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Permanent link to archive for Wednesday, May 30, 2001. Wednesday, May 30, 2001

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.


Last update: Wednesday, May 30, 2001 at 5:06 PM Eastern.

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