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Permanent link to archive for Tuesday, June 26, 2001. Tuesday, June 26, 2001

The Smart Tags Weblog: "I started this site to coordinate work to disable Microsoft's smart tags feature on as much of the Web as we possibly can. I decided to do this as people have been sending me stories about work going on in various server environments to make it easy for users to do so. I got an email from a webmaster who works for the Australian government wanting to know how to do it. There must be a place where we can exchange information about this. It's in that spirit that I started this site."

East Side Journal: Microsoft drops the ball on smart tags.

Sheila: "Dearest Bill, <meta name="MSSmartTagsPreventParsing" content="TRUE">"

3DJohn writes: "Along with everyone else, I've been watching and roiling over the IE6 Smart Tags thing for several weeks now. Tonight it just occurred to me that perhaps Microsoft is being Too Smart By A Half. It seems to me that some well-funded company or coalition of interested parties who are stridently anti-Microsoft could provide their own set of Smart Tags specifically targeting Microsoft websites with appropriate commentary that would sandbag all of the bloated MSBS posted there with simple, truthful annotations... or worse. In a war fought with killer lasers, a simple mirror can become a powerful (and extraordinarily inexpensive) offensive weapon. (By the way, Scripting News needs an update on the current motto at the top of the page.)"

eWeek: "But Scoble was not buying this for a moment, saying that while Microsoft may well have meant to remove the list from the beta, 'it indicates to me that they are seriously considering shipping the .Net runtimes on Linux.'" Scoble!

Joseph Palmer: "I suspect that last night's set of smart tags have been muzzled, toned down, reduced in scope."

I've been getting so much cool email. Now that they've shipped and we've done another round of debating on the smart tags mail list, it's time to start doing instead of talking.

So I wrote a script that turns off Smart Tags for any site that's served through Frontier's built-in web server, which of course includes all Manila sites. I published the source of this script on the Samples website, with a request for comment on the Frontier site. (The script also works in Radio.)

There's a bit of philosophy in the script. To balance Microsoft's must-opt-out policy, we also make it must-opt-out. If you want Smart Tags you can have them, but you must turn them on, they will be off by default for every UserLand-hosted site, and we'll make it easy for every Frontier system manager to have the same policy. In one bit of work thousands of websites will turn off Microsoft. Not bad, eh?

Here's a screen shot of postFilters.disableMicrosoftHacks.

Mike Duffy explains how to disable smart tags in Apache.

Hey it rained here yesterday and it's going to rain again today. That's the rarest of things. Great things happen when it rains in the summer in Calif.

The Economist: "Unlike television broadcasting, streaming video over the Internet gets more uneconomic the bigger the audience."

Dan Gillmor: "The Times' response to its loss in court reminds me of the kid who brings the bat and ball to the pickup baseball game, gets mad a striking out and goes home, taking the bat and ball. If he can't win, nobody will play."

Four years ago today the Communications Decency Act was overturned by the US Supreme Court.

Bill Gates: "The free exchange of ideas on a global basis is something that is important for the US politically and economically. Let's not undermine the world-wide trend toward free expression by setting a bad example when it comes to free speech on a computer network."

Wired: MS Monopoly Vigil Intensifies. "The latest buzz: Expect a decision this Friday. A court clerk wouldn't confirm or deny it, of course, except to say that the judges typically try to finish their cases 'by the end of the summer.'"

You can sign up to be notified of the Microsoft decision via email. I signed up of course.

Scott Rosenberg: "Microsoft will choose new directions for its technology, and the very directions the company insists its users are clamoring for will -- by sheer coincidence -- move power over content and commerce into its own hands." Scott continues: "The smoke of today's AOL/Microsoft war obscures a secret agenda the two companies will never admit to publicly: They don't like the Internet -- and never have."

Susan Kitchens doesn't seem to care that the Web is falling apart before our eyes, and has just improved her site with static rendering. Keep on truckin Susan. Right on right on.

Hey things picked up on the The Silicon Valley Roundtable. I'm pitching Bruce Perens on ignoring Microsoft for a while and working with commercial developers who are not Microsoft.

The eGroups user interface is still available in the UK.


Last update: Tuesday, June 26, 2001 at 7:44 PM Eastern.

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