XML.Com: Building XML-RPC Clients in C.
John Robb: "Is the US Post Office worth saving?"
News.Com: AOL adds file sharing to ICQ.
Weblogs.Com changes are now available in RSS 0.92.
Graham Dumpleton: "It looks like the web based XML-RPC debugger I was providing on the OSE web site on SourceForge is no more."
NY Times: "The nation's longest period of economic growth, spanning 99 months, came to an official close in the third quarter, the government reported today."
Interesting article about Sun's James Gosling and SOAP. I'd like to meet with him now that I know that he's interested in SOAP. He must be a neighbor. I see him in the grocery store from time to time. Next time I'll introduce myself.
Apparently the Gosling article requires some kind of cookie that I have. Clicker beware. You may be asked for a password. Some people think this is the end of the world and indicates moral corruption on my part. You are hereby acknowledged in this point of view.
Of course there are more serious things to worry about.
Postscript to yesterday's examination of reader-friendly timezone strings -- it's a hopeless cause. Instead we're going to have a pref where the user can enter a geographic location for his or her weblog. Like San Francisco, CA or Singapore or George Matesky's Basement. I will enter Pacific, and when my weblog updates it will say Last Updated: 12:37PM Pacific. That's the best we can do until the world gives names to each of the timezones. It might be a useful exercise for the world to do this, we need to work with the UN or some other geopolitical organization. Maybe it would be like naming hurricanes. It could be a symbolic change with large economic impact, and could loosen the world up a little bit, perhaps with some humor. The Russians and Pakistanis have to share a timezone. Russia and China share a few. Perhaps we could name the zones after Nobel Peace Prize winners? It would give people an alternative, peaceful path to immortality.
Register: "WWW creator Tim Berners Lee has given his strongest hint yet that the W3C organization he created ought to shun the idea of accepting royalty-bearing patents as web standards. He also acknowledges that the move could lead to the fragmentation of the Web."
Another release of HierMenus. Now might be a good time to ask why the leading browser vendors don't just implement a reliable and easy way for Web developers to add menus to Web apps. As far as I remember, and my memory may not be perfect (heh) the browser guys never did features that Web developers wanted. Too focused on destroying each other to be bothered to listen to developers. That Microsoft now wants independent developers to invest in their platform is amazing. It'll never happen.
Jim Roepcke: "I rolled a car when I was 19."
Derek Powazek: "Tonight I ordered dinner for me and my sweetie at burritodelivery.com, where business is booming. And the burritos were top-notch, too."
Robert Occhialini says that other portable MP3 playback devices have flaws that Apple has addressed with the iPod.
Netscape 6.2 is released.
AP: "President Bush will throw out the first pitch in Game 3 of the World Series at Yankee Stadium Tuesday night, aiming to project an air of normalcy even as the government warned of possible new terror attacks."
Doc Searls notes that MORE, a fourteen-year-old program (roughly) runs quite a bit faster on today's hardware. That of course is a demo of Moore's Law, our friend, as is the other big law that drives all computer and software development (it also begins with a M.)
MORE has one of the more flexible product names. It's not an acronym, although you would be forgiven for guessing that it is. It was chosen because we didn't know which of a myriad of features we threw into the product in 1986 would gain traction. It turned out to be Bullet Charts. It was quite popular in France where its name is a homonym of the word for death, mort. And it of course is also a homonym for the law that makes it run so fast in 2001.
Good morning to the special envoy to Afghanistan and the Taliban ambassador to Pakistan and their Vietnam-era helicopters.
BTW, in case you forgot, we first heard about the Taliban in March when they blew up 2000 years of Buddhist history. Now, the Buddhists, being who they are, did not retaliate by bombing Afghanistan. That would not be Buddhist-like.
Stupid question. Do timezones have names? In the US they do (Pacific, Mountain, Central, Eastern). I know that some parts of Europe do. What about the rest of the world? If all timezones have names, where can I find a canonical list of them?
Here's the question framed in the context of a new verb I'm putting together.
Another context. I want to avoid hard-coding the string circled in red in this picture. I want to "get it right" without having to ask the user to enter a string.
Boy this issue is hard to grasp for some people. Look at the screen shot if you're confused or think you know it all.
Hey I actually know someone who partied with Prince.
Faisal Jawdat asks a deeply philosophical question. Is Scripting News a Journal or a Weblog? The Weblogger User Group mail list debates what Scoble wanted to accomplish when he started the group. Luckily Scoble is still alive so we can ask him. If he had died yesterday in the car crash I would have said this (after a suitable mourning period). "He sure didn't start the group so it could debate whether it was a user group for webloggers or journalers." But since he's alive (as far as I know) I can't say that.
Happiness is discovering an old demo app that still works.
Exclusive! "A seatbelt saved my life," says Scoble in a phone interview. His car is totaled, but he's OK. "I wasn't riding my bike," says former car owner.
Craig Burton: "One of my biggest complaints about Groove has been its closed archtiecture."
JD Lasica has a fantastic set of links to stories about weblogs.
Archive.Org has a better copy of the 24 Hours site than I do. Nice.
Doc: "So I guess it's good to be back." Yes!
John Robb: "This is another great example of technology being used to improve the quality of airline safety without infringing much on personal privacy."
News.Com: Patent holder eyes Web services players.
French webloggers are having a dinner in Paris on Nov 22.
Jean-Louis Gassee writes about L'iPod.
ResearchBuzz covers the Weblogs.Com corner-turn, with a quote from Dan Chan, the developer of Daypop.
Erin Clerico: "I don't think businesses and organizations need to filter their messages on the web through web designers to be effective. Web designers should play a role, as should scripters and server managers."
To Kevin Gossett, we love designers. But designers shouldn't have to be copy editors. Nor should writers have to wait for them to make changes to their stories.
Mike Krus is doing interesting stuff with changes.xml, and is producing a file that's compatible with it for his scraped RSS feeds.
Essay: The 1986 Mets.
Picking up where we left off last night -- you can probably count on one hand the number of people who use Opera to read MSN (not so true of SN though). Key point that the Times didn't get, to balance the piece --> MSN is not a monopoly. If they want to block people using Opera or Mozilla or whatever, why should anyone care?
It would have been much more serious if MSIE couldn't read Yahoo or Google, or this site. Or if they were modifying the content of all the sites their browser reads. Why? Because MSIE is a monopoly.
We admire and thank Opera, Mozilla, iCab et al for perseverence, and someday when MSIE doesn't have the Web by the throat we'll appreciate them even more.
I imagine that most people at MSN are pretty happy with the headline of this NY Times story. Who the hell cares about MSN. Heh. Sneaky. Somehow they got the Times to care.
I imagine that most people are pretty happy with the result of tonight's World Series game.
Wow, Adam gets something very interesting started. "If the MTV brass didn't hate me by then (I'd been on air for 3 years already) then they certainly saw I could be the largest pain in the ass."
