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Permanent link to archive for Thursday, September 06, 2001. Thursday, September 06, 2001

Survey: "Do you support the Bush Administration decision not to pursue the breakup of Microsoft for antitrust violations?"

A cool new feature is coming tomorrow for all Manila sites, UserLand-hosted and otherwise.

About the Bush decision to let MS off, I bet there's a settlement and this is the first stage of the execution. Microsoft wants some way to negate that they were found guilty of breaking the law re Netscape. The government dropping that part of the case gives them a way to confuse people later even though eight judges found them guilty. Next week there will be an announcement of a settlement along the lines the goverment laid out today. A behavioral remedy. Nothing too onerous for Bill and his BigCo. And a new reason to be cynical about government. Oy.

Cydney Gillis: "Most companies have to pay for advertising. Not Microsoft Corp. All the world's largest software maker has to do is stage an event and invite the media."

A directory of vision statements for Seybold. Thanks to everyone for participating. We're getting ready to mail to all the registered attendees. The room holds 2500 people. I want to fill it with minds on Sept 26. We're serious about building flow for these ideas.

David Hess: "With this application, you don't write your story chronologically, from beginning to end. You write your story one memory at a time. The application takes care of inserting the memory on your 'memory map' based on the date it took place."

Betsy Martens: Painless Mammography.

I'm thinking about doing painless technography at Seybold.

Here's the 46th XML-RPC implementation, for AOLserver.

Michael Rose: "Electronic paper will combine the best that different media have to offer the written word. We will have the physical form factor of a notepad, which is great for writing or sketching at a cafe, or perhaps a book, which is perfect for reading in bed. And yet the words will be digital, network enabled."

CFO.Com: "Linux software may be free, but does that mean you don't have to pay for it?"

After a week without refrigeration, I'm enjoying an ice cold quart of Calistoga right now. What a pleasure!

Just say yes (and shut up) 

Let's say you invite a friend to go to the amusement park. The friend says "I can't go because I've learned from experience that you have to ride a bike to go there, and then take the subway, and walk the last five blocks. I find myself once again bowing out of what could be a wonderful opportunity."

A scene out of A Confederacy of Dunces.

What's wrong with this picture? First, maybe I already know that the bike-subway-walk way is the right way to go, and planned to do exactly that. Second, even if I didn't plan it that way, is it possible that I might be willing to do it that way? Of course, if what I really want to do is go to the amusement park with my friend. Why not?

This is the foundation of a piece I've gotta write entitled Just Say Yes. Too much time is wasted not doing things. Like playing tennis with someone who always hits the ball into the net. Is your default answer always no? If so, there's an easy algorithm to spice up your life. When you're about to say no, for the eighteenth time in a day, think about it. Could you say yes instead?

PS: Fear is frozen fun.

No Microsoft breakup 

News.Com: Justice Dept won't pursue Microsoft breakup.

AP: "The Bush administration, reversing the Clinton White House legal strategy against Microsoft, told the software manufacturer Thursday it no longer seeks to have the company broken up."

Dan Gillmor: "What a disheartening development."

BBC: US U-Turn on Microsoft break-up.

Net-net, this is bad news for independent developers.

Net-net-net, this is good news for independent developers because it gives us one more reason to work together.

Learning about ICQ 

In 1981 and 1982 I used CompuServe's CB Radio, which was early chatroom software, maybe the first, and for two years I actively participated in the CB Radio community. I had just left Personal Software, had plenty of money (for those days) and was writing and running LBBS and developing user interfaces that took advantage of the power of the personal computer. I did a program called CB Mama, which was a graphic app that allowed you to talk to as many as a dozen people at one time, each in a separate window. (Windows were the big thing then, the Xerox Star was hot, kind of like P2P was last year.)

We had CB Radio dinners in SF, just like the Scripting News dinners we have now. I wanted to run my BBS software in the CompuServe cloud, but they were deaf to such inquiries. Much later the Web would come around and open the cloud to everyone and now there are all kinds of connections between the Web and IRC, ICQ, IM, etc, all of which are descendents of CB Radio on CompuServe.

Last night I decided to find out what ICQ is like. My number is 130183294. It's supposedly the richest instant messaging software and community. Scoble, who was one of the first ICQ users (his number is 163561) guided me through the software on the telephone. I chatted for a bit with Aaron Swartz. And we looked all over the place to get a quick idea of all the things they do in ICQ today.

Anyway, I'm turning on my client now. If you want to chat let's give it a whirl. I can't promise I'll stay on very long, I have a programming project I want to do this morning.

PS: My handle is Uncle Gravy. Don't ask why!

Sun is back at it again 

A few months ago a document appeared entitled Java APIs for XML RPC. I sent an email to Anne Thomas-Manes, strenuously objecting. The document didn't point to XML-RPC, although it attempts to survey the landscape in XML-over-HTTP protocols. XML-RPC was the first such protocol, and arguably is the most used, with 45 implementations (including Java), a frozen spec, and a very active developer community.

Their lawyers got in the loop and claimed that they had the right to confuse developers and users, however, as a "courtesy to Dave Winer," they changed the document and the crisis was over. Yesterday Paul Nakada discovered that the document is back in its original form, with support from lots of companies you've heard of. This is disturbing. It isn't about me, forget the courtesy, try self-respect and support for independent developers.

People who work at Big Companies tend only to respect people who work at other BigCo's. We could help them stay in the market if they just worked with us -- instead they pick on us. Unbelievable.

BTW, I got an email from Anne saying she had left Sun to work at Idoox. Perhaps that has something to do with this nasty reversal.

Bottom-line, if you work at Sun, or work at one of their partner companies, especially if your company is listed as a supporter on that page, get in touch with the people responsible for this work and ask them to get in touch with the XML-RPC community. Instead of trying to roll us over (why?) -- work with us. We want a multi-party system. We don't want to get in the trunk with Microsoft. We want our independence, and for that, we want to see Java stay strong. Be intellectually honest. The term XML-RPC means something. Respect that, and enhance it. Thanks for listening.


Last update: Thursday, September 06, 2001 at 6:58 PM Eastern.

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