DaveNet: Back from Europe.
Part two of JD Lasica's overview of weblogs in OJR. "It can be a very scary moment when you take a stand on something and you don't know if your argument holds together and you hit the send button and it's out there and you can't take it back. That's a moment that professional journalists may never experience in their careers, the feeling that it's just me, exposed to the world. That's a pretty powerful rush, the power to publish as an individual."
Hey the W3C has a My.UserLand channel. Nice!
Scoble: "The only way to keep a forum useful is to kick 10% of the people out of it."
Disclaimer: "Portions of this meal were created using Brent's Potato Salad Recipe."
Apache SOAP 2.2 has been released. I believe this is the version we did the interop testing against.
Early Wednesday morning (in California) I posted a proposed roadmap to sort out the confusion in RSS. Key points. The term RSS will only apply to 0.91 and 0.90, that (at least) two forks emanate from there, one containing the changes in 0.92, and the other for the continuation of the philosophy of the RDF group. Both forks choose new names.
I asked the members of the reallySimpleSyndication mail list to express their approval or disapproval of the roadmap.
The RSS-DEV list is running a similar poll.
Finally, here's the poll as a UserLand.Com survey.
A personal note, one way or the other, this will be my exit point as the defacto leader of the "simple" branch. I feel the urgency to move beyond the politics, the market is starting to shape up in new ways, and I want to be part of that, not mired in a struggle over what RSS is. However, I didn't want to exit without at least proposing a plan for forward motion.
Now back to our regularly scheduled program (ie light stuff for the mind). When I came out with xmlStorageSystem in early April, I cringed when I realized (too late) that its acronym is XSS. SS was the name of the Nazi secret police. Then just a few days ago I realized I had been promoting a format that had the same initials. And it's even worse than it appears.
NY Times: "It was like a story being reported by locusts," Mr. Cadenhead said of the diligence of the Scooby Doos. "They swept in and just pulled facts out of the air."
I was glad to see Saundra Mitchell get credit for breaking the story. Next time you see someone at the center of an Internet shitstorm think of this story and how Saundra was right.
Brent: "The software industry is sick in bed with the flu, a thermometer sticking out of its mouth, its pillow cold with sweat, an untouched glass of flat ginger ale on the nightstand."
It's so true. The growth of the software industry should track the growth in the curve represented by Moore's Law. That we're in such poor shape is testimony to the poor leadership in this industry, and imho, to the constant Boy Kills Boy theme in the press. It's a depressing story. It leads to depression in the industry.
Frankly my dear I'm still on European time.
The first morning in Copenhagen I went for the buffet breakfast, pickled herring, all kinds of meats, not the usual US breakfast fare. Now get this, when I was a kid, my father used to eat this kind of stuff for breakfast. I used say "Dad. Why don't you eat normal food, like Cheerios or pancakes or whatever." I thought my father was a weird guy, but it turns out he was just European. By the way, to prove the point that parents get smarter as you get older, I actually liked the stuff.
Everything in Denmark is beautifully designed. You notice this on arrival. The airport is stunningly beautiful. And on the plane from Copenhagen to Amsterdam there was a surprise in the airplane lavatory, a good one. It was double-size, with beautiful Danish wood surfaces, and there were three windows, so you could watch Scandanavia at 35,000 feet while doing the deed.
When I speak I like to get a discussion going, but I was warned about this by one of my Danish hosts before I gave my presentation. "Denmark is a flat country," I was told. This means people in Denmark don't like to talk. Later I learned this is true of much of Europe. Does this mean they're not smart? I don't know. How can you tell if they don't talk? But the people putting on the show, Thomas, Nanna and Michael, were, like so many of the people I meet when I travel, off-the-scale smart, enthusiastic and happy to share their point of view.
Pictures from last Thursday in Copenhagen.
ABC News: Beautiful Cancer Victim a Hoax.
Brent Ashley: "I'm not likely to convince my clients that they should open-source their heavily invested competitive vertical market solution in order to take advantage of the defacto reference implementation of this technology because it's covered by the GPL."
Brent is right. Too many people are trying to control us, and they're being pretty open about it. Things were a lot simpler when there was commercial software, shareware and sample source. But Microsoft's subscription model is just as unsupportable as the GPL (see Dan Gillmor's piece, below). Both are plans to lock the rest of us in.
Jake: "I can barely believe how difficult it is to design complex user interfaces in DHTML. Simple stuff is -- well, simple -- but complex things (even if they conform to common user interface standards) seem to just suck the life out of you."
Sjoerd: "The good part is: you don't have to do complex things. The web has a new simple interface standard. 3 user actions: scroll, click and type. And one feedback option: content replacement. That's the interface your grandmother understands. She doesn't understand drag-n-drop or overlapping windows. And this simple interface standard is very easy to do with DHTML."
NY Times: US Venture Capital Sees Treasure in Europe.
David Coursey: Why Office XP could be your last big MS upgrade.
Dan Gillmor: Microsoft's dominance may just be beginning.
I had a dream last night that UserLand had been acquired by Microsoft, but the deal hadn't been announced yet. I was in the middle of a big open office space, doing development with lots of smart people floating in and out. I was using my new software (codename Smurf Turf) in a new way, the result of joining it with some competent sexy unannounced Microsoft software. I kept thinking about how this was weird, and I'd have some explaining to do, but then think about all the people who would be using my software and that appeared to balance things, but I still felt uncertain. Then I programmed a little music player page, and clicked a button and all of a sudden beautiful music came out of the speakers for everyone to hear and they all started dancing a smart competent dance. As I turned the knobs on the control panel a smart competent Microsoft person showed up and I said "Hey this is cool, can people record this music?" The Microsoft person rubbed the back of my neck in a respectful and understanding way and said "No" and walked away. I woke up. "Just a dream!" Whew.
Looks like Tony Blair had a similar dream.
Netdyslexia may be kaput, but BlackHoleBrain is still finding new applications for Al Gore.
Yes honey I'm still on European time.
Jon Udell: "Blogging as a form of mainstream Web entertainment, with its star performers and its popularity ratings, may or may not be a passing fad. What will endure, in any case, matters more: a powerful new way to tell stories that refer to, and make sense of, the documents and messages that we create and exchange in our professional lives." Right on.
Edd Dumbill: A Web Less Boring. "Bray extolled SOAP, explaining that its many implementations and widespread deployment were key to its importance."
Here's one way to make the Web less boring.
NetDyslexia says goodbye. An entertaining even inspiring site, in its day.
Adam Curry started a movie trailers channel.
Sacramento Bee: "The bad news at Ed Ring's Internet start-up company is that revenues are barely $1,000 a month. The good news? That just about covers expenses."
Zeldman: "I wrote this book for print designers whose clients want websites, art directors who’d like to move into full-time interactive design, homepage creators who are ready to turn pro, and professionals who seek to deepen their Web skills and understanding."
Standard: "Forrester analysts have christened the X Internet. They say it'll be bigger than the Web - but should you believe them this time?"
News.Com: "IBM is set to launch Tuesday its latest offensive in the market for e-business software with more versatile development tools."
What is Novobot?
Looks like they laid off the bloggers at KnowNow?
A wish for Kleiner-Perkins, the backers of KnowNow and many other Internet phenoms of the last few years, that they tune into the Web as a fantastic writing environment, and let's work together to build it out. Even though we've been at odds over the years, I consider them friends. My door is always open. Let's talk. There's a lot of work to do.
A little pushback from Jacob Levy to which I say: "I don't need them!! I can't tell you more about this, but John Doerr is a friend of mine. And you bet there's money to be made in the Web as a writing environment. Remember word processors."
BTW, as part of an introduction for KP, I did a Manila rendition of their website. One of the first things I'd do to help ease them into the Web as a fantastic writing environment is make it so they can update their site easily, without having to get the designers in the loop for every little change. At least the partners' admins should be able to make changes, but knowing some of the partners, and their enthusiasm for technology, they'd probably want to update their personal pages themselves using a browser.
BTW, you'll notice that I use exclamation points more in the future! I just finished reading a wonderful Kurt Vonnegut novel, that somehow I had missed. He uses exclams more frequently than I do. I'm going to give his method a try!
Wow a year ago today I was back in California after a trip to Europe. "My fingers are so rusty."
One word description for California: bucolic.
One word description for the world: small.
One word description for plane travel: miraculous.
In ten hours, just enough time to make your butt itch, you can travel over the top of the world from London to San Francisco and form an instant comparison. California is paradise. Not saying Europe isn't great, but it ain't California. Nine times out of ten I'm glad to be home.
Final notes from Europe. My trip is over too soon, tomorrow morning early I'm flying back to California. I want to send my thanks to the people from Reboot for making the trip so interesting and stimulating. Yesterday and today I did more marathon brainstorms with Adam Curry, and met Oliver Wrede, Kishore and Sjoerd and talked with Peter, and saw Andre and Andrea, and had great talks with Evan Williams. In Europe, at least the slice I saw, there are smart wonderful people who are filled with ideas and hope for the future. Every time I come to Europe it's so much fun, I want to keep coming back and do more cool stuff with these people. So I'm sad to leave, but I'll be back very soon. Much love to you all. Dave
JD Lasica has a new weblog and is off to a great start.