I'm trying to figure out, just using the Web, what time today's World Series game begins and what channel it's broadcast on on DirecTv. As with most Web searches, I came across something interesting along the way, a rebroadcast of the final game of the 1986 World Series, NY vs Boston. Still looking for today's broadcast. OK, it starts at 4:30PM. There it is, it's on Fox. Nice.
NY Post: "The Yankees melted in the desert last night in Game 1 of the World Series. They were putrid on the mound, rotten in the field and impotent at the plate." Cool!
Last year on this day: "If only every faceoff and misunderstanding in families, business, life in general, could be resolved by having a parade where everyone is included, honored and celebrated."
Adam's blogrolling macro is very nice. "Knowing which weblogs on a Blog Rolling list have changed, simplifies keeping track of the flow of these conversations. This is done by hi-lighting any recently updated link in bold."
Essay: Power in the Muslim World.
Salon: "I would have loved to have voted for it," says the two-term liberal Democrat. "But my view of my job is to do what I think is right, not to be cowed by the name of the bill."
It's good to see that American bluster is still alive and well.
Wes Felter: "There's been plenty of talk about the possible impact on the open source community if SourceForge shut down, but I haven't seen much creative thinking about what to do about it."
Mark Bernstein of Eastgate Systems has a weblog.
When your pyloric valve slams shut here's what you do:
1. Go for a vigorous walk.
2. Drink a bottle of cold Calistoga.
3. Speak your mind.
Amazing what a good constitutional does for the old pyloric valve.
I was trying to think of how to explain how all that Spicy Noodles made me feel this afternoon, and then I figured out that what I was trying to say came straight from the mouth of Walker Percy as he introduced Ignatius Reilly. "His pyloric valve periodically closes in response to the lack of a 'proper geometry and theology' in the modern world."
Exactly. My pyloric valve has slammed shut.
Now, with that in mind..
Lawrence Lee is researching User-Agents.
Jason Levine likes XP.
Evan Williams likes outliners.
We'll see soon enough!
Good morning sports fans. Updates will come later. I'm having brunch with Susan Kitchens and Scoble at Spicy Noodles. A weblog event for sure. See you later today.
David Singer got home early on his trip from Atlanta to San Jose. I link to this story because it is so simple and easy, and it's nice sometimes to have things be that way. Shabbat shalom indeed!
Mark Pilgrim has the full scoop on the NY Times electronic edition. Oy such a bad idea. Requires a special player. No Mac version. Expensive. Content "expires" after seven days. I can see why they like it, but their users won't.
Dan Gillmor interviews Tim Berners-Lee.
Wired: "The Dec. 2005 expiration date embedded in the USA Act -- which the Senate approved 98 to 1 on Thursday -- applies only to a tiny part of the mammoth bill."
12/23/97: "My eyes have never had to work so hard just to see." That was almost four years ago. It's time for New New Glasses. Even reading the computer screen is a strain now. Oy. Anything that helps is worth it.
Ha'aretz: "Foreign Minister Shimon Peres returned yesterday from a trip to the United States with many impressions. 'The Americans have moved from one era to another,' concluded Peres. 'We haven't even begun to understand what happened there. They aren't thinking about how to defend Israel, but how to defend themselves in a crazy war.'"
Lance Knobel: "It's extraordinary that in the 21st century, a major economy, Italy, can be largely cut off from commerce because of its reliance on a handful of tunnels through the mountains."
Daniel Chan: "Daypop is now taking changes.xml into account when scheduling the crawling of weblogs." Excellent.
John Robb: "I am fairly certain that nobody at Forrester has ever built a major Website."
I got caught up somewhat on the news in Anthrax-Land, otherwise known as the USA. Are the terrorists are running a beta test? Broader deployment coming soon? The American people want reassurance, say the reporters to the politicians, doctors and generals. No one wants to offer reassurance. No bedtime stories now folks.
"Can't bomb Afghanistan during Ramadan," say the Muslim leaders. Ahhh. Well, you can't bomb the US in September say the Americans. How quickly they revert to their nasty habits. All the bombers were Muslim, and most of them were from Saudi Arabia. How about we bomb Mecca, and call it even? Icon for icon. Maybe you'd better show us that you're helping to get rid of the terrorists. Seems like the Saudis are supporting them, if you can believe that bullshit. (BTW, Mecca is in Saudi Arabia.)
Thomas Friedman: "I guess the Arab world can launch wars on Ramadan, but not receive them."
London Times: "Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaeda network have acquired nuclear materials for possible use in their terrorism war against the West, intelligence sources have disclosed."
Thanks to Bruce Campbell for sending this picture which is sure to make the rounds. Suggestion to Microsoft PR. Next time Billg goes on TV, make sure they take the "War On Terror" banner off the screen.
MSN backpedals. "The last thing we're going to do is turn people away." Of course.
John Robb: " XP is much faster than ME or 98."
Walt Mossberg: "Personal computers are just too hard to use, and it isn't your fault."
Walt's got a problem that's for sure. He only talks about products from big companies. He gets schlock. Support your friendly independent developer. You're more likely to get what you want.
Flangy: "VBScript is, to put it mildy, not my favorite language."
Brett Glass: "Opera rendered the site perfectly -- and more quickly than MSIE."
Thanks to Wes Felter for sending a pointer to this page on MSDN that has a SOAP request for Hailstorm.
Lots of pushback coming from people who think Microsoft is anti-interop. Now, wearing my SOAP-developer hat, I have to push back to them. It's my job to make sure that SOAP is a standard for independent developers. If one of those developers is poisoning the soup, well, it's my job to highlight that. Microsoft has said repeatedly on and off the record that their purpose in using SOAP is to attain interop. If that's provably false, that's news. Now if I take off my SOAP hat, I have to say if MS achieves interop in SOAP, it would be a milestone, and unusual behavior for them, and newsworthy.
Paul Simon: "Negotiations and love songs are often mistaken for one and the same."
AP: "Webloggers aren't constrained by objectivity or fact-checking." Hmm.
News.Com: MSN shuts out non-Microsoft browsers. Ooops.
JD Lasica is looking for excellent weblog writing.
An O'Reilly article about .NET services from Microsoft. Is anyone checking out Microsoft's stuff to see if it interops with Frontier and Radio? This is important. At the same time we're asking Microsoft to support the Manila SOAP interface in their development work. It works better if independent developers work at the intersection between different environments.
I just got an email from a friend at Microsoft who says we can use COM to communicate with .NET. He surely means well, but there's still a major disconnect. We are not interested in connecting with Microsoft through COM. That's legacy. We invested three years in SOAP. Manila has a full SOAP interface. That's the protocol we want to use to connect.
BTW, Wired is almost as frustrating. It's over a week since they honored me with their top award, and still there is no official mention of it on Wired's website. How long does it take to put up a page that says "Wired Announces the Winners," and explain who they are, and what the process was, and why Wired admires them so. Then I could send a pointer to people at Microsoft saying "Look, they checked it out, and we are actually doing cool shit with SOAP. You should support it and let people know it's there."
