoft's Reviewer's Guide for their Appellate Brief to the US Court of Appeals. Fantastic. Software culture permeates the legal system. 

Heavy-duty Reuters pic, also on the home page of the NY Times. 

Permanent link to archive for Tuesday, November 28, 2000. Tuesday, November 28, 2000

New site: Python.Scripting.Com. "On this site we will publish Python scripts that show how to use Python with XML-RPC and SOAP." 

New directories: XML-RPC, SOAP

Updated: Radio as a Manila writing tool

Brent has thoughts on authoring directories. 

Andreas Pfeiffer: Desktop client/server publishing. "This is one of these golden windows of opportunity for smaller developers to come out with a killer application that jump-starts the market, simply by packing the right features and arriving at the right time." 

Survey: Should Gore concede? 

Server note: At 10PM Pacific tonight, EditThisPage.Com and the Surveys site, will be down for maintenence, for about two hours. 

AP: "It's just one of those wonderful things where everything just went right,'' said Capt. Mark Mooney, a spokesman for the San Jose Fire Department. 

Interesting ad on Salon.Com

NY Times: Microsoft asks appeals court to void ruling. "The company acknowledged that it was an aggressive player but said it did nothing to exclude Netscape." 

I dig Black Hole Brain

Moore's Law and Software, part II Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Another thought for Doc, inspired by the Lieberman snippet below. Not only have CPUs gotten faster and memory larger, but systems have gotten more reliable.

At least parts of systems have gotten more reliable. I still have a fancy Dell laptop with a keyboard that doesn't work. But the hard disks don't crash as often. Knock wood, pray to Murphy.

Oh Lieberman, part III Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Lots of (delayed) comments on my comment about Lieberman from Sunday.

Yes I do hold Jews to a higher standard. Yes I liked Lieberman when he called Clinton on his lying about Lewinsky, because I thought maybe there were some responsible adults in Washington who didn't treat the electorate like stupid children. Now I think it was probably an opportunistic move, he's an astute politician, it got him the VP nomination. Good job Joe.

Here's the scoop -- the election was a tie. It's impossible to know who got more votes. When you hear the Dems say they want to count every vote, know that they're spinning (lying). Can't do it. They're not stupid, and neither are we. Come on, this is Scripting News, we know about technology. When the disk crashes you don't worry about every last byte. You're lucky if you get the stuff that was never backed up.

Now if Lieberman was a mensch he'd have begun his speech with the truth. "Dis election vas a tie. Now vat do ve do about it?" But he's not a mensch. He's just a politician. Oy. Life goes on.

Permanent link to archive for Monday, November 27, 2000. Monday, November 27, 2000

New hosting service: ManilaSites.Com. It's Manila, with a prettier face, and a better default theme. Otherwise it's the same as EditThisPage.Com and Weblogs.Com.  

Radio UserLand's Edit-This-Page function now works even if you're behind a firewall. 

I put a little bit of time into the directory for the Radio site this afternoon. I reviewed and categorized all the stories in the Stories List, most of them were included, and many of them are out of date.  

Pay no attention to the picture to the right. It contains several hidden subliminal messages. You are being programmed.  

When we're finished with the corner-turn, Radio will be an easy to use writing tool that works on or off the Internet, with a strong bias to being on the Internet, and has an integrated Web server. (And is highly customizable.) Then I think Radio will be where Manila was approx one year ago. Ready for feature-refinement, a simple-enough base for growth, and thankfully few of the scaling issues that come with operating thousands of free sites. There's a very pragmatic reason for P2P my friends. It's nice to use the CPUs on the users' machines to render content (we'll get to that in March 2001). This goes to the question that Doc asked this morning. Doc man, you should interview Clay, and ask him about the dark matter at the edges of the universe (oops I meant Internet). First we give the power to the people (the PC revolution) then we centralize it (the Internet) then we give the power to the people (P2P) but this time we give them networking too. A conceptual hula hoop. Round and round and round. It's an alien plot! 

Then I realized I had another definition for P2P. Power 2 People. Hola. 

A new sample script for Radio that converts a set of Manila story nodes into links suitable for including in a directory. 

More mail

Seen in an email sig: "Rehab is for quitters." 

Did you know that Manila and Manilow are similar words? 

White Mesa: A SOAP for RPC NT Service

A reminder that there is a SOAP for Perl

Wired: Am I Hot Or Not is Red Hot. "Launched just six weeks ago as a joke, the site is attracting upwards of 3 million page views a day. It recorded 7 million page views on the weekends. It hasn't spent a penny on advertising." 

Doc wants to know why Operating Systems Suck. "Why is there no Moore's Law for software?" I've written some of my thoughts on this subject. 

Seth Bokelman on Moore's Law for Software: "The hardest thing I have to do is convince a user that they need to upgrade to the newest version of a product, or to convince them that they don't need to." 

Adam Curry: De Twee Weg Web

Martin Simoneu is running MORE in Mac OS X. 

KidsClick is a web search engine for kids by librarians. 

Permanent link to archive for Sunday, November 26, 2000. Sunday, November 26, 2000

DaveNet: Wag the Dog II

Mail starting 11/26/00. 

Reuters: Florida Official Declares Bush the Winner

All elections have errors, even minor frauds. The Florida election was a tie. I want this michegas to be over, there's nothing left to learn. I'm tired of the disrespect the politicians of both parties show for our intelligence. I hold Lieberman in esp low regard because he's a Jew and should know better (I'm Jewish myself) and because he was supposed to bring honor to the Democrat ticket. Lieberman says he wants all votes to count. His actions indicate otherwise. Shame on him, shame on every adult who lies at a time like this. Lieberman should have a talk with his rabbi. 

I remind you all that I accept defeat. I rode the 7 train with Yankees fans who gloated while Mets fans were in tears. Myself, I shrugged my shoulders and stood with pride because my team had a good philsophy, which allowed for losing. Wait till next year.  

And I still think Katherine Harris, who is not Jewish, is hot! 

8/23/96: "I learned a long time ago, when Deborah Norville did the early morning news on NBC, there's nothing sexier than a smart female with a clever smile surrounded by old corny males who are in love with her." 

Now we return to our regularly scheduled program.  

Brent posted directories for Linux and Mac OS X

WebReference: Expandable Outlines

Black Hole Brain spotted a UFO flying above Garret's new house. Wow! 

We now have a logo for a new site we're working on, that will tie together many of the OPML directories people are working on. Having a logo of course is not the same thing as having the site ready to roll out. We're doing this site to put a friendly face on the directory structures created "behind the scenes" by Scripting News people. Others can build directory portals in any other scripting environment running on the Web, or even in a P2P way, in software running on the user's desktop machine. All you have to do is figure out OPML and inclusion. It's interesting computer science, not super-hard programming, a good two-weekend project for a scripter who knows PHP or Zope or Cold Fusion, or whatever you like. I like Frontier, so that's why I wrote it there, first. 

Doc's friend Craig Burton talks about the Internet as a donut. It's got stuff at the edges and is hollow in the middle. I know we're writing ourselves out of exclusivity in OPML's future by evangelizing it to tools developers and server people. I'm betting that our authoring tools and server stuff will do well with competition. A rising tide raises all ships. Ask not what the Internet can do for you, etc. 

Other new stuff in the pipe. We're starting a site for Python scripts that do interesting things with SOAP and XML-RPC. The next-generation EditThisPage.Com should come online next week, probably tomorrow. "Piking Behind Firewalls," with new code for both Manila and Radio, is almost ready to go. It allows the Radio outliner to write stories, do weblogs and directories for Manila sites, even if they're behind one of those nasty dreaded firewalls. 

Brent found sample code for a Java outline displayer. He says "It doesn't understand OPML, but I bet you could teach it." 

Stan Krute is looking for help with DLLs in Radio. 

The AppleSurf Reader has become a mainstay of mine. 

What is ClickGarden? What is Spellchecker.Net? What is The Informant

grrl.EditThisPage: "How does one grieve, and then recover, from not being truly known by one's parents?" 

In the midst of the escalating election michegas, Mr. Rogers retired, but according NPR, he's going to do more on his website. That's cool. Hey, if the Supreme Court gets too partisan, maybe we should ask Mr. Rogers what to do? I bet he'd have a great song. 

Check out what's going on in Germany. Brrr. 


Permanent link to archive for Saturday, November 25, 2000. Saturday, November 25, 2000

OPML gets its own domain

Paranoid thought for the day. The election crisis is a cover as in Wag the Dog. I got this idea as I watched the Reps cart out the Congressional Medal of Honor winners. "They're trying to get the support of the military," my paranoid mind concluded. What are they getting ready for? What if the US Supreme Court soils itself? How long before there are tanks in the streets?  

Fawny.Org: ISSN for Weblogs. "You can apply for and use an International Standard Serial Number for your Weblog. Your blog will then officially exist in the worldwide standardized encyclopedia of periodicals." 

What is Babylon? Looks deep. 

My article on OPML in XML Magazine is running now. Starting to get email. Unfortunately the example is in error, it's not valid XML. Oy. Murphy works in strange ways! 

Here's a correct rendering of the example, now I see why we got in trouble, on layout they must have needed to adjust the width, and misunderstood that the minuses are not part of the XML. We'll do better next time.. 

Stan Krute is working on a Radio UserLand tool that moves OPML data in and out of Palm Pilot PDB files. 

Fascinating article by Bricklin about a new Sony product that hooks into a system that knows what your local radio stations are playing. "BDS gets their information by having computers around the country that listen to a number of radio stations. Using a proprietary algorithm, they create signatures for songs as they are played, and compare them to songs in their database." 

Wired: "Needless to say, the people who work at the Amazon distribution center are cut from a different cloth than the scripting gurus in other Internet towns." Yo! 


Directories march on Permanent link to this item in the archive.

I did a directory for the Samples website. Took about 15 minutes. It's not hard. More tweaks coming for sure.

Then I included the Samples outline in the Radio UserLand directory. To the reader it appears as if it's part of the same directory, even though it's stored on a different server in another part of the country. When you browse the site, you may have trouble figuring out that they're on different servers. That's what "seamless" means.

The new rules for cross-website inclusion are explained. We only refresh the OPML of the included outline once per hour, to keep the site fast.