Mr Ford was at the dinner last night. He's got a class of sixth graders in Amsterdam all using Manila. He's also working with people at Berkeley (in California), I definitely want to find out more about that.
The star of last night's dinner was Christopher, the infant child of Frauke and Scott. Expect lots of pictures with me talking with Chris about the big issues of our day.
There wasn't a camera crew from the Netherlands but a reporter with a video camera from Estonia! Wow. He did lots of video, and interviewed me, Evan and Adam. He knew everything about everything. Maybe my next Europe trip will be to the Baltic states? (I want to go back to Copenhagen too.)
A year ago today I was in London.
Wes has a magnetic personality.
Good morning Broodjes Fans.
I already had two broodjes, one herring, one salmon salad. Who knows maybe I'll have some more. My hotel is in a strange place in relation to Dam Square. Where am I? I've been so out of touch with the big picture, it's really nice. Yesterday a bunch of us went out for Italian food and then to a local coffee shop, stayed up till 3AM, and learned that there had been a small political revolution back home.
NY Times: "Democrats learned just Thursday they will take control of the Senate for the first time since 1995."
Evan Williams: "Perhaps it's a good thing I'm in Europe, or I may have exploded by now."
JD Lasica: Blogging as a form of journalism. "I spoke this month with six journalists or writers who publish Weblogs and asked for their take on the phenomenon and its significance for journalism."
The Reboot folks have the video from the conference, including my presentation.
Doing a demo for Adam at his house on Keizersgracht.
And now we're off to the Scripting News dinner. Seeya soooon!
Great dinner, great talks, so many smart people, see y'all tomorrow (it's after midnight in Amsterdam).
Welcome to the third installment of Scripting News from Amsterdam. It's mid-afternoon in Europe, the weather is great, I'm relaxed and well-traveled, not well-rested (that's good) and my feet are ready for retirement.
And guess what, it's Douglas Adams Day worldwide.
Looks like the dinner tomorrow is at 6:30PM at Sluizer at Utrechtsestraat 43.
We had a great party yesterday in Copenhagen, a group of us, speakers and the people who ran the Reboot show, went swimming, hot tubbing and sauna'ing, then we went to Christiana, an outlaw community in the middle of Copenhagen, and we bonded so nicely. Rushkoff is a real smart guy, so is Justin Hall, and Evan Williams and I had some interesting talks, but more interesting was the synergy that the Reboot people saw between us. I want to talk some more with Evan, and of course I'll get a chance to do that. At one point I said to Evan, let's find new ways to link the communities, and he reminded me that we're doing that tomorrow night. Doh. This is cool!
There will be lots of interesting pictures but it's going to take a while to get them all online due to slow net connections, train travel, and outages. It's been an interesting week but with really sporadic net access. I have a dialup line now, but it may get better soon because they have 802.11b at Jamby and I'm a half-block from them.
I was interviewed five times in Copenhagen, and there (apparently) is going to be a Dutch TV crew at the party tomorrow.
Australian IT: "Blogging is an unfortunate word. It sounds like some worthy, rather dull activity, yet keeping a weblog, at its best, is nimble and quick-witted, hard to capture in old media prose."
Here's me in Copenhagen, after a few beers hangin out with Guan Yang, a Danish Radio user. This stuff is quite international. I asked him to put the pic on the Web and he sure did. Nice.
Frontier now has a directory.
Dan Hartung started Kaycee mail list.
It's hard to follow this story from Europe. Looks like they're doing a good job on the mail list.
I think my speech went well. There are 1500 people here, almost all from Denmark. The Danes are very friendly, seem quite positive about the Web. The weather here is fantastic.
"You should move to Copenhagen, Dave," says Nanna. "You belong here."
Douglas Rushkoff, famous author, says "You're working it Dave, an abbreviated courtship schedule."
Last night I dreamt about my refrigerator.
I speak in about an hour.
Evan Williams "We all need a beer for breakfast."
"I'm not responsible," says Dave.
Amazingly it's still Tuesday back in California, but it's Wednesday and things are rockin in Copenhagen.
MSNBC: A painful affair of the Internet heart. "There was a worldwide groan May 14 when Kaycee’s passing was announced, followed by an online wake. Only one problem: There was no Kaycee Nicole."
Good morning sports fans!
Today's my travel day. Flight leaves at 4:30PM Pacific which is 1:30AM in Copenhagen. I'm procrastinating on packing. Answering emails, doing support work. What's on the agenda? Wasting time!
JY Stervinou says "Don't forget to take off your shoes in the plane! ;->"
News.Com: "Apple Computer has started installing the new Mac OS X operating system on all of its new computers, CEO Steve Jobs told developers at a conference here Monday."
Re the dinner in Amsterdam this Saturday -- it looks like there will be upwards of 50 people coming from different parts of Europe. Fantastic! What a trip it's going to be. But it's proving difficult to find a restaurant that can accomodate this many people. So I'm leaving it to Adam Curry, our gracious host, to figure out what's best to do. I'll arrive in Amsterdam Friday morning.
Matt Haughey on the Kaycee hoax.
I wonder if there's anything to the rivalry between Steve Jobs and Michael Dell. I've seen Jobs take shots at Dell, and thought it was astute, even if it was unlikely to work. Dell took the bait? It helps Apple to be seen in rivalry with Dell. I can't see how it helps Dell.
I heard a lengthy interview with Benjamin Zander on NPR last week. What an interesting man, a Web guy but with music.
Lance is always talking about Zander, now I understand why!
Also last week, Brent explained to me how punk rock was also an instantiation of Web culture. I never understood this. I always thought it was weird that Brent is a punker. He's such a nice person. Now I understand. I hope Brent will write it up while I'm traveling.
Kur5hin: "Possibly the most powerful distributed search engine on the internet is the network of human beings that make it up."
DaveNet: Faking a death online.
A personal note to people who believed Kaycee was a real 19-year-old woman who died of leukemia. It's a good thing to be trusting, to have an open heart and to be generous with your empathy. It's good to have accessible emotions, it's not a sign of weakness, imho it's a sign of strength. I didn't go for it, because intuitively I didn't believe it. Something didn't feel right. That doesn't make me better or worse. People who believed did nothing wrong.
However, if this medium is going to become as great as I think it can, we have to be able to freely probe and question. It's just as important as believing. And people who are hurting, for whatever reason, deserve recognition and tenderness. There's not enough of that in this environment. If this experience can add that, then some good will have come from all the michegas.
I read Garret Vreeland's account of his father's death from leukemia. I believe Garrett, I don't need any proof. I know he's a real human being, the generous, big-hearted kind. That he was hurt by this is no surprise. But Garret, you're still here, I'm still here, and so are many others. There's still a lot to do.
4/21/01: "When she discovered that something scared me, she'd say 'Then that's what we'll do!'"
Skeptics Dictionary: The Sokal Hoax.
Press release: Vivendi acquires MP3.Com.
Grub is an open source distributed crawler.
35 XML-RPC implementations.
My attempt to ease into European time has failed. I thought "Hmm, if I go to sleep at 4PM and wake up at midnight I'll do better when I get to Copenhagen." No such luck. My body didn't feel like sleeping until midnight California time, which is 9AM in Europe. Oy.
I am easing in another way. Instead of using my desktop I'm using my laptop today. This way if I forgot anything I can just copy it. So far I haven't forgotten anything.
Craig Burton: "Things have changed forever."
Dan Gillmor: "We had information which is truthful, which we got legally and is in public interest,'' Felten noted. "And we can't say it."
Wes is coming to California just as I'm leaving. Next week is the WWDC. I'm hopeful that we'll hear some announcements from Apple re SOAP and XML-RPC.
On Metafilter they're talking about things that give you chills. For me it's a Good Humor ice cream truck. Not the ice cream, just the truck. Watching the door open on a hot day, probably when I was still in a baby carriage, is a lasting visceral deep memory of pleasure and magic. I would love to buy one. Got one for sale?
Sidney Markowitz found an ice cream truck for sale on eBay and says I could paint the Good Humor logo on it myself, but that's not the same thing, I'd rather admire a picture. It would be a pisser to drive around town in a real bona fide 1960s-style Good Humor truck.
A new Frontier beta for all platforms, as we head down the last few yards on what has been a long road to Frontier 7.
Stapler is a "tool for Radio UserLand that creates RSS feeds from sources you select, scraped hourly (or every N hours, variable for each source) from HTML web sites."
NY Times: "Nearly all its rivals have vanished or are just limping along, conserving their last drops of cash. And Amazon, with its head start and foresight to raise $2.1 billion, is one of the few dot-coms left that will ever find out whether that that crucial second phase can work."
Washington Post: "For the past year, Apple founder Steve Jobs has been preoccupied with a clandestine warehouse in Cupertino, Calif."
MacCentral: "William Crawford drove down from Santa Cruz, California, to see the Apple Store's unveiling. The reward for his 357-mile trek? Crawford was first in line when the store opened."
Craig Jensen: "I know, I know. I'm on hiatus."
Geeknews: "Several days after posting the interview I was requested by Nullsoft to remove the interview because they had not cleared it with certain public relations people."
Oliver Wrede is writing an article about weblogs in education, looking for experiences from others.
Scott Hanson on the Amsterdam dinner: "Andrea won't be the only girl. Frauke is coming as well, along with Christopher and myself. I don't know how long Christopher wil be staying, since he's just 16 months old. He won't be talking any geek stuff."
