It's time that SOAP had a directory.
Hello. "My name is Julian Bond, and I'm addicted to News."
Tom Bradford: "My head is about to explode from all of the friggin' acronyms."
Survey: Should XML Bastard change its name?
SF Chronicle: Bloggers bare their souls.
The home page of ourfavoritesongs.com now shows the current top 100 RSS channels being scanned hourly by signed-on Radio users. The purpose of this list is to allow people outside the community to see what we're tuned into. It's recalculated every hour at one minute past the hour. Of course it's also available in XML.
Ole and Lena were laying in bed one night when the phone rang, Ole answered it and Lena heard him yell, "Well, how the hell should I know, that's over 2000 miles away!" and he hung up. Lena says "Who was that Ole?" Ole says "The hell if I know, some weirdo wants to know if the coast is clear."
I'm taking a few minutes to explore the NASDAQ stock-quote-in-XML service. Looks like a tremendous amount of thought has gone into this service. One of the elements of the quote record is the logo and url for the company. So it's a directory of images as well as numeric stock data.
Shawn Carillo whipped up a Flash interface for stock quotes.
Hey, Google has an XML back-end too.
Wired: Microsoft judge ripped in court.
Progress report on Radio. More people are downloading it, we're still fixing bugs and creating new ones. The docs directory needs a re-org. I'm hitting the connection limit more now, and there are some display glitches coming from recent changes. When it's ready for the masses the coffee mug (to the left) will become a permanent fixture on Scripting News. Wes Felter had some difficulty with localhost vs 127.0.0.1. I have to write a page explaining the "Thousands of Channels" that Radio can deliver. I want to be able to post to my Radio Blog via email. Dave Seidel still hasn't connected from Python to Radio via SOAP.
Wow, here's a fantastic resource that Bill Humphries found. "NASDAQ has an XML quotes feed. Plenty of data to experiment with in it. To customize it, just append your stocks as symbol=TICKER to the URL after mode=stock."
Lawrence Lee found the DTD for the NASDAQ feed. "This XML document type definition is a proposal for data interchange inter and intra Nasdaq-amex.com. Element and attribute names need validation within a broad Nasdaq and Amex audience. More samples need to be produced to ensure completeness of the DTDs. This DTD is probably in the 90%+ level of completeness."
Intel CEO, Craig Barrett, quoted in the NY Times: "You never save your way out of a recession, the only way to get out of a recession stronger than you went into it is to have great new products."
Builder.Com: An Introduction to SOAP. Nice!
Dave Seidel: "As part of my effort to learn SOAP, I'm trying to use Radio as a test bed." He's making quick progress: "I just learned how to allow the Validator to access my local Radio machine, even though that machine does not have its own IP address or domain name."
Radio: SOAP-in-Radio Checklist.
Eric Yeh: XML-RPC for Tcl. Client and server.
Tech Interview: "Dave Winer is stuck on a deserted island which is very thin and ten miles long."
Kat Nagel: Natural Life Cycle of Mailing Lists.
Richard Stallman: The GNU GPL and the American Way.
Eric Soroos: The Esoteric Settings Plugin.
The Standard: "Starting in April, [Adobe's] new CEO Bruce Chizen and his 11 top executives will be taking a series of seminars on Photoshop, Illustrator and Acrobat – the products that have made Adobe a runaway success and helped launch the desktop publishing revolution." Smart. Let the users run the company. If the people who run the company aren't users, that's a bug, fix it.
BTW, talking with Jake today I realized we do workflow at UserLand. And I keep looking for ways to make it easier for all of us, more formal, so we can do more powerful things working together. So my piece on Sunday was off the wall. But sometimes you have to say it one way to figure out that you really want it to work. I do.
An example of workflow at UserLand -- our internal RFC process. It's very simple and fairly intuitive, and it provides a mechanism for us to talk about work we're going to do. When you're managing a complex system like we do, you can't do it without formalism.
NY Times: Judges scrutinize Microsoft ruling.
There's been some discussion on the Syndication mail list about assigning unique identifiers to RSS channels. There would be another element of
Who is Ms. Woo?
Baseball season is a few weeks away, and Baseblog is back.
WebReference: "Adding VoiceXML to your Web site can be an effective way to make your content accessible to many more customers."
Ole was talking to his neighbor Sven who said, "Ole, you and Lena should really get some new blinds." "Why?" asked Ole. "Well last night, I saw, you and Lena, well you know, doing it." Ole thought for a bit, then said, "Ha ha Sven, the joke's on you, I wasn't home last night!"
John Blood on Scandanavian humor: "As one of my Norwegian literature profs used to say, 'A happy ending is when they find all the bodies.'"
Salon: "I realize I've lost my keys. I enter the chat room and ask if anybody happened to see where I left them. One guy tells me to check my pockets -- and there they are."
The "Interopathon" which I mentioned here a few days ago is going forward. We have support from three of the original SOAP companies. We're also looking for support from one or more major Silicon Valley venture capital firms, since it is our belief that SOAP is a big enabler of startups. I made an offer to one VC firm a few days ago, but haven't heard back from them. We're going to keep working on it (I can be such a pest). I don't give up easily. The goal is to be totally inclusive and drive SOAP to interop asap and have it achieve its promise of opening up lots of compatible development and entrepreneurship. Interop asap. That's what our T-shirt will say, among other things.
What is workflow? Here's an open source program that claims to implement it. I'd like to figure this out once and for all. What is workflow and should we do it, and if so how?
One of the things I love most about the Web is that nothing is sacred.
Red Herring: Khosla and the optical revolution. (Part 3)
Apple patent on "multiple theme engine graphical user interface architecture."
Doc Searls: "For every traction there is an equal and opposite retraction."
Miami Herald: Review of ballots confirms Bush win.
Here's an article on recent developments in XML that put things into perspective for me, and now I see a disconnect more clearly. Like yesterday's story about workflow, and the resulting discussion that showed me that we have a few features that people normally think of as workflow. We already have, in the integration of our scripting langauge and object database the "info-set" stuff that I've found so puzzling on the XML-DEV list, and I now understand why others need schema, they're using relational databases to store their XML content and to do that they must have schema. Of course. I get it now. Duh. Thanks..
I know Deborah Branscum thinks I'm tilting at windmills, and while I appreciate the quote in her Newsweek article (and thanks for the link!) global warming is an issue our political leadership, worldwide, is not dealing with. Here's a NY Times editorial on the subject. A lot of people think nothing will change, but I assure you, something will change. Many believe things will always work as they always have. But it wasn't very long ago that we didn't have air travel, or computers, or cars. Someday soon we will not have them again. And a lot of people will die if we don't do something about what we're doing to the planet. You think that won't change things? It will.
Back in the early 80s when I was a regular on CompuServe's CB Radio service, an early version of chatrooms, I had a personal friend who worked at CompServe. He told me they referred to us internally as The Lonelyhearts, as if anyone who used a computer to communicate was somehow socially dysfunctional. Actually we were early adopters of a new way to communicate, as it turns out, with the benefit of hindsight. Branscum's article, and most of the articles about weblogs, tend to view bloggers the same way, as lonely people with Nothing Better To Do. That tells me more about them than it does about us. Now we're not just chatting, we're publishing, and at first people talk about their personal issues and form clubs, but I think this is just getting familiar with the power of the technology. The next step after that, not for everyone of course, is the question "What can we do with this power?" Perhaps this is on the path to consciousness for us as a species, and we sure need that to solve problems like global warming. Is her point of view more significant than the CompuServe employees' view of the CB Radio users?
Anyway, all this is super-interesting, what a fantastic time to live, it's all so twisty and self-referential. It's as if you need airplanes to make airplanes (you probably do). Over the next few years the quality of writing and reporting on "this side" of the editorial fence will grow to match the quality on the other side. I know this for sure, because it's already happened, but we just haven't acknowledged it yet. It's the acknowledgement that will come in the next few years. It's so twisty, because one of the best examples of the closed-minded cynical curmudgeonish press-person is Ms. Branscum, who runs a weblog herself, spouting on about annoying PR people and industry leaders who lie all the time, while I spout about reporters who don't ask hard questions, and think that they're so important that PR people should do what they want them to do. We're climbing two sides of the same mountain.
In the quotes for the P2P conf is an idea I've never talked about here. "A user should be invited to every press conference." Don't roll them out on stage to make prepared comments, have them listen to your statement and ask for clarification and explanation. This one thing would do as much to improve journalism as all the weblogs. The first company to break this barrier will reap huge benefits with users. A thought for the corporate PR people who read Scripting News.
An example. When I was at the Apple press conference for Darwin a couple of years ago, while they were touting Apache, I was the only one who asked what this meant for users who were developing systems around WebSTAR and Quid Pro Quo. Apple has a historic tendency to shoot itself in the foot by undermining developers, much as Microsoft is doing now (more carefully) with Dot-Net. An example -- the announcement of the "Pink" operating system weeks after the shipment of System 7. All of a sudden the leading edge was back in vapor just as developers were delivering scriptable applications, with the benefit of hindsight, a much more empowering idea than object oriented programming (which was the benefit of Pink, and the insane craze in the software industry at the time, kind of like Push was a few years ago). Anyway, Apple was doing it again at the Darwin announcement. They made a mistake by inviting a user (they must have thought I would like what they were doing). I asked Jobs tough questions, saving the reporters the trouble of sticking their necks out. Not one of the stories reported on the questions I raised, they were all rewrites of the Apple press release. Why? I asked Markoff this question a couple of weeks ago, and to my surprise he didn't find it threatening, he found it interesting. We talked about it again a few days ago. We'll talk about it again, I hope.
Holy guacamole, Zeldman is doing permalinks! Now when he writes something noteworthy I can point to it without linkrot? My work is almost finished.
Ole and Lena visit NY, caught in traffic on East 46th. A homeless person starts washing the windshield. Ole rolls down the window. "Eh how's it going?" he says. "Ohhh it's OK. Hey where are you folks from?" Ole says "Ohh we're from Minnesota." "Ohhh Minnesota, I've been there. Had the worst sex of my life in Minnesota." Lena asks "What's he saying Ole?" "Ohhh he says he knows you Lena."
BTW, I've got at least four more Ole and Lena jokes. We'll do one a day until I run out. Since they're from Minnesota, you should read them with the mid-western Fargo-like accent, very rounded o's, like OK for sure you betcha. It's more fun that way. In the joke above, even the window cleaner speaks like he's from Fargo.
Dan Gillmor says he read every word in the Jonathan Lebed story. I guess we're running two different programs. Here's an analogy. At a baseball game there are lots of kids and lots of adults. The adults are throwing things onto the field, which is in violation of the rules, but the police shrug their shoulders "That's just the way it works." So one of the kids throws something onto the field. They arrest him and use it as an excuse to say how awful kids are these days.
Newsweek: Who's blogging who?
Tim Bray kicks off a new mail page.
Between you and me, I don't think Dan Gillmor read the whole Jonathan Lebed article in the Sunday NY Times. The adults are total Loony Tunes characters, the kid played the game by the rules the adults invented. Of course the SEC knows that analysts promote stocks in companies they have positions in. It's well documented practice. The article is very long, but it's totally worth reading. There's a discussion on Kuro5hin as well, with other people who clearly didn't read the whole thing.
A whole new class of jokes. Ole and Sven meet and decide to go to Ole's house for a few after-work beers. They walk in the house and go through the living room where Ole's wife Lena is on the floor naked having sex with the mailman. They go into the kitchen and Ole opens the fridge and hands a beer to Sven who says "Oh Ole, what about the mailman on the floor with Lena?" to which Ole says "He can get his own beer, Sven."
SoapClient.Com: SOAP Message Builder.
Standards to the rescue!
Paul Sniveley asks if workflow is an illusion.
Rogers Cadenhead adds to the 16-categories discussion.
BTW, I did a little searching and found that Rick and I agree on the value of simplicity in XML formats. This is important because the value of simplicity is not widely respected in the XML community, or so it seems, and it's, imho, essential to the success of XML that formats be groomed according to users' needs.