If you're building directories, note that as of October, Manila serves OPML for any message, whether or not it was edited in an outliner. Brent posted an announcement on 10/6. This is an important capability for the cross-website inclusion feature.

Permanent link to archive for Friday, November 24, 2000. Friday, November 24, 2000

Reuters: Supreme Court to hear Bush appeal. "The US Supreme Court agreed on Friday to hear an appeal by Republican George W. Bush challenging the use of hand recounts of ballots in Florida's final make-or-break presidential results." 

Survey: Over the last week have you been following the US presidential election more or less closely? 

Thanks to Adam Curry for the great Radio UserLand peptalk

Lance: "Some conclude that in Europe, people work to live; in the US they live to work." 

Teaser for tomorrow's Scripting News. Forgive us dear Europeans, we do work hard in the USA. We're chumps because the bosses are so dishonest. In the meantime, directory inclusion works across the Atlantic. I'll explain tomorrow. 

December 5-6, Ken Dow's Mastering Manila training in Toronto. 

New sample: workspace.soapForManila. "This sample is a table of four scripts which exercise the new SOAP Interface for Manila." 

Damien Barrett: In Defense of AppleTalk

Brent: "I'm posting via MacPython and xmlrpclib. Cool. It works." This is a hint. We're going to do sample code that shows you how to program a Manila site using Python. 

Inside.Com: "RealNetworks was granted a patent Tuesday for an 'audio-on-demand communication system' that 'provides real-time playback of audio data transferred via telephone lines or other communication links,' as a continuation of a patent the company was first granted in 1998." 

Another candidate for Picture of the Year for Y2K. 


Librarians and search engines Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Wired: "According to the Association of Research Libraries, the number of reference queries handled by librarians has declined over the past two years."

Google founder on the future of Google: "In five years I hope [Google] will be able to return answers, not just documents."

To Google I say Bravo, I'm glad you have this vision. It's the yin to our yang.

To adventurous librarians and educators, let's build a tree of knowledge on the Internet that has integrity. We're engineering the tools now.

Radio's corner-turn Permanent link to this item in the archive.

I've been telegraphing this for a while, hopefully.

A simplified pitch for Radio UserLand, which we will restate and refine over the next few weeks.

"Search engines are great, they're solving half the problem. The other half is providing tools for smart people to record and evolve knowledge on the Web."

That's why we did Manila, and why we're remixing outlining into the writing environment in a highly directed way.

Three views Permanent link to this item in the archive.

And don't forget time-based stuff, that's what weblogs are about. Three views. Each fully supported and integrated. That's where we want to go.

More thoughts on the Radio mail list.

Keeping the name Permanent link to this item in the archive.

We're keeping the name Radio UserLand. I like the word Radio much the way I liked ThinkTank in the 1980s. Now we're doing something different, there's communication in our idea processor, in fact its purpose is communication. What word says that better than Radio?

Outlining for the next 20 years Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Outlining in the 80s was a bootstrap for what we're doing now. Intuitively it always seemed that outlining was a structure for groupware. Now that this works, we have to streamline, groom, document, present and evangelize these ideas, not only to writers and thinkers, but also to developers of tools and server-side runtimes. Even widgets that run in the browser can benefit from hooking into great authoring tools.

viewDirectoryBox macro Permanent link to this item in the archive.

When we released the directory feature on Wednesday, we provided a macro that allowed authors to include the top level of a directory inside a table that you constructed. This gave you a lot of power, but it was more power than anyone really needed. So between meals on Thanksgiving I thought it through, and created a new macro that's higher level, it makes it easy to create a nice-looking box without having to think too much. It's called viewDirectoryBox.

What about music? Permanent link to this item in the archive.

We will loop back to music when the legal michegas is over and there's an economic system that works for honest people without limiting the role music can play in the evolution of the new medium. I will continue to be active in the discussion about music on the Internet, but we're going to stay pure, to provide tools for people to create and distribute their own knowledge and ideas.

What about Lieberman? Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Oh Lieberman! He was supposed to have values.

Today he spoke for moderation, while characterizing demonstrators as a mob. Sure it was a staged demo. Just watch the faces. But they were certainly no more unruly than the ones Jesse Jackson whipped up for the Dems in the first days after the election.

Lieberman's call for moderation was itself immoderate. Remember those who made excuses for the Reps and Dems who signed off on the CDA. They depended on the courts to do the right thing. The courts did cover them. Here we go again.

Do you trust the Supreme Court? I'm not sure I do. We're proud that there are no tanks in the street. Let's keep it that way.

Permanent link to archive for Thursday, November 23, 2000. Thursday, November 23, 2000

DaveNet: The Baby Eagle Story. My Thanksgiving piece. 

Via Defenestration via Heart: The Gopher Manifesto

Seattle has a strike paper, on the Web. 

Matt Neuburg: "The new Directory feature of Manila / Radio UserLand makes it easy to publish a Frontier outline in such a way as to make it browsable over the network. Since all the notes I have ever taken over the past fifteen years (ever since I discovered Dave's ThinkTank / MORE) are outlines, I could in theory publish everything I know! (Thereby putting myself completely out of a job!!!)" 

This is the best Thanksgiving gift I could get. All the time I've been working with Matt on Frontier stuff, and that's already a long time, the outlining has been in the background. He loves Frontier as a programming environment. I've been struggling to create an easy end-user outliner that also has the programming and communication smarts of Frontier, because I realized in the 80s that outlining lent itself to customization, and that it was all about communication. That's why I did Frontier, and why it has outlining and why when HTTP and HTML came to my attention, I jumped without a second thought. I didn't know Matt when he was a MORE fan, but I read what he wrote about it, and Matt gets it, and Matt writes beautifully about what he gets. For several years I've wanted him to look at our software as a writing environment as MORE was (or is). That's why this is such a gift! I think we're getting close. I'm not going to let up now, we're going to do a lot more tweaking of Radio as an outliner, make it easier and streamlined and focused on writing and communicating. And when you lift the hood, you'll find a lot of juicy stuff waiting to be customized. 

O'Reilly: XML-RPC in Python. "The major, incontestable reason for using XML-RPC is that it works, and works well. With a very minimum of effort, a developer can install and use Python xmlrpclib, communicating with servers built in Python, PHP, Java, Perl, C++, and even COM." Also Frontier.  

Brent: "Last night I installed Red Hat Linux 7 -- and was stunned by the improvements to the desktop." 

Permanent link to archive for Wednesday, November 22, 2000. Wednesday, November 22, 2000

Directories and Manila Permanent link to this item in the archive.

As I learn more about directories, I realized that I want to first do small directories that are part of Manila sites, before attempting to create a root directory.

I want to do a directory for Scripting News while other people in the Radio UserLand community explore directories in their own Manila sites.

While these public small directories are coming online, I will point to interesting ones on Scripting News, get the ideas exchanging, tap into the competitive spirit.

With that in mind, today we're ready to show what we've been working on. It's a new feature for Manila, it allows you to use the Radio outliner to create and edit directories.

How to: Radio as a Manila directory editing tool.

Here's a random page from my example directory.

I know it's the day before a major US holiday, so I will repeat all this stuff on Scripting News in the coming weeks. This is an important part of a corner-turn for Radio UserLand. We're hooking the outliner up to Manila, with a documented protocol and format.

An exciting endorsement Permanent link to this item in the archive.

WebCrossing and XML-RPC. "XML-RPC allows you to share resources from your Web Crossing server, and to let your Web Crossing server access shared resources from other servers. Web Crossing has the built-in ability to act as both an XML-RPC server and client."

The WebCrossing XML-RPC interface is documented here.

New stuff Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Matt Neuburg has a new docs page on Radio UserLand Tools.

The Standard: "The prevalence of Minitel gives French people a way to conduct their business online and has slowed Internet adoption there. On the other hand, the network has created a high level of online literacy in France, in turn creating opportunities for Internet companies."

Joel Spolsky, the famous software developer behind Joel on Software has shipped a new product, browser-based group bug-tracking software called FogBugz. Mazel tov!

Survey: How do you feel about the holidays?

Are you a geek or looking for geeks? Then this site is for you.

Survey: Have you ever edited XML text?

Reprieve from patents? Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Good news for creative freedom on the Internet. Walker was a patent mill, mostly lawyers, a few technologists, their goal was to put roadblocks in front of creativity, patenting obvious things that had already been invented in other contexts. Glad to see it failed to get support from investors. Maybe it's time for a new slogan. "Sometimes it's not as bad as it appears."

Two views Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Charles Krauthammer: "What is the least fair procedure one could possibly devise for determining the winner? The one Gore is pursuing relentlessly in the Florida courts: The selective culling of Democratic votes by Democratic arbiters from heavily Democratic districts."

Maureen Dowd: "W., on the other hand, will take his feather pillow, go into the study off the Oval Office with Spot and his video golf game, order up some PB&J sandwiches and ask Daddy and Jimmy and Jebby and Condi, as Robert Redford said in 'The Candidate,' 'What do we do now?'"

Coup d'etat in Florida? Permanent link to this item in the archive.

The Florida Supreme Court, if it had been rational and non-partisan, would have cleared up the distinction between "should" and "may" and left it at that.

Without being a lawyer, just a humble member of the US electorate, who voted for Gore, I think the Florida Supreme Court is way over the line, they're trying a coup d'etat.

The US Supreme Court must take this case quickly and overturn the Florida court and validate the authority of the executive and legislative branches of the Florida government.

The talk on TV this morning is of the Florida legislature meeting to reaffirm their power to set the laws governing the election process. I support this. The Supreme Court in Florida is way over the line. They've taken power away from the executive, power that's clearly granted, for good reasons, in the laws of the State of Florida.

It's bad. If they had gone the other way, we would be moving forward now, instead of going deeper into the quagmire. When will one of our branches of government truly take responsibility for clear non-partisan decision-making?

What was Gore thinking when he was preparing to concede on election night? How much has changed.

Mail starting 11/22/00.

Permanent link to archive for Tuesday, November 21, 2000. Tuesday, November 21, 2000

Salon: "The seven members of Florida's highest legal body ruled unanimously Tuesday night, at 9:45 p.m. EST, that Secretary of State Katherine Harris must accept the hand count tallies underway in key Florida counties -- provided they meet a 5 p.m. EST, Nov. 26. deadline mandated by the court." 