Dr Strangelove asked Soviet Ambassador De Sadesky: "But the doomsday machine only does its job if people know about it. So why didn't you announce it?"
I was thinking Microsoft could have run a press release when Wired announced the award. "Look, SOAP was honored." I could say wonderful things about how innovative Microsoft's work was, and explain the promise for independent developers. I actually think, had this not happened during the XP rollout, that the press release would have happened. The PR people at MS are paying attention, if not the technologists.
Fast Company: Microcontent and Microcommunity.
Derek Powazek: User to User Support.
Blocking spam-pingers: "One of the people developing an app that builds on changes.xml pointed out a site that was showing up every hour even though the content on the site had not changed in any meaningful way."
BigBlogTool supports Weblogs.Com. Thanks!
WebReference published a list of sites using HierMenus.
Steve Burgess: "At this dark moment when we stand shoulder to shoulder with all the residents of Gotham, can we pause a moment to curse the Bronx Bombers and all their works? Hell yes. I hate those Bronx bastards." Amen.
10/23/00: "Clemens, who cleanly fielded the bat head, turned toward Piazza, whipped his right arm back and threw the wood toward his newfound nemesis."
JD Lasica: "The Internet Archive contains more than 10 billion Web pages dating back to 1996. Three years ago they'd already scooped up 12 terabytes of content, or 12 trillion bytes."
Congrats to Microsoft on shipping Windows XP.
But: "A new technology meant to prevent illegal copying of Microsoft's latest operating system is stopping many people from buying it, according to an informal survey of CNET News.com readers."
Greg Brown, a software designer at the now-defunct Netobjects, helped piece together the patent mess between Adobe and Macromedia.
Apparently Macromedia bought 11 patents from Netobjects earlier this month, including the patent they're hammering Adobe with. And, although Brown was unaware that Clay Basket was developed in 1995, he confirms that my work in this area predates theirs by about a year.
I wasn't hiding it. I wrote a DaveNet in 7/95 about Clay and there was a public mail list and lots of users. I eventually came to believe that the Web is a groupware environment, and that the central app couldn't be a wizzy productivity tool. Netobjects probably eventually realized that too, but they had already promised their users something they couldn't deliver. Outliners play an important role, but the HTML web is not an outline.
BTW, I visited the production area of Smolan's 24 Hours project in 1996, and saw the Netobjects tools in use, and thought "Oh yeah I did that last year, it doesn't work."
BTW, I started working on outliners in the mid-70s. I have a feeling there were a lot of patents filed in the 90s on art that was published in the 70s and 80s.
The Wayback Machine could be useful for patent-busting. But the server is having problems, and it would be great if Google could index it. (Maybe they already are.)
AP: "Thousands of spectators, mostly women, filled the Tehran University stadium for the ceremony, singing and waving flags as five young Iranian athletes dressed in white-and-pink robes and black Islamic head scarves took a lap around the grounds in horse-drawn chariots."
I wish Zeldman would learn Manila. He rules out content management for designers because it's too expensive or difficult to use. Oy. We've been working on the inbetween sweet spot for years. At this point there's no excuse for an expert like Zeldman to not present Manila as an option for his readers.
This is so cool. Archive.Org has a version of this page from 1996 and most of the links are archived too. Thank you. What a trip down memory lane. Here's Scripting News from July 1997. What a funky header graphic. Here's what DaveNet looked like in 1996.
My name is Dave and I'm a Microsoft addict. Help me.
CmdrTaco: "Now flame me if you feel it necessary."
What is News Industry Text Format?
Flangy: "Unemployment: great, but not the wave of the future."
News.Com: Developers -- What .Net will cost you.
I've gotten a bunch of email pointing to that article, people seem to assume I'd be outraged that Microsoft is charging for services to developers. Well, as Gomer Pyle said, surprise surprise, I know how much money it costs to provide "free" services. We're still unwinding from the lunacy of the dotcom period. There's not much of a business model in giving away things that cost money. Now, sometimes platform vendors give away services to developers to build a market. The more Microsoft charges for theirs the better, as far as I'm concerned. Makes it easier to compete, profitably. Nice.
Abraham Lincoln: "It is true that you may fool all the people some of the time; you can even fool some of the people all the time; but you cannot fool all of the people all the time."
Dan Gillmor: "The government wants to be able to track pretty much everything that moves digitally. It may find allies in the entertainment industry, which would be delighted to have the same capability for songs and movies."
John Van Dyk: "Is anyone else noticing the parallel between the slowdown of snail mail and the slowdown of email?"
Craig Burton: "iFolder is a personal Internet storage system."
Last year on this day I was in NY, getting ready to go to the World Series, and attending the launch of Groove. This year the Mets aren't in it. Of course that doesn't mean they aren't the philosophical World Champions.
Proof that NYers indulge in wishful thinking.
Evan Williams: "For those who have wondered, Blogger will support the new Weblogs.Com." Right on.
Dan Lyke: "Okay, I kludged in a hack to make the Flutterby CMS notify the new Weblogs.com when the front page has changed."
Rafe Colburn: "I've updated my weblogging application so that it notifies weblogs.com whenever I add or update an item."
Adam Curry is working on a blogrolling macro.
I broke the home page at 9AM for about an hour. It stopped updating. Silly mistake. It's back up now.
Matt Bean has a PHP interface to Weblogs.Com.
There are just four implementations. We need one for Slashcode, AppleScript, Tcl, Rebol, Java, you name it.
Moveable Type is supporting the Weblogs.Com XML-RPC interface.
Trained Monkey shows just how simply it can be done.
It's being discussed in Greymatter-land.
People are complaining about the Weblogs.Com corner-turn on MetaTalk. "No good deed goes unpunished."
BTW, one of the benefits of the corner-turn is that a bunch of UserLand-hosted Manila sites are now much faster. They will get even faster on Nov 3 when we turn off the scanner.
Today's song: "Our universe itself keeps on expanding and expanding."
FAQ: "Whoa! Where did all the features go?"
Docs for changes.xml.
Karlin Lillington: "In the midst of the global terrorist crisis, some good news and positive movement is coming from this little island. It is a historic moment and may provide hope for other corners of the world."
Bush: "I don't have anthrax."
Scoble: "Don Norman is wrong when he compares pens to software."
Steve Jobs: "When we get a little spare time, we will look at taking it to Windows. We know the experience won't be as good, but we will probably look at that down the road."
Archos Jukebox Studio 20 MP3 Player. "With a whopping storage capacity of 20 GB you can carry the equivalent of over 500 CDs! In addition, the Jukebox Studio 20 is a fully functioning USB Hard Drive. With its hot swappable, plug-and-play, USB connection, you can conveniently store and take along personal files, along with all your favorite music selections."
Jim Roepcke finds a bug in the design of the iPod. "It doesn't have a Mic."
Powazek: "How can you spot the one MP3 player made just for the Mac? Answer: Look for the most expensive one."
Dori Smith on the iPod: "Okay, I've seen the iPod and I've watched the commercial. And all I can say is, 'Snore.'"
Cydney Gillis: "'We're not sitting on our hands drinking latte up here between the time a security vulnerability is reported to us and the time we issue a (patch),' Lipner said."
Syndic8.Com is kickin butt. It's great to see a hard-working, productive community developing around RSS.
Well the Mariners didn't win, and all that stands between the Yankees and another World Championship is a team from Arizona called the Diamondbacks. That can't be a real team. Arizona? It's too hot there to play baseball. Didn't they used to be the St Louis Cardinals?
Mark Pilgrim: "Welcome to my weblog. I hope you enjoy it. I just got hired for it."
Faisal Jawdat: "The US hasn't been safe from terrorism. Consider abortion clinics. Not only do they get blown up, not only do people try to murder abortion providers, but Planned Parenthood has been receiving anthrax mail threats for years."
Economist: "Windows XP is the first consumer version of the 15-year-old program in which crashing does not seem to come as a standard feature."
NY Times: "Microsoft's pitch to developers is greatly weakened because of [the antitrust conviction]," said Dave Winer, co-author of SOAP and chief executive of UserLand, a developer of Web tools. "Microsoft's only vision is lock-in."
Many apologies to people who don't like it when I write about terrorism. Here I go again. I was thinking, why has the US been immune to terrorism until Sept 11? What kept them from blowing up our buildings and people? Why was the US a safe haven for money? (Maybe it still is.) How did we pull it off? The only answer I came up with was this: terror. We have all these nukes. And we probably have great bio-warfare stuff too. The other guys were scared of us? Now does that make the US a terrorist organization? Something to think about.
Then I heard a report about the IRA and Sinn Fein. I thought to myself "Poor Irish terrorists, they're not getting their fair share of the attention." Then I had a terrible thought. Maybe in the future the terrorists will compete to destroy pieces of the US to get CNN to tell their story and put their leaders on TV. Maybe Ireland wants to start a competitor to Al-Jazeera. What better way than to export some of your terror to the good ole US of A?
Slim: "I almost killed Heather's Cat."
News.Com: Microsoft's music pitch a little off-key.
Washington Post: 2 Postal Workers Die.
Lawrence Lee is keeping a Radio weblog.
Julian Bond: "One of the mailing lists I moderate on Yahoogroups is getting hit by spam to a ridiculous extent."
Ars Technica reviews Mac OS 10.1.
Today's word is dollop. What a funny word. I was just pouring myself a cup of coffee, and got out the half-and-half, and with a certain ceremony I hurled a dollop of the creamy stuff into my coffee. A dollop. Where did that word come from?
It's hard to figure out how to say this without sounding unappreciative, so I'll go ahead and say it anyway. I wish Wired had a page on the Web where they listed the winners of the Rave Awards, so I could point to it as a permanent fixture on Scripting News and my bio page. Back in the old days of Wired, the page would have flipped in real-time while the awards were being announced in SF. Lal lala.
Glenn Fleishman reviews Mac OS 10.1 in the Seattle Times.
Doc Searls echoes what I've said here before. The most valuable feature in Windows XP is one Microsoft won't market (but should). Kiss the Blue Screen of Death goodbye, forever. Unlike earlier versions of Windows, XP uses technology that's been available in the CPU since the late 80s, that protects the memory of the OS from errant apps. So if an app crashes, it can't bring the OS down.
But Allchin has no excuse -- he's supposed to understand how the OS works. (Maybe he doesn't.) When he blames other people's apps, he's so full of it. Only Microsoft's apps can cause BSOD's -- because only Microsoft's apps have license to circumvent the protection of the OS. Other apps play by the rules.
John Robb: How we will fight an Asymmetric War.
Remember that super-detailed picture of the WTC disaster site? It's back.
Amy Cortese: Venture Capital, Withering and Dying.
Washington Post: "FBI and Justice Department investigators are increasingly frustrated by the silence of jailed suspected associates of Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network, and some are beginning to that say that traditional civil liberties may have to be cast aside if they are to extract information about the Sept. 11 attacks and terrorist plans."
Former NY Mets catcher Jerry Grote has a schmaltzy noisy website with a powerful message. He wants to be a major league coach or manager. "My knowledge of the game, the ability to see everything happening on the field, my desire to win (and being on five championship teams), and the ability to correct mistakes being made, will make me an excellent manager."
Chris Pirillo: 50 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Windows XP.
Newsbytes: US on Verge of 'Electronic Martial Law'.
Derek Powazek interviews Slashdot-creator Rob Malda.
Tuesday is the big day for the Weblogs.Com corner-turn. I've written some notes about what to expect. "I'm sure it's confusing -- it's confusing here too. The new weblogs.com will be different from the old one. How much different it will be will depend on what the weblog community does with it."
Way to go Mariners. First they have a tear-jerking Yankee Stadium ceremony with the National Guard, honoring the dead of Sept 11. Everyone cries. Doesn't it suck? Play ball. Yankees score and gloat in the dugout.
Then "Seattle scored seven runs in the sixth, and the Mariners crushed the Yankees, 14-3, setting a league championship series record for runs in a game."
That's how you do it. You don't win in the post season by being a nice guy. Next time don't fall for National Guard stuff. This is baseball, Seattle. Get a grip and kick their butts. Show no mercy.
10/21/00: "OK, he's a Yankees fan. Now I know why I don't like him."
Steve Gillmor: Groove's Rubber Soul.
Scoble: "Only at a tech conference can you trade cards with four people at once with Palm devices."
Mike Donnelan is running a caption contest.
AP: "Macromedia Inc. is claiming it owns the patent to Adobe Systems Inc.'s popular Photoshop program, according to a suit filed in federal court Friday."
This cartoon perfectly illustrates why the Mariners can't beat the Yankees. "I love NY but I don't love the Yankees." Oy yoy yoy.
I warned about angering The Baseball God in 1995. "'Isn't it great Pete! No matter who wins, *we* win!' Imagine her putting both of her index fingers to her cheeks, twisting them slightly and swaying her head from side to side. I groaned when I heard her say it. 'This is not good.'"
This is why east coast teams have a geographic advantage over west coast teams. On the east coast they don't give a fuck about the other guy's skyscrapers. On the west coast we try to let "everyone" win. Now in software that's admirable, in baseball, it's a prescription for earthquakes, or worse.
Lispmeralda is "a client-side implementation of the XML-RPC protocol using ELisp for Emacs"
Oh my god, it's Don Norman and Marc Canter, on stage, at the same time. I guess this proves once and for all that they're not the same person.
O'Reilly's Dave Sims reviews the USA Act which has now passed both houses of Congress.
News.Com: "The U.S. Department of Justice is growing suspicious of the labels' increasing power, and antitrust investigators are beginning to invite start-ups to closed-door discussions in Washington, D.C., to determine whether the labels are violating antitrust laws."
NY Times: "One of the signal pleasures of living in a democracy is the privilege of point of view. You can love New York — and feel compassion for all the suffering that has happened here — and still deplore those smug Yankees."
One year ago today I made a list of my mission-critical software. Not much has changed there.
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Wired: "Apple on Tuesday will unveil a new portable electronic device that allows people to listen to digital music files away from the computer.. The device -- called the iPod -- can be synched with the computer using a high-speed cable connection that allows consumers to download their music into a portable system, which can then be accessed by either a car or home stereo system."
AP: "German authorities have issued an international arrest warrant for a Moroccan on charges that he helped plan and prepare the devastating attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, prosecutors said Friday."
Scoble is blogging the PopTech conference.
Amy Wohl on the value of endorsements.
Kevin Werbach asks, on the Decentralization list, if his theory that SOAP is for big corporations and XML-RPC for independent developers, is true.
Kevin is one of my inspirations for wanting to get corporations on the record about their use of XML-RPC. My impression is quite different from Kevin's. Corporations do development with people who are much like you and me (in fact lots of corporate developers read Scripting News). I hear from people inside corporations all the time who use appropriate technology based its merits, not on whether a BigCo is pushing it (aside from that MS is not pushing SOAP, they're pushing a soup of confusing and ill-specified stuff).
As a co-developer of both XML-RPC and SOAP, I have no stake in either protocol winning. I like them both. My software supports both. But I do not want to see this world divided between the respected and the disrespected. I give developers at MS and IBM no more credit for doing useful stuff than I do a random developer at a company I've never heard of. Actually, based on my experience, it's more likely that a lone developer will do better work than his counterpart at a BigCo. You can be closer to users when you're at a small company, and you respect customers more because you depend on them, in a real way, to keep your business going.
One more thing -- SOAP and XML-RPC are almost 100 percent politics. The technology is very thin, and by design, easy to implement. These are Emancipation Proclamations for free-thinking developers everywhere. No one cares if you work for a BigCo or not. Roll up your sleeves, build some distributed systems, exercise your right to use any development or runtime environment you want, and force the vendors to compete on the merits of their products. If BigMoney makes better software, they deserve to win. If the past is any guide, they don't stand a chance.
I commented on this in a recent DaveNet, but no one picked it up as far as I can tell. "The economics of software favor small independent developers." Double-click on that, and look at the ways the Big's try to undermine the Little's, but it's mostly bullshit. Where are the standards the Big's were cooking up in the early 90s. They're dead, swept away by SMTP, POP, HTTP, HTML. The tech renegades at MS fully understood this, but the industry hasn't caught onto this yet, and most of Microsoft hasn't either.
W3JMailServer has an XML-RPC interface.
Adam Curry rants eloquently about email.
BTW, we have the problem licked. We're using a new system at UserLand, it replaces our largely email-based internal communication system. It's a combination of instant messaging and outlining. I'm sure it's not for everyone. But for workgroups whose product is thought (like my company), making an investment in human-to-human communication is a pure money-maker. It's interesting that Adam exploded on this at this time. He's not NDA'd (yet) on the new product.
BTW, this new communication platform will be open. The connections are all implemented in SOAP 1.1 and XML-RPC (your choice). The documents are passed between computers in OPML. So if you do a text tool or outliner, just be sure you support OPML and encourage the people who work on the OSes and scripting environments to bake in XML-RPC and SOAP 1.1. That's it.
On this day last year I wrote my favorite DaveNet of all time.
Frank Zappa sang La la la la la la la -- Nice lady! Don't ask me why this is running through my head. It just is. (I know I know, it was actually Flo and Eddie who sang that, the vocalists who joined The Mothers after disbanding The Turtles.) "Watch out where the Huskies go and don't you eat that yellow snow!"
Sometimes Donnelan just cracks me up.
DaveNet: Wired's Tech Renegade for 2001.
Kanan Makiya: "Arabs and Muslims need today to face up to the fact that their resentment at America has long since become unmoored from any rational underpinnings it might once have had."
Paul Boutin: "The notable blogger-clustering was funny to watch last night."
I was interviewed on KGO at 4:38PM. It was fun!
Amy Wohl: Could Blogging Assist KM?
BBC: "BBC Arabic Online has been named as the best Arab language website for the second year running."
Brad Templeton explains, with a prototype, why Larry Ellison's identity card idea might not be very good.
CNN: "Attention Taliban! You are condemned."
XML.Com: "SOAP 1.1 has become a de facto standard, with broad industry support from many vendors, large and small."
What is Photoshop Tennis? "One player emails a Photoshop document to the other containing a single layer. Each player progressively adds a layer until the match is over, either by time, withdrawal or mutual consent. A guest adds comments in real time and the people watching vote for a winner."
BBC: "The Government in Kenya says it has confirmed a case of anthrax exposure from a contaminated letter - the first such case outside the United States in the 11 September terror attacks."
Jay Allen has "photos from the first Bay Area Weblogger User Group (or whatever it shall be named) meeting on October 16th, 2001 in Mountain View."
I sent a message to Microsoft PR that we could make hay with the award SOAP won last night. Alas, no surprise, they're in PR Hell right now with the Windows XP rollout. I want Microsoft to market developer freedom. They have a new developer czar, btw, Eric Rudder. I know Eric. We butted heads over Java in 1997. He was on Bill Gates' staff at the time, researching privacy technology. We talked then about what they're doing now with Passport and Hailstorm. A long time in planning. He's a smart guy, I could work with him, but we're going to have the same argument now that we had in 1997. Relax about Sun, trust developers more, be a little bit more vulnerable, and the rewards for Microsoft will be huge.
News.Com: "Some writers ask me, 'So, what is .Net?' And I say, 'Hey, you're talking to the wrong guy."
MSNBC launches a site in Arabic. Smart.
Wired press release on the awards.
A very cool web app from Tobi Schaefer.
Christian Riege: "I'm constantly on the lookout for seeing real benefits of SOAP over XML-RPC."
CapnRPC is an "XML-RPC client written in PLT's MzScheme/MrEd version of Scheme by Pete Hopkins."
Russ Mitchell: "It started as a crusade for free source code. Linux zealots turned it into a full-frontal assault on Microsoft."
I promised I wouldn't gloat.
Last night, a great party, even better because I won!
You know it's funny, to me SOAP still seems a struggle to gain recognition. I say to people "You should care about this," but in my heart, I'm sure they don't. Every step of the way, starting with Bob Atkinson's response to my 1998 DaveNet piece, was a surprise. That Microsoft wanted to work with us on this was a surprise. That they didn't crush us when we forked XML-RPC was a surprise. Every step has been a surprise. Steve Gillmor, Dan's brother, said to me not long ago "Everyone but you knows it's a winner." True to style I asked "What do you mean?" Some days there's no denial. I won. I am a winner. What does that mean? I don't know!
Wired: "Mavericks, geniuses, and intellectual outlaws. A person whose ideas are changing the world."
Thanks to Paul Boutin at Wired for nominating me. Thanks to Bob Atkinson, Mohsen Al-Ghosein, Andrew Layman, Keith Ballinger, John Montgomery, Charles Fitzgerald, and all the people at Microsoft who worked on SOAP. Thanks to Don Box. Thanks to the W3C for XML. Thanks to all the sweet people at Wired who knew I had won and treated me like a king last night. Thanks to Jake Savin for his great work on behalf of UserLand on SOAP interop. (That's what it's about, btw.)
And a big hearty thank you -- to you! Wired nominated, but the people voted. See the Vote4Me link to the left. Thanks to all of you who clicked on that link and gave me your support.
Let's do more cool stuff for developer freedom, and don't forget Let's Have Fun!
Last night was also a time to see old friends I hadn't seen in a long time, and to make some new friends.
It was great to see Chris Nolan and Lisa Rein. Chris introduced me to Daniel Weitzner, the lead of the W3C patent working group. We had a long talk and found that we were in agreement on 90 percent of the issues in front of the W3C and the BigCo patents. I had seen John Gilmore on Sunday and he told me I should talk with Daniel. John was right about that.
I talked a lot with Evan Williams of Blogger. I really like Evan, I was rooting for him to win his category. In the midst of all the pomp and circumstance, I felt like of all the people there, Evan understands best what we're doing, because he's doing the same thing, in a different way.
Scoble says there is no acceptance speech. That's OK. I like it better that way. If I win I'll post my acceptance speech here tomorrow. It'll begin this way. "Thank you." And it will end the same way. Hey I'll post it even if I don't win.
To Evan Williams who's up for a Rave Award as the cultural innovator of 2001 -- break a leg!
John Van Dyk adds "scheduled editing" to his Metadata Plugin for Manila.
This is what it looks like when a natural born blogger "stops" updating. It's not a pretty picture.
There's now a Colorado-bloggers mail list.
NY Times: "Palestinian gunmen killed Israel's senior far-right leader in a swift, silent raid on a hotel here this morning, bringing new efforts for peace to the brink of collapse."
AP: "Iran has assured the United States through Swiss intermediaries that it would try to rescue any American military personnel it found in distress on its territory, a senior U.S. official said yesterday."
Dan Gillmor: "The government misses the days of the old Ma Bell, when communications were centralized and law enforcement had a relatively simple time of wiretapping suspects."
Matt Rosoff: "Everybody's got Windows, but Microsoft doesn't enjoy that direct billing relationship AOL has with its customers."
NY Times: "Officials said today that nearly two dozen people in the office of the Senate majority leader had tested positive for exposure to anthrax."
Continuing the thread that Kevin Werbach started. There are three main structures you can hang knowledge off (knowledge is the new word for content). A calendar, a search engine, and a taxonomy (which is a fancy word for directory). He's right that getting people to use special tools to gather knowledge is not a great idea if you want everyone to use it. That's correct. Emailers are where most writing goes on these days.
So hook a search engine and archive up to your mail lists, as Yahoo does so well, and you're done. That's why Yahoo blew it by hiring an entertainment industry guy as their new CEO. They should have hired someone from IT and sold their services, which are excellent, to corporations.
Now Kevin doesn't talk about knowledge management for people whose job it is to research and gather information and organize projects. They're the connoisseurs of knowledge management. The software industry, as a whole, has not been very good at creating tools for these people. Lawyers, managers, educators, doctors, accountants, consultants -- thinkers, planners and organizers. All the tools apply, weblogs, search engines, archives, and outliners.
Kevin Werbach on post-modern knowledge management. He left out the most powerful human-oriented knowledge management tool of them all -- outliners.
A beautiful poem about the US, by Cheryl Sawyer, a professor at University of Houston.
Ben Hammersly has a Perl script that pings Weblogs.Com.
News.Com: "A bug in the code of the SirCam worm has prevented the malicious program from reactivating its payload, which would have deleted files on infected PCs Tuesday, according to antivirus company Sophos."
USPTO: Patent 6,304,886.
1/28/95: What is AutoWeb? "Instead of flowing text to a printer, we flow it to the web. Same process, different result. Writers write. They're happy with their Macs. The scripts hide all the arcane-ness of Unix. Want to put a new article on the web? Write it with a text editor. Drop it in a folder. A few minutes later it's linked to your home page. It really can be that simple."
Muqtedar Khan: "Muslims, including American Muslims have been practicing hypocrisy on a grand scale."
Well it looks like my Call for Endorsements for XML-RPC was a spectacular failure. I've got to figure out how to do this better. I want to get formal on-the-record statements from technology leaders on how much they love XML-RPC and want to help it be even more successful. How can I sweeten the deal so people actually get the press release to come out the other end?
Rob Malone: "Thought you might find this site interesting. It allows you to predict what someone is like in bed, just by looking at them. As well as a bit of fun, it also has a scientific purpose. The data collected is being analysed for statistical relevance."
Brent Simmons: "In OS X 10.1, Apple has added a new optional Script Menu. It's like OSA Menu for the Classic OS, except that it doesn't know how to run Frontier scripts. Luckily, it's pretty easy to run Frontier scripts anyway."
Brent is mirroring his weblog to Apple's server.
According to Pat Thoyts, TclSOAP also supports XML-RPC.
Last year on this day the Mets won the National League Championship. That would be as far as they would get in Y2K. It's no shame to win the only league that Really Counts.
A list of gender-related DaveNet pieces going back to 1994.
On Saturday I said "I have a problem with the word evil being used by mortal human beings to describe other humans." Then I heard about the RIAA plan to infect computer users with a virus that deletes all the MP3s on our computers. I almost wrote a bit to ask Osama bin Laden to please target their homes in the next round of terrorism. I caught myself. "Better sleep on this."
What they're doing is pathetic, not evil. The evil is within me, for wanting to strike at them for their sad state. Much better approach. Make a pledge to not buy any music until they reinstate Napster, in all its glory. I'm good at keeping those kinds of pledges. So that's what I'll do. I hope you join me. Cut off their air supply. No industry has ever deserved it more.
BTW, Mickey Capp, a retired Warner exec, asked me for advice on how to do this virus, about a year ago. I told him to fuck off. I never believed they'd actually try it. What a loser.
I saw a bit on 60 Minutes or MSNBC or CNN, I don't remember where, about the Hezbollah-controlled section of Beirut. They showed picture of a busy city street, with cars and shops and just like shopping streets in the US, they have civic-minded signs on their street lights. In the US, our signs say things like Noel, or Peace on Earth, which is disgusting commercialism of noble thoughts. It's supposed to inspire you to buy more gifts for your family members. In Beirut they have pictures of martyrs, young men who strapped explosives on their bodies and blew themselves up to kill other people. Even more disgusting than our street signs in commercial districts. How they exploit their young men and their wives and children. That was the subtext of the video essay.
Now, what surprised me is that the Hezbollah has infrastructure. That's weird. Once they have infrastructure, stores, cars, commerce, they can't support the destruction of our infrastructure. It's almost mathematical. The proper response to every destroyed bit of western infrastructure is to return the favor and destroy some of theirs. I know we have more, they'll be living in caves before we are, but they gotta stop and think a little bit. I didn't know they love the same comforts that we do. I've been buying more luxurious food when I go shopping these days. Appreciating the gifts of our civilization as I fear losing them. Now I see that they must have the same fear. Be warned, we can launch terrorist attacks too, if you have infrastructure for us to target. Or you can join us in support of civilization. You can listen, find out what the US is really like, understand that we love each other as you love your country and fellow citizens. We may have more in common than you think.
DaveNet: Are Men Back?
Lisa Rein: "The RIAA has been trying to find a way to deploy virus-like software that would seek out infringing files on your home computer and delete them. Under the USA Act, 'collateral damage' inflicted by this software (non-infringing files deleted by accident) would constitute an act of terrorism."
Frontier News: Fixes in Manila RSS generation. More coming later today. Love Manila Month II continues.
The Mirror Project has an XML-RPC interface. Nice!!
I added it to the Services page in the XML-RPC directory.
Doug Kaye: "I'd like your suggestions for weblogs, weblog directories, headline syndicators and blog tools that you think should be included in Microcontent: Weblogs and Headline Syndication."
I'd nominate the Mac Scripting weblog. It's got huge amounts of great links and lots of room to grow. The Mac is probably the richest scripting environment available today. It's got all the Mac scripting culture and the Unix scripting culture. That's why we started this weblog. It's also available in RSS.
It looks like the American irreverant sense of humor is coming back. Warning, do not drink coffee while reading this.
Joel says that NIH is sometimes a good idea. "If your own people are more incompetent than everyone else, so whenever you try to do anything in house, it's botched up. Yes, there are plenty of places like this. If you're in one of them, I can't help you." Heh. Interesting.
The Sept 11 archive includes Scripting News, thanks, with a snapshot on Sept 17, which scrolls back to the 11th. Smart. It gets more interesting. They also archived pages I pointed to and images. But Infoworld has a robots.txt that keeps them from being archived. I know their CTO reads this site. A good snapshot of the Web on that day could be useful. Then again, it seems we have some work to do too.
Responses to today's DaveNet on the mailpages site.
Christie Blatchford: This triumph of the spirit belongs to men.
Observation. Women who are offended by something often call the writing they don't like drivel. It's pretty insulting. Got it.
AP: "A letter opened Monday in the office of Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle 'had anthrax in it,' President Bush said."
Wired: "The recording industry wants the right to hack into your computer and delete your stolen MP3s."
Sorry for the infrequent updates this morning. We're bootstrapping some new software at UserLand, and I'm writing a fairly evocative piece.
In the meantime, I had not seen this photo gallery, comparing Belgrade in 1999 with New York in 2001. Let's look at the world through other people's eyes. OK. It's not about the emperor's clothes, imho. We thought we were doing good in Yugoslavia. OK, let's look at the pictures, but after that, will you tell us what you would like us to do in the future when peace is threatened by a despot like Milosevic.
News in the Weblogs.Com corner-turn. The home page of the new site will be static and fast, and will link to weblogs that changed in the last three hours. On Oct 23 we'll re-map www.weblogs.com to the static version. You'll see something like this. It's live, updating as often as once a minute.
LA Times: Weblogs Put a Face on a Faraway Disaster.
Milestone: Stories work in Radio 7.1.
Jakob Nielsen: End of Homemade Websites. "Most small websites are probably better off with Yahoo's default set-up than anything they could design themselves."
Esther Dyson on yesterday's survey: "I'd do that for free. Isn't that what being open-minded means?" Yes.
Mozilla 0.9.5 was released on Friday.
Is this how they think of Silicon Valley in the rest of the world? The Land of Hyperbole. Hey that's a bug in New York, I think. They listen only to the hypemasters in Silicon Valley and then complain that we're all about hype.
There is a lot of substance in Silicon Valley. We make systems for connecting wires between human beings to foster communication. We lost our way, and thought we did what NY does (publishing and financial services) and retail (all the pet food websites). Nah, that's not what we do. We do user interfaces and infrastructure, and at that, we're the best. And it's terrible that our firemen, policemen and teachers can't afford to live here. We must do something about that!
We're the best, but it's not like we don't have competition. Seattle, Utah and Boston are all in our game too. NY thought they could have a high-tech industry, but it seems that didn't work very well.
Tim Paustian has a FAQ on anthrax. He's a microbiologist at the University of Wisconsin (my alma mater) and a highly credible person. In other words, I trust Tim, I trust UW, and I believe what they say.
Mark Aldritt: "I feel that one of the most significant new scripting features of Mac OS X 10.1 is its native support for the XML-RPC and SOAP protocols. XML-RPC allows you to invoke code running in any virtually and programming language and operating system. To try and illustrate how cool this is, I've put together a simple XML-RPC server written in a few lines of Java that you can run on Mac OS X, Windows or Unix and which you can invoke using AppleScript."
Peggy Noonan: "It is not only that God is back, but that men are back."
Guardian: "FBI investigators have officially concluded that 11 of the 19 terrorists who hijacked the aircraft on 11 September did not know they were on a suicide mission."
Survey: "Suppose a Saudi prince offered you $10 million, no strings attached, but you had to read his press release and listen to what he thought you were doing wrong. Would you take the money on these terms?"
Now it's interesting if you do the math. We have a way of monetizing fear, at least a lower-bound. If five people say no, that means the fear is worth at least $50 million. Isn't that amazing. I didn't say you had to do anything other than read and listen. I find it so amazing that some people would rather not listen than have $10 million!
Here's a list of the surveys I've run in the last few months.
London Times: "Every night for the past month, as Taleban soldiers and police fled the city in fear of airstrikes, the residents of Kandahar came out to enjoy long-forbidden freedoms without fear of punishment by the religious police."
Here's one of those good ideas you're glad someone else implemented. "When you find a page on the web whose address is too long to paste into an email or other document, you can use our free service to generate a shorter, simpler address." Let's give it a try. Here's a pointer to Stewart Alsop's article on Fortune through the shorterlink service.
Paul Nakada says they should do caching like Google, and in a post in the w3c-patent discussion, I say that Google should buy them. "Reward the ones with winning ideas. That would accelerate progress for Google, who has carved out a nice position among connoiseurs of the Web. They upgrade the whole Web regularly, and people love them for that."
I didn't stop there. Here's another reason patents suck.
On this day two years ago, Edd Dumbill wrote a landmark article about XML interapplication protocols. I forgot we used to have this basic agreement of philosophy. What's happened since then to change that? Why the reliance on BigCo's? Can we find some way to get back into agreement?
It's really nice to see Microsoft acknowledge SOAP's older brother. "XML-RPC is an easy-to-use standard that enables applications to call remote procedures over the Internet, and is the predecessor of SOAP, which is the standard used in Microsoft's .NET platform for providing Web Services."
Bloggerbot bridges AIM and Blogger through XML-RPC. Look ma, no UserLand software. Heh.
Simon Kittle is working on a Python-based interface to Manila via XML-RPC. This is totally in the spirit of Edd's piece, which was written while Manila was in development.
I have a problem with the word evil being used by mortal human beings to describe other humans. When I hear it, I think "Who does this person think he is?" We're all just human beings here, as far as I know. How can you reconcile your differences with someone you've called evil? Are you god? Do you have a higher moral grounding or purpose? If so, get over it. It's hubris. God, if there is one, can decide if any of us are evil. It's not up to us to know if someone else is evil.
Another thing. I think Giulani should apologize to the Sheik and ask if he still wants to donate the $10 million to help the recovery in NY. So what if the Sheik wants to say something. This is the land of the free and the home of the brave. We should thank him for sharing his opinion, and listen and maybe learn something. And geez, $10 million is a lot of money. Maybe we can get him to give us $20 million?
Harry Chapin: "I stashed the bill in my shirt."
I really enjoyed President Bush's press conference on Thurs night. He said so many things that made me laugh and think "This guy gets it." A reporter asked how he feels about half-hearted help from Syria. (I'm paraphrasing here.) "I'll take help any way I can get it, I'm a results-oriented guy" says our president. Right fucking on. I don't want his pride ending my life. Take the help, and thank them profusely. That's the philosophy of inclusion.
And rather than running away from the "Why do they hate us so much?" question, he charged right into it. "We're such cool people," he says (again I'm paraphrasing). "I can't believe they don't see that. We'll just have to work on it, talk with them, and explain who we are to them. It's just a misunderstanding." Excellent. Let's work on relating. There's been far too much bluster. Don't hate people because they hate us. Work on why they hate us, and see if there's a bug, and fix it.
One more thing that made me say "Right On" to my President. Asked why he hasn't met with Yasir Arafat yet, he said he wouldn't appear for a photo-op until there was something to announce. He's holding out for substance. Excellent. Now is the time to do that. These are times of great change. Let's get ready for it.
One more story. I saw an interview with a career US diplomat. He was asked why we give Mubarak in Egypt $1.5 billion per year in military aid. That was one of the terms of the peace treaty with Israel, he said. We prop up Mubarak to get peace betw Israel and Egypt, and in the same moment, create a war with the citizens he keeps under control. A lesson every programmer knows well. You can't fix a bug by hiding it. Mubarak will be dead someday. Then what?
Yesterday I asked what news is being masked by the latest outrage. Here's one thing. The Congress is legislating big stuff, out of view of the public. Not a single report about this on the TV networks.
Ha'aretz: "..enemies of the West using the technology of the West in order to strike at the West."
Paul Nakada: "One of my friend's colleagues received an envelope at home with some powder in it. She immediately called the department of public health and the FBI. They came and took the powder, told her to thoroughly shower and that they would be back in touch."
AP: "In Nevada, the FBI was investigating a letter sent from Malaysia to a Microsoft office in Reno to determine whether it contained anthrax."
Kevin Lippert update at 4:45PM: "The contents of the letter to Judith Miller, the Times reporter, was a threat against the Sears Tower, and postmarked Florida. The Times has now instructed everyone not to open any mail, and to pull out anything with a Florida postmark."
See below for morning anthrax reports.
AP: "'When you start reading a blog you immediately think, 'I want to do this, too.'"
Introducing: Mac.Scripting.Com. Welcome!
Apple's statement on W3C patent policy.
eWeek: "The W3C's patent policy working group will consider granting exemptions to open source developers so that they could avoid paying royalty fees on patented technologies accepted as W3C standards, said Daniel Weitzner, the working group's chairman." Outrageous.
On the XML-DEV list I posted: "If open source is to be granted some kind of exception, then that exception must also apply to independent commercial developers, especially those who invent non-patented new art that others may freely use in their software."
I wonder what Kevin Rivette would do if someone had patented the idea of an article for a tech pub that kissed the butts of BigCo's that advertise in the pub. Think it's ridiculous? It is. And the software patents we're arguing about are just as ridiculous.
Iowa is getting Scobelized.
NY Times: "The MobileStar Network Corporation, a driving force in offering wireless Internet access in public places, said yesterday that it had laid off its entire work force and would sell its assets if it could not find a buyer to continue its service." MobileStar runs the Internet service at Starbuck's.
BBC: "The United Nations and its Secretary General, Kofi Annan, have been awarded the centenary Nobel Peace Prize."
Wired: "According to analysis of SirCam's code, every year on Oct. 16 the worm will delete all the files and folders contained on the hard drives of randomly selected SirCam-infected computers."
Register: The World Will End Tomorrow. Whew!
Kevin Lippert: "My wife works at the New York Times and just called. An investigative reporter opened an envelope and some black powder apparently sprayed out. The police and FBI are on site and testing for anthrax, in the meantime the street is sealed off and no on can leave the building. The rumor at the Times is that a similar envelope was received at NBC, where a NY employee just tested positive for anthrax (this is on the wires)."
Lippert writes an architecture weblog at UserLand.
Update: "The NBC employee is rumored to be Tom Brokaw's assistant who opened mail addressed to the NBC anchor."
"The envelope, which contained white powder, not black, was on the third floor, and, if it is anthrax, should not pose a hazard to anyone who did not come directly in contact with it, so everyone is free to go home. The Times is offering to swab anyone who wants, but more for peace of mind than any feared risk.
"But get this: I hear that the powder at NBC arrived 10 days ago, was tested at the time, and came up negative. The woman who opened the envelope was tested a second time, negatively, a few days ago, and finally tested positive today. Sounds like the test isn't so conclusive, or that there's a an undetectable latency period."
MSNBC: "Word of the fourth recent case of anthrax in the United States came in a memo from top NBC executives Robert Wright and Andrew Lack and said the employee was being treated with antibiotics and was expected to make a full recovery."
Anthrax in NYC. MSNBC reports, on front page, but no link available yet, according to Bloomberg it's an NBC reporter at 30 Rockefeller Center.
Survey: "Will October 12 be like September 11?"
Intense thought. They're going after the people who can most effectively spread the most fear. Also making it difficult for other stories to get coverage. So they're going after the people of journalism first. Is the technology next?
Paul Boutin: "1,000 journalists in Afghanistan, but not one weblog. Can we fix that?"
FBI: "Certain information, while not specific as to target, gives the government the reason to believe that there may be additional terrorist attacks within the United States and against U.S. interests overseas over the next several days.''
O'Reilly: "The W3C's responsibility to the entire world of web users must come before its obligations to its members."
Stewart Alsop: "Wireless rocks! Wireless stinks!"
Craig Burton: "Removing copy protection from NetWare was one of the key moves that caused NetWare to become ubiquitous."