Don't ask me why but the subject of mortality has been floating around me. I don't know if this means I'm about to get sick and die, or what, but it's there, and there's no avoiding it. Sorry if you didn't want to hear this. I'm still happy, probably happier than most times, but if you're over thirty you must know what I'm talking about.
Actually, since I've been reading more lately, I've learned that kids go through this too. At age five or so, children become aware of and then preoccupied with death. I remember going through this, literally paralyzed with fear lying in bed, probably around age five, shocked by my lack of clues about death.
Now the good news is that if you don't die you get over it. So one line of reasoning (my mind is always working) is that some part of me is dying, perhaps in a symbolic way, and my body is grieving. A friend reminds me that my body tends to do this symbolic acting-out thing.
By the way, my friend is dead.
But the powers of his ideas live on.
To children who read this site, let me offer a clue, for what it's worth. Life is a big loop. It's a lot like a computer program. The first four years of our lives is when our loop is written. Then we spend the rest of our lives in that loop. When we test the condition that would break out of the loop, our CPU, which has bugs, fails to break out, and around we go, one more time! It's OK, in a way, because we like our loops, they're comfortable, but they can stop us from seeing that there's more to the universe than our loop. Perhaps more disturbing is to find that people have different kinds of loops! That's cool. We're not all running the same program.
I don't know the answer, or really any answers, but I do believe that the more you know about your loop the happier you will be. "Oh that's just what Dave does," I say with a laugh. "It's not as big a deal as he thinks it is," referring to myself in the third person.
Thanksgiving 2000: The Baby Eagle Story.
To Dan, I agree that it's time for a balanced developer-friendly view of the world. Based on what's really happening. I saw the bug when I heard Brian Behlendorf (who I like as a human being) say that there should only be one web server. That's when I realized we had a fundamental difference of opinion. I don't want to see the world close ranks behind any single piece of software. That stops progress. I watched as the Apache people completely ignored (this is not a complaint) the development work we did with Frontier, adding an HTTP server, then Manila, without responding. In a competitive environment, they would have matched us feature for feature. I know, I've run races with Mitch Kapor, Philippe Kahn and a swarm of outline processors. I've won some races and lost others. But the users always won because we kept trying to come up with ideas that worked better for them. This is the art that's lost. I want to bring it back. First we have to understand what good end-user software is, and then respect it, get the press to write about it, get the VCs to fund it, and get the users to start writing checks again.
Also there's no harm in doing an inventory, to see what the accomplishments of open source are a few years after the concept was rolled out. I'm not anti-open source, so I hope the conversation can move beyond the for-or-against thing. This came out of a long productive email exchange with Eric Raymond that was collegial. At the end I asked if we could help each other, and with the caveat that he doesn't want to help Microsoft, which is his right, he agreed. If there were a product marketing function for open source (ie if it were a company) no doubt they would want to know where it's at. That's mostly what I want to do. Understand where the opportunity is. One of the first things to do is to make lists.
ComputerWorld: Airports ground use of wireless. "Baltimore-Washington International Airport last week became the latest airport to clamp down on the public wireless LAN industry as well as on cellular carriers that operate on airport turf. Their concern: wireless interference with other systems, but also a decline in pay-phone revenue that has prompted some airports to look for ways to seek income from wireless technology."
Wired: "'Moreover sees cybersleuthing in the same continuum as headline news delivery,' a company spokesman said. 'Though we don't offer to track down the authors of postings, take action, mobilize evangelists or read moods of boards, because of the power of the dynamic database, Moreover could be a great partner to a cyber bounty-hunter.'"
Michael Lewis: "If it wasn't for everybody manipulating the market, there wouldn't be a stock market at all." A fantastic but long article. In the end, Jonathan Lebed is just a boy, in high school, who happens to trade stocks using the Web. The SEC and its chairman Arthur Levitt act like freaked-out bullies, caught in an ethical conundrum. Who doesn't know that the stock market is a crazy ouija board? What so scary is that a 13-year old boy could play the game as well as the pros. This is what the Web does, levels the playing field, which was at one time, the goal of the SEC. This is also a fantastic narrative of the journalists' mind at work. How many reporters would challenge someone of the stature of Levitt? I heard him speak at Davos last year. He's quite monumental. But Lewis didn't play footsy. Thanks. The kid is definitely the hero of the story.
I talked about this with Sean Parker on Wed. He's the 21-year-old co-author of Napster. He explained how the 13-year-olds work. He has recent experience. The FBI raided his house when he was 13. I told him what I used to do when I was that age. Yeah, it would have freaked my parents out, if they had known. I guess people don't like to think about the kids, but they are people, different from adults, but still quite powerful. I think that's a large part of being 13, finding out just how powerful you actually are. At one point Lebed and his friends owned half of West Coast Video. Lebed scared Levitt. Parker scared Hilary Rosen. I scared Albert Shanker. In the end, in my story, the adults took over. They were willing to be more deceptive than I ever thought anyone could. I remember when it sunk in, thinking, damn I'm going to have to learn how to do that too. It didn't make me happy.
Albert Shanker may be most famous for the reference in Woody Allen's Sleeper, where, according to the plot, civilization on earth had been destroyed 200 years earlier when a man named Albert Shanker got a nuclear bomb. You had to live in NY to get the joke, perhaps. Shanker had a weekly advertorial in section 4 of the Sunday NY Times called "Where We Stand". In one of those columns he even made reference to the Sleeper plot.
Another great quote from Sleeper: "Sex and death. Two things that come once in a lifetime. Only after death you're not nauseous."
Julian Bond has a long page of quotes from the P2P conf, starting off with the journalism panel with a bunch of quotes from yours truly.
Thomas Creedon reports having trouble getting through to Weblogger.Com, a Manila hosting service, not run by UserLand. Last night I got an email from Erin Clerico saying that they have an outage and are scrambling to get back on the air. I know what it's like. Been there myself. They have a page with progress reports on clearing the outage.
DaveNet: Wireless in bookstores.
Check this out. Here's a list of community groups that are logging 802.11b access points in Australia, Europe and North America.
I like Eugene Pervago's weblog.
Now a design challenge. Since Flash's file format is open, it should be possible to have an open XML format that can be processed to produce a non-animated Flash picture. I want a simple QuickDraw-like language, lineto, moveto, drawstring. The elements in the XML file would be drawn in top-to-bottom order. This would allow me to construct diagrams in an outliner or text editor, but then would provide a common format that easy-to-use drawing tools could save to (next year). I'm not talking about SVG which gives me a headache, it's so complicated. I want a simple format. It's meant to be human-edited, so it must be easy to learn, memorize and write. (And read, let's not forget about that.) The approach I like best, since I learned graphic programming in the Macintosh's QuickDraw, is that it be one-one mapping of QuickDraw. I also feel strongly that it should not attempt to do animation, because that would add a lot of complexity. And why Flash format? Because it's there. There's no need to lobby the browser makers (ie Microsoft) to bundle it, since it's already installed.
Now here's a really smart product. "It is a library of Perl routines for creating Macintosh PICT files. It replaces a large number of the MacOS Quickdraw routines with equivalent perl subroutines. It handles text drawing, line drawing, rectangles, ovals, polygons, round-cornered rectangles, color and pattern transfer modes, and various scaling and warping operations." That's what I want, for XML.
Now we have to find a very concise reference for the QuickDraw verb set. There are only about 20 calls.
Doug Baldwin: Simple QuickDraw.
It's amazing to me that more wasn't made out of the early popularity of QuickDraw. Perhaps people believe that Apple would sue anyone who cloned it or even was inspired by it. I never saw any evidence of this.
BTW, this would be a fantastic open source project for Eazel to lead. Andy Hertzfeld did a lot of work on QuickDraw when he was at Apple. I'm not volunteering Andy (exactly) but, it's my way of saying that I would like to be a user of this format, not a designer or implementor. I could tell you when I grok it, and when that happens I think a lot of other people would get it too. Imagine all the HTML coders who can wrap their minds around tables (they really are complex), what if they had exact pixel-level control of positioning. Low-hanging fruit, and what's cool about it is that it would benefit users on all platforms.
Also it would be really fantastic if someone ported MacBird to Windows. Then I could work on it again.
This reminds me of another project I heard about a few months ago, to do a XMLization for scripting languages. Basically it would define an XML mapping for loops, tests, assignment, procedure calls, basically every feature that every Algol-like language supports. Then scripting engines could output this format, and the scripts could run in any compatible scripting environment. While I haven't given this a lot of thought, it seems do-able, and powerful, and quite interesting. Think of how much we'd learn about other languages.
Ole Eichhorn suggests adding four items to yesterday's list of 16 software categories that have not yet been conquered by open source: Personal finance manager (Quicken), Tax preparation software (TurboTax), Database (Oracle, Sybase), Firewall (Cisco PIX, Raptor, CheckPoint).
BTW, I got a lot of email about this list from people who must not have read the introductory paragraph. Yes, I've heard of Gimp, a lot, but still believe it has not driven PhotoShop from the top position. No sleight to Gimp, but please don't declare victory until it actually happens.
Postscript: The only category that open source *has* captured, imho, is Web Servers. There are commercial alternatives, but as far as I can see, the majority of servers are Apache.
Red Herring: "Mr. Khosla teamed up with Stanford School of Business classmate Scott McNealy, Mr. Bechtolsheim, and Bill Joy, a Unix guru at the University of California at Berkeley. Thus in 1982 was born Sun Microsystems. Mr. Khosla, like his three partners, was 27."
What is BrowseUp?
I didn't know that the Guardian has a weblog.
Dan Gillmor's Manila blog gets Slashdotted.
Ed Cone says you may have to be a Southerner to get this. How many Virginians does it take to change a lightbulb? Two. One to change the bulb and the other one to talk about how great the old bulb was.
Dispensing with minutiae.. Why do I always use two dots instead of the more common three? Good question. I don't know. Next?
Paulina Borsook: "But the larger problem remains: a mindset that holds that creators shouldn't be compensated for their work, that all human creation is the equivalent of a Web log by a hobbyist with a day job. Members of the Net community, whether born in 1954 or 1986, will pretty much always rally to oppose censorship. But don't expect those same Netizens to consider authorship of a work of art on the Net to be important — or to pay for online content." I was born in 1955.
BTW, Netizens don't always rally to oppose censorship. It's a pretty mottled track record. You can be sure that Netizens will rally to say Microsoft sucks. Jim Allchin can be sure to move a lot of bits with an off-the-cuff comment about The American Way, but when it comes time to deal with really big issues, many of the "Web logs" take the low road.
In case you're wondering about today's slow start: I'm tired. It was a very intense couple of months leading up to last week. When you're an old fart like I am (you can quote me on that) the pushes still take a lot of energy, but as my body ages, I have less to give. My mind is still going fast, but the fingers don't work so well. Maybe it's the rain. The weather forecast is for partly sunny skies this afternoon. I'll go for a walk. That'll make me feel better, I'm sure. Stay tuned, I'm sure something will happen.
I was interviewed by Deborah Branscum today for an article she's doing on weblogs for Newsweek. Now I feel guilty that I chose Time this morning. I liked their cover better. The Incredible Shrinking Ex-President. For all the Clinton-lovers who said they knew better and wish they really had --> I Told You So. Heh heh.
NY Times: "'As this Internet build-out continues, says Joel Cawley, the director of business strategy for I.B.M., it will enable businesses, individuals and activists to tap into a much broader and powerful base of creativity and innovation, with a much lighter touch. 'So,' he adds, 'smaller and smaller units will become more and more empowered and bigger and bigger units will become more and more decentralized. None of us knows how this will play out, but we do know it will impact the hierarchy of power in, and between, institutions, governments and activists. And the new rules for these interactions are just beginning to be evolved.'"
Register: "One of the most depressing stories to come out of the Internet crash is the failure of community on the web. Like so much else online, sites that bring users in to discuss matters have been a commercial disappointment."