Wired: Emusic Tracks Napster Naughties. "Emusic engineers have developed a tracking system that can identify infringing materials on Napster -– something the file-trading company said was impossible." 

Hugh Pyle has a Groove "Mind Map" tool. 

Lance Knobel: "I fear that the pro-patent people are lying low and staying greedy, happy to let the theorists spout until the cows come home." 

Joel Spolsky: Netscape Goes Bonkers. "I laughed heartily as I got questions from one of my former employees about FTP code he was rewriting. It had taken 3 years of tuning to get code that could read the 60 different types of FTP servers, those 5000 lines of code may have looked ugly, but at least they worked." 

Andrew Wooldridge of Netscape asks what most needs fixing in Netscape 6. 

Hey Uncle Vava is back! I wonder if he knows that it was one year ago today that I introduced his site, one of the first Manila sites, to Scripting News readers? And please remind me to thank everyone who started a Manila site, on December 4. 

A dot-com nightmare Permanent link to this item in the archive.

A longtime friend who will remain nameless ("Bob" is not his real name) did a two-month consulting job for a promising dot-com startup a few years ago. He was paid in stock options.

A couple of years later the company IPO'd, one of the most spectacular IPOs during the frenzy. His options ballooned in value, when they vested last year his stock was worth $10 million. All his friends, myself included, were impressed. "Bob is very rich now," we all said.

Of course he exercised the options. This is known at the IRS as a "taxable event." At that point you owe the government taxes on the value of the stock at the moment you exercised the options. Bob must have been confident in the value of the stock because he didn't sell any to pay the taxes.

Now as the end of Y2K approaches, his $10 million in stock is worth less than $1 million. Unfortunately (this is the nightmare part) he has to pay taxes on income of $10 million. Figure it out. My formerly middle-class friend has to come up with approx $4 million to pay Uncle Sam and Governor Davis. Like most ordinary people this is an impossibly large number. Bankruptcy looms.

I hear this is happening a lot in San Francisco and Silicon Valley. In the next cycle, watch out for irrational exuberance. Sell the stock to pay the taxes.

PS: For most people, $6 million is transcendental.

Bill Seitz: Stock Options and the AMT.

Motley Fool: Meltdowns Always Happen.

Yes she is! Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Katherine Harris is on AmIHotOrNot. BTW, I think she's very hot, I think it's curious that others don't, and of course when I was younger I wouldn't have. It scared me that women mature. Now I love mature women. Seriously. No sarcasm. This might be an optimistic thing for younger heterosexual men. No need to be so scared. Why do you think she's getting all those flowers? (BTW, she's four years younger than me.)

Permanent link to archive for Monday, November 20, 2000. Monday, November 20, 2000

White paper: Bootstrapping the Two-Way-Web

Updated: Manila RPC interface

Manila: How to enable the SOAP interface

Fascinating results from yesterday's Netscape 6 survey. 13 percent say Netscape 6 works. 41 percent says it doesn't work but it's worth fixing. 24 percent say don't bother, MSIE has already won. On the other hand, 58 percent say they sometimes lie on surveys.  

Welcome to AppleScriptCentral.Com

Reuters: Intel Introduces Pentium 4. "The company said the Pentium 4 operates at speeds of 1.5 and 1.4 gigahertz, with room for achieving higher speeds in the future." 

AP: Ben & Jerry May Leave Ben & Jerry's

We're being pounded to oblivion this morning by the search engine crawlers. If there are any engineers from search engine firms tuned in, can we please tune up the connection with content management systems so you get the freshest stuff without having to read every bit of content on all 10,000 of our sites? We started a mail list to discuss this, but so far, the right people haven't shown up. 

Something weird is going on between the search engines and Disturbing Search Requests, documented on NetDyslexia

To my friend Jon Udell, who believes the Unix world must catch up with Microsoft in application integration, I say let's do new stuff. Unix is an ideal server environment. Everyone knows that. Let's beef it up to be the perfect cloud for the Two-Way-Web. Doing what Microsoft has already done is ho-hum and hard. Let's shake the earth. 

More fascinating juxtaposition on CNN. What is Gore thinking while Dubya waves at us so jovially? 

Over the weekend Peterme ran a cleverly captioned picture of Florida Secretary of State Kathleen Harris.  

Cabinet often makes me smile.  

Permanent link to archive for Sunday, November 19, 2000. Sunday, November 19, 2000

Survey: What about Netscape 6?  

Success! A three-line script that reads the Scripting News home page, via SOAP 1.1. The SOAP interfaces are now deployed on UserLand servers. They'll go out as an update tonight, and the new docs will go up tonight too. By tomorrow it will be (fingers crossed) possible to write a Java app using IBM's SOAP to edit any Manila site. To our knowledge, Manila is the first full Web app to support SOAP. If you want to watch the progress of the release, check out Brent's weblog. I'll link to all the new goodies first thing tomorrow morning.  

Is it my imagination or is CNN spinning a Bush victory? As if saying "Enough, we're tired of covering this story, and are wanting to wind it down." Even the Boston Globe is easin up on Dubya. They were not so easy last weekend. Ira Cary Blanco caught GW on CNN wearing a ZZ Top hat. 

NY Times: "In Palm Beach County, the vote recount crawled on with a gain of 12 votes for Gov. George W. Bush. Mr. Gore had hoped to pick up a significant number of votes in this Democratic stronghold." Ooops! 

Rael Dornfest of O'Reilly supplied some missing info, and now the sample scripts I uploaded yesterday read news items from Meerkat into the Frontier or Radio object database.  

I've been approved as a category editor for The Gong Show on DMOZ. They sent a link to their guidelines page. Fascinating reading. If you have good Gong Show links, send them to me. I'm official. 

Authoring a directory is a lot like maintaining a weblog. On a weblog you post on a timely basis, but links fall off the bottom. On a directory you save the valuable non-time-based links. There's the fundamental difference between a weblog and a directory. A weblog has the current stuff, and a directory has the permanent stuff. Connecting the two structures is an interesting user interface problem, and a social one. I have to prime the pump, to get people interested in doing their own directories, I guess I have to create directory envy. 

Anyway, soon I expect to have a new directory to stand alongside the Scripting News weblog. It'll work better than the one I did during the summer. (Directories are going to be a Manila feature, edited in Radio in OPML, the content will be portable, a directory browser should be easily implemented in any programmable server environment. No lock-in, just good tools and robust protocols.) 

Oy, that might be confusing. Let me try again. You'll be able to view my directory in a Web browser (teaser), which is the way most people will access it; or you can get the XML to include my content in your directory, no matter what software is used to render it.  

Now if you recall my writing about baseball and philosophy, it would be only natural to assume that I would want to explore the philosophy of The Gong Show. It surely had one. But we have plenty of time to explore that. While you're pondering what I'm pondering, study up on Chuck Barris, who was to The Gong Show as Casey Stengel was to The Mets.  

Dan Gillmor is back in China with some great pictures.  

Is an upgrade coming at eGroups? I want to know if the guy with the wrench is Murphy. 

Tech note: You can add a Thanksgiving turkey to your UserLand-hosted Manila site by including the word "turkey" in quotes. 

A meta-survey. It's OK to lie. 

Permanent link to archive for Saturday, November 18, 2000. Saturday, November 18, 2000

DaveNet: Soothing sounds of disenfranchisement

One more time: Who will be the next President of the US? 

Wes Felter has a graph of The Semantic Music Web. Ooops, Radio is an island unto itself. Better fix that! 

NetDyslexia: "If you take your missspellings too serious it will end in a desaster. Belive me: Dogma 2000 isn't worth to think about it - it's just a behavior of well stuffed guys." 

This year's innovation, Christmas Spam

Is Dubya wearin a cowboy hat? Yes he is. MSNBC agrees. Funny he didn't wear em during the campaign. Looks presidential all righty. Al Gore surely wishes he thought to wear one. Meanwhile Dubya is attracting a different kind of advocate.  

Mail starting 11/18/00. 

Oh the weather outside is frightful. Not! 

Happiness is another installment from Dr Matt. 

New sample: A table of scripts that call into the Meerkat XML-RPC interface from Frontier or Radio. 

Permanent link to archive for Friday, November 17, 2000. Friday, November 17, 2000

New howto: Fast path to Manila weblogs. "Manila is a full content management system, with features that a person maintaining a weblog site may not need at first. These features can get in the way unless you know how to navigate around them. That's the purpose of this how to, to show you the quickest and easiest way to run a weblog with Manila." 

Over the weekend we will release new server components and workstation glue scripts for the Manila-RPC interface. Both SOAP 1.1 and XML-RPC are supported. The procedural interfaces are identical. Hat's off to Jake Savin for a clean transition to SOAP. Key point, as far as Manila is concerned, it's your choice. You can use either XML-RPC or SOAP to control your website. 

CNN is tracking Florida absentee returns. So far, Bush has 419 and Gore has 270 new votes. 

MSNBC: Yahoo to require sites to pay. “A truly viable commercial directory should be a commercial enterprise,” said Srinivasan. “We’ve always had the difference between the commercial sites and the non-commercial sites — they’re a different kind of animal.” 

Wow, the link I stumbled across last night was actually news.  

Looksmart charges for site reviews too. 

Motley Fool: Microsoft Challenges Yahoo!? 

What is 10.am

Matt Neuburg is working on the new stuff in the Radio UserLand outliner. Bravo! 

Bob Stein: The myth of the separation of style from content.  

Armeen Mazda asks which vendors are using XML-RPC. 

Wired: Now it's the Indies suing MP3.Com. "CEO Michael Robertson and company had just under 24 hours to celebrate the settlement of its last copyright infringement lawsuit with the major record labels and publishers before getting served with yet another lawsuit." 

E&P: Newspaper Sites Showcase Local Bands

Channel 2000: "A man apparently intent on publicizing a Web site clung to the outside of the Wells Fargo building about 16 stories above ground in downtown Los Angeles Tuesday before climbing in through a window." 

I wonder how emails like this find their way to me. 

Permanent link to archive for Thursday, November 16, 2000. Thursday, November 16, 2000

Roger Ebert: Cash for Content. "We pounded on the office calculator: 250 reviews times 2 cents times 10,000 users... 50,000 users...3 million users...wow! If 3 million people paid 2 cents apiece for each of our reviews for a year, it would come to $15 million!" 