Thanks to MacCentral for the link to Manila.
BTW, a heads-up, you'll see us bring the Manila and Radio names into the foreground, with Frontier being the common language, tools and runtime behind the products. Manila is the server, Radio is the desktop. When I chose the Frontier name in 1989 the idea was that Frontier represented raw technology and we didn't know where the towns would be built or what powerlines would look like. Now, twelve years later, that's settled. There are two branches. Manila, which manages central resources; and Radio, which is for people. The towns are called websites. And the powerlines are SOAP, XML-RPC, RSS and OPML.
ThingMachines has a commercial XML-RPC implementation for Java.
The ZopeZen guy changed his mind, he likes XML-RPC now. He likes it because it moves native data types transparently between two Zopes. But there's more -- it does the same thing with Perl, Java, C and Frontier. And you can even mix them. That's where the choice thing comes in.
SandStorm is an "XML-RPC framework for writing middleware modular, distributed web applications."
Xmlhack notes the start of the "OpenRPC" project. It's a fork from XML-RPC, which thankfully, has taken a new name.
A postcard from the beach in Jamaica with my mom and uncle. They look younger than they are. My mom will be 70 next year. Hope I look that good when I'm her age.
Susan Kitchens: "My Dad just called me to tell me of a story in the OC Register that explains the three popping sounds we heard yesterday when stopped at a filling station right near a Jack In The Box in Costa Mesa."
Another question that's come up recently in press interviews..
"Is what you do journalism?" I used to be confused about this, but now I'm not. What I do is journalism, it's Amateur Journalism, and I'm proud of what I do.
The profession, which I don't practice, desperately needs competition. They are subject to such huge pressures. The Geeknews link above illustrates that. Please don't give in to AOL's pressure.
I was recently cc'd on a response by a professional journalist to an article of his that enflamed a politically difficult technology that was showing signs of getting back on track.
He said "Let them duke it out." I wrote back saying that I don't want to fight, I'm tired of fighting, I just want to make software and enjoy my life.
The casting of Craig Mundie's remarks at NYU as "attacks" offended me. The speech he gave was reasonable, however in his second remarks I think he took the bait and went way off-topic.
But if someone says something that you find threatening, is that an attack? I can certainly understand why someone would feel that way. Is it an act of violence? Only to your beliefs. Is it legal? In the US it is, it's one of our most cherished rights, enjoying a prominent place in the Constitution. Our founders felt this was a good reason to fork off a new country. I'm glad they did.
I have to ask why the local professional journalists didn't give us a heads-up on the energy cliff we were driving off? Can we trust them if they let such a crisis build up without telling us it's happening? (To Lance, with all due respect, in California it definitely is a crisis.)
It's nice having the new On This Day In feature, I get to look back easily, and I'm starting to follow the stories of previous years. It's easy to follow the 2000 story (I was in Amsterdam), and the 1998 one is interesting (I was writing from Maine, Frank Sinatra had just died, and the Microsoft antitrust case was just getting started). And here's a link to a DaveNet that I wrote on this day in 1998. It's still a good read, imho.
5/19/98: "Web browsers are not leading edge in 1998. If history is any guide, they are not going to change from this point on, any more than spreadsheets have changed since the first one shipped in 1980. I'll eat my hat if web browsers work substantially differently in ten years."
Smurf Turf started off as a very simple project, and I'm hell-bent to keep it simple, even though it must do all the things Radio does now, and more, and the organization of the code in Radio is not very simple.
We had a creative year in 2000, now organizing all that creativity is a big job. This means creating new basic building blocks. And having centralized functions to manage the disparate data that used to live in myUserLandData.root. It's complicated work, and very slow-going. I'm like a researcher trying to piece together a sequence of historic events. I often have to stop and dive deep into something to find a hard-coded folder path, or an assumption made that is not valid anymore. It's good work to do, because we couldn't have built much further on the foundation that we had. It's also a loop back to some ideas we started exploring in 1997 but didn't pursue as the cross-platform work consumed so much of our bandwidth.
Why do all this work? Because our model is changing to combine centralization with decentralization. Yesterday I talked about the big changes that Microsoft must deal with, I used the word "our" with regard to the challenge, because we face those changes too. Taken as a given: There's less financial support for centralization since the dotcom bust. Microsoft is hell-bent to make centralization pay. That's cool. UserLand is too small to hope to be able to do that, so we go the other way, accept the reality (as we see it) and re-tool accordingly. But still give the users all that they want. That makes it challenging, but that's why software is an interesting art.
We think we see something very valuable that few others do. The desktop computers of 2001 have a lot of untapped power. Couple that with the comfort level that people have with Web browsers, and that leads to a single point, that no one else seems to be aiming at.
All hits all the time!
I started a mail list for the dinner in Amsterdam on May 26.
Hey we got a nice link from the friendly folk at MacMinute.
Things are winding down, I've been doing a programming push for the last month or so on Smurf Turf. It's time to let it rest for a couple of weeks. Europe is calling. Dave is ready to hit the road. How does the song go?
Willie Nelson: On the Road Again. "The life I love is making music with my friends." Right on right on.
Speaking of music with my friends, last month XML Magazine editors Steve Gillmor and Sean Gallagher interviewed some of the people involved in the SOAP 1.1 interop, including Jake and myself. It's a good roundtable. I didn't want to talk so much, but well, hmmm, you know. OK.
I always get asked by reporters "Has Microsoft Changed?" and I always say "wrong question." The world is changing faster, and the bigger challenge is to understand that change. No 45,000-person organization changes very quickly or without pain. They ask what's it like to work with Microsoft? To that, please read the interview linked above.
You'll see the tension and differences between us and Microsoft. Why did a platform vendor as large and powerful as Microsoft send a representative to such a roundtable? Is this a change? I don't actually think it is. They've always been pretty open about what they're doing. People just don't believe what they hear.
How does "innovation" happen? You can see that in the roundtable too. Andrew Layman highlights our difference in philosophy. I'm a bootstrapper. I think that's how innovation happens, no matter how some people think it does. Remember the old story -- don't buy anything from MS until version 3.0 -- kind of proves the bootstrap philsophy. No doubt the dev teams at MS working on 1.0s think they're going to hit the target.
And get this, it works that way outside MS too, and I bet in every other artform. Did the first guy to do an impressionist painting hit the mark? Who was it? How about rock and roll? The Beatles and The Stones were the biggies, but were they first? No way.
Now I'm working on my seventh or eighth weblogging system. This time I hope to hit the sweet spot. That's how innovation happens folks. (Now if I want it to sell I'd better get a cute 20-something guy with sideburns to rep it for me. )
So if it takes three tries to get it right, why was Lotus 1.0 such a big hit? Because it was really VisiCalc 3.0. Same with Excel. Innovation crosses company boundaries. This is as it should be. But let's give the credit for innovation where it's due. Each step in the bootstrap process is necessary.
Paul Kulchenko: SOAP Cookbook.
Community: Python 2.0 Quick Reference.
Matt Haughey: "The 280 freeway in the Bay Area is easily the most scenic and beautiful express highway I've ever driven on."
Lance Knobel: "What puzzles me, however, is how many normally sober news sources have mindlessly adopted Bush's use of the word crisis to describe something that, to my mind, isn't remotely a crisis."
Comment: I wouldn't know this since I don't watch TV. To me it means nothing if the TV networks go along with Bush in calling the energy situation in the US, whatever it is, a crisis. It's been almost six months since I've watched. TV is all lies all the time. You know it, I know it, the CNN reporters know it. Lies. It hurts the soul to be part of a lie. A few months ago I probably wouldn't have felt this way because in some way TV felt real to me. When it started feeling like all of reality that freaked me out and I turned it off.
News.Com: "With sales falling well short of even its worst forecasts and its cash dwindling, Palm faces a number of tough decisions in the coming months."
Press release: "Mac OS X's open source, UNIX-based foundation delivers superior performance, unprecedented stability and powerful Internet features, making it the ideal platform for web development and deployment," said Ron Okamoto, Apple's vice president of Worldwide Developer Relations. "We're delighted that UserLand has brought Manila to Mac OS X, allowing web developers to easily manage and deliver a large volume of dynamic web content." Thanks Ron, Mac OS X is a cool OS. Unix and Mac. Nice.
Evan Williams of Blogger will be in Amsterdam at the same time I am, so I suggested we co-host a joint Evhead-Scripting News dinner, and he went for it. I did this before with Wes in SF and it was great fun.
Craig Mundie: Why open source is still questionable.
I caught Doc inbetween updates. Fascinating!!
Every once in a while a laugh is just what the doctor ordered.
I ran a lightly-edited version of my foreword to O'Reilly's XML-RPC book through DaveNet. I hope people get that XML-RPC is as political as it is technological. If it works, we will all have a lot more choice and the power and freedom that come with that. Power is a word that's used too carelessly with software, and freedom almost never is.
I spoke yesterday with Craig Silverstein, director of technology at Google. It was a friendly talk, and I wish I could say that he accepted my offer to work together to bring the JIT-SE concept to reality. However, I think it's safe to say that our hosted sites will reappear in Google shortly and I thanked him for spending the time talking with me.
