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Permanent link to archive for Thursday, February 08, 2001. Thursday, February 08, 2001

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!

I just heard from Simon Fell that it was his 4s4c that passed the test. Then at 2PM SOAP::Lite passed the test. So now we interop with two implementations. Excellent.

Red Herring: The seven deadly signs of job cuts.

If you don't like pictures of people with stitched heads don't click here. And Brent is writing poetry again. Coool!

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.


Last update: Thursday, February 08, 2001 at 9:07 PM Eastern.

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