Duncan Smeed, a Brit, has a copy of a funny email that's been circulating on the Internet, a British view of the election michegas in Florida. It begins "Notice of Revocation of Independence.." Keith Calder has an appropriately condescending response.  

Having trouble connecting Radio with Manila? Here's a troubleshooting checklist thanks to "sallyc". It's a good list. 

How come I never thought to search for UserLand at DMOZ? 

Yahoo: "Why can't I submit my site for free anymore?" Cool! 

New Channels: ActiveState, Mac Open Source

News.Com: "A new version of Office also will include a Web-based collaboration program known as SharePoint." What is SharePoint? 

TechWeb: "[Sharepoint] lets teams of co-workers collaborate more effectively by sharing and collaborating on files. It lets one worker save a file or document for others to use, edit, and annotate." 

CRN: "Sharepoint is a prestructured set of places where people can share documents in small working groups." 

What is Onclave? (Kevin Werbach mentioned it in a phone talk today.) 

Fortune: Will Tech Boom Again? 

MacInTouch reader reports on Netscape 6. 

BradLands: A Day Without Weblogs. Dec 1

It has been proven that John VanDyk has a very dumb cat.  

A cute domain name grabbed but not used by Sun Microsystems. 

Outage Permanent link to this item in the archive.

We had an outage early this morning on one of our servers. Weblogs.Com was down during the outage.

More TLDs? Permanent link to this item in the archive.

TLD stands for Top Level Domain.

It looks like ICANN is going to authorize new TLDs. I never understood the rationale for this. So far .com has been the default. Will new TLDs change this?

ZDNet: ICANN -- Let the domain begging begin.

Wired: ICANN Down to Discussing Dots.

Reuters: RealNames Offers Rival Global Net Name Registry.

In July we ran a survey on this question.

Postscript: A reader named tops suggests dot-blog. This would be scripting.blog or dave.blog or something like that. Interesting. Hmm. What do you think about that?

Permanent link to archive for Wednesday, November 15, 2000. Wednesday, November 15, 2000

DaveNet: Clay Shirky on P2P

How to use Radio as a Manila writing tool. "As we know, editing in a browser is very convenient, but editing in an outliner, when you're at your workstation, is more effiicient" 

Online Journalism Review: "The site is clean, quick to load, easy to read and filled with the kind of user-friendly, interactive features that Web sites are supposed to have but never do." 

Palm Beach Post: Suit questions Cheney residence

Maury Markowitz: "Who should parse the XML?" 

More great mail. 

A new tradition? Permanent link to this item in the archive.

After watching a week of escalating lies on TV, I wonder if it wouldn't be fun to lie myself?

How about a new tradition. We've had Casual Fridays for years, where people can wear jeans and T-shirts (nice ones) to work, so everyone can relax. That was cool. Now how about Casual Thursdays, where we relax on honesty?

Under the rules of Casual Thursdays, you wouldn't be required to lie, but it would be permissible, even encouraged, to do so. When someone asks why you lied about this or that, ask them to look at the calendar. Or say "I'll get back to you on Friday." That would be the keyword alerting the other person that you're taking advantage of the new rules.

A recycled idea Permanent link to this item in the archive.

In my younger days I used to go to industry conferences several times a year, mostly sitting in the audience, listening to poor speakers drone on and on about how great their stuff is, how dominant they are, and thinking to myself Blah blah blah blah blah.

Sometimes I'd lean over and whisper into the next person's ear, Blah blah blah, etc. It's always good for a laugh. My guess is that virtually 100 percent of the people in the audience know that the speaker is lying, so why not find a way to capture that information and display it?

Here's the idea. Give 1000 viewers, on a rotating basis, a new device hooked up to their TV, a special remote control that has a new big easy to hit button, labeled "Blah-Blah". You can hit it as many times as you want, when you feel insulted by whatever the person is saying.

There would be a Blah-Blah bar at the bottom of the TV screen for everyone to see. It would add a new dimension of unpredictability to TV watching. And the people who spew lies would have to stop and ask every once in a while how they're doing, and then we could all have a really fine laugh if the Blah-Blah-Bar was high at that moment.

A visible Will of the American People. Or a new kind of reality TV, based on an idea pioneered in the 1980s.

BTW, just for fun I applied to be the editor of the Gong Show category on DMOZ.

Does my vote matter? Permanent link to this item in the archive.

This is the first morning since the election that my point of view hasn't shifted. After this is over if anyone tells me that my vote matters, I'm going to laugh. I'm laughing right now.

Just do the math. Let's say it's not a close election. Clearly, in that case, my vote doesn't matter, the outcome would be the same whether or not I voted. Suppose it is a close election. Then it's going to court and a judge is going to decide. In that case my vote doesn't count. As they say in math, QED.

The only remaining question is if the judge is impartial or is a partisan. How could the judge be impartial?

Permanent link to archive for Tuesday, November 14, 2000. Tuesday, November 14, 2000

DaveNet: The War of the Would-Be Presidents

Overnight survey: What is The Will of the American People? 

Is this the picture of the year for Y2K? 

Mail Starting 11/14/00

The New Yorker article on Blogger is on Geocities. "You know, to make him coffee and get him stuff. I'd do it. For free, even!"  

Another reason the networks don't want the election thing to end anytime soon. They like hanging out in Miami in the middle of November. I was there in October. The beach is reallly nice! I hope they take appropriate precautions

Reuters: CBS radio news pioneer Robert Trout dies at 91

The newest member of the Democrat legal team is David Boies, the US government's attorney in the Microsoft anti-trust case, and Napster's defense attorney. It's total World Series time. Who's next? 

Daniel Schorr says "No matter how this turns out 1/2 of the American electorate will feel that they have been robbed." This is a bug. I think most Americans don't really care if it's Gore or Bush.  

Netscape 6 ships. Win $100,000 in cash. But does it break my site? Only Murphy knows for sure. 

Screen shot of Scripting News in Netscape 6/Mac

Leon Panetta: Time for a Bush-Gore Summit. Photo op. 

DominoPower on UserLand Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Russ Lipton is a Lotus Notes developer. A few months ago he discovered Manila and then dug into Frontier and Radio UserLand. And he did something wonderful, he wrote an explanation of what we do at UserLand from the point of view of a Notes developer. His two pieces, linked below, are the top stories on DominoPower.

DominoPower: How UserLand's Frontier can revolutionize content management.

DominoPower: A closer look at Manila and Radio UserLand.

I hope people in the Notes community read these articles.

And to IBM people who read Scripting News -- we want to build bridges between your software and ours. We're working on a complete SOAP 1.1 interface for Manila, it will be the broadest SOAPable Web app when it's ready (early December). We're a small company focused on making the Web a great writing environment. We like working with big companies with large installed bases and strong marketing and distribution. We have good software, but we can't do it all, and we know it.

Antarcti.Ca launches Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Tim Bray, is one of the editors of XML 1.0, and a friend.

Late last year he started a new company to create a new kind of Web directory, a visual one, where sites are grouped geographically, on a visual map of a continent most of us never think about -- Antarctica.

Today is their launch day. Here's the press release.

And here's the new website.

Tell me what you think. I'm starting a new Mail Page right now.

And thanks to Tim for having the guts to start something new.

Permanent link to archive for Monday, November 13, 2000. Monday, November 13, 2000

DaveNet: The role of the media. (A true story) 

I spent a few hours driving back and forth to San Francisco, and listened to the News Hour on KQED. I came to an interesting conclusion after listening to the everyone on both sides of the disputed election. They're all lying all the time. 

According to NPR's Daniel Schorr, Richard Daley, mayor of Chicago said "Vote early, vote often."  

And Huey Long, governor of Louisiana, said: "When I die I want to be buried in Louisiana so I can stay active in politics." 

BTW, Huey Long is buried in Louisiana. 

Evan Williams on Groove: "As much hype as it's gotten, it has a steep road ahead." 

Adbusters: The Zen TV Experiment. "When we watch TV we rarely pay attention to the details of the event. In fact, we rarely pay attention."  

Mail Starting 11/13/00

Clay Shirky: What is Peer-to-Peer? "P2P is a class of applications that takes advantage of resources -- storage, cycles, content, presence -- available at the edges of the internet. Because this means operating in an environment of unstable connectivity and unpredictable IP addresses, P2P nodes must operate outside the DNS system, and have significant autonomy from central servers."  

CNN: US absentee ballot turns up in Denmark. "The Danish newspaper quoted the American voter as saying he had no intention of pursuing the irregularity." 

Microsoft's Visual Studio.NET Beta 1 is now available.  

Janelle Brown: The Jukebox Manifesto. "Record companies should stop worrying about security and start giving people what they really want: Music, anywhere, anytime." 

CNN: Florida secretary of state issues vote count deadline. "I anticipate the presidential election in Florida will be certified by Saturday afternoon, barring judicial intervention."  

Survey: What does your vote mean? 

NY Times: "The Bush campaign would be on firmer ground if it asked that deadlines be waived to allow manual vote counting in heavily Republican districts as well as those that voted for Mr. Gore." 

Lance Knobel resumes DavosNewbies. Welcome! 

David Singer explains how to select text with the keyboard in MSIE. "Put the cursor where you want to start, then shift-arrow (or shift-pgup/pgdn) to where you want to end."  

Oliver Travers uses both Blogger and Manila to manage his weblog. Fascinating. (Makes sense.) 

Version 4.0 of Amaya, the W3C HTML browser-editor, was released on Friday. 

Another online dictionary that I didn't know about. Excellent. 

Brent discovers something excellent about Mac OS X.  

Sam Devore has an XML-RPC client for RealBasic. 

FreshMeat has a page on XML-RPC.  

I recently discovered this site, done by a Cal professor. It points to sites done by his students. I didn't see it while the class was happening, it appears to be over now, and I'm kind of confused about what's going on, but it's interesting. I'm looking for pointers to examples of Manila being used in an educational setting. 

The Curmudgeon has a list of courses that use weblogs. 

A silly domain we registered that hasn't yet been deployed in a serious way. This domain might be perfect for hosting sites for the male pre-teen crowd. I gotta admit that my inner-pre-teen is alive and well.  