Here's the format we were playing with in 1997, for recording changes in a fast-moving website. Note this came before I had the XML religion, I would probably do it now as a super-simple XML format if there were a popular search engine that cared.
Susan Kitchens is doing a Radio Blog and needs some help. There's a way to make browsing on a Mac fast. I forget what it is.
Now you know I love Zeldman, and hopefully he does too, but imho this is an example of not-friendly design. I'm pointing the mouse at a link. A tool-tip says "It's a book." At the bottom of the page, where the URL is supposed to be, is the title of the book. Clicking on a link on Zeldman's blog is jarring, it opens another browser window. I usually don't click on his links. But sometimes I will if the URL leads to an interesting place. But he's obscured that. Thwarted again.
Survey: Agree or disagree?
Mathematical proof that women are evil. "It's a joke."
Online Journalism Review: Blogged Down in the PR Machine.
Dan Gillmor: "I don't envy the job of the PR person. It was hard enough when a distinct group of traditional journalists served as gatekeepers. We don't have that select role anymore. That may be good for everyone in the long run, but it's making life complicated in the meantime."
Dan Fost: "It was in disgrace that Chris Nolan left the San Jose Mercury News in 1999 -- demoted, stripped of her column and publicly ripped by her editors for what they called engaging in an unethical stock trade."
Bloomberg: RIM receives patent on Blackberry.
Elearningpost: Grass roots KM through blogging.
NY Times: A search engine goes beyond Google.
O'Reilly's XML-RPC book is announced.
I wrote the foreword. "XML-RPC turns the Internet itself into a scripting environment, much as Visual Basic turned Windows into a scripting environment, or AppleScript turned the Macintosh OS into one. It makes our worlds come together, makes the bigger world smaller and more approachable. And it's inclusive, no one need be left out of the XML-RPC revolution."
New features for Radio offer integration with the Windows file system browser. If you right-click in the Explorer, you can create a new OPML document, and you can edit text files with the Radio outliner directly from the desktop. Types supported include text and HTML files, Python and Perl scripts, C and C++ source code and header files.
Edge Side Includes is a "simple markup language used to define Web page components for dynamic assembly and delivery of Web applications at the edge of the Internet."
Here's the spec.
It's really funny, I got an urge to call a Seattle radio station and offer some advice for the Mariners. I suggested that they trade for hitting. I took the response on the air, and then realized that since I'm in California I couldn't hear the darned response. I wonder if Brent was listening.
A poignant 2001 moment on the Internet.
Jfleck: My Lunch at Eazel. "He led me next door, to the former Jiffy Lube that had been converted to slick new office space based on what now seems like pathetic optimism that Eazel would be growing, growing."
Register: "Apple may be planning to break into the enterprise server market with a new rack-mount model based on the next major release of Mac OS X Server." We like this because we have a product that makes total sense on a server and it runs on Mac OS X. The Register article goes on to say that Apple may have trouble differentiating their product from other Unixes that can be rack-mounted. If there are any strategic-minded Apple people tuned in, one easy way to differentiate is that Mac OS X is the only Unix that runs Manila.
An interesting thread on the reallySimpleSyndication mail list about HTML markup in RSS item description elements. This is noteworthy because we're getting off the personality issues and doing real work related to the format and how it's being used by different authors. Progress.
Newsfeeds: "The grandfather of all other Linux publications finally syndicates."
Lance comments on "turbo journalism."
I ran a DaveNet piece at around 10PM last night. It's worth a read, esp if you want to make sense of comments here today.
News.Com: "The start-up that was going to make Linux dead easy is dead."
Darin Adler: What's happening with Nautilus? " I'll continue to be the maintainer of Nautilus for the foreseeable future. I have time to devote to GNOME for now and I plan to continue to work to enhance Nautilus."
Today's song: "I'm from New Jersey, I don't expect too much. If the world ended today, I would adjust."
The ManilaSiteConverter Tool provides an easy way to convert your Manila website into a Radio UserLand Weblog. Please, if you run a UserLand-hosted Manila site, and are serious about it, please investigate this new capability. Comments and questions on the Radio mail list. Jake is leading this project at UserLand. We're actively developing Radio as a blogging tool, so now's a good time to check out what we have working, and get ready for new power and performance. It's on the way.
Standard: Japan Set to Reject Amazon Patent.
Register: Apple unveils retail plan.
Survey: Will you be in Amsterdam on May 26th? If so, please come to the Scripting News dinner, location and exact time to be determined. Adam Curry, Marc Canter and myself are already confirmed.
Dave Lustig: "We all are milliseconds from death. It could be lots and lots of milliseconds, but milliseconds nonetheless. In my mind's eye, I picture one of those TV spots when a car crashes into a wall on a testbed. One millisecond, car is perfect. Next millisecond, car is trash."
Robert Schloss: "Death has an interesting way of waking us up to life."
I'm on quite a few mail lists where we discuss protocols and formats. There seems to be a disconnect on many of the lists, and I find myself frequently wanting to post this:
"Most of the people you want to influence aren't on the mail list and quite possibly wouldn't understand what you're saying. There's an understandable illusion that we're at the center of the universe and everyone's waiting to hear the word that comes down from the top of the mountain. Nothing could be further from the truth."
If you're on a technology-related mail list, I encourage you to put this on a Post-It and tack it to the side of your monitor, or even better, tatoo it on your forehead. Especially for stuff that was deployed years ago, the cat is already out of the bag. No point arguing about what cats look like anymore. They are what they are.
Good morning fort spans!
DaveNet: Death and Douglas Adams.
MacEdition: "What better way to kick off a New York Expo than with a Ramones reunion fronted by Dave Winer?" Whuh?
Murphy has paid another visit to Evan Williams. I hope someone's working on his biography.
Here's something to cheer about. The Syndication mail list is producing a FAQ page written for content developers and business people that explains RSS as they see it. It's fascinating to watch them work. If you use RSS and have links to resources, now would be a great time to pitch in.
A new Scripting News feature is ready for your use. Every day we link to "this day" in previous years. This has become kind of a craze on other weblogs. I've been playing with it for a couple of days and it is interesting to see what was going on 1, 2, 3, and 4 years ago.
Mr. Ford's class weblog. "The maths test went reasonably well today and we are now officially one-fifth of the way through - that is 0.2 as a decimal. ;-)"
Kevin Werbach, who writes the influential Release 1.0 newsletter with Esther Dyson is now offering free email updates. I had lunch with Kevin last week, and we've been talking about getting his writing out on the Web for quite some time. It's happening now. I'm going to subscribe and I highly recommend it to everyone who's interested in new trends in technology.
Eric Soroos posted a tutorial on running Frontier alongside Apache on Mac OS X. Look at the screen shots. The user interface is very beautiful.
William Safire: "The column you are reading today is copyrighted by The New York Times until 2096. After that, you can mess with it all you like, unless Congress pops with another unconscionable extension."
BBC: "Timothy Berners-Lee, the British mastermind of the world wide web, has been awarded fellowship of the Royal Society." Thanks to Lance for the pointer. He notes that the website has yet to be updated, perhaps indicating that TBL's vision has yet to be fully implemented.
Doc: "I'm from New Jersey, where a friendly greeting is 'Hey, you stupid fuck. You still drivin' that piece of shit?'" LOL.
The Subscription Models thread continues. I asked Microsoft's Charles Fitzgerald: "Re Microsoft's plan, if I purchase a subscription to a product, when the subscription lapses, can I still use the software? In other words, does the subscription cover updates and fixes, or use of the software?"
He said: "Short answer is it depends as there will be a variety of offerings. Some may be 'standalone' software where the subscription pays for backing services and the software could continue to function in absence of service. Others may be pure service a la your ISP connection.
He continued: "This will become clearer when there are some examples to look at. Our general philosophy on subscriptions is two-fold. Don’t try to charge people for stuff they have today, but instead provide new capabilities. And don’t nickel and dime people on features, but roll a ton of value up into one bucket that is a no-brainer."
Good morning everyone! (And thanks for all the fish.)
YAML is a "straight-forward data serialization language, offering an alternative to XML where markup (named lists and mixed content) are not needed. YAML borrows ideas from C, HTML, Perl, and Python." YAML is being discussed on the SML-DEV mail list, which I've subscribed to. I posted a message congratulating him for having the courage to invent YAML.
Douglas Adams: "I think I disappointed a lot of people with . They must have been expecting this great, profound piece of genius, but I screwed them!"
Adam Curry has been busy in The Netherlands. His daughter's sixth grade class has a Manila server. He sent me a pointer, and I was totally touched by the work these Dutch kids are doing. I asked if it was OK to point to the site, he said it is, so here's the pointer. I look forward to learning more later this month when I visit Amsterdam.
Paul Eliasberg, who is also from Amsterdam, sent me an email this morning. He said "I can't describe how glad I am you've released Frontier for OS X. There are no words to describe my joy, so I won't try to." Nice!
Sally Khudairi has an office to sublet in Boston.
MinML-RPC is a minimal XML-RPC implementation. This is very interesting, but I have some pushback. There is no such thing as "the
Re yesterday's Blinking Linus section, apparently there's a difference between Microsoft's subscription program and UserLand's. I sent an email to Charles Fitzgerald at Microsoft asking for clarification. UserLand's policy is stated on this page. "Frontier is licensed on an annual subscription basis. Subscribers are automatically entitled to all Frontier fixes and feature enhancements while their subscription is active. If you choose to let your subscription lapse, you may continue to use the software, but you will not receive updates. You can rejoin the subscription program at any time and get your Frontier installation fully updated."