WSJ: "With legal victory against Napster all but assured, the record industry quietly has begun to move against hundreds of Napster clones that also offer free music downloading via the Internet."
DaveNet: The art that comes from competition.
A candidate for a new Scripting News motto: "There's no such thing as a winnable war, it's a lie we don't believe anymore."
Sam DeVore reports that Opera/Mac, which is new, works very nicely with Manila and Radio.
I really like this guy's style.
Press release: ebXML Integrates SOAP Into Messaging Services Specification. Break out the champagne!
News.Com: "SOAP gained industry support after IBM, Lotus Development and other companies began working with it and developing a newer version that was less Microsoft-specific." SOAP 1.0 was not in any way "Microsoft-specific."
Washington Post: Online Media -- Old News? Wishful thinking?
People stare at me in disbelief when I say that there will be lots of Dot-Nets. There will be. First there was one. There will be two, for sure, we're finishing ours now, it's called Radio. And then everyone else will know how to do it too.
Microsoft's platform has every programming language known to man, and a few more. Ours has one. Theirs works with SQL databases. Ours has a built-in object database. Theirs doesn't have a Web content management system. Ours does. Theirs doesn't run on the Mac. Ours does. Theirs comes from Microsoft, ours does not.
Of course Java is a Dot-Net. Look at all the languages they have running in Java. It talks to SQL databases. It kind of runs on a Mac. It also does not come from Microsoft.
Zope is a Dot-Net too. Two languages at last count. An object database, a Web interface. Open source.
It's called interop, and we mean it. In May or June, Murphy-willing, we'll have an interop event. Here's how it's going to work. A call for presentations with a twist. No single presenters. You have to have a date. Your date works at a different company. You can boast about your product, no problem there, but you also have to boast about your date's product. And you have to demo interop. You can have as many dates as you want. Awards will be given based on how interesting your interop is. Awards will be given also for lack of lock-in. Awards will be given for big companies supporting little ones. Awards will also be given for little companies working with little companies (a rare, precious thing). There will be scholarships for small developers and open source projects.
We now have a slogan. "Interop till you drop."
The evening movie will be They Shoot Horses Don't They?
Working name for the conference: Interopathon.
Brent: "I was watching on TV a cheetah standing in the middle of a giant herd of something -- not gazelles, something a little larger. They weren't afraid of the cheetah at all. They knew. The cheetah was looking around at all these animals, in the middle of literally tons and tons of meat, but there was nothing he could do. A lion would have had a field day, but the cheetah just looks around, hungry."
Last night's DaveNet got quite a response, including one from Napster CEO Hank Barry. He said "I wish it were this simple. It is not." To which I responded "Hank, it is that simple."
DaveNet: Ohhh Napster!
Tonight's song: Russians. "There is no monopoly of common sense on either side of the political fence. We share the same biology regardless of ideology. Believe me when I say to you I hope the Russians love their children too."
Ooops, we found a bug in the SOAP 1.1 Validator. It wasn't recognizing 23 as a double. It should have. It does now. (Glad I looked, we got another validation, from soaplite, running under Apache.)
Glenn Fleishman: The Web, Without Wires, Wherever. "At the same moment you're filling up your gas tank, why wouldn't you fill up your in-box?" Of course.
Groove integration is an active topic on the Radio mail list. Here's the prototype application. At UserLand everyone keeps a project outline in Radio. The combination of all the outlines is also a document. But we don't have a way to move the pieces around, yet, without making them public. Can Groove help us? Scott Loftesness says that the folders it manages are not readable by other apps. That's the key feature. If we can get Groove to maintain a folder or set of folders that Radio can watch, then when a new or updated file arrives, we can fold it into any Radio data structure we want. This is the bridge we want between the two worlds. The win for Radio users is privacy, the win for Groove is more users.
Due to a configuration error on the Radio mail list, only members could read the posts linked to above. We changed the settings so the posts are now publicly readable.
Robert Scoble reviews Groove.
Slashdot is the best flow machine I've ever seen.
Curtis Brune asks for a comparison between XML-RPC and SOAP. "I'm just coming off a successful SOAP deployment for a B2B project in the wireless PDA industry."
Yesterday Jeremy Bowers posted his ideas for a responder-like framework for email in Frontier and Radio. I'm thinking about it this morning. Lots of prior art. Two basic verbs that appear to work. An application that we want which Scott Loftesness calls My UserLand on the Blackberry. Posting to a blog via email is compelling. But is it a feature or a framework? I suspect it's a feature. What can a framework do for us? Not clear. Email is pretty simple on its own.
Arnold Palmer pulls his Cadillac into a gas station..
Boy the thought police are pounding me today. Give up being my editor. Also give up being powerless. As Scoop Nisker says, if you don't like the news go out and make some of your own.
It's been a privilege to experience the flames in and around Eric Raymond's life for the last 18 hours or so. It's something to behold. He seems to like it. He says awful things about Microsoft's software. Joshua Allen, who works at MS, takes the bait, puts up a good defense, to no purpose. Don Hopkins, as usual, is funny and outrageous. Here's the silly thing. All software sucks, not just Microsoft's.
On the other hand, Raymond did help XML-RPC, and for that I am very appreciative. I find much of what he stands for unacceptable but I can still accept his support as long as I don't have to get into the bathtub with him. This is the philosophy of the Internet, as I see it. It's not that XML-RPC is like Unix, everything that's good is like Unix. It's also like Windows and Macintosh. (COM and Apple Events.) There are lots of things about Microsoft that I don't like. (And don't get me started on Apple.) But we seem to agree on one thing, we want our software to work with other software, regardless of what platform it runs on. I'm not sure if Raymond gets this. XML-RPC is far more revolutionary than it might appear at first glance.
I've read all the comments on SlashDot, but found this one most interesting.
A straight question for Sun lovers. Let's say I send you a Python script as an email enclosure. Can you run it from the emailer? If so, stop throwing bricks at Microsoft and fix your software first. Then let us know how you did it.
Eric Raymond: "XML-RPC is very much in the Unix spirit. It's deliberately minimalist but nevertheless quite powerful."
I submitted the Raymond comments to SlashDot, something I learned how to do at the P2P conf. Here's the evidence. Thank you, I'm not worthy, I'm not worthy. You can watch the SlashDot effect roll through our server. This page is recalc'd every hour. You can see that today's Frontier is fully capable of taking the hits.
The next section was written before I got the email from Raymond.
Imagine a room, a cocktail party. It's a three-cornered room. In one corner is Jim Allchin. In another corner is Eric Raymond, and in the third corner is Bill Joy. In the middle are thousands of random developers, working every day to create cool shit for users, hoping to Hit It Big like the Napster guys (see below). Jim and Eric and Bill are talking about each other. Pointing fingers. Talking about guns, and battlefields and death. They don't actually have the courage to fight each other, they just like to talk about it. The reporters, outside the room, ignore the thousands of developers. Look, everyone's fighting! the headlines scream. A battle to the death. A demilitarized zone. Guns pointed everywhere. But the developers don't have guns, they just have compilers and text editors, servers and browsers. They're busy building cool shit for the reporters to use. Somehow this is overlooked.
Lindsey Smith: A Developer in the DMZ. "Of course, I don't expect them to stop fighting. I just wish they would move their battlefield somewhere else."
Jeremy Bowers proposes a responder framework for incoming mail messages.
Deborah Branscum: "Reporters get enough messages.."
AP: "Why should we organize [The Web] as pages? There's no reason.''
AP: "Napster offered $1 billion to the recording industry Tuesday to settle the copyright infringement suit that threatens to shut down the free Internet song-swapping service."
Zope.Org: Zope Directions Roadmap.
Thomas Lynch: "Timothy McVeigh, the Oklahoma City bomber, has requested that his execution be televised. Mr. McVeigh has no rights in the matter. But we do, and the state that executes in our name ought not abridge our right to watch the exercise."
Last night John Perry Barlow introduced me to "The Other Sean" from Napster, Sean Parker. John and I talked about Grateful Dead lyrics, we recited the lyrics to Touch of Grey, the dreariest of songs, sung to an upbeat melody (I think that's why I like it so much) and talked about common friends from years-gone-by. Sean, who is 21, is trying to get into Stanford. I thought that was interesting. Here's a young guy who's already done so much to influence culture through technology before going to college. Somehow it seemed weird that he would be applying anywhere.
Gigaideas: SOAP Client for PHP.
Yahoo! eGroups support RSS, that means every eGroup can feed through Radio. That makes me so happy. I also discovered the W3C's RSS file, and even though it's a flavor of RSS that I've never heard of (those wacky W3C guys, so bleeding-edge, just like those crazy browser guys) Radio reads it just fine. It ignores all the non-standard stuff the W3C added.
Here's a cool use of the Internet. You can download an excerpt of Kurt Vonnegut reading a chapter of his own classic, Slaughterhouse Five. Highly recommended.
Business Week: "Tchong's view on the news demonstrates how spoiled everyone was by the adulation of the past few years. The reality is that the public has grown less gullible."
Zeldman's My Glamorous Life #33. "Miss Prendergast stood with her back to the chalkboard. 'Today, class, we are going to talk about Web Design,' she said."
What is Narval?
I got back from dinner late this evening, a great feast hosted by NY literary agent John Brockman who turned 60 on Friday. All kinds of interesting people. It was at the same restaurant as last Thursday's dinner, Henry's Hunan on Sansome. Well, that's the good news. The bad news is that on arriving back home all my neighbors' mailboxes and mine had been been emptied by vandals. Oy. The police are on their way over now. I guess I'm going to have to tell my credit card company about this. So tonight like Zeldman, I have A Glamorous Life.
Before going to the city I stopped by KnowNow and met with Rohit and some of the other people. Then while waiting for the cops to arrive, I did a little surfing and found out that ex-Pyrite, Matt Haughey, is working for KnowNow. I didn't know that. I wonder what he knows, now.
Solution to yesterday's non-technical puzzle. It takes one Apple person to change a lightbulb. How? Hold the bulb in the socket and wait while the world revolves around you.
Happiness is my software getting smarter without me having to do anything. Radio has a new lick. If the item on the clipboard isn't a URL, when I choose the Add Link command, it figures out that I might want to turn it into a URL, so it does it for me. That's hard to explain in words, but when you do it, it makes you smile.
Talked with Scoble this evening. He told me about his trip to China four years ago. Nice story. Earlier this evening we talked about the 60s in the USA. Robert reminded me that they had an interesting time in China in the 60s. It was called The Cultural Revolution. I don't think it was as much fun as our version of the 60s.
DaveNet: Internet 3.0.
Survey: "If I had a weekly or monthly Scripting News dinner in Palo Alto, would you come?"
Aaron Swartz: Apprentice Education. There's an interesting subtext to this. Aaron is the brightest 13 year old I've ever met on the Internet. It's not just bit smarts, he marshalls power very well and is persistent. Eventually you come around to his way of thinking, or he comes around to yours. These are the essential ingredients in good technology. We're looking for the right answer, not to be proven right, or to prove the other guy wrong.
Tomorrow my house is getting an 802.11b upgrade so I'll be able to do demos in the woods and in the living room and check my email from the kitchen. Nice!
From the Let Me Know When You Figure It Out Department. Now Microsoft PR says it was an oversight that they did not actually invite Dan Gillmor to the Windows XP rollout.
Give Microsoft's Jim Allchin 10 points for making a boneheaded comment about The American Way, and give every open source advocate and journalist 10 points for taking the bait. Net that out as a 10 points against Microsoft, and at least a hundred points on the other side. Perhaps when we're more evolved we'll have a Designated Microsoft Basher. "I'm busy, you take this one," Doc might say to Dan. Salon's Andrew Leonard, in an email exchange, said Allchin is "stupid". Oy.
The full Leonard quote: "The 'American Way' comment is rhetoric with extremely ugly connotations. I'm still amazed Allchin would be stupid enough to say that."