Permanent link to archive for Sunday, November 12, 2000. Sunday, November 12, 2000

Reuters: Election timeline

Survey: When will the US presidential election will be resolved?  

Mail starting 11/12/00

Jakob Nielsen: Use Drop-Down Menus Sparingly

Dave Aiello: "At first glance, Tellme appears to be a voice response interface to certain simple Internet content. However, we dug a little deeper and found Tellme.Studio, a means for building, testing, and publishing Tellme Phone Sites." 

Is this who we are? 

NY Times: "In the confusion over election results, one sure thing is the poor design of the Palm Beach County ballot. But what would a well-designed ballot look like?" 

Development notes Permanent link to this item in the archive.

While all this political michegas is going on, we're getting a lot of programming done at UserLand. I'm still working on the timeless weblog, the non-temporal way of linking to things. We're also getting SOAP interfaces for Manila ready to roll, we have several developers waiting for them, realizing the multi-vendor "Two-Way-Web" vision. What else? The Radio UserLand outliner plays a big role in the timeless weblog, as does Manila. And we bought a new Mac OS X server, it arrived Friday. We'll be hosting sites using the Mac version of Manila, running on Unix, Murphy-willing. Life sure is strange!

Brent has a Mac OS X question.

Timeless weblog startup Permanent link to this item in the archive.

I posted a message to the Radio UserLand discussion group to start the bootstrap process for the timeless weblog idea.

MSIE 5.5 issues Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Bug report: Text selection in MSIE 5.5 textareas appears to be broken. There's no way to select a word without the selection wandering into the word before. The only way I've found to delete 25 characters is to put the cursor at the end and press backspace 25 times.

I wish the Find command in MSIE remembered the last string I entered.

Unused domains Permanent link to this item in the archive.

An unused UserLand domain is FeatureRequests.Com.

Last week we finally got Manila sites set up for all our unused domains. We've bought quite a few over the years. We pay for them every year, thinking we'll finally get around to putting some software behind the names. However, the next big service launch will not be FeatureRequests.Com.

Today's song Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Today's song: Morning Morgantown.

"But the only thing I have to give, to make you smile, to win you with, are all the mornings still to live."

Come on America! Let's stop fighting. Adopt the other guy's point of view, or at least understand it. Let's start living some of those commercials. Beautiful Sunday mornings with coffee and kids and walks in the park. Blankets and cats and fireplaces. Thanksgiving. We have a great life here. But we don't listen to each other.

I think that's what this michegas is all about. For a moment we're all involved in our own lives, but we're just manipulating symbols. The votes are not who we are. The President is not who we are. Either one will be OK. Let's love ourselves and give ourselves a gift.

"We'll wink at total strangers passing."

Bonus song Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Free Man in Paris: "I deal with dreamers and telephone screamers."

The TV networks want one thing, to keep us glued to our TVs. They have a heavy stake in the system as-is. Think where the campaign dollars go.

Permanent link to archive for Saturday, November 11, 2000. Saturday, November 11, 2000

DaveNet: Later it will be too late

AP: "An error rate of 2 percent to 5 percent, believe it or not, is considered acceptable by most election officials, if the error is evenly distributed across all of the candidates.'' 

Doc: "I believe The Will of the American People is for neither one of these fools to become President." 

Salon: Gore's 'War Room'.  

Thanks to Flutterby for the link to the Palm Beach Voter Competency Test. I passed. 

Curmudgeon: "Guess who's the big outlier. Palm Beach." 

James Baker: "Machines are neither Republicans nor Democrats and therefore can never be consciously or even unconsciously biased."  

Upside: "Those results adhere to sentiment gauged by Dave Winer, the iconoclastic Silicon Valley software CEO, in three separate polls on his elite weblog, Scripting News, a favorite of tech executives and engineers." Blush. 

Iconoclast: "One who destroys religious images or opposes their veneration." 

Hey it makes sense that search engines send hackers to Wes's site. 

Interesting juxtaposition on the Boston.Com home page

A different spin in Atlanta

It makes sense that they like Dubya in Houston

Sometimes you can ask for a recount and get turned down. 

Susan Kitchens brightens our day with pictures from Bryce. 

Scott Loftesness: "I just bought $50 worth of AdWords from Google. Now if you search for bluetooth, they're serving an ad pointing to the Bluetooth weblog. It'll be interesting to see how much traffic they drive." 

BlogFootball is a UK-based Manila hosting service. 

Ooops, this is where I went when I clicked on the Products link on the Broadvision home page.  

Dan Gillmor: "I expect Bush to be the next president, because I think when the absentee ballots in Florida are counted we'll discover that he won a flawed -- but not fraudulent -- election." 

Red Herring: "Several publicly traded dot-coms that are shutting down are actually putting their domain names up for sale in a last-ditch effort to squeeze some money out of the market. But what are those names actually worth?" 

Ideas.com "was founded on the belief that ideas are the most important assets in the New Economy." 

Survival Instinct: "I love the Olive Garden's food. I hate the other people who dine at the Olive Garden. 'nuff said." 

A big virtual group hug for Zeldman

Permanent link to archive for Friday, November 10, 2000. Friday, November 10, 2000

DaveNet: Pull Back from Partisanship.  

Debra Saunders: "It's hard to figure which is more disturbing: the fact that many of these people drive automobiles, even though they can't follow an arrow, or that so many people have been willing to go on television to admit that they misunderstood simple instructions, voted twice in the presidential election and didn't bother to correct their mistakes at the polling place." 

New Manila feature: Open Updates Page. If you're running a Frontier server, Manila sites on your server can be listed on the Updates page. It's a way to build flow for your sites -- but it's your choice to turn it on or not. (It's off by default.) 

Reuters: Bush says he's preparing an administration

Orange County Register: "California has more than 1 million absentee ballots yet to be counted." 

Reuters: Official tally has Bush ahead by 960 votes in Florida

Reuters: New Mexico recount runs into glitch

Washington Post: "Both sides need to step back, let the recount come in, and accept that final judgment for the sake of the country," said Panetta. "This may not be easy, but the interests of the country come first." 

Mail starting 11/10/00

Today's song: Crackerbox Palace. "Some times are good, some times are bad, that's all a part of life." 

Larry Wall: "So maybe, if you're thinking about starting a war between the open source folks and the commercial folks, you should think again. First of all, you'll be fighting against a lot of good folks, and you'll probably lose. Second of all, you might win, and the world will be split up into separate atoms. Maybe that's what the hydrogens on the end want, but the carbons in the middle would really like to stick together and make something useful." 

Seth Bokelman reviews TiVo. 

NY Times editorial: "The sad reality is that ballot disputes and imperfections are a feature of every election. It will poison the political atmosphere if presidential elections, in particular, come to be seen as merely a starting point for litigation." 

Eve Winer: "Educators are missing the point about homework. Homework is supposed to be a review of what has been taught in class to reinforce the concepts and ideas. It is not supposed to be new learning so that the parent then has to become the teacher." That's my mom. Smart. 

Zeldman: "Stephen Kamsler shares this actual quote from American television last night: 'Next on CNBC, Jesse Ventura, Phil Donahue, and Jerry Falwell join Geraldo to talk live about Ralph Nader.' We guess Gallagher and Carrot Top had previous commitments." 

Yesterday: "How many more steps before the whole thing unravels and people act on the realization that we've been electing actors ever since TV became the dominant medium?" 

New Manila feature: Hits By Hour. "It displays how many hits your site received by hour, for the past 24 hours. This way you can see how your traffic patterns change throughout a given day." 

New ranking: Badges.UserLand. "The tabulation is done in real-time, the table is sorted once a minute. It shows the top 100 sites with more than ten hits today that have the Manila site badge." 

To include the badge in your Manila site, type this into your template: "This is a Manila Site".  

Jake Savin has a question about the SOAP spec. "It seems as though the SOAP spec is ambiguous about empty arrays -- all of the examples of 'array' objects in the spec have at least one sub-element, and any array which has sub-elements must specify a type for the sub-elements." 

Yo Andre! Happy Birthday. Spicy Noodles. 


Permanent link to archive for Thursday, November 09, 2000. Thursday, November 09, 2000

Security alert for all Frontier sites running Manila. We strongly urge all system managers to update immediately to make their systems safe. We are not documenting the security issue at this time to help protect our customers' systems. 

DaveNet: A system unravels

As I call it quits after a fantastic day filled with lots of lessons and questions and a sense that maybe US politics are starting to get out of the doldrums they've always been in, in my experience, I leave you with a survey that asks a philosophical question. Before you answer the question, remember what Jerry says. "I know the rent is in arrears, the dog has not been fed in years, it's even worse than it appears." Now answer the question.  

This afternoon I ran into a friend who's one of the people Al Gore visits when he comes to Silicon Valley. Of course we talked about the situation in Florida. My friend said he was upset with the way the candidates were dealing with it. I was surprised. I imagined that partisanship would rule. This person has raised a lot of money for the Gore campaign. I imagine Gore would return his phone call. I said I was hopeful our country would emerge stronger for this experience. My friend wasn't so sure. I'm going to make a phone call right now to tell him why he has to just look inside himself to see why I'm right. 

What a year it's been. The dot-com collapse. Napster. A Subway Series. And now the US political system is shaken to the core. Murphy and Y2K, all the way. Do we have a philosophy? 

The Tampa Tribune has a county-by-county table of Florida recount data. "With votes in 65 of 67 counties recounted, the tally collected by The Associated Press shows Republican George W. Bush leading Democrat Al Gore by 225 votes." 

CNN: "However, the Associated Press, which has stationed reporters in every Florida county, put Bush's advantage over Gore at only 362 votes, a number drawn from results in 64 counties." 

Jimmy Carter: "The American people should be patient." 

Here comes an opinion. The time to be partisan is past. If the recount says Gore won, he won. If the recount says Bush won, same deal. Elections always have flaws. Our first responsibility is to support the republic and the Constitution, but stay politically interested, informed and active. That would be a true revolution, and totally legal, and totally powerful. The system of powerlessness is the one worth unraveling. 

The user interface issue is fine for computer scientists (such as myself) to debate and learn from. But there are probably thousands of flaws similar to the one in West Palm Beach. We'll wait a decade to get all the glitches out (we should do it). In the meantime, the call for a revote is ridiculous. If it were done in West Palm Beach, to be fair, the whole country would have to have a chance to change their vote. When will the demands stop? The time to be partisan is past. 