I read the obituaries page in the NY Times for the first time ever (I guess I'm scared of death) looking for a story about Douglas Adams. All they have is the AP wire story from yesterday. I hope they have something good in tomorrow's paper. When someone dies at such a young age, it's understandable that the Times wouldn't have an obituary in the pipe. What's really cool about the Times obituary page is that they have old ones linked into the right column, including Frank Sinatra, Jackie O, and Adolf Hitler.
I just learned that Hitler died ten years to the day before I was born. Ten years doesn't seem like that much time. In May 1991 we were getting ready to ship Frontier 1.0.
It's even worse than it appears.
CNN: Douglas Adams dead at 49. Congratulations to Adams, where ever he is, on an inspiring life of creativity, humor and fun. He taught us that the universe doesn't have to be such a serious place.
"You know, it's at times like this when I'm trapped in a Vogon airlock with a man from Betelgeuse and about to die of asphyxiation in deep space that I really wish I'd listened to what my mother told me when I was young!"
"Why, what did she tell you?"
"I don't know, I didn't listen!"
André Radke announces Regex 2.0.2b3, which has been carbonized and works with Frontier for Mac OS X.
Look at all the SOAP 1.1 Validations. It's like a bushy bush. (But not like George W Bush.)
Brent Simmons: "This site was the first Manila site to be served by Frontier for OS X. Sometime in April I made the switch from an NT server to a G4 Cube."
News.Com: Cisco's $2.5 billion mea culpa.
On Thursday I stopped at Wegman's on my way back from the Microsoft meeting and bought two new rose bushes, two geraniums, four stocks, four snaps. Yesterday I did a bunch of yard cleaning. My roses had gone wild (I liked it that way). After seeing the roses at the nursery, I got the idea of training my bushes to grow tall and straight, not gangly and sprawling. Let them be an example for the two new bushes, which are now in the ground, getting their six-plus hours of sun a day, safe from the wild deer that roam the woods.
I've been procrastinating doing similar yard cleaning in Smurf Turf. Our old Mac users are going to like the new turf, I think -- its starting point was the BBEdit-based CMS we did in 1997, but it's gone a lot further. A perfect starter kit for Radio users, or at least that's the goal.
Yesterday Linus blinked. "Most of the technology companies are like this. The only outspoken one is Microsoft," he said.
Hmmm. I think UserLand is pretty outspoken. Let me speak. We've been using the subscription model since 1998 and think it's fantastic, it takes glitches out of moving forward with commercial software and better reflects what's going on. Customers are buying into a process, not a fixed-in-time product. We're always adding features and fixing bugs, adding compatibility and interop. We always want our users to have our most current stuff.
I could fully support Linus, and I did, as long as his hype didn't get negative about my business, but yesterday for the first time that I've seen, it did.
7/7/99: Linux Don't Blink.
Douglas Adams: "I long ago stopped answering questions on the alt.fan.douglas-adams usenet group, because it never produced good results. I would either get flamed with 'Don't try and pretend you're him!' mail, or accounts of what I'd said would get bounced around in more and more garbled versions as soon as my own reply had dropped off the stack.'"
Frontier began its life as a Macintosh scripting system, first shipped in 1992, built around a powerful object database and multi-threaded runtime. In 1995, we turned to the Web, and found that Frontier was the perfect way to manage large dynamic sites with many authors. But it proved difficult for many Mac users, so we added an HTTP server and then, in 1999, developed Manila, an Internet application, included at no extra cost with Frontier. Manila brings content management to the Web browser. In the past two years, tens of thousands of people have started writing for Manila websites, and today that power is coming, for the first time, to Apple's new operating system. So..
Something new! Frontier 7 for Mac OS X.
Daniel Berlinger: "As the first application to allow scripting of the Mac OS, and a basis for interapplication communication on Macs (and later other platforms) Frontier has lived at the intersection between apps and OS'es. Its whole philosophy seems to be about bridging differences in the way apps speak so that more and better work can be done. The XML-RPC and SOAP interfaces already present in Frontier prepare for it to remain at the crossroads for a long time to come."
Of course the site is served on Mac OS X. It wouldn't do to serve an OS X site on Windows, would it?
The cowskull refuses to go away. No matter how much people dis it, it's a very resilient cowskull. It's very hard to hurt a cow skull's feelings. You won't often see a cowskull sulking.
The teaser piece I wrote on Monday when it was clear that the OS X release was days away. We originally planned to have it out on Wednesday, but you know how that goes.
Now I'd like to express my gratitude to and to congratulate Brent Simmons on a fantastic and (praise Murphy) successful release. Brent accepts any challenge I throw at him, and he keeps getting deeper and more powerful as a programmer. Mazel tov Brent. You're the best.
And finally (this is the position of greatest honor) this release could not have happened without the work of Tim Paustian. Last year Tim posted a message asking for the source code to Frontier so he could port it to Mac OS X. I've known Tim for many years, he's easy to work with, and fantastically smart and productive. I jumped at the opportunity. I sent him an email, we sent him an NDA, then sent him the source code. After a few months he had it working, then Brent took over, with Tim's help, and the release happened.
So, more than any release of Frontier, this one was a community effort, from the beginning. Having smart, friendly, generous people to work with is the biggest blessing possible. To Brent and Tim, thank you very much. You guys are a total inspiration.
Standard: Gracenote sues Roxio. Patent, trademark and breach of contract.
Marek: "I will comply. I will find another job."
News.Com: "Microsoft's upcoming Train Simulator game won't have any Union Pacific cars in it, and the railroad giant wants to make sure it stays that way."
Bruce O'Neel is implementing SOAP in Squeak and documenting his work on his weblog. Nice!
Think Secret has "learned that the major update to Mac OS X Server will likely be ready to ship on May 21 after Steve Jobs' announcement at his World Wide Developers Conference keynote."
Lest anyone believe that open source advocates don't spread fear uncertainty and doubt.
Hey I can trash MS with the best of them, but this Economist article is totally off the wall. It's disappointing to see this kind of Boy Kills Boy one-sidedness from a publication that's famous for thought, not bluster. Like so many others they use the word "attack" in their headline to describe Craig Mundie's speech. Oy. In the mind of the beholder. Partial journalists are as big a problem for freedom of software developers as any BigCo. BTW, note that the Economist is using Microsoft IIS to serve their site.
Basically, Microsoft makes a fine Web server. Apache does too. There are big things missing in Apache. Same with Microsoft. Neither one is particularly easy to set up and use. In other words, imho, there's lots of room for innovation in Web servers. I wish the reporters would start asking some questions like "Where does this stuff go from here" and stop paying so much attention to development ideology. FUD blows both ways and over the heads of most hard-working developers, and always limits forward motion.
You can be pretty sure the last sentence will appear in a DaveNet before too long.
Murphy-willing there will be a present under the Christmas tree tomorrow for current Frontier/Mac subscribers. We won't officially announce it until next week. Let's have fun!
According to Robert Scoble, the founder of the Microsoft Train Simulator fan site, "Union Pacific Railroad has declared that it will aggressively go after anyone who distributes trains with Union Pacific's trademarks for use with Microsoft's soon-to-be-released Train Simulator program. The railroad is concerned that people will learn to drive a train and then hop into a real one which might cause a major accident." This is not a joke.
In the true spirit of the Internet the fans have already taken matters into their own hands.
Miguel de Icaza: "A nice addition to the .NET framework would be some kind of balanced tree, b-tree or anything that looks like that for data structures."
Feed interview with de Icaza.
Time: "After the runaway success of his superslim titanium G4 Powerbook, it seems Jobs has finally figured out what the public wants in a laptop computer."
Eric Soroos: "The PicsPicker plugin automates some of the image management tasks that I find to be time consuming on a Manila site."
News.Com: The data center glut.
Beepcore.org is "your site for information about the Blocks Extensible Exchange Protocol (BEEP)."
Hack-the-Planet is doing a great job considering the price.
New candidate for the Scripting News motto: "I'll get snippety when I damned well please."
Snippety: "Made up of snippets."
Today's song: "One day you could be looking through an old book in rainy weather. You see a picture of her smiling at you when you were still together. You could be walking down the street and who should you chance to meet? But that same old smile you’ve been thinking of all day."
12/30/99: "Moonlight and love songs. Never out of date. Hearts full of passion, jealousy and hate."
Nublog: Weblogs for public relations.
Connotate: "World-class experts in data mining, artificial intelligence and mobile computing from Rutgers University, under an $8 million DARPA contract, developed Connotate's patent-pending core technology, XML-by-example™." US taxpayers paid for their patent? Outrageous.
Sjoerd Visscher continues to kick butt with XML-RPC.
Hey let's do another Scripting News dinner in Amsterdam. I'll be there May 25-27. Marc Canter will be there. I sent a note to Adam Curry, I bet he'll be there too. It's a short flight from London or Italy, Germany and Austria. Close to Belgium, not far from Poland and Ireland.
OK, should I also spend a day in London? Would there be enough interest in a Scripting News dinner on the 28th? I could possibly still change my travel plans.