Do you have software that can read AppleWriter files?
White Mesa: SOAP for RPC NT Service.
Proof that humor is possible, even in the Land O' Open Source. (I like self-deprecating humor best. Most of the humor in open source culture has been aimed elsewhere. I'd love to get some pointers to examples of Murphy-like amusement about open source, or as one of my critics says "Open Sores".) For what it's worth, the obvious play on words for UserLand is (oh this hurts) LoserLand. And forget about my last name, it's a total disaster. I can't even complain about it without evoking an evil smirk. Who was it who said "It's not like anyone gets out of this alive."
Solution to yesterday's non-technical puzzle (otherwise known as a "joke"). Never mind, I'll sit in the dark. (You might have to have a Jewish mother, as I do, to appreciate this.)
Now, how many Apple people does it take to screw in a light bulb? (BTW, this is the first puzzle that doesn't take a devious turn. There actually is an answer, which I can tell you without spoiling the delight. It's 1. And to solve the puzzle, to explain why a single Apple person is so powerful, you should think about the Apple of 1991, which is when this joke was circulating in the developer community.)
Now a comment for Dan Gillmor who has added to the fast-developing thread about The American Way and software. Dan gave us a couple of excellent metaphors. "The American Way is also about barn-raisings and volunteer fire departments -- group efforts for the good of the community, and no threat to capitalism even though we might (repeat, might) end up with better barns and more efficient fire-fighting by paying people to do it."
Yes, this is an interesting point. Generosity is an American value. Barn-raising and volunteer fire departments are wonderful concepts, but they do not map onto open source. There's an element of exclusion and segregation to open source that is also very American. And imagine if the volunteer fire departments went on a PR campaign against professional fire departments. And if you cut through the hype you'll see that joining the open source community is just as much a poison pill as becoming a Microsoft or Sun developer. You're captive any way you look at it. Their bathtub is as self-contained as all the others. (Until XML-RPC and SOAP fixed that. Heh.)
Hey the root of the word "customer" is "custom". What does that mean?
Survey: "How do you read this site? Do you read every word, or do you scan? How many of the links do you click on?"
Glenn Fleishman: Google Causes Spontaneous Sour Grape Fermentation. Right on the money. It's time to do a reality check. It's 2001. Where Is My Data?
I saw Thirteen Days last night. Interesting movie, all about power, politics and technology.
Tim O'Reilly: "Like many others, I was surprised, disturbed, and disappointed by Jim Allchin's comments about open source software development.."
A List Apart: "In six months, a year, or two years at most, all websites will be designed with standards that separate style from content. (Or they will be built with Flash 7.) We can watch our skills grow obsolete, or start learning standards-based techniques now." Hmm..
David Siegel: "How would you like to visit the Louvre with images turned off?"
Larry Ellison: "I think Apple can be the greatest provider of digital appliances in this market. I think Apple's biggest competitor is going to be Sony."
Solution to yesterday's non-technical puzzle. Californians don't screw in lightbulbs, they screw in hot tubs.
Next question. How many Jewish mothers does it take to screw in a lightbulb? (Answer tomorrow.)
An interesting discussion on WriteTheWeb about exporting data from blogging tools. It gave me ideas about the connection between OPML and blogs. Wouldn't it be nice to edit your whole blog, all the way back to the beginning in a single outline? This would work for some blogs. My programming gears are beginning to grind again. It always takes a few days to get back up to speed after an intense schmooze like the P2P conf
People say great things about Grey Matter, now they have over 500 sites, growing at a fast clip. I'd like to try it out but would rather not install the software on one of our servers at this time. Does anyone have an installation where I could create and edit a Grey Matter blog?
Quote from a Grey Matter user: "Things are mighty different around here, though hopefully you won't notice right away. First and foremost, I've stopped using Blogger to maintain my weblogs. I still like Blogger, but the company's recent collapse made me realize I had to be in control of my own content, no matter how easy Blogger had made things. It turns out that there was the perfect solution: Greymatter. CGI scripts on my own server gives me Blogger-like ease, greater flexibility, and complete ownership of my creation. Nothing against Blogger (I'll still use it for other projects), but it was time for me to move on."
I repeat what I have said so many times, user control of data is very important. The only software and services that will grow, as users get smarter, are the ones that offer user control of data. This, imho, is an integrity issue for our industry, something which any responsible and intelligent user can appreciate, and as the creakiness of our financial and technical foundations are appreciated by the users, they will demand it more and more, and this is a Good Thing.
Also the opportunities to work together have never been greater, and with that will come motion. Blogger, while so many love them, including me (can't speak for the rest of my company on this) has not prioritized working with others. But now with Grey Matter there, it may become more interesting.
Conclusion: We may be close to the first killer app for OPML.
Now for the other side of the Allchin story. Has there been any activity on the other side, trying to promote Linux and open source as a matter of government policy? I asked Josh Allen for some links.
8/28/00: "I am increasingly coming to the conclusion that the Internet and open-source initiatives are the free marketplace way of dealing with the extremely complex software issues we are facing," said Irving Wladawsky-Berger, an I.B.M. executive and a member of the presidential advisory committee.
9/18/00: "PITAC chairmen Raj Reddy and Irving Wladawsky-Berger wrote in a letter sent to President Clinton last week. 'This open-source approach permits new software to be openly shared and allows users to modify, study or augment the software’s functionality,' they wrote."
10/3/00: "Wladawsky-Berger agreed. 'We are seeing governments around the world embracing open standards. We are seeing governments around the world embrace the Internet and embrace more and more standards, and in particular, Linux is becoming more important for many governments outside the U.S., and even the U.S. government is looking at it very seriously.' Wladawsky-Berger is a co-chairman of the President's Advisory Council on Information Technology."
With this background, Allchin's comments don't seem in left field. Surely, IBM is entitled to its opinion, and also is entitled to lobby governments through the press. But understand that IBM has a financial interest in this, as one of Microsoft's largest OEMs. If Linux were to replace Microsoft, they save money on licenses and undermine a major competitor. That Microsoft would have something to say about this is neither surprising or unfair.
Bill Clinton: My Reasons for the Pardons.
NY Times: "Recipients of stock options, the 1990's prescription for instant wealth, are learning that options can come back to bite them."
I've been included in an email back and forth betw Eric Kidd and Joshua Allen. They're two guys in their 20s who I have so much admiration for, my heart almost bursts. You could try to put labels on them, one is open source, the other works at Microsoft, but there would be no point to that, because the labels carry connotations that don't begin to tell you who they are. The power between these two men, who almost no one has heard of, is so incredible. There's a background to Allchin's comments about Linux that I didn't know anything about. Eric is very protective of Linux, but doesn't wish to do anyone any harm. Joshua was a Linux developer who went to Microsoft because he didn't agree with the political direction Linux was taking. Eric did XML-RPC for C. Joshua is determined to get OPML into Microsoft products. These are two people I am proud to work with. Yet one is rooted in open source and the other gets his paycheck from Bill Gates. These are young men, from my point of view, but they're acting more responsibly than people my own age. This is backwards. I am ashamed of what my generation has done to split the technology world along idealogical lines. I see Josh and Eric as symbols of the next generation and they deserve a clean slate.
Now, for the first time in my career, peace is the number one issue in the technology industry. Today the peace process seems so strong, but you gotta know it's really fragile. There are hot-heads on all sides who would like to divide things up along new lines. They must see an opportunity to win big, or a threat that they're headed for the scrap heap, or both at the same time. Something new is definitely coming. The question is, will it be a battlefield or will we have interop? Can we have competition that doesn't destroy the playing field? If you weren't in SF at the P2P conf, I wish you could see how bright the geeks are in this generation. I'd like to believe that nothing can stop them, but I know that's not true. So we all have to make a conscious decision, if you're in technology, do you want more war, or do you want to build?
I also wish you could all hear the speech that Shimon Peres made at Davos last year. He explained that if you want economic growth you must have peace. Looking at it from this perspective, it's ridiculous that the tech industry is in a downturn while Moore's Law is still inexorably putting so much power on our desktops and in our servers, and we now have a networking infrastructure that few would have dreamed of ten years ago. That we're in a contraction is evidence, imho, that we've played our hand badly.
8/12/97: "As boys grow older and become men our view of the world changes. We learn that we are not the greatest primate in the jungle, that other people have greatness too. And if our youth was productive, we learn that we have a stake in the bigger picture. We learn to love the jungle, we want it to survive, we develop an appreciation for chaos."
Lance: "Here's evidence, if any were needed, that my suggestion of a year ago that everyone in Davos should be given a webpage to write a weblog would be far more interesting than giving them iPAQs or whatever."
More SOAP 1.1 validations. The hits just keep on comin.
Tech Interview: "Five pirates have 100 gold coins.."
Another classic puzzle: "100 people died in a plane crash on the border between US and Canada. Where did they bury the survivors?"
And one more from the archives of DaveNet.
And here's a joke. How many Californians does it take to screw in a lighbulb? (Answer tomorrow.)
Dylan Tweney on the P2P conf: "So, what's the business model for this thing? Who knows? Who cares! This is cool!"
Jeffrey Jones suggests Dancing in the Street as the theme song for P2P. Listening to it now. "It doesn't matter what you wear as long as you are there.." Nice.
WSJ: "The Internet’s phone book is up for sale — and though the listings may represent a treasure trove for marketers, the move also risks a serious privacy backlash."
Josh Allen on the Allchin freakout: "Having a Microsoft executive say that Linux is an intellectual property killer is probably the best compliment (and validation) that Richard Stallman can get."
Zeldman: "The site you're now reading is six years old, contains thousands of pages and millions of non-standard workarounds, and will be upgraded to full standards compliance as soon as we can find the time to do it."
To me, today's Zeldman is an ad for Manila. It's not that we didn't try to explain, but you don't need to force a browser upgrade to get content separated from form. It can all be done simply, on the server, using a browser-based CMS like Manila. Other software would do here too, like Blogger or Free-Conversant. It hurts to see Zeldman struggle when it could be so much easier for him. Even worse, he's bringing his struggle to users. Hello. Working together isn't just for the gorillas, it's also high time the designers and geeks to work together too.
Jeff Barr explains how he evangelizes RSS.
Charles Cooper: "I still think Push can yet make a big mark in the digital music market as a download and delivery technology."
Payloads for RSS. "What if, in the middle of the night, while I'm not using my computer, it downloads huge video and audio stuff to my local hard drive. Then when I arrive in the morning there are fresh bits, news clips, a song of the day, whatever, provided by all kinds of content providers, from big TV networks like CNN and MSNBC, to a Dutch school where kids are taking a film class using inexpensive video recorders and iMacs."
Here's David Galbraith's idea for bringing metadata to the World Wide Web. Let's say you have an editor for HTML content. Note, this is not XHTML or any weird schema or CSS or namespace or (god forbid) RDF, or anything that Zeldman Must Have Right Now, just plain old garden variety HTML, blockquotes and tables in all their gory misery. (Which is pretty much all the HTML I know.) OK, in your editor, right after the Style menu, the one that boldfaces, italicizes and underlines, add another menu (or sub-menu) called Metadata. In that menu would be a command called "Corporation", followed by "Person", then "Relationship", and other common things that we human beings know about. The juxtaposition relative to the Style menu would get people to think "Hmmm, this must be something like a style." Now when you select some text, and choose one of these commands, it wraps the selection in the chosen element. So if I mentioned UserLand, it could be wrapped in a
Now for an exercise to see if you get it, read this David Singer essay about his trip from San Jose to Hartford and see how you might mark it up using Galbraith's Neat Meta-Markup Feature. It's not hard to see the utility in this, either, because Singer recommends a restaurant in his essay, and gives us lots of data about airlines and cellphones, etc. How would Galbraith's screen scraper (Moreover) be able to get this data from Singer's essay without this?