More mail. Excellent stuff! 

I just noticed that an old friend, Nat Goldhaber, is on the West Palm Beach ballot as the Natural Law Party vice-presidential candidate. What a trip. 

Nelson Polsby: "A close election does not amount to a constitutional crisis. A constitutional crisis results when the Constitution provides no guidance about what to do next, and politicians and officials must fly blind. But the US Constitution is far from silent on how to proceed in the current situation." 

Physics Today: Nations Argue over Climate Treaty

News.Com: "Yahoo's president warned investors Thursday not to be fooled into thinking the Web was a passing fad just because so many companies had withered along with Net hysteria." 

Washington Post: "George W. Bush's margin over Al Gore in make-or-break Florida dwindled to fewer than 1,000 votes Thursday in a continuing recount that held the presidential rivals and the nation in agonizing suspense." 

Inside.Com: "It dawned on the television types that they had lost custody of the process and that what they thought would be a nice, tidy, made-for-TV movie had turned into a 12-hour math problem." 

On NPR last night a commentator said that what was new in this year's election return experience is that there was actual news. Are professional news people prepared for this? There are lessons here for the tech press, whose appreciation and understanding of technology is just as weak as that of the political reporters. It's inescapable, technology is part of every story from now on. Do we question what the technologists tell us? It's time to stop believing everything everyone with a propeller on his hat says. In other words, Murphy is running everything now. Just because the computers didn't melt down on Jan 1, doesn't mean we're home-free. There's a technology angle to every story. 

Regular Expressions: Specialty Scripting Languages

Perl Monks: "So I'm in my webtech class and rather than listening to the lecture on XML I thought I'd write a Perl script to poll CNN and find out who was ahead and by how much." 

Curmudgeon: "I don't think you can overturn an election because some people weren't as careful as they could have been. But it is frustrating, at least if you were for Gore. Like the ball going through Buckner's legs." 

Joel Spolsky: "Is Bush going to actually be the next president because of a usability bug?" 

Brad Pettit: "Sorry, but this 'Butterfly Ballot' causing so much consternation among Gore supporters in Palm Beach is nothing new; millions of us throughout the country have used the same type of ballot during elections before." 

Jerome Camus: "Shift 60% of Nader votes in New Hampshire & Oregon into Gore's camp and the whole Florida mess would be a non-issue: Gore would have 271 electoral college votes." 

King Kaufman: "If it were Gore vs. Ghadafi," I said to my co-workers as they stared at me the way you stare at a crazy person, or at least the way they stare at a crazy person, "I'd have still voted for Nader."  

William Safire: "Rather than taking to the streets, sleep-deprived voters are taking this stupendous civics lesson in stride, happily proud to be participants in making American history." 

I added a new section to the What is Scripting News? page. 

Getting ready to celebrate. Manila shipped on 12/1/99. 

Today's song: Theme from Shaft.  

Correction Permanent link to this item in the archive.

A correction for today's DaveNet.

Yes, it is clear from reading the Gore website and the transcript of the debates that Gore is pro-choice.

I retract the statement that I couldn't tell that Gore was pro-choice. I hope the larger points made by the piece are not missed.

Permanent link to archive for Wednesday, November 08, 2000. Wednesday, November 08, 2000

DaveNet: Florida! 

Last night's story: First the networks said Gore won Florida, then Pennsylvania and Michigan -- the key "battleground" states. Bush said no way, Florida is too close. They took it back. Later they called it for Bush. By that time it was the margin, the candidate who would win Florida would win the presidency. Gore calls Bush to concede. A Florida vote counter calls Gore while he's on his way to give his concession speech. "Wait a minute Al, it's not over yet." Gore calls Bush and says "Dubya, I changed my mind." Less than 2,000 votes separate the two in Florida. We await a recount. What a mess! 

How did the networks all get it wrong in Florida twice? Just listened to PBS's News Hour; they interviewed Warren Mitofsky, the statistician who advised CNN and CBS on their projections last night. The networks pool a lot of resources. We have so much faith in their projections. It seems safe to assume that in the future we won't believe these reports so readily, and let's look to the networks to separate their processes. What will the statisticians learn from the experience of making two mistakes in one race? Could it possibly have been more confusing? It's Y2K, and Murphy is having a blast. 

Mail starting 11/08/00. 

Upside: The Tech Vote

It's time for a survey: Who will win? 

CNN: "The reason we have an Electoral College is that the founding fathers thought there would be several candidates for president and that the Electoral College would narrow the field to two or three. Then the House would make the decision. But the party system made the Electoral College a rubber stamp and the process simply didn't work out the way the founding fathers thought it would." 

Dan Bricklin: "Larger-than-expected Buchanan numbers in some areas known to have only elderly, Democratic-leaning voters, along with complaints about ballot usability by those people, brought this to national attention. I heard about it from a relative in Florida before the voting closed." 

Valdosta State University is doing a survey on politics and the Web. "The purpose of this survey is to examine the Internet’s influence on the U.S. political process. Although we recognize that the Internet is a global medium, we asked that only those individuals who are eligible to vote in the U.S. participate in this survey." 

CNN: Florida vote count

NY Times: Florida will prove decisive. "The outcome of the presidential race between Gov. George W. Bush and Vice President Al Gore balanced early this morning on no more than a few hundred votes in the closely contested state of Florida." 

Search for "Dubya" on UserLand-hosted Manila sites. 

Washington Post: "All the major television networks have declared Republican George W. Bush the 43rd president of the United States, based on the Texas governor's victory in Florida." (Screen shot.) 

This year's Dewey Defeats Truman front page. 

CNN's Dewey Defeats Truman home page. 

The Onion: "In one of the narrowest presidential votes in U.S. history, either George W. Bush or Al Gore was elected the 43rd president of the United States Tuesday, proclaiming the win 'a victory for the American people and the dawn of a bold new era in this great nation.'" 

WorldLink: "On this extraordinary post-election morning, spare a thought for those of us in a European time zone." 

The best site? Permanent link to this item in the archive.

I'd like to give an award to the news site that did the best job of covering the US presidential election from a technical and user interface standpoint.

If you want to nominate a site, post a message in the discussion group, in response to this message. Then I'll run a survey, and ask the Scripting News readers, who are some of the best Web designers in the world, to choose one.

Rafe Coburn: "The best election Web site I found last night was Voter.com."

Non-election links Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Sun's analysis of Dot-Net. "Is .NET a radically new and innovative platform, as Microsoft claims? Or is it another migration path for Windows developers who have not yet embraced the Java platform?"

PC World evangelical piece on Mac OS X.

Low End Mac: OS X Dooms Apple.

Apache's Turbine framework includes XML-RPC support.

The Bluetooth Weblog continues to impress.

Zope performance benchmark pointers.

A little game to test your maleness.

Interview on weblogs Permanent link to this item in the archive.

A major US newspaper found EditThisPage.Com and got excited. Fun interview. Why are weblogs happening now? Answer -- they're not new, but they're exploding now.

After the dot-com euphoria, the dust settles and people are doing it for love. Amateur journalism. All these ideas worked in the interview.

BTW, I told the reporter about our competition and gave her links to their sites. This is the proud way to do it. The readers deserve the chance to hear about our competitors.

Localization Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Manila is popular in Germany, Italy and The Netherlands because it's localized. The Managing Editor of a Manila site can choose the native language of the site. Then all prompts and messages, the entire user interface, is in the user's language.

So far most of the press has come from English-speaking countries. This is probably because the reporters don't know about Manila's European-friendly features.

An example, here's a French language weblog for Zope developers.

Permanent link to archive for Tuesday, November 07, 2000. Tuesday, November 07, 2000

Election returns Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Michigan, Pennsylvania called for Gore.

Reuters: Bush refuses to concede Pennsylvania, Florida.

The networks are taking back their call of a Gore win in Florida. Never seen this happen before. Fascinating.

Hillary Clinton wins the NY Senate race.

All over the Web the election returns pages show up. CNN's home page has a grid on it. The NY Times has a special election returns website and a map. Washington Post has returns on the home page. ABC has an excellent map. NPR has a map on the home page and an audio feed. As promised the Washington Post has a table showing the calls by each of the major networks. Yahoo has an election return page. MSNBC is slow. C-SPAN has an excellent map (rollovers).

Ananova.Com: Early polls show Gore set for victory. "[Exit polls] point to wins for Mr Gore in the key swing states of Michigan and Florida by between 2% and 3% of the vote."

Election Day Permanent link to this item in the archive.

DaveNet: Election Day in the USA.

evote.com is reporting on the election, weblog style.

I wonder if anyone has an XML feed of the state-by-state returns?

CNN: Viewer's guide to election night. "Welcome to CNN election night 2000. I will be your guide. Here are the stories we'll be reporting, hour by hour, as the night goes on. All times are Eastern."

Brill's Content: Blocking the Exits. "In the early afternoon -- when the first round of exit-poll results is released to 100-odd media organizations -- just about everyone in the national press corps will know whether Bush or Gore is leading, and nearly every Washington politician and staffer will know, too. But the public will not."

If exit polls are released early, I will point to them from this site. I want the most information as soon as it's available.

Survey: Who will win today's Presidential election?

OK, now it's time for me to put my stake in the ground. I think Gore will win. After all the arguments and reasons, basically the Democratic Party still has a majority in this country. The economy is in good shape. It's Gore's election to lose. My bet is that when people cast their vote, enough will vote for Gore to elect him as the next president.

As an experiment, I've temporarily re-opened the UserLand discussion group. Please read the intro message carefully before posting. Thanks.

Dan Hartung: "As keyheads, as political junkies, as election wonks, this is the Big Show, the center ring, the main stage. We're fortunate to be experiencing the closest election in years. I suspect this may lead to a massive surge in voter turnout compared to recent trends, and whoever wins, that's probably more important for the long-term health of our federal republic."

Kate Adams and Josh Lucas voted for Nader.

Keola posted a survey that asks voters to register their state of mind, or stomach.

Philly Future: "Pennsylvania is a key up for grabs state!"

Hotline Scoop has a good election returns interface.

The American Bar Association has a similar interface.