Register: "While Microsoft pours buckets of vitriol over open source, some of its most distinguished former executives are backing Linux."
Glen Daniels speaks for me. (In pseudo-SOAP!)
Searching for biographical info on Craig Cline, I stumbled across this email Bill Gates sent to me re Java in 1997.
Speaking of Microsoft, this afternoon I'm meeting with people from their Mac development group to talk about SOAP on Macintosh. A little-known fact that we don't keep hidden, Mac runs SOAP, through Frontier and Radio. Our Mac software went through the interop testing process last month, along with our Windows software. This means it's possible to bridge any scriptable Mac app into a "web service."
Craig Cline: "A large part of the thrill of being an Open Source/Linux developer is in striking a blow against the empire. Which empire? Microsoft of course."
Last night I met with Craig Cline and Thad McIlroy from Seybold to talk about a "mega-summit" they want to do in San Francisco in September. As soon as I heard the term I wanted to do it. I love the term. It's not enough to be a summit, we gotta go all the way be mega about it. Right on.
So what do you discuss at a mega-summit at Seybold, and who do you invite? We put it aside for a while and ate our dinners, and caught up on what's going on, and eventually the conversation got around to the dot-com crash, and then to what's next. I said there has to be another revolution coming. When we get into these kinds of doldrums it creates space for something new. So there's the question we'll try to answer at the summit. What's the next revolution?
Now, that's a lofty topic, and it will be hard to keep the people we invite on-topic. And there's a big question about the format of the show. Part of me favors an empty stage, I roam the audience with a microphone, with famous people sprinkled throughout, never knowing when their turn is going to come. However, this probably won't work in this venue because the room at Moscone is large. I did one of these last year, about Napster, and it came off pretty well, but there were big gaps while I ran from one side of the room to the other. It was a good workout, but it probably would have worked better if I had stayed on stage.
So who should we invite? Who do you look to for thoughts on future revolutions in technology and publishing? (That's what Seybold is about.) So there's the question. Who would you like to hear from? There will be a website and white papers to go with this session. We talked about asking NPR to broadcast it. It's a good time to look for new revolutions. That's what we're going to do.
Thanks to Doc, I spoke with a marketing VP at Google today. She asked if I would be so kind as to talk with someone technical there to help sort out the difficulties. "So kind?" I said "Please please!" with an "I'm not worthy" tone.
I re-ran the RSS version counter script, the numbers went up, the ratio stayed about the same. Of the My.UserLand-registered sources that updated in the last 24 hours, there were 32 RSS 0.90 sources and 218 RSS 0.91 sources.
John Markoff: Looking Back at My First PC.
Register: "France Telecom has stumbled upon a backbone for handheld peer-to-peer communications that makes SMS look positively Neanderthal."
Jxta: It's all about protocols.
Steve Graham: Private UDDI nodes.
Geek.Com: Exodus data center blacked out.
A classic post on the new Frequent-Flamers list.
TeamDrive sounds nice. "To Windows, TeamDrive looks like any other networked drive by operating as an extension of the Windows file system. This allows team members to map drive letters to a TeamDrive server and use them to directly load and save files from any application."
I think I'm going to take the day off.
Yes ladies and gentlemen, the Internet doesn't work.
There is an answer. Distribute the work.
We're workin on it.
DaveNet: What happens when Unix is Macintosh?
YahooGroups remains silent this morning. A philosophical note. So much for the Internet routing around outages. It's so quiet. I search for ideas and controversy. Where are they? On the other hand I'm getting a lot of work done.
Survey: How many YahooGroups do you belong to?
Joel Spolsky: "Just because I said 'eat your own dog food' doesn't mean I don't advocate usability testing. It's just a logical fallacy."
My good friend for many years, Amy Wohl, is doing free email distribution of her newsletter. Please check it out, she's smart and is very influential. The subscription box is in the lower-right quadrant on her home page.
Mozilla 0.9 is out. Let me know how well it works, and screen shots are always appreciated.
Scot Hacker: Turning point for BeOS users?
Good morning sports fans!
I've been doing my page-flips at weird times for the last few weeks. Today is no exception.
Hey, why not do something out of character? Why be ordinary? Why always be the same?
If I change does that mean I don't love you anymore?
So many people define themselves, or their Net personae, by what they are opposed to.
Why not try being in favor of some of the things we are opposed to?
I could decide to see things from the point of view of a patent abuser. Hmmm. My name is so-and-so and I want to trick you into thinking I'm a great inventor. So I'll take out a lot of patents and sue everyone, and even when I lose I'll appeal endlessly. Years after I'm dead, with buildings named after me at Harvard and elsewhere I'll still have been a fool who wasted his life trying to convince people I wasn't a fool.
I tried posting a message on a mail list this evening that pointed out that there's something pretty interesting going on in Mac OS X. Now the people who are opposed to Macintosh must think I've lost my mind.
I bought a delicious beverage today called Original Chai Tea Latte from Oregon Chai. I'm drinking it right now. Their slogan is "Nirvana To Go." It's very tasty. How could I say no to a drink with such a catchy slogan?
Kleiner-Perkins whiz-bang-man, Vinod Khosla provides air cover for our friends at KnowNow. "Real-time computing." Aha!
I still think it's funny that the initials RDF stand for Reality Distortion Field.
Dori Smith and Tom Negrino tied the knot. Mazel tov, best wishes for much happiness.
Fortune: "Lemelson would figure out where an industry was headed--and then place a patent claim directly in its path. 'In many cases, Lemelson didn't patent inventions,' says Lieberman. 'He invented patents.'"
Of course a friendly Scripting News reader sent me a MP3 of Lucinda Williams' (same last name as Evan, see below, wonder if they're related?) Can't Let Go. Rockin to it right now. Oooooh. The slide guitar makes it so sweet. "He won't take me back when I come around. He says he's sorry then he puts me out. It's over, I know it, but I can't let go."
Evan Williams sends a screen shot of Windows XP's file system browser with a caveat. "This is XP Server -- perhaps the consumer version is different. (And, of course, this is Beta 2.)"
NY Times: "Characteristic of its style of creating drama among its followers by staying mum on pending announcements, Apple declined to confirm details of the strategy, including where the first store would be."
Dan Gillmor wants to know if Microsoft has changed. I want to know if Dan has changed. "And please give me concrete examples."
Cameron Pope of the Prism working group says it didn't grow out of ICE. Sorry for the misunderstanding, no sarcasm, and thanks for the correction.
Dan Libby is looking for consulting work in XML-RPC.
David Feldt on Ken Dow's on-line Manila course.
In the 1980s and 1990s there was a debate about whether or not you could completely insulate the user from the file system. All the files that make up an operating system must be in very particular places. Same with apps and web servers. So we, collectively, decided to try to hide these things from users. A line was drawn between easy and hard to use that left the newbies lost in a world where they can't find anything they wrote more than eight hours ago, and fragile poorly understood file system structures that even a commited expert couldn't always figure out. Windows had the philosophy that it was necessary for users to see the file system. Mac users had a superior attitude, but I don't know how deserved it was. Now I hear that Windows XP is going to put the filesystem out of the users' view. And Apple is bringing Unix to Mac users, saying "Here's this strange file system, figure it out."
Moral of the story, if you sit on the bank of a river long enough eventually you'll see all operating system philosophies floating by.
That said, what does the Windows XP file system browser look like?
In my programming work I'm doing a lot of bootstraps, building things that form layers, some of which will eventually be hollow, gone, replaced by more general functionality in the next-layer-up. It's confusing at times, but very interesting work.
I've got another outage here, software-related, it's keeping me out of the news loop. It's related to last week's disk crash, that I still haven't fully recovered from. If experience is any guide, I never will fully recover from it. You just move on, the bits come and go.
There's been some discussion on the Syndication mail list as to how many RSS 0.90 feeds there are. So I wrote a script to see how many of the My.UserLand sources were in 0.90 vs 0.91. I ran it this morning. Of the sources that had updated in the last day, 23 were 0.90 and 164 were 0.91. I'll re-run the script tomorrow morning, the numbers should go up, not so many sources update over the weekend.
So many people asked about the public service message that appeared here on Sunday. "Where did it come from?" and "What's it about?" they ask, apparently puzzled. Let me answer. It came from the world we live in. And what's it about? Abuse of children. It's not about anyone in particular. There's no doubt the message evokes a strong reaction in almost everyone who reads it. But read the words carefully. It's not about you. Your name is not in the message. So whatever personal response it evokes is happening inside you. Nothing wrong with that. Go deeper. Listen to the voice. What is it saying?
Good morning thinkers and visionaries.
Mark Paschal posted a list of places you can go to find RSS channels. Nice work.
Beta News: "Microsoft's upcoming Windows XP will be the first step taken toward integrating Web services directly into the OS, a move that has AOL struggling to respond."
A Bonnie Raitt song, I've only heard it three times. It's not very famous, but what a song. It's called "I just can't let go" or something like that. A beautiful bluesy beat so perfect for Bonnie. Looked on Google and fired up Napster, no luck. The music industry can produce such wonderful product but the distribution system sucks. Uhhh, the song is actually by Lucinda Willams. This probably explains why I couldn't find it. Thanks to Tom Maddox for the clue. There's a demo of the song linked into this page. Yeah, it's the same song. The one I heard on the radio was a lot cleaner. It's still sweet.