Now, even more interesting is Nick Arnett's idea for mining gold in all the relationships in the blogs. Wow he really got me thinking, but I'll have to add that to the queue of Other Neat Things To Write Up As Soon As I Can. (Reminder to self, make sure Nick knows Alex Cohen.)
More evening notes. I had a wonderful meeting with a Microsoft person today about next steps for interop in the SOAP world. His name is Marshal Goldberg, obviously a very Jewish fellow, a few years older than me, reminds me of Bernie DeKoven, a very sweet man, we talked about a lot of things, mostly SOAP and XML-RPC and the community of independent developers gathering around these protocols. We have some ideas for a project we can do to help get interop sooner, but we're both sensitive to the politics (actually we love the politics, if I may be so bold as to speak for Marshal). Still kicking around ideas but as soon as they gel I'll talk about them here. But there's a problem, in my world, it's hard to shrug off the shitstorms that come when a Microsoft exec like Jim Allchin says something overtly hostile to an operating system that many of my friends love (Linux). This is like Java all over again. There's no point screaming and barking about it, it won't go away, and no one is going to feel sorry for poor Microsoft for a long long time, and esp not Jim Allchin, who must not love politics as Marshal and I do. Politics is like an operating system. You want to keep some extra disk space around. Things run smoother if you do. So you don't want to always run at empty, as Microsoft seems to. Sometimes it's best to say nothing. To my friends at Microsoft, who are Good People, get Jim in a room (ask Charles to join you too) and explain to them that we have important work to do, and these bombs are felt by The Little People, and it's better to just stuff a sock in your mouth sometimes and don't say everything that pops into your head.
Craig Burton offers advice to Microsoft's Jim Allchin, a former competitor (Burton was at Novell, Allchin at Banyan), then as an analyst and consultant. Burton tells an interesting story about Microsoft, MAPI and the commoditization of Netware, and relates it to the problems Microsoft has with open source.
7/7/99: "If you have a winner, the ones you leave behind will always make barking noises. The trick is to know when you have the winner, and stick with it and ignore the barking."
Doc: "For a year or two, Netscape looked like it could do no wrong. It was a Miata being chased down a mountain road by a tractor trailer. As long as moved fast and looked ahead, there was no problem with the truck behind. But at some point, Netscape got fixated on the rear view mirror. That's where they were looking when they drove off the cliff."
Tech Interview: "Two MIT math grads bump into each other at Fairway on the Upper West Side. They haven't seen each other in over 20 years."
Jeff Walsh asks about integration of Flash and Manila.
It's a snow day in Seattle.
"This is radical," said Zeldman, "and not every site can participate. Yahoo and Amazon, for instance, can't afford to risk alienating a single visitor. We recognize that many sites are in that position." That's the bug.
BTW, we *do* alienate a few visitors here. Old browsers by Netscape won't render Scripting News very well. We wanted a sexy look. But we also provide a low bandwidth version. Content management helps.
Good morning sports fans! Today is a recouperation day (is that the correct spelling, of course not). I didn't drink or smoke anything but boy do I have a hangover. I'm not as young as I used to be I guess. Ohhh well. La la la. Chatted with Danny O'Brien of NTK yesterday, he commented on my editing of the home page. I said that's Web. Don't you wish you could take back some things you say in email. Oy. In a few minutes after coffee I'm going to wipe out this whole paragraph. Now that's power! I decided to leave it.
Tim O'Reilly did a great job in putting together the sessions at the P2P conf. It was inclusive. I think we see something similar. I see version 3.0 of the Internet. Version 1 was the pre-web Internet, the playground of techies and geeks and professors and programmers. Then came the dotcommies. San Francisco turns into a cesspole of business models and exit strategies. Now we've got a generation of Young People who were Raised On The Internet. Last night at the OpenCola party, so many happy people, doing XML and HTTP. Are they there for the money? I'm sure most of them wouldn't mind being rich. But the prospects of that are dimming and the carpetbaggers are going home, and what remains is bright and solving problems, and their hair is weird and they're pierced in weird ways, but these are Nice Kids, and that's so cool. Version 3.0 is going to be fun and big.
During Bill Joy's little on-stage advertisement he took a bunch of cheap shots and I couldn't help myself from saying to my fellow audience members "what an asshole." (This morning Scripting News is a cesspole too.) He still thinks SOAP is a Microsoft-only thing. I wonder if anyone believed him. I hope not. Later, in the Web Services session audience members asked where the low-hanging fruit is (someone had mentioned that there was lots) and none of the panelists had an answer. I wanted to get up and do the agent provacateur thing which I have sworn off. Had I done so I would have said PUB-SUB. Low-tech. Much needed. A pleasure button. Someone asked each panelist to point to an example of a web service today. Only Lucas Gonze had an answer. I was sitting behind Tony Hong of XMethods. He's got a few. I would have pointed them to Manila, which is a fully scriptable Web application. Tim was talking about Web Services in exactly the same way we talked about scriptable apps in the Mac in the early 90s. It would have been interesting to play a tape of WWDC in 1991. As often is the case it happened first on the Mac. Of course it didn't matter, for some reason that I'll never understand.
Another thing that didn't appear to matter on the Web Services panel is XML-RPC. It didn't even get a mention. SOAP is great, but don't forget the Distributed Computing Protocol For The People. No no no, we won't forget.
Now I had a great talk with Anne Thomas Manes after the panel, which lead me to say late last night on SN that we had won with Sun. In version 3.0 of the Internet the developers are independent. No concentration camps. No big lies. Come play with us, even lead us, but we stay free, as we always were, imho.
I was really struck by how serously Doc took Allchin's comments about Linux. In a perfect world a top exec at the Largest Software Company In The World would only say politically correct things. But Doc man, now maybe you can understand how I feel about some of the nasty shit the spokespeople in the Open Source World say about people like me who make software for a living. I'll make a deal with you Doc, I'll say Allchin is a Bad Man if you'll have a talk with ESR about this same subject.
I swore off posting to SlashDot a couple of years ago. What a cesspool. What a strange thing to have the same thing happen on stage yesterday with Commander Taco (spelling?) who was commenting, in real-time, in not nice ways, on virtually everything I said. At one point I asked him what's going on here? He said it was like Beavis and Butthead. I guess I was the rock video and he was *both* B&B, cause his partner Jeff was very sweet and positive, a nice guy who I'd love to have a beer with sometime. I asked Taco if the flaming DG on SD had warped his personality. Ever since I shut down our DG I've been more true to myself. Vacations from other people's fears are good things. Make em permanent. I gotta get some coffee.
Check this out. Evan is getting ready to kick butt. Let's make some software. I like this approach, a lot.
DaveNet: Notes from the O'Reilly P2P Conference.
Want to know what happened today? Read Evhead. We should talk about Desktop Websites some more. Lots of really sweet people at the conf. This is what's left after the dotcom bust. Excellent.
One more thing. We won with Sun. Now both the major gorillas, Microsoft and Sun, are open and subject to competition. No more platform vendors. Tools and runtimes. Little guys and big ones.
Apparently Microsoft's Jim Allchin put his foot in his mouth. Doc is very unhappy about this. The Linux guys are sure to flame. OK. Next week this time who will care?
I got an email from Microsoft PR saying that both Mary Jo Foley and Dan Gillmor were invited to the Windows XP rollout. My fault for not checking. Sorry.
AP: Injunction overturned in Amazon case. "A federal appeals court overturned a lower court ruling that barred bookseller Barnes and Noble's Internet store from using Amazon.com's single-click checkout technology, pending a trial."
An email from Craig McCosker about ABC's weblog for election coverage in Australia. There's big movement in this direction, we're seeing weblogs start on the other side of the editorial firewall. I'm sure we'll talk about this today at the P2P conference.
Yesterday Dan Gillmor told me that Knight-Ridder, his employer, is doing their own weblog software, and soon Dan's eJournal will move over there. We saw this coming through tea-leave reading, and it's fine with us. We like working with Dan, and I'm sure we'll keep doing more of that. (Even if he does scoop me!) We're a software and publishing company, and proud that Dan got his start in blogging using our stuff. He's a friend and this is the way the Web works. We lose nothing by having him use other software. What we want is his free unfettered timely point of view. Once you start a weblog, that's it, you're on our side, no matter what software you use.
And to the engineers working on Dan's new software, please support RSS. It's important.
To the people in the XML-RPC community -- be proud, very proud. Our work is really catching on. I had a dozen great conversations yesterday with developers embracing XML-RPC wholesale, building their P2P apps on it. I talked with people from the Jabber community about merging. We agreed it's a no-brainer. I met an XML guy from Netscape. Talked with Johnny Deep from Aimster. Everyone seems to agree -- it's time for interop.
I had another nice talk with Tim O'Reilly and Peter Wiggin also of O'Reilly. It's time again to get some more interop there too, imho.
Brent: "About a year later he hanged himself. Unlike with good King Richard, coeur de lion le premier, I can wait all I want, and he's not coming back."
I had a blast today at the P2P conf. Very smart people. There may be such a thing as P2P. Certainly a lot of cool people there. My talk went well. Not much energy left. So much schmoozing. So much left to do!
Joshua Allen makes a guest appearance on Scoble talking about Web standards. Talking with him a couple of days ago he opened my eyes by pointing out that Flash is cleaning up, and it has nothing to do with standards. They can move because they are not paralyzed. Microsoft is held up because of Netscape's lack of motion. I had never considered that point of view before.
Speaking of mind bombs, my friend Rohit Khare, CEO of KnowNow spilled the beans today at the P2P conf. So now I guess I can tell you what they do. It's very cool. But I'm too tired. Later.
Ooops, Dan Gillmor scooped me. Sheez. Oh well.
Our man in Palo Alto, Paul Andrews, covered the Windows XP rollout for the NY Times. Meanwhile, in London, Lance Knobel notes a new irreverance at Paul's part-time employer. Dan Gillmor and Mary Jo Foley were not invited to the Microsoft rollout. They must be doing something right. So must Rick Belluzzo, he's Microsoft's new President. (Belluzzo is the rightmost person in this picture.)
Red Herring: iSyndicate blames layoffs on expansion.
See y'all tonight I'm up to SF to P2P2P2P2P2P2P2P..
DaveNet: How to Make Money on the Internet v2.0.
Wes Felter and I have decided to join forks and merge our specification for dinner on Thursday night. If you're in SF on Thurs be at Hunan Restaurant, 924 Sansome and Broadway, 6:30PM, 415-956-7727. We've reserved 20 spaces, but it looks like a sellout, so sign up here if you're coming and we'll ask for more space. You get two fantastic pundits for the price of one Chinese meal. It's been a long time since I've seen Wes, totally looking forward. "Let the schmoozing begin!"
NY Times: New version of Windows Introduced.
New docs: About Website Tools.
I got a haircut and a beard trim. I must look sexy. It's amazing how when I lose the mountain-man look the women start noticing. It's nice.
A few people have asked if they can use the white-on-orange XML icon on their sites, and the answer is yes, but only if you use it the same way. It must link to an XML file that's equivalent to the HTML page that it appears on.
Scripting News is now an official publication since it has an ISSN: 1533-8185. Tell your friends. What does it mean? I'm not sure. But it's official. The US government knows about us now.
Library of Congress: ISSN is for serials.
Lawrence Lee: "Joe Clark has a good overview of ISSN for weblogs with some links to other ISSN registrars around the world. I received mine in about two hours after applying this morning: 1496-6085."
Should we add an optional
These guys make content management seem so complex, but the whole point, imho, is to turn the Web into an easy writing environment. I think we're writing for different Webs.
Doc on Radio: "Radio Userland is the first application that completely turns around the distribution model by which we've conceived business for the last century or two. For the first time, the power to distribute doesn't just belong to supply. Now it also belongs to Demand." I love Doc. Have I ever said that?
"Hot as a pistol but cool inside."
Survey: Scripting News dinner in SF on Thurs?
Tomorrow, in preparation for my Two-Way-Web talk on Wed, I'm going to write version 2.0 of HTMMOTI. I'm going to answer the Big Question -- What the heck is the business model for this weblog stuff? There's good news and bad news. The good news is that most of the money will be made by the users. That's also the bad news.