Washington Post: "OnPolitics will report how each of the major television networks is calling the presidential race state-by-state – right here, in real time – with commentary by Washington Post staff writer Charles Babington. It's just like watching TV, but without the commercials."

Larry Magid has a California voter's information page with links to election return sites.

Other stuff Permanent link to this item in the archive.

A new company we're friends with is getting ready to launch a new search engine, an interesting one, and they offered us a free ad on the service when they launch. So Bryan put together a nice animated GIF that has a time-delay effect that kind of sneaks up on you. I like it, because it happened quickly, and because it's sneaky. BTW, it's OK if you want to put that GIF on your site, if you like Scripting News and want to help us build flow.

Chris Locke in Publish: Micromedia. "Dave Winer created Weblogs.com to advance the phenomenon, which is currently exploding across the net like a viral pandemic."

Sam Whitmore: "By day's end, PR pros were walking to the floor mike and presenting product pitches to a tribunal of editors from Upside, Newsweek and The Wall Street Journal Interactive. Right out of the Christians and Lions: the thumbs sometimes went up, but usually they went down."

Close the Loop: "Why you would go to the trouble of doing browser based application development and then totally tie yourself to Microsoft's technology?" Exactly.

QuickTopic has an XML-RPC interface.

Motley Fool: "If you were the CEO of Priceline.com how would you save the floundering company? That's what we asked Fool readers back on October 17th and more than 700 of them entered our Save Priceline contest."

According to Joel Spolsky there's an article about weblogs in the November 13 New Yorker. He says EditThisPage.Com got a mention.

Two teasers. The Timeless Weblog project is going nicely. And in early December we're going to roll out the first SOAP-based Web application. Enough waiting. It's time for a new revolution.

Permanent link to archive for Monday, November 06, 2000. Monday, November 06, 2000

Michel Pelletier found the cactus in the new design of XML-RPC.Com. I had totally missed it. What a surprise! 

Interactive Week: Trials and Tribulations in the W3C. "Back in 1989, when Tim Berners-Lee sat down at the European particle Physics Laboratory in Geneva to invent what would one day become the World Wide Web, there was no one around to notice." 

News.Com: RIAA Chief asks Napster to apologize to Metallica. "A letter from RIAA chief executive Hilary Rosen to Napster CEO Hank Barry that is making the rounds on newsgroups asks Barry--or founder Shawn Fanning--to extend an apology to Metallica and its drummer, Lars Ulrich."  

David Flanagan: "Netscape is rushing to release version 6.0 of its Navigator browser despite the fact that there are serious problems with its compliance to open standards." 

NexaWeb is an "operating environment that extends the traditional Windows Operating System to the web." 

Ken Dow's Mastering Manila course, Dec 5-6 in Toronto. 

Here's a Manila user who loves the Web. 

November is Make It Simple Stupid month at Free-Conversant

Tomorrow I'm being photographed by Kai Wiechmann

Esquire: Bill Clinton's Exit Interview

PHPBuilder: Building Dynamic Pages with Search Engines in Mind. "Almost any developer knows that search engine placement is critical to the success of a web site. What many people don't know is that a lot of search engines cannot index many database-driven pages (basically any page with a '?' or '&' in the URL)." 

MacCentral: Macromedia, Allaire developing 'Harpoon' tool kit

Karl Dubost found the archive of the (first?) website done by Tim Berners-Lee in 1992. 

How did George W. Bush get the nickname Dubya? 

I got it. I said it out loud. Double-U. Dubbleya. Dubya. Duh. 

SF Bay Guardian: Mood Radio. "The Internet may well undermine major labels, but nothing about the history of the Web so far suggests that it inevitably frees creators from some kind of corporate control. Currently, music execs have a vague idea of what the public wants, but technology like MoodLogic can give them a far more exact picture." 

Salon: Why is this race even close? "Because Al Gore, flawed but the best man for the job, is stuck with a fractured liberal base that won't forgive him for not being Bill Clinton." 

NY Times: PullThePlug.Com. "Even my favorite venture capitalists act as if it is in bad taste to invest in a dot-com these days," said Melody Haller, president of the Antenna Group, a Silicon Valley public relations firm. 

Interestingly, PullThePlug.Com is taken. 

Permanent link to archive for Sunday, November 05, 2000. Sunday, November 05, 2000

Jonathon Delacour: "Our 'blogs' run on Userland’s Manila software but other tools, such as Pyra’s Blogger are equally popular. Their remarkable ease-of-use is possible because you, the user, are shielded from the back-end intricacies." 

Dan Lyke says that GUI people (like me) don't get pipes. Well I gotta say I was doing Unix pipes in the 1970s, and pipes are great, they're kind of like HTTP, they get you from point A to point B in a reliable way. The subject of Unix pipes even came up in the discussion I had with Udell. The next layer-up would be something like Windows Scripting Host, or Apple's Open Scripting Architecture, which would allow a common set of interfaces for embedding any scripting language/environment in a host app, like a Web server, or a paint program. 

I added a new section to the What is Scripting News? page. 

The Daynotes Gang is a cluster of webloggers.  

Scott Loftesness started The Bluetooth Weblog. "Covering the emerging Bluetooth-enabled wireless world." 

Congrats to Disturbing Search Requests on their placement in Yahoo's directory. 

Adam Curry: "For inter-city travel I fortunately can use my helicopter, but in the city I now use my Smart Convertible." 

NY Times: "Judging by comments Mr. Gates has made recently, the man who created the world's richest foundation may have learned more about the real world by trying to give away his wealth than he did while making it." 

Sunday morning guy-chat Permanent link to this item in the archive.

This one's for the guys. After "doing it" with your girlfriend, you're blissing out, not quite asleep, in a very private place.

She scratches your back or kicks you in the butt. She wants to cuddle and "talk." This is the last thing you want to do.

I wonder if all other guys have this experience? Perhaps women aren't built for this kind of bliss. The scratching and kicking and talking spoil the whole thing. If only women would listen. But us guys never want to talk about it, right?

(This is one of those times when I'm glad the discussion group is taking a holiday.)

Extra credit: Male bathroom rules.

Permanent link to archive for Saturday, November 04, 2000. Saturday, November 04, 2000

Microsoft's instant messaging protocol is XML over HTTP. 

What's going on at Eric Weissteins's MathWorld? According to an article on oreilly.com, he "turned the content of the site into a book, The CRC Concise Encyclopedia of Mathematics, published by CRC Press. In the process, CRC Press acquired the copyright ownership of that material." Then they told him to take the material off the Web.  

Interesting site.  

I added a note to the What is Scripting News? page for people who use Netscape 4.  

Frank McPherson has an HTML Directory done with Radio UserLand. 

More referer pages: DaveNet, DocServer, UserLand

Joel's site is lookin good! 

Fuel-efficient luxury car? Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Talking with my mom on the phone today, she's like me in a lot of ways (surprised?), an evangelical sort of person who wants to make a difference.

She complains about her eight-year-old Honda Civic, so I say, hey Mom, how about getting a new car? Something's always breaking on the old one, now it's the glove compartment. Who ever heard of a glove compartment breaking? Anyway.

She wants a new car, and is willing to spend up to $50K, but it must be fuel-efficient. Makes sense, why should leather seats or a nice stereo make a car less efficient? It also has to be automatic transmission and suitable for city driving.

So please send me an email if you know of a fuel-efficient luxury car.

Postscript: People like the Mazda Millenia.

The anti-weblog? Permanent link to this item in the archive.

A new idea I'm exploring -- an anti-weblog weblog, one that accumulates information in an organized fashion and does it chronologically.

We've gotten so focused on the Web as a temporal medium, now perhaps it makes sense to think of it as a timeless one?

Cross-cultural Unix? Permanent link to this item in the archive.

I had a long phone talk yesterday with Jon Udell. It's been too long since we talked. Jon wants to know why the Unix world doesn't have an integration architecture like Microsoft's COM. I've been asking the same question for years. It's not that the technology is so complex, it's not. And some easy first steps are possible, like providing a common interface for applications to integrate scripting.

I wrote about this in 1998. "Just as the push to do RPC over HTTP via XML has the potential of getting COM, CORBA and Apple Events to talk to each other, an open cross-platform scripting architecture holds the promise of bringing together cultures from every nook and cranny of the software business, from mainframes to handhelds, from graphics people to the folks who keep the Hubble telescope humming."

So, after sleeping on it, I think there's the answer. Unix is not cross-cultural, as a community it's very insular, and each scripting language is its own culture, and is similarly insular. So they solve the same problems over and over. Apparently knowing how to script a Web site in Perl doesn't help you learn how to do the same in Java, or Tcl, or whatever, the wheel has to be reinvented for every common language.

But certainly there must be some group of serious Unix developers who recognize the value in breaking down walls, it's a large enough world now that that must be possible?

On the current mail page, Jan Gray, formerly of Microsoft, explains that insularity is a feature of programmers, not any specific flavor of programmer. I agree.

Joel Spolsky, also an ex-softie, has his own view of Microsoft architectures. "Five years after Altavista went live, and two years after Larry Page and Sergei Brin actually invented a radically better search engine, Microsoft is pretending like there's no way to search on the Internet and they're going to solve this problem for us."

Permanent link to archive for Friday, November 03, 2000. Friday, November 03, 2000

Lloyd Nebres: "Now, the web itself becomes the creative tool, as well as the medium of communication. This means one less level of abstraction on the way to really connecting with people via the web." 

Wes Felter: "It looks like BXXP is on its way to being a Proposed Standard; that must be some kind of IETF speed record." 

No doubt we'll do a Scripting News dinner in New Orleans in early December. This is just a reminder to me and anyone else who's going to be at the Builder.Com or Fawcette conferences, I'm speaking three times. Giving a 1.5 hour keynote on SOAP and XML-RPC. I love New Orleans, so many cool places to eat. Maybe this time we'll have a dinner at an moderately expensive restaurant. It pays to plan this one ahead, reservations might be tricky. Brent is coming too. 

Survey: I want to have a Scripting News dinner in New Orleans in early December, to concide with the Builder.Com and Fawcette conferences. Will you participate? 

NY Times: Copyright Office Issues Unusual Rule. "It is hard to see how we can have a congressionally-mandated secret system of censorship."  