David Brown: "Well, I've kind of gotten hooked on ActiveState's ActivePython distributions. I really like their package manager, which uses SOAP to fetch and install extra packages as you ask for them."
LA Times: "Initially, Napster officials suggested that Microsoft buy the company, according to two Napster insiders, but Microsoft rejected the overture. The discussions have since shifted toward Napster using Microsoft's security technology. What Microsoft would get out of the deal is being hashed out, but could involve licensing fees or an equity stake in Napster."
Jack Thompson: "I currently use Inspiration as my primary outliner for writing purposes."
SF Chronicle: "In our disposable, Pentium-powered culture where nobody's got time for anything, speed dating has become phenomenally successful."
NY Times: "My dad's definitely got a different outlook," said Jeff S. Merrick, 25, who was laid off April 12 and recently left on a monthlong vacation to Costa Rica, stretching a 10-day trip he had planned. "When I said I was extending the trip, his first words were: 'A month? Don't you have to look for a job?' "
The Greenline: "Roses grow best when they receive full sunshine all day. However, they will grow satisfactorily if they have at least 6 hours of sun a day."
A public service message. To this day people still blame the child for child abuse. It's not true that all moms and dads are kind to their kids. If a child says, even in a not too obvious way, that there are problems at home, please check it out.
Good morning early morning page-flippers!
Keith Ballinger, Microsoft: Web Services Interoperability and SOAP. "Overall, the work done on [the soapbuilders] list and across the world to make sure that SOAP interoperates when implementing RPC-style communications has been an outstanding success."
Boston Globe: Making the case for good journalism.
Zeldman: "New York landlords are legally obliged to turn on central air conditioning by May 15th. Which is exactly when our landlord will do it. That's eleven potentially blistering days from today."
Dan Gillmor marvels at the community spirit of the Net, with a real-world example. It's a nice story with a happy ending.
CloseTheLoop has moved their Manila site to their own server.
Yesterday's survey was interesting. If you ask a question a certain way an overwhelming number of people choose to go with Linus. I think we can ask a different question and get a different result. We'll do that a little later.
A gift from heaven, a group of serious content developers and technology vendors are working on an RDF-and-namespaces syndication format. The new spec is called Prism, and it came out of the ICE working group. Now if you wish to use RDF to syndicate content you can do it in a way that's kind to RSS.
The companies listed as Prism working group members: Sothebys, Vignette, Getty Images, Kinecta, KPMG, Interwoven, IDG, MarketSoft, Time Inc, Cogito, Adobe, Conde Nast, Artesia, iCopyright, CreoScitex, Banta New Media and eLogic.
I gotta get a plug in for Jeff Barr's continuing commitment to excellence in syndicated Web content. His reviews are invaluable sources of new stuff for news junkies like me.
Terry Teague reports that his disk crashed this week too, and Sylvia Paull says she had a bike crash on my birthday somewhere in Marin, and turned it into a business development opportunity. I'm still enjoying the clean life of a person with little or no past, hard-disk-wise. Today's the day we're supposed to get the results from the repair service. As Dionne Warwick sang "Say a little prayer for me."
Good news. The hard disk repair company was able to recover the data. I should get the most important bits back within the hour and all of it within the next few days. Thanks for all your prayers, it worked!
And that was just the beginning. I had lost all my favorites in Radio, and all the little scripts I had written that made things automatic. Some of our services broke and there was nothing I could do about it until the data came back. If it hadn't I would have had to start over. When the data finally came back, I felt a physical release. I had to go collapse. I slept for three hours. Not a restful sleep. My subconcious thinks that some of those bits are necessary to my survival. Unbeknownst to me my life was hanging in the balance, according to my subconscious. I took a walk and did a lot of breathing. I asked "What would make you feel safer?" A simple answer. Better backups.
Now I have a couple of fewer days to get my new software done. It's got a codename and a plan. Its codename is Smurf Turf. I'll explain later.
As we started making progress on the interop testing in SOAP and then XML-RPC, I started working on a list of new priorities, for the post-interop period (which I hope lasts for years). Today I added a new priority, deployment. But it seems a good time to review them all: interop, apps, deployment, business development.
1. Interop is a process that goes on forever. There will always be new toolkits coming online. However, with every passing month interop will get easier. Related to interop, I plan to do a revision of the BDG, perhaps Jake can do the work, to remove the concept of a "subset" from the document. It's finally sunk in that it's not a subset. We've had continuing talks about the philosophy of interop, esp as it relates to what interop means in HTTP. No two web servers, even ones running the same software, support the same URL structure. You can't throw any random request at any Web server and get a non-404 response. In the same sense no two SOAP servers will be able to do anything with any random message sent to it. So rejecting a message cleanly and informing the client, per the spec, of what went wrong, means you're implementing the protocol, not a subset of the protocol. The pushback on this came from Andrew Layman, Henrik Frystyk Nielsen, and Keith Ballinger of Microsoft; and Sam Ruby of IBM. Thanks.
2. Apps. Remember the search for killer apps we did in April? Let's keep doing that, repeat the loop periodically, systematically, infinitely. One day a month, let's do a roundup of application development in XML-RPC and SOAP. Apps are the reason we're doing the interop work. I'm encouraging people who do toolkits to start thinking about apps. But there's an obstacle in the way for some people. See the next priority.
3. Deployment. This is the new one. I added this to the list as a result of a phone conversation with a toolkit developer, Dan Libby (the same guy we worked with on RSS when he was at Netscape, small world). Dan says he would clone xmlStorageSystem if he had a place to deploy it. I offered space in our cloud, but I would really prefer if someone else worked directly with Dan, instead of adding to the workload here. However, if no one else steps up, we'll do it, because without deployment the apps basically don't exist. (If a tree falls in the forest.. etc.)
There's another side to deployment, I'd like to see scripting environments bake SOAP and XML-RPC into their releases. Make it easier for script writers in all environments to have the same ease-of-access that Microsoft's developers are sure to have. The rest of us shouldn't be playing catch-up as Microsoft deploys. The roadmap is clear, and as interop becomes more solid, the reasons to hold back will be fewer. If you manage a scripting environment, please consider making XML-RPC and SOAP part of your standard install. Even better if operating system vendors other than Microsoft add user interfaces for easy scripting both client side and servers. This isn't as far off in the future as one might think.
4. Business development. Why are we doing all this work? Well, I think most of us love the idea of having lots of choice in development environments, and like creating cool software. But there are bills to pay. UserLand wants to license tools and runtimes. Others want consulting gigs. So last week I added this to the list of priorities. If you'd like to add XML-RPC expertise to your team, we know the people who can do that. If you have a job opening, please post it on the DG on XML-RPC.Com, or send me an email. It's still a buyer's market, I hope not for long.
Wired: RIAA Head says Napster is Done.
Back in SOAP interop-land, Jake announced application-level interop in a demo app that all the implementors are working on called Bid-Buy.
Our president: "Yankee Stadium is hallowed grounds, so is the White House." YYSSW.
Today is Dave Jacobs' birthday. Happy birthday Big Dave!
Linus Torvalds has an excellent rebuttal to Craig Mundie's speech. I love the way he comes right back at them, without too much hissing, with power. Yeah Newton was cool. (Maybe not.) I like standing on the shoulders of giants too. Right on Linus.
Tim O'Reilly: "Microsoft's Shared Source Program is a Validation of Open Source Disguised as an Attack"
Doc Searls: Getting past fear and fudding.
Wes: "In most of the software categories I care about, innovation has pretty much stopped."
Survey: "It's time to choose a platform. Craig Mundie explained the philosophy of Microsoft's platform. Linus Torvalds explained the philosophy of Linux. Based only on the philosophy of the platform, and not their technical merits, which would you choose to develop for?"
Now, after you've chosen, think about another possibility -- not making a choice. It's kind of a trick question. Why can't users who prefer the Microsoft OS get the benefit of your software, if you've linked up to their OS in such a way that you're not locked in. On the other hand, a reasonable person who doesn't want to be locked in could predict that Microsoft, based on past behavior, is likely to do something to get you and your users locked in. Microsoft's pitch would be more convincing if they acknowledged this.
Microsoft doesn't need any fancy gimmicks to be locked in, they already are. The vast majority of users use the Microsoft OS. No need for speeches, no need to arouse the open source faithful. The deck is already stacked in their favor. Just do a sexy OS release, with lots of cool features and eye candy, and then do another. Let developers freely roam the space. Keep your application guys out of the way. Kick back and laugh all the way to the bank.
Register: "In his preamble to his Shared Source presentation, Craig tips the hat to His Billness, who seems now to all intents and purposes the inventor of the Internet." BTW, I have two copies of the original Road Ahead.
DaveNet: Lessons from a hard disk crash.
Craig Mundie: The Commercial Software Model. Good piece. I haven't read every sentence carefully searching for hidden agendas and trap doors, I'm sure they're doing that on Slashdot and elsewhere. As a commercial developer, it's great to get air cover from Microsoft, the largest commercial developer. It's a well thought-out piece, and it's a sign of how far off track we've gone that commercial development needs to be explained. Thanks to Microsoft for having the courage to pursue this. As stated by Mundie, Microsoft has an inclusive philosophy. Open source, except for the GPL, is similarly inclusive. It would be encouraging to see a balancing statement from the thought leaders of the OSS world.