Hey I got an email from Pete Dako who was Rookie of the Year in the Frontier community in 1992. Nice to hear from an oldtimer. He did the production for the Frontier 3.0 docs, for love, very little money. That was back when we printed docs on dead trees. Them was the days. Come sit on my knee, I'll tell you all about it.
Front-runner for Rookie of the Year 2001 is Scoble.
Wow, somehow I stumbled across the public RSS file for a big newspaper and didn't know that it was some kind of secret. So I linked to it from Scripting News, and gave them a compliment. I said it was the best RSS support for any major newspaper. Instead of thanking me, or quoting me, they took it offline. Somedays it feels like it's just not worth gettin out of bed.
Here's a public comment. I don't think most of the newspapers know why they're on the Web. Talking with the NY Times licensing manager last week she pointed out that they don't charge us to link to their stories. I nodded my head. "Oh that's nice," I said, thinking to myself, "They don't know why they're on the Web."
Josh Allen: "Well, chips are just software that has been compiled into silicon, and strangely, when you compile your code into silicon, you don't have the same crowd yelling at you to GPL it."
Jason McCabe Calacanis: "If anyone is interested in renting desk space at our newly renovated office please let me know. We also have an entire extra floor (6,000+ feet) on 36th Street available, plus some deskspace to rent."
KnowNow: "Powering the Two-Way Web."
US federal appeals court: "Napster may be held liable for contributory copyright infringement only to the extent that Napster knows of specific infringing files with copyrighted musical compositions or sound recordings, knows or should have known that the files are available on the Napster system, and fails to act to prevent the distribution of copyrighted materials.''
Dan Gillmor has comments on the Napster decision.
Today's Song: Brand New Day. "All you lovers in the world."
Paul Andrews: "I'm getting the impression we may be entering a new phase of Blog evolution."
Evhead has a temporary address during a DNS outage.
More finishing work on Radio this morning. A few ideas about how to explain it pop into my head. Here they are.
Lance: "Here's a picture of me with Abe Lincoln."
See the little white-on-orange XML icon to the right? Click on it and it takes you to the XML version of this page. That's a gentle invitation to do the same on your site. More people are going to want to know where the XML version of your content is. This provides a simple way to clue them in.
As you might imagine there's a Manila macro that does this. Call it from your home page template and you're done.
Eric van der Vlist describes himself as a "RDF newbie" who wants to "bring RSS back in the semantic arena." Oy.
I went for a hike yesterday with Paul Andrews up by the Stanford Dish, we caught a rainbow, and he took a picture of me in front of it. Why did I put my hands up like that? I thought maybe the rainbow would fit between them.
"Don't follow leaders, watch the parking meters."
Joshua Allen: Making a Semantic Web.
Checking in at our SOAP 1.1 Validator, I now find two non-UserLand validations. Every one is a victory for interop.
Simon Fell started a SOAP Manila site, and is documenting stuff there. And he's getting his SOAP implementation to work with Manila's SOAP interface. I am breathing a sigh of relief. It's starting to really work!
What is http://soap.manilasites.com/?
AP: "Adam Burtle, 20, sold his soul on [eBay].."
Another old stadium bights the dust.
On Thurs I'm on a panel with the SlashDot guys, they have an item about it, but they didn't link to me! Damn, I want to get Slashdotted. We can handle it.
What a relief reading the intro to Glenn Fleishman's essay about Amazon and death, and near-death. The Mac community does appear to have given Frontier up for dead. I did too, after fighting the best I could. They were saying we were dead (we weren't) and everyone else was saying the Mac was dead. So we were in the dead-zone of the dead-zone. A double-whammy. Not much future there. Hey we still make Mac software (I'm stubborn, I know), so if you cover the Mac, please consider evaluating Manila and Frontier. Did you think the Mac isn't on the SOAP network and can't interop with Microsoft .NET? Think again. All the stuff we're doing runs on the Mac as well as Windows. Perhaps one of the best ways to undo the bad vibes of the early 90s in the Mac biz is to take another look. Manila is unique, and it does run on the Mac. (Glenn asks how we pay for the servers, we license the software.)
The Mac then and now had and has a self-death-wish, and defeats any life-form that opposes that belief. So many reporters use Macs, it gets so much press, but they always say there's little new software for the Mac, and it's going to lose to Windows any day now because of that. Well, like Dubya giving speeches about the looming recession, sometimes you get what you predict, because of the predictions, not because there's any reason for it. Today's Mac market, while it is smaller than the Windows market, is also much larger than the PC market of the 1980s which supported lots of independent software development. There's no reason the Mac market can't have lots of new software. All it would take is a will to win. That's always been the story, imho.
Here's how you do it. Every new product is a cause for celebration. "Look we got something new to use!" That's what it was like in the early days of the Mac. What a great community to be part of, so much positive feedback. Then it became a deathmarch. "It isn't easy to use," they would say (nothing is). "Apple will crush it." (They can try, but if the users don't let them, it can't happen.)
Anyway, Paul Andrews is giving me righteous shit for not naming the reporter I met with last week to talk about all this stuff. It was John Markoff of the NY Times. John is a Mac user. We talked about the Mac market. We'll talk again. The theme of our discussion was "What became of independent developers?" I'd like to see this question on everyone's agenda. When did we take the turn to believing that only big companies could produce innovation? Let's re-examine that, I think it's a major bug. Size is an inverse predictor of quality. The larger the company the more diluted the art. We expect big companies to produce great art in other fields, movies, music, books. But what do we get? Garbage with no integrity, just amusement, no passion no human qualities. Same with software. It requires focus, a total dedication, and that you'll only find in the individual, not in the corporation.
BTW, a final note, I can't resist, even though it's a complicated thought. When you give your full support to Steve Jobs, you're virtually guaranteeing that there will be very little new non-Apple software. All your eggs go in one basket. He has a great act and a large following. But if the Mac wants to be bigger than Steve, it has to allow other artists to play. How can that happen? I don't see it. I totally don't want to go against Steve in the Mac space. I can't imagine he'll ever like my software. Bill Gates has a different character, not so artistic, more of a business-person, leaves more room. The good news is that the power is totally in the users' hands. If you support independent development, show patience and offer profits and gratitude, even while you wish it were better, it will get better.
Sunday Times: IBM's Guilty Past. "How many solutions did IBM provide to Nazi Germany?"
SJ Merc: "IBM technology put the blitz into the blitzkrieg.."
My own comments. This hits pretty close to home. My parents are both Holocaust survivors, and my father is an ex-IBMer. He worked in Armonk in the 60s. As a family we got to use the IBM Country Club on Long Island. I remember thinking what a cool company my Dad worked for. I guess that's worth a re-think now. I liked what IBM stood for then, I liked the cool THINK signs, and the pride my father had in his company.
I hope today's IBM doesn't brush aside these charges, and cooperates with impartial investigators. If the allegations are true, IBM must do something to balance the books. Reparations to survivors is not what I'm thinking about, doing something significant to oppose genocide in our day would be an appropriate way to attone for supporting the horrors of Nazi Germany.
All music all the time. Doc Searls had router failure just as he was flippin his home page. Oy. Now he wants to flip somethin else at his ISP for keeping him on hold for 40 minutes listening to the same insipid marketing "message" over and over. Doc is the wrong guy to do that to.
The hits just keep on comin. Paul Andrews, when applying for press credentials at the P2P conf told the truth and listed his weblog as his publication. He wanted to attend the session on journalism in the P2P Web. ("The P stands for People!") Paul has good credentials, clearly. But they turned him down. He says: "O the irony of it all!"
Dan Gillmor: "Still no answer from Amazon, despite another query from me on the patent thing. I guess we both know what that means." Now a word from our sponsor.
Congrats to Mike Donnelan on the new baby!
A note I posted on the Syndication list re RSS 0.92. "An HTML background is all that's needed to master RSS."
The cleanup work in Radio continues. Here are the docs for the cloud that Radio users share; a work in progress. It's pretty technical but if you're interested in P2P, this is a real-world system.
Oy I'm back to reading the NY Times through their home page. I liked my interface better. I heard that Screaming Media has a deal with them, that's the next stop on my industry schmooze. I won't give up!
I had a long talk yesterday with Paul Andrews, former veteran Seattle Times reporter, and now a free agent. We talked about the history of journalism, and where it's going after the dotcom boom. You never get to talk about history with a working reporter, there's no time, too busy covering the latest pie fight. Paul is the latest journalist to start a weblog. Dan Gillmor was the first. Then Doc Searls, Deborah Branscum and Glenn Fleishman. We may be getting to an interesting new critical mass. I'm on a panel at the O'Reilly conf on Thurs in SF with Gillmor and Katie Hafner who writes for the NY Times and the SlashDot guys, to talk about journalism on the Web. It should be very interesting. Lots of bright eyes in the journalism world. I think it's their turn.
We're trying an interesting experiment at UserLand this week. Since I'm going to be busy schmoozing and arm-twisting I'm turning over the Radio development lead to Brent. I work for him on this project. I have worked for others in the past, and sometimes it works really well. I did a game project for Bernie DeKoven in the early 80s on the Apple II when I was broke and needed the work. We had a blast. It was very relaxing to just do programming and let someone else do the design. Now I work for Brent. I can't think of anyone else I'd rather work for.
(Of course Brent still works for me, but we've been doing this long enough that I think we can keep it straight.)
"Johnny's in the basement mixing up the medicine, I'm on the pavement thinking about the government."
Zeldman: "[Netscape 6 is] like a brilliant, drunken writer who spouts deathless poetry one moment, dirty doggerel the next. In our opinion, those who dismiss this browser are wrong; those who complain about its quirks are right. Keep watching."
I spoke this morning with a Rights and Contracts manager at the New York Times, and she asked us to stop reading their XML newsfeeds, as described on this page. We have complied with their request.
I make a guest appearance today on Evhead. I think he should come clean, throw caution to the wind and tell us what's going on. But of course I'm not living his life, so..
Downloading your Manila site got easier and gentler on our servers.
WebTools: Creating an RSS Channel. "By any name, RSS means really simple syndication."
Washington Post: "'If you can patent a sales pitch or lines of software code -- both of which embody specific business functions but are also essentially speech -- what's to stop somebody from patenting things like legal arguments? O'Reilly sees an unsettling destination: 'As you start to go down that path, you're turning more and more of human interaction into property.'"
Glenn Fleishman's weblog is always a good read.
Why do radio and TV news reporters put heavy emphasis on the scale of currency. "Calfornia's power crisis will cost taxpayers BILLIONS of dollars this year." There seems to be no REAL sense of scale though, because sometimes they accentuate HUNDREDS or THOUSANDS of dollars as if they're astonished at how much money a refrigerator or a car costs. Even NPR does this. I can understand astonishment at TRILLIONS of dollars ("The proposed tax cut is 1.7 TRILLION dollars") but Billions? Millions? Thousands? Something weird is going on here.
Ring the bell! We got our first non-Frontier validation. It's not clear what software they're running. The server is Microsoft IIS 5.0. No matter, it's not Frontier. Ping. First signs of interop in SOAP-land. Yahooo!
Red Herring: The seven deadly signs of job cuts.
In my copious spare time (sarcasm) yesterday I wrote a little tool for Radio that makes it possible for me to keep a calendar in the object database. We released it to our testers last night (it's on the Tools page). It's just sample code, it's missing all the features you want. Its purpose is to stimulate interest in creating new tools for the desktop website we will ship with Radio. That it took just two hours is the real message.
We crossed a major threshhold in the last few days. Now it doesn't put undue stress on our servers for people to download their Manila sites periodically for backup and to use the data for other purposes. The key point is that you control your data and are responsible for it.
