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Permanent link to archive for Sunday, March 18, 2001. Sunday, March 18, 2001

The Standard: "Microsoft will offer a free suite of end-user Web services that it believes will draw a global Internet membership numbering as many as 100 million within a year. The prospect of this massive audience not mere passive Web surfers but users of services, and not only consumers but also corporate users will be the bait to draw developers and Web site operators to the platform."

Sites covering HailStorm: Sheridan, Scobleizer, Dananderson, DotNetWire. And don't forget to reload Scoble's most excellent Hailstorm directory. And sing along with Jackson Browne..

Tonight's song: Lawyers In Love. "Among the human beings in their designer jeans, am I the only one who hears the screams, and the strangled cries, of lawyers in love."

Everything but HailStorm Permanent link to 'Everything but HailStorm' in archives.

DaveNet: Just a potpourri.

What is Pepper?

Bob Lyons: Turing Machine Markup Language.

Looking forward to Tues, speaking at the Buzz 2001 conf in SF. The purpose of the conference is to whip PR people into shape and teach them how to pitch to the professional journalists. My job is to tell them to find better products to pitch, make their own news flow, and help the journalists earn their paychecks.

Introducing Keith Ballinger, a program manager on Microsoft's .NET team. I asked him to start a Manila site to get the ball rolling on new interop stuff we can do, and thanks to Keith for comin out to play. Brent and I spent a lot of time talking with Keith on Thurs evening after the festivities broke up. We found a big disconnect. He's a "schema head" and I'm a "rpc head." He says we look at the world differently, but when I read what he said a schema head is, I found myself nodding my head. Go figure. Here's how I look at it. I write software in scripting systems. The software runs websites. Inside my apps I make procedure calls. To me it's most logical if I use the same idea to connect up processes running on different machines. Sometimes it gets so transparent I forget they're running on different machines.

For tomorrow's release. "Radio UserLand is at the sweet spot of the next generation of the Internet, bringing together XML-based web services, a decentralized approach to computing and the power of software," said Charles Fitzgerald, director of business strategy in the platform strategy group at Microsoft. "This next generation of the Internet promises more control for end users and renewed opportunity for developers." Nice!

Bookmark this for tomorrow. Robert Scoble is doing a directory of all the sites that are covering Hailstorm. If your site is, don't be bashful let Robert know so he can link it in.

The Almanac profiled Doug Engelbart in February.

Simon Fell started a WSDL issues site.

Survey: Does your company or the organization you work for have one or more weblogs for internal use?

Dan Gillmor got an email from Yossi Vardi of AOL pointing to a site where they document the API for ICQ. This is quite interesting. They have a long license agreement, so it's not exactly an open spec. I posted the agreement here so it's easy to read (on their page it appears in a tiny scrolling text box). I'm curious to know if their API is XML-based and if it is implemented in SOAP and/or XML-RPC.

I submitted the ICQ note to SlashDot, and it was accepted.

Jakob Nielsen: Stationary Mobility.

Sam DeVore's wheels are starting to turn around OPML. He wants to know how to get Manila to cough up the OPML rendering of a bit of content (otherwise known as a DG message). I showed him how I remember this difficult to remember way-of-working.

An early morning ramble on programming, users, arrogance and academia. "To me there's nothing more inspiring than a user who decides to learn how the machine works. The most powerful programmers are the ones who came to the computer with a problem to solve. The least powerful are the ones with something to prove, about themselves or the unique rightness of their way of thinking."

Oliver Wrede, amazingly, is on the same wavelength this morning. He's provided a philosophical backgrounder for Radio and Frontier newbies. Thank you so much Oliver!!

I started a new directory folder on UserLand.Com for press releases and stories specifically about UserLand. I expect this folder will get more full over the next few months. Please use the Suggest-A-Link feature if you find an article that's not linked in here.

New feature. You can subscribe to Paul Andrews via email. The emails are HTML-only, and reflect the contents of Paul's home page at 10PM every night. If it hasn't changed, no email goes out. It's an XML-RPC app, of course, that's how it gets the contents of Paul's home page, no screen scraping, and Paul's site is on a different machine from the email sender app.

I then realized it's even worse than it appears. The machine that runs the mail sender doesn't actually send the mail. It XML-RPC's the message body and the list of recipients to a third machine which specializes in batch mail sending. All our machines route through that app to get onto the SMTP network. Behind our firewall it's all XML-RPC. This makes it easy to reconfigure mail sending, and there's a single exit point for logging email that flows out of our cloud.

Reminder to self. Sometime in the next week gather all the docs for our XML-RPC-based Prefs distribution system publicly. Write a backgrounder that says, clearly, not to trust the system with information you don't want others to see. I know many users don't want to hear this, but they have to. If you want information to remain private, you must not enter it onto your computer. I'm always relearning this lesson, no matter how fastidious and careful you are, eventually information you want to be private will leak out. Assume it can happen and prepare for the worst.

There is no written code of ethics in software, but if there were, this would be a required disclosure to users, that there really is no way to guarantee privacy. This is a more important issue than it might first appear. Remember the story about IBM and Hitler. It can happen here.

     

Last update: Sunday, March 18, 2001 at 10:28 PM Eastern.

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