Hewlett-Packard has joined the SOAP 1.1 interop process.
Suck: "We were willing to believe that Tchong had committed the honest mistake of not bothering to read the article."
What is We Create A Standard?
Jay Rosen: "One of the strange things about journalism is that people are willing to die doing it. That is not true of the media."
Dylan Tweney: Open secrets.
Joni Mitchell: "But the one-man-band by the quick lunch stand, he was playing real good, for free."
I woke this morning with an empty hard drive and a clear conscience. I had a great birthday on and off the Net. I got a great present from Dan Libby. It's great to finally get Netscape's position on RSS on the record after almost two years. That should end the pointless and humiliating discussion about what RSS is. In case there's another outage at Netscape, I archived the July 1999 spec on a UserLand server. I linked the Netscape spec into our RSS 0.91 spec.
Having an empty hard disk isn't such a bad thing. I had backups but in some cases they were four or five months old. Like the DaveNet reader list. The development project I was working on for the last two weeks wasn't backed up anywhere. Oy. Anyway, the drive is on its way to Canada now, to a hard drive repair service. I'll let you know how it goes. (Postscript: We found a way to reconstruct the DaveNet reader list. Yes!)
Now about email. If you sent me an email in the last few days and are waiting for a response, please send it again. I lost all my email too. Oy. (It seems I'll be saying that a lot for a while.)
I've been thinking about Zeldman's Shrieking Man piece. It's a common thread. There are stalkers out there, not many, but enough to spoil a lot of the fun that can happen in collaborative work on the Net. It often takes just one stinker to spoil the fun. It helps when people like Zeldman write about it, so we know we're not alone in dealing with such cruelty. Another possible solution is to start a Frequent-Flamers mail list, and empower people like Zeldman to forward the abusive emails to this list so the selfishness is documented.
Now, onto love not fear. The best birthday present came from my Mom, who is 68, and totally kicking butt. She sent me a beautiful quilt she made herself, and a box of homemade oatmeal chocolate chip cookies just like the ones she used to send me at summer camp when I was a kid. I don't know if many other people would love those cookies like I do, but to me they're a reminder of being supported as a child by a mother who loved me. Nice.
Dan Libby reports that the missing DTDs are back at Netscape. Whew!
Hey it's even better. Dan found the old Netscape RSS 0.91 spec, with his comments from 1999, explaining their philosophy for RSS. It's an exact match with UserLand's, then and now. This should put to rest the debate over what RSS is. He also credits UserLand, appropriately, for our contribution to RSS 0.91. What a great birthday present.
Ohhhh mama, I had a birthday hard disk crash. Yup I lost a lot of work. Not going to worry about it right now.
Postscript: As I put back together all my favorites and settings for the 18th time in the last three years, maybe now the value of HailStorm or something like it is sinking in. Suppose all that information was up in the cloud. So my hard disk crashes. Not a problem. Every time my computer boots it checks in with the cloud and gets all that junk.
Article in tomorrow's NY Times details Microsoft's next round in its competition with IBM over open source. "An IBM executive said that his company had considered the issues surrounding the protection of intellectual property and had decided that it was possible to follow both a proprietary and a shared business model, even one based on the GPL."
XML.Com: "You may not have any use for CDATA Marked Sections or Processing Instructions, but they are part of XML 1.0, so if you say you are conformant with XML 1.0, then you had better support them."
I got a beautiful birthday greeting from my good friend Sheila Simmons. She included a link to a great Pinky and the Brain riff, and some of our favorite Ole and Lena jokes. Thanks Sheila, you're very sweet and check out them eyebrows!
What is xmlBlaster?
Wired has an article on Radio UserLand and RSS, but it's got a few errors. They did spell the name of the product right, and the link works. That's good.
Sun quotes a report on shrinking Visual Basic use among developers. However, I read it with a circumspect eye, knowing that Sun is not always direct and honest. I'm checking with some objective sources on whether this is true or not.
David Singer has a review of Hong Kong hotels and pictures from the opening ceremonies of the WWW10 conference.
Ooops. Streaming Media stepped in it. Doc explains.
Hey I didn't realize the NY Times is called the Gray Lady. Learn something new every day.
Lyrics for the light hours. "They say this cat Shaft is a bad mother.."
Good morning Scripting News fans!
Get ready for some weird stuff.
I'm 46 now, and rarin to kick butt!
Feisty and happy, that's what I am.
I got my first birthday card from my dear friend Tori The Lion. It's so appropriate. Thanks Tori. Sweet.
Marc Canter is not quite as mature as I am, but he's kickin butt too. Rasta!
I'm getting a huge number of great birthday cards. Thanks so much. It's nice to be so appreciated.
Here's one that was send a year ago. Neat!
A friend sent me a pointer to a month-long celebration of self-love. Keep an open mind!
Speaking of love, Surprise says that "Work is love made visible." Right on!
I was born the day after my grandfather's birthday in 1955. He was born in 1898. Paul's beautful doglet Maggie was born on May 1, five years ago, on the same day as my grandpa. I don't think he would have appreciated it, but I do. I kindof believe in reincarnation, so there's something really silly about Maggie and my grandpa having the same birthday. Next time I see Maggie I'm going to ask her about the plutocracy and see if her ears perk up.
I have a song picked out, it came from my Father's Day exploration last year, when Napster was opening new doors for growth for me. It all comes back in an instant. I wrote an essay on Father's Day last year, but I'm not ready to publish it. My birthday and Father's Day are linked in the past. I know some people would understand my Father and Son story, and by sharing it, it could help some other people, probably mostly men, to figure out how to make peace with their parents, or their childhood. In the meantime, if you can find a copy of Father and Son, set it on repeat. Let it sink in. We're different, but we're the same. Life is confusing, but it can be very simple. Neither of them got that, they struggle to accept each other. Maybe 20 or 30 years later, they do.
My father, by the way, is alive and kickin butt too. He's 72, born in 1929.
DaveNet: Email to Markoff.
On the Apache soap-dev mail list they're talking about doing a new build. So it appears to be lockdown time in SOAP 1.1 interop. With Microsoft and Apache deploying the results of the interop work, it's time for UserLand to do the same and ask developers to start building apps.
Sjoerd Visscher has a really nice XML-RPC-based spell-checker app. "For me it was the perfect application to test my new XML-RPC client for IE5 and Mozilla. The XML-RPC client sends the input text to the spell-check service, which returns the misspelled words and the alternatives. Then an interface is dynamically created from that data."
Linux Journal: "User interface pioneer Douglas Engelbart, who demonstrated a mouse-driven hypertext system called NLS in 1968, said in an interview Wednesday that he will help Prodigy defend itself against a patent infringement lawsuit filed by British Telecom. BT is suing Prodigy for infringement of BT's patent on hyperlinks." Bravo!
Hey I just got news that I'm doing a big session at Seybold SF, a spectacle, on the topic of my choosing. I've always had a fantastic time at Seybold. The best session I ever did was the Can Apple Survive panel in 1997 (the answer turned out to be yes). Glad to be working for Craig, Thad and Liz. We're going to have such a great time! I think it will be on Web Services and Publishing. Yeah, that's it. With a focus on Mac OS X. By then I will not be dropping hints anymore.
Dann Sheridan is exploring the mysteries of BigCo's.
More bad news for Exodus. This site is hosted at Exodus in Santa Clara.
News.Com: Thinner, lighter, cheaper iBooks.
Wes: "This is not the Summer of Love! This is 2001, dammit!"
If you work for Apple and care about public relations, please read this post on NuBlog, and then help him find someone to give him information about localization in Mac OS X. And tell Edelman that weblogs are important way for Mac users to get information about your work.
Adam Langley: "Jxta is a solution, desperately looking for a problem."
BusinessWeek: For Mac Users, the End of Innocence.
When I open a file in Microsoft Word it takes a couple of minutes to fail to open the file. Then I open it again, and it fails, but Word launches and the paper clip reminds me that I can enter a date by pressing some weird key combo. Then I open it a third time and the file opens. But my machine gets really slow. I read the document, close the file, quit Word, but now every other program is very slow at echoing my characters. The only way to cure the problem is to restart the system.
Sometimes anger is beautiful.
I love the title of this story. It makes me giggle. No other reason for linking to it.
WebReference: Hiermenus Go Forth XVI.
It's like a futuristic Mel Gibson movie.
And you're the star!
And welcome to the month of May! It's beautiful weather almost everywhere on the planet. Get out and enjoy the day. What a great planet we have. And don't forget it's Tuesday, give a programmer a hug and buy him some spicy noodles or whatever the local treat is. Have a kind word for the programmer. They're really nice down-home people. And don't forget to mention SOAP and XML-RPC. They're the programmer's ticket to freedom, the real kind, the stuff that money can't buy.
Today's the last day on Cabinet. A tear comes to my eye. Thank you for doing such a great job of entertaining us. But all good things must pass. Bravo Cabinet. A job well-done.
Frank Zappa: "I dreamed I was an eskimo."
I gotta admit it, I love Zeldman. Can I send all my "critics" to his school?
Elvis Costello: "Everything you say now sounds like it was ghost-written."
© Copyright 1997-2006 Dave Winer.