I love Zeldman. He thief's me lyrics (a Jamaican term) but I don't mind because the man has I-N-T-E-G-R-I-T-Y. He and I and Ev and you and everyone else who didn't partake in the dotcom gorging (although we tried) are still here to talk about it. The VCs are aloof, on to the next thing, fuck the Web, but I don't think they'll find the Promised Land. Hunker down and make software that people want and charge them money for it. The Web is Still The Way. P2P? That's the Web too.
I had a meeting yesterday with a famous reporter at a big pub whose name you'd recognize. I asked him the question I asked Paul Andrews a year ago. "Is it true that you don't call the big guys on their lies?" Paul astounded me by saying it was true. (He's a reporter at the Seattle Times.) Well my new friend gave the same answer. They want to put the big icons like Bill Gates, Scott McNealy, Larry Ellison, Steve Jobs, on the front page at least once a year. If they call them on their lies, they won't pose for the photographer. To me that seems a small price to pay for integrity. Run an old picture. Explain to your readers why you had to do that. They'll appreciate you more. (And it's a bigger story.)
We're going to try to come up with a big enough story and expose the whole thing. So it might not be just a small cadre of journalists that squeak about the big boys, we might see a turn to the truth in coverage of technology. I'm optimistic about this for the first time in a long time. It's a good time for the tech industry to take this hit. As we rebuild let's do it on a solid foundation, let's encourage the journalists to really understand what we do, and have the courage to answer the tough questions.
A hat-tip to Dan Gillmor at the SJ Merc. I thought I was pissing in the wind when I said that Amazon should be challenged on every supposed innovation. Dan surprised me by accepting the mission. This is fantastic. While they're fighting for their life at Amazon, at some point they might realize they'd do better with support from independent Web developers, and that they'll never get that support as long as they're filing patents on all their projects.
Yesterday was a super-high-charged day. Speaking with Ann Thomas Manes of Sun, I told her that I was totally embarassed by Microsoft's taunt, but equally embarassed by Sun's response. "I'm ashamed of my industry," I told her. She shrugged it off, "That's Scott," she said, "we're used to that around here." I told her that I understood. I have been in the audience while McNealy pulled his pranks on stage. I told her I knew he was lying, nothing is so black and white as he says it is, and that as long as their developer pitch is based on lies, they won't get any good developers working with them. First you start with the truth, then work from there. (The truth is that Sun's software sucks, like everyone else's. WORA was a lie, a good one, but with no good Mac story and therefore only Windows and Unix support, who could ship software based on their promises. Everyone who bet that way lost big. Learn the lesson. Can't build software on lies.)
10/24/96: "McNealy could have made a lot more friends earlier this week if he had come offering to share what he had, enabling our creativity, showing us where we fit in, instead of threatening to destroy us, to invade us, to make us irrelevant."
I also spoke yesterday with Marshal Goldberg, a vice-president at Microsoft, about the same thing. He shrugged it off too. "That's just marketing," he said. At that point it sunk in. Sun and Microsoft are best friends. This is like professional wrestling. They probably meet for drinks to plan out their next act leaving the rest of us to think there's something real going on. It's collusion with zero integrity, to keep themselves at the top of the pyramid, keep the press distracted, and keep the developers controlled and impotent.
Now Sun's lawyers said they were changing the docs as a "courtesy to Dave Winer." That's nice, but hello, why not, as a matter of principle, support independent developers? Perhaps my stature has increased, so now it's worth something to keep me happy. If so, they missed the point, totally. The next great innovation will probably come from someone they have never heard of. Will it be stifled and suppressed by a corrupt system? We must not let that happen. Stop trusting the big names of the 80s and 90s, assume they're lying and you won't be far from the truth.
Lance: "Is it something I said?" Of course.
Great news. I worked with Anne Thomas Manes of Sun today, and they're changing the name of their project to avoid confusion with XML-RPC. I posted a message on the same lists that I posted my protest earlier this morning. Happiness.
News.Com: "Security-software maker Symantec on Wednesday notified rivals that it owns a pair of patents covering its method for updating virus software and definitions incrementally."
From the Great Slogans Department: "We put the 'M' in stupid."
Wouter Van daele: "As a developer who has been working on inhouse client-server applications for a large bank, I can only say that I look forward to the day when it will be easy to use web services from any platform."
Evidence of teamwork. Ev says that Dan asked Amazon if their "Honor System" is patented.
Wired: "While Dr. Stuart Meloy was putting an electrode into the her spine in an attempt to ease her chronic pain, he not only reduced her back pain, but gave her an unexpected -- but delightful -- side-effect."
I'm getting a lof of support from people on the XML mail lists. Thank you. I spent the morning working on a top-level description of Radio. We're working on the last steps (it seems, Murphy-willing) towards a "shrink wrap" version. So now again it's time to explain what it is in a few words so busy people have an idea what we're talking about.
Sun and Microsoft sittin in a tree. A-R-G-U-I-N-G.
Sun still doesn't know how to spell XML-RPC. Isn't it weird that they dis the only spec that's deployed and working today? What a distraction. So damned dishonest. Do they get away with it this time?
I posted a message to the xml-dist-app, xml-dev and xml-rpc mail lists protesting Sun's generic use of "XML RPC".
When you come down to it, what I want is that developers who support XML-RPC can say they do and not have that be a confusing thing. I'd like to be able to say when I give my farewell speech that I played a role in bringing XML-RPC to the Internet and have it mean something. I don't think we could possibly hurt Sun in any way that would matter to them. It's the same song, just a little Respect. Find out what it means to me. Someday I'd like to say that Sun also played a role in making XML-RPC work.
One more thing. Let's get clear that you don't have to work at Sun or Microsoft to do something that makes a difference.
DaveNet: The real work begins now.
2/27/98: "The Internet is a platform. A platform is made up of tools and runtimes. Internet tools run on all kinds of operating systems, as do the runtimes. The beauty of the net is its simplicity, its ubiquity and its lack of a controlling vendor."
A little vignette for you. When I was part of the Apple family I used to be amazed at how often they'd reorg. First they'd reorg according to geography. Then according to function. Then next time they'd reorganize geographically, followed by function. There was a loop to it. The computer industry does the same thing. First we centralize. Then we decentralize. Then we centralize, and then decentralize. Sun won big in the last round because we were centralizing after a period of decentralization, and they were ready for it. That's why Microsoft was scrambling for a few years, they are big in the decentralized way, with lots of power on the desktop. Now with the dotcom model kaput what are we doing? Decentralizing, of course. Now it's Sun's turn to scramble, to morph into a desktop company. The network is still the computer (cute phrase) but the power is shifting from the big iron in a glass palace to big iron on our desktops.
Deborah Branscum: "I would happily trade all the ideas PR folks have sent me over the years for simple cooperation after I decide to write a story."
Reuters: "Pope John Paul is considering naming Saint Isidore of Seville the patron saint of Internet users and computer programmers, Vatican sources said on Tuesday."
A new callback for Manila sites.
Use Perl has a tutorial on XML-RPC.
I'm now a two-blog guy.
Shouldn't we ask if Amazon has taken a patent out on this before advocating it? It should be a basic interview question for Amazon every time they claim to do something innovative. What price are we paying for your supposed innovation? What black hole will you leave behind?
I've noticed a bunch of editing mistakes on News.Com today. Above they say "parameters" when they mean perimeter. They called NASDAQ a "bulletin board" -- which is weird. Maybe they loosened some screw in their editorial system?
InternetWorld: "By taking the JVM out of IE6 and taunting its opponent with its JUMP initiative, Microsoft signals a continuation of the brutish and mean-spirited confrontation with an equally nasty Sun over Java."
As XML-RPC is getting serious respect among all kinds of developers, it's not surprising that Sun is starting to do their own work in this area, almost three years after XML-RPC started. Here's a page where Sun asks for help designing support for "XML RPC" in Java. Scroll down the page where there's a list, academic style, of previous work done in this area. No mention of XML-RPC and no link. Here's a screen shot.
Now I know I'm not the only one who feels that XML-RPC deserves recognition. How could they have missed it? It's the top item on the W3C prior art page. At this point in the evolution of open distributed computing standards, to omit XML-RPC says more about Sun's fear than it does about the quality of work and broad support of XML-RPC. I sent an email to Sun's comments mailbox asking that they include a link to XML-RPC.
Sun's claim, yesterday that they've been doing what SOAP does since the 1980s may be true, but they must have forgotten somewhere along the way. Sun's RMI is a totally closed box. No way to unplug from Sun's control. Of course Sun doesn't want to talk about this, and few if any of the reporters noticed. Markoff did, I sent him an email thanking him. He could have made a stronger statement. Maybe he or someone else will. "Sun Reverses Long-standing Closed-Box for Java." Or if it were the NY Daily News, the headline might have said this.
Weather report: Windy and cooler, high in the 50s.
I've been following the travails of Evan Williams in his dark basement office, and the story just keeps getting stranger and more interesting by the minute. Murphy is on his tail. On Thursday night he broke a friend's nose, by accident of course. If his website were a novel I'd be waiting with bated breath for the next chapter. Incredible story.
Doc: "If it weren't for the love, we wouldn't be here."
John Markoff: "While each company preaches commitment to so-called open computing standards, all the approaches have essentially proved to be calculated efforts to guide customers toward proprietary software development platforms that would give the company a competitive advantage." Right on.
A new look for My Handsome Radio Blog.
Apache Toolbox has a lot of Apache bits integrated making it easier to get a full-featured Apache server running. Good idea!
I just found out about GreyMatter. Interesting!
Damn, as if we didn't have enough to worry about, now someone could hijack the whole damned planet. A great plot for a new Bond movie, eh?
I wish I had thought to grab this domain.
Great stuff from the new dotnet discussion group..
Ted Shelton: "Microsoft needed a modern application architecture."
Loren Lovhaug: "Like everyone else I know who is playing with this stuff I am both loving it and swearing at it all the time."
Josh Allen: "Asking questions that don't have any right answer is a traditional part of the interview process at Microsoft."
My opinion: SOAP celebrates diversity. CLR wants to be the universal scripting environment. CLR and its tools will define what it means to be a Microsoft developer. Sun has the same philosophy. Both want to capture, hold and define developers. The Internet offered us freedom. I'd rather be an Internet developer.
BTW, the open source community, to the extent that it exists and can speak for itself and have strategies, has a huge opportunity to embrace diversity.
But the open source philosophy has been even less tolerant than Microsoft and Sun. Either you bathe in their bathtub with the plug in, or you're the devil. It's a highly moral thing.
At least Sun and Microsoft have the modesty or good sense to not make it that religious, although at times Sun does go pretty overboard, hey Microsoft does too. Ask Eric Raymond if you don't believe me.
Thinking out loud here (always). I'd like to put SOAP interface under Apache. I spoke with Brian Behlendorf about this at a party in December in Menlo Park. Both Radio and Apache support SOAP. It should be possible to add onto both server environments without adopting either's extensibility technology. Just SOAP and XML-RPC should be all that's required. It seems that Eric Kidd's XML-RPC-in-C group could take a leadership position here. Define a CGI interface that just depends on XML-RPC. Wouldn't that be cool? We share plug-ins. Hah. I love it.
This is a little-guy strategy. I love XML because everyone seems to agree on it and it forces open the doors. That makes it safe to be a little one. Which is how I like to be, I'd never fit in at a big company or in a big open source project. I do integrated user-interface-oriented software, not much room for compromise. I'm one of the last of a dying breed. I don't think there are too many at Microsoft, and the open source community doesn't attract too many. I work on the the kinds of stuff that Tog writes about. The Qube designers are my heroes. Just a handful of people do what I do, or so it seems. I'd like to revitalize this art, so what we learned in the 80s isn't forgotten forever. There *was* a time when independent developers were celebrated, but not today. Unless you've raised $50 million it's hard to get the press to believe.
Final note in this thread. If you didn't read yesterday's DaveNet, please do. The bathtub-plug metaphor is really working. See SOAP for what it is, a technology that undermines all kinds of lock-in.
Most open source developers are cool people. And if I want to avoid flames I should never even mention the term.
