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Permanent link to archive for Sunday, February 11, 2001. Sunday, February 11, 2001

Joshua Allen: Making a Semantic Web.

OpenCola has published a technology overview. I posted comments and questions on the Decentralization list.

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

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.

IBM and the Nazis Permanent link to 'IBM and the Nazis' in archives.

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.


Last update: Sunday, February 11, 2001 at 6:44 PM Eastern.

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