Top > Dave's World > Weblog Archive > 2001 > February > 26Previous/Next

Scripting News, the weblog started in 1997 that bootstrapped the blogging revolution.
Permanent link to archive for Monday, February 26, 2001. Monday, February 26, 2001

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.

Matt Goyer is the founder of FairTunes and he's got a weblog. Nice!

Red Herring: Khosla and the optical revolution. (Part 3)

Apple patent on "multiple theme engine graphical user interface architecture."

ZDNet: Why 90 percent of XML standards will fail.

Doc Searls: "For every traction there is an equal and opposite retraction."

Miami Herald: Review of ballots confirms Bush win.

Captain Cursor has a Flash-based Eliza-bot. Screen shot.

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.


Last update: Monday, February 26, 2001 at 11:01 PM Eastern.

Dave Winer Mailto icon

Click here to view the OPML version of Scripting News.

Morning Coffee Notes, an occasional podcast by Scripting News Editor, Dave Winer.

February 2001
Jan   Mar

Click here to see an XML representation of the content of this weblog.


© Copyright 1997-2005 Dave Winer. The picture at the top of the page may change from time to time. Previous graphics are archived.