It's funny, many reporters feel the same way. Don't write about me. Mac people too. I should make a list of all the things I'm not supposed to have an opinion about and put that up on my website. Then of course I would be writing about those things, so I'd get flamed for that too.
The only way to write for the Web is to not take all this too seriously. In a few years we'll all be dead. The universe will go on. It's even worse. California is running out of energy. The rain forests are being destroyed. Patents are destroying intellectual freedom. Dubya is president of the United States. AIDS, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, earthquakes and hurricanes. What are you going to do about it?
Do your part to make the world a better, happier more fun place, and I'll do the same.
Let me know if you have a SOAP project that you'd like put into the soapware.org domain.
I'd love it if it became something of an organizer for an independent SOAP development community.
Hey for that matter, let me know if you'd like an xml-rpc.com domain. We could open up free hosting there too.
The cool thing about these sites is that they have SOAP and XML-RPC interfaces.
That's something even SourceForge doesn't have, yet.
Boston Globe: "Another 'blogging center is Userland.Com, a technology and publishing company 'focused on the Web as a writing environment and a medium of high-integrity journalism.' UserLand is similar in many respects to Blogger: It's a quirky collection of tools, advice, and experimentation. This visitor felt as if he stumbled into the back door to a slightly disorganized laboratory crammed with projects: ambitious, half-baked, and abstruse. Kind of like the weblogs themselves."
It's true of course, our home page is terribly out of date. We focus on the experiments, and forget to pop up to the top level when they become commercial, before responding to the next opportunity or emergency. But what about the Boston Globe? It's quirky and sloppy too (look at the layout on that article). I got the link from Evan, but his link didn't work, so I used their search engine, which found it, but it's today's article, so why did the link go bad? In other words Weblogs and the Web are quirky. And as the unnamed author (another quirk!) says in his closer, may they always be so. Remember..
"It's even worse than it appears."
What is .NET? I'm interested in getting your opinions. The more interesting ones of course will be linked to from Scripting News so you'll get some exposure for your ideas. It's OK to post if you only know *part* of what .NET is. It's also OK to be self-serving, to say how your work relates to .NET, or say what you don't like about it. But if you make sweeping claims about good and evil, don't expect anyone to care. Thanks. (We're learning.)
A DaveNet piece with the same title.
T. Scott Lewis offers a credible explanation, from a user's point of view, of what .NET is.
Scoble: "Focus on the .NET Common Language Runtime."
Glenn Fleishman paraphrasing Douglas Adams: "You're so happy when you get the damn thing to work, you ignore that it's a terribly useless thing to begin with."
Tog says the Apple Dock Sucks.
Wild Tofu: Mac OS X Server Preview.
Kevin Drennan: "I jumped around so much the dog thought we were going for another walk." Ain't that cool. A universal truth. Dogs are always up for a walk. Ever meet a dog who didn't want to go for a walk?
BBC: Hackers Steal Davos Data.
A new design at NetDyslexia. I like it!
Simon Evans: "I've decided to set The Flounder on a new mission: To record any old rubbish that passes through my brain. That's what's it's been all along but now there will be more focus and less discrimination." That's my mission too.
I never understood what this supposed joke was about.
Dennis Peterson: The Anti-Patent.
Do you watch The Simpsons? I used to before I turned off my TV. (It's still off.) Even Maggie, the baby who everyone forgets, has another baby who she hates. There's this great scene where Bart points this out. The other baby is realllly ugly.
From the We Don't Need No War Department. News.Com reports that Sun will announce its Web Services initiative and will explain how Java can be used to create Web Services. All he has to do is point to XML-RPC and SOAP. He doesn't have to trash Microsoft and Bill Gates. (He will anyway, of course.) It's so obvious, all you have to do is ask a Java developer. Can you do Web Services with Java? Sure, now what's next?
I had a meeting a few weeks ago with a developer. (No names.) He kept talking about another developer. "We're going to beat him," he said in different ways. After a few times through this loop, I asked "Why set your sights on one person?" He looked at me puzzled, as if this was a strange question, as if everyone was aimed at defeating this person. I said I wasn't. I also said that of the 9 billion people on the planet he was probably the only person focused on defeating this person. (I stand by that assessment.) It's strange that people pair off this way. So Microsoft has Sun and Sun has Microsoft. They hate each other. It seems silly to me. Why? I don't hate either of them. I imagine that the vast majority of the people on the planet couldn't care less if Bill Gates hates Scott McNealy or vice versa. What do you think? Why doesn't John Markoff do a think-piece about this or Mary Jo Foley.
Ever notice that press people don't like to be written about? Every time I mention one I either get a half-flame or ignored. Never does a reporter (except Paul Andrews) confirm what we all must really know. (?) They're doing the same thing that Bill and Scott are.
I called the Microsoft PR guy on Friday, and got an idea that he thinks flaming Sun is what's expected of him. I asked him to visualize victory. Oh of course then they'd act graciously. So I said the worst possible thing to him (which I'd say to McNealy too) --> You won.
He also said that the press hasn't got a clue what Dot-Net is. I wondered then and wonder now if this somehow shouldn't be on the front-burner, instead of the mutual hatred between Microsoft and Sun.
Weather report: Sunny, high in the 70s, light breeze.
What they don't say: The air smells like perfume.
Resolved: I will spend at least one hour basking today.
How the warm weather makes my body feel.
This is a programming weekend, but before programming I went for a sunrise drive in the hills on the western edge of Silicon Valley. It's early February and spring is already arriving. The New Yorker in me still can't believe it. How can the air be so soft and full of new fragrances while winter is in full swing in so many other places. I was struck by one thought. If I was a tourist this morning I would be thinking "Wouldn't it be great to live here?" I always want to go somewhere else, to the perfect place, but this morning the thought sunk in -- I'm already there.
Paul Andrews keeps writing great essays.
We got themes working in our Blogging on the Desktop software. It's a mini-version of Themes in Manila. With two mouse-clicks I was able to transform my Handsome Radio Blog into a rough clone of Jake's Brainpan. Now I can say I'm just like Jake! Coooool.
I read a lot of Blogger sites in the last few days to see the reaction to Evan's post. People seem to be taking it in stride. That's what I like about people. They don't really care who's keeping the servers running. I also read stories by various people who used to work at Pyra. Different perspectives. I liked the one written by the Onfocus guy. He explains how they worked internally at Pyra. Nice story.
The work on RSS 0.92 continues. Today there's a new
Last night, talking with Jake about XML formats for Weblogs on the desktop, we made a decision that feels so right I want to talk about it here. Over the years we've invented lots of one-off XML formats, for user lists, channel lists, etc. Then we invented OPML to make lists easier to manage. But there's another kind of data we generate lots of, arrays of structs or structs that contain arrays, and various combinations therein. Look around our content universe you'll see these everywhere. Now, when I did the Global Shortcuts feature a long time ago, I had an idea that's worth revisiting, imho. Using the XML-RPC object serialization format to share array-structs. Here's the XMLization of the Global Glossary. Look familiar? The advantage of using the XML-RPC format is its ubiquity. Any data we share in this format is immediately accessible in Perl, Java, Python, Tcl, C, you name it. And these happen to be the languages that are used by other content management systems. Yes, it worked, we erased the walls, now it doesn't matter what scripting language you use, we can use Frontier, even though a relatively small number of people do, but our work can be integrated with systems written in more popular languages and environments. Yaha.
Here's a sample script that reads the Global Shortcuts file into user.html.glossary.
UserLand's SOAP 1.1 Validator. This approach worked really well for finding incompatibilities in XML-RPC implementations. Let's find out if we work together!
Craig Burton has a fantastic whitepaper on calculus and Internet protocols linked into his weblog.
I did a lot of work on the RSS 0.92 spec this evening.
This evening I got a heavy-duty email from Microsoft PR about Sun's announcements coming on Monday (which I didn't even know about) in Web Services. I've asked for permission to post the email. Also had a long phone call with the PR guy, suggesting they take a more statesman-like approach. All the guns are blazing and they name names. Like I said, it's heavy-duty stuff. Which is weird because I think SOAP is already over the top. Oy.
Now seems as good a time as any to point to a piece I wrote a couple of weeks ago entitled Desktop Websites. Use Apache if you want, or Microsoft's personal Web server, or Apple's but put it on the desktop. Erase the scaling wall, give the users unprecedented performance, without sacrificing the convenience of working in a Web browser, even from remote locations.
Prediction. Look for users sneaking DSL lines into offices much as they snuck in Apple IIs in the early 80s. From there it's a simple matter of setting up departmental LANs that are fully part of the Internet, unencumbered by system managers and firewalls. I'm not going to make them do it, so don't get mad at me, they'll do it all on their own. It's such a replay of the early 80s. The B2B and infrastructure companies and Microsoft are trying to work within the system, in the meantime networking technology is becoming easy as the Apple II made computing easy. Bigole wheel keep on turnin.
BTW, our policy at UserLand is to respect firewalls and not try to in any way circumvent them. This has been our policy since the issue first came up when we started doing XML-RPC in 1998.
On Tuesday I met a guy who works for David Stutz at Microsoft, I don't remember his name, but he's British and reads Scripting News. He said he thought I was a little guy and was surprised to see that I'm not. At 6-2 and 230 pounds I'm definitely on the bigger side. I don't do well on full cross-country flights in coach. I like to fly First or Business Class whenever possible. But I'm not so tall that I have to duck going through a doorway. I wanted to play football in high school but my school didn't have a team.
I had an opposite experience meeting Zeldman for the first time in New Orleans. I thought he was a big fat guy. He's not. He's short and robust and has lots of color in his face. All the pictures on his site create an image of a big big guy. My British friend at Microsoft says it's like radio. You develop an image of the person behind the mike, and it's hard to shake it.
Talking with Robert Scoble this morning, a natural born salesman. He asked if I knew the salesman's favorite word. I didn't then, but I do now. He said it's "No." At first it confused me (I thought it would be Yes) but I quickly figured it out, and it made me laugh. I think I'm learning.
Reminder: Ken Dow is doing Manila training in San Jose at the end of the month. It's a good deal.
I also have to add a couple of sections to my RSS 0.92 spec. The "bionic" RSS files we're producing do not conform to the 0.91 spec because the
Lance summarizes Davos 2001. "It's not a pretty picture."
Zeldman: "I am going to shave."
DaveNet: John Doerr on a bicycle. "Centralized servers no longer have a viable business model. That's good, because while our centralized servers huff and puff, the performance monitor on the PCs we use to browse and write for the Web stay flat, and so do the brains of most people using the Web. The users are getting bored, that's why our growth is flat too."
Christian Langreiter has validated XML-RPC client-server for K.
An early draft of the RSS 0.92 spec.
Perl.Com: Quick Start with SOAP.
XML.Com has an excellent Q&A about entities.
Brent documented the new xml.rss verbs in Frontier 7. These verbs are the core of My.UserLand, so now it's easy to build your own RSS-based aggregator with Frontier.
A fantastic essay by Evan Williams about recent events at Pyra. "It really breaks my heart to see the group of awesome people that I was so damn proud of having assembled break apart, feeling beaten and with dreams unrealized."
Comments about ZDNet, News.Com and other press outlets, and Blogger were deleted here. I got an email that pointed out an error in fact which undermined the opinion. I wish the very best to Evan and the other Pyra people.
A patent was issued and your very thoughts are now someone else's property. Never mind that all this was done in the 60s, 70s, and 80s. Our government thinks going to court is the way to go. Patents. Yuckers.
I'm listening to Paul Simon's latest CD, a gift from John Doerr of Kleiner-Perkins. Simon is almost 60. His voice is the same. The themes are older-man themes. Do I like it? I like "Gettin Old" -- God is old, we're not old, he made the mold. Yeah.
To my European friends, watch out for these guys. Don't criticize. Or you'll be lookin for a new ISP with no time to waste.
© Copyright 1997-2006 Dave Winer.