MSNBC: Partnering with the enemy. "While some kids his age dressed up in costumes the way other 19-year olds do on Halloween, Napster founder Shawn Fanning donned a suit at a press conference at a swank hotel in New York City Tuesday, making a deal with the devil — who masqueraded as record company executives." 

Edd Dumbill: XML Protocol Technology Reference

I'm back to listening to KFOG. They're playing a song that I don't have. I'd like to have a button I can click somewhere to have that song downloaded into the my MP3 folder. Another unexplored mode for music on the Net. 

Yesterday Jake spent a half-day looking into Jabber, to see what it would take to implement it in Radio UserLand. To my surprise, Jabber appears not to be P2P. There's a central server that's doing all the message routing. This post is a reality-check. If this is not true, please send me email. 

Mail Starting 11/03/00 is about Jabber.  

The redesign of the XML-RPC site is done. The theme is slightly different from the other new UserLand sites. We didn't put the cactus in this one. We also decided not to make the theme about space or the moon. An earlier version had an American flag, which I vetoed (most of the XML-RPC implementations are from Europe). We went for a different background, a picture of the United Nations, and where the cactus would appear, a dove with an olive branch. Might as well get the politics right as we add the glitz and glamor. 

BTW, XML-RPC is totally P2P. That rhymes! 

David Brown: "I found out last night that a good friend of mine had died in his sleep last Saturday. The shocking part was that he was 38." 

Linking Groove and Radio Permanent link to this item in the archive.

To the people who are studying Groove, can you get it to spit out a string via XML-RPC every time someone adds something to a chat session? If so we can get a transcript of a chat session to flow through our CMS, I'd link it up to a single copy of Radio UserLand in an outline so it could be massaged into a document.

Who's pointing to me? Permanent link to this item in the archive.

We have a new feature today for all Manila sites, UserLand-hosted or otherwise.

We call this feature Referers. We mis-spelled it the same way the browser guys did. If you run a Manila site, ever wonder how people found their way to you? Well, now you can tell. In the stats section of your site there's a new page called referers that ranks the referer links for the last 24 hours. The page is re-built no more than once an hour.

Here's a link to the referers page on my personal ETP site. It's always interesting to see how the search engines get people to your site. Some more. MattyG, XML-RPC.Com, Weblogs.Com, ZopeNewbies, Doc Searls, Adam Curry.

Who's helping Manila? Permanent link to this item in the archive.

I did a re-order of the "exit links" in the left column on Scripting News, favoring sites that include the Manila badge. We have a Web app that ranks such sites.

It's easy to include the badge in your site. If your site is on a UserLand server, just include the words "This is a Manila Site" in double-quotes in your template. If your Manila site is not on a UserLand server, no problemmo, just include this script tag.

<script language="JavaScript" src="http://badges.userland.com/manila"></script>

Permanent link to archive for Thursday, November 02, 2000. Thursday, November 02, 2000

Survey: If the US presidential election were held today, who would you vote for? 

Classic Menu "brings the Mac OS menubar back to Mac OS X. It provides both an Apple menu on the left of the menu bar and a Process menu on the right." 

Happy Birthday to Tomalak's Realm. Has it already been two years? Many happy returns! 

Clay Shirky: "Napster demonstrated how easily and cheaply music could be distributed by people who did not have a vested interest in preserving inefficiency. This in turn reduced the industry to calling music lovers 'pirates' (even though Napster users weren't in it for the money, surely the definition of piracy), or trying to 'educate' us about about why we should be happy to pay as much for downloaded files as for a CD (because it was costing them so much to make downloaded music inconvenient)." 

I love Sprezzatura

New activity in the discussion group on outliners.com. 

18 lucky people have weblogs that get them laid. 

Edd Dumbill: A primer on The Semantic Web

It's been a long time since I looked at the list of all the Weblog Banner Ads. I'm working on something similar today, turning the Manila badge into an ad so we can track impressions and click-throughs. We want to know which sites are contributing the most to making Manila famous. This time I made it more general, so we can add other badges by just adding a table to a guest database.  

I added a new section to the What is Scripting News? page. 

NY Times editorial on the Napster-Bertelsmann deal. "No one yet knows the ideal way to preserve copyright protection in the digital age. So the best course for now is to support copyright holders while leaving room for technological development. That is precisely what the Napster-Bertelsmann deal promises." 

I'm actually kind of bummed about the industrification of Napster. They're going to miss the big apps that could happen if we could freely play with music on the Net. Napster just captures one mode of music use on the Internet. I really really still want to have a song of the day on Scripting News. It would just play when you come here. Don't worry about the bandwidth, it's a perfect bootstrap for the Virtual Bandwidth idea we've been kicking around. I'd choose the song, and that would create an XML file, and in the middle of the night your machine would download the MP3 it points to, to your last-yard system.  

German publishing system uses XML-RPC. "We`re running the whole thing, including an image database with a lot of data traffic, on XML-RPC." Nice. 

Reading onfocus, a weblog from one of the Pyra folk, I'm reminded that I used to like going to trade shows. I remember the first one Living Videotext went to, it must have been Comdex in Las Vegas in 1983. We were so young, we glowed, the excitement was so real. Over the years I came to hate trade shows. Now it's nice to enjoy their enthusiasm, vicariously. I'm going to have to think about why I hate trade shows. Maybe I don't anymore? 

I walked into InternetWorld in NY last week, walked out in a minute (before paying the $50), sat down outside (the weather was gorgeous for October in NY) and asked myself if I really wanted to go back in. I decided I didn't and went back to my hotel, changed into my shorts and a t-shirt and went on a three hour walk around Manhattan. Much more interesting and I got some exercise too!  

On my walk yesterday I heard a political commercial for a local California race, the narrator was Bill Clinton. What surprised me was how much I liked hearing his voice. Now you gotta know I don't like Bill Clinton, or so I thought. When I think of voting against Gore it's largely (I find by probing my psyche) a vote against Clinton. So this tells you how bad both Bush and Gore are. To me, they make Clinton look good. Oy. 

Another reason why I want to vote against Gore. He's connected to the people in Silicon Valley, who in my humble opinion, have done the most damage to the technical culture of the software industry. I want to vote against these people, the more powerful they get in Washington, the more my creative work will be subject to their lunacy. A vote for Bush is of course, no answer to this. He's probably even worse, even though he hasn't been coming to the Valley for as long as Gore has. 

Another political note. I love The West Wing. I'd vote for any of them for President, esp the cute blonde Republican who got a job at the Democrat White House in last night's episode. Or CJ, who told the retiring General where to shove it. (Yes, I know it's a TV show.) 

Permanent link to archive for Wednesday, November 01, 2000. Wednesday, November 01, 2000

Economist: The music business's digital challenge

Red Herring: "So what will new users get for $4.95 a month? Andreas Schmidt, president of BECG, said during Tuesday's press conference that users will get high-quality digital downloads, instead of files originating from users, which range in quality from high to lousy." I'll pay. Sign me up. 

Upside: "Turning an enemy into a partner is a smart move that, in almost all cases, leads to a reduction in hostilities." 

Village Voice: The Incredible Shrinking Internet. "The Internet we know was the fountainhead of diversity, competition, and innovation, where all traffic could flow freely and all points of view were available. That Internet is being hijacked by media monopolists from the cable industry."  

NY Times: A wireless format takes hold. "The standard, first popularized by Apple Computer in its Airport line of wireless products last year, is now being embraced so quickly that it is touching off a wireless 'air rush' as start-up companies and telecommunication vendors vie to lock up valuable sites at airports, hotels and other public hot spots." 

The discussion of Groove continues on the Radio UserLand DG. Excellent stuff, I'm learning a lot. Smart smart people. 

Dan Bricklin has photos of the Groove event last week. 

The baton passes at ZopeNewbies. Jeff Shelton steps aside, and Luke Tymowski gets on stage. The audience shifts nervously in their seats. Luke begins his speech

Hey it's November! Yow. I saw the first Christmas music CD ad on CNN last night. Made me want to puke. Where can I go to escape this madness. I think I'm going to write an article for Fortune called Transcendental Christmas. Or If Christ Knew. 

Running outside the browser Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Developers are leaving the Web behind. I've seen a couple of products under embargo, other than our own and Groove, that are building new functionality outside the Web browser. A year ago this would have been unthinkable, now it's almost defacto.

This adds confusion for sure. Each of the new environments continues the tradition started with Hypercard. Some are good at running apps, but have no developer tools. Some are pretty and others stark and colorless. No single offering does everything that's needed. They're all trying to do the same thing, imho -- be the next platform, or surface, to insert new code between the user and the Internet. Each has to deal with stiff competition from the Web, that can be easy to overlook. Too easy. The Web is the most enormous platform ever.

And even that is Hypercardish, which had to compete with the famous Macintosh GUI.

Defensive indifference Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Now in this context the excesses of the dot-com era are seen more clearly. Had Netscape grown organically, and carefully, with regard for Web developers (people who use HTML, not Java or XML), we'd have a two party system, and progress wouldn't have to happen outside the browser.

Instead the VCs played the hype organ, put figureheads in charge, people who know nothing about developer communities, or even anything about the Web. They made noises like they understood, and who could contradict that, people were making so much money, they were happy. But the technology died. The developers went nowhere. And Microsoft took over the market without opposition.

In the last game of the World Series in the 9th inning with the Yankees up by two and tasting victory, Bennie Agbayani took second base, and the Yankee catcher didn't bother trying to throw him out. I wondered how the scorekeeper would record this. Was it an error? A stolen base?

I looked it up. "Defensive indifference." I had never heard that term before. And that's exactly what Silicon Valley and the rest of the tech industry did with the Web. We let Microsoft steal the base and never put up any realistic opposition.

The Mac OS X plan Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Yesterday Brent and I talked about the plan for releasing our Mac OS X server software. The goal is to reintroduce ourselves to the Macintosh world, asking them to take another look at something that is radically different from what they knew four years ago. Experience has shown this can be difficult, so we're going to stage the rollout in such a way that it's impossible to miss the difference.

Share the flow Permanent link to this item in the archive.

This is a Manila SiteSpeaking of promotion, we have a new badge for Manila, and if you are running a free site on a UserLand server we ask that that you show it, with pride, in your site template. It's easy to do, just include "This is a Manila Site" where you want the badge to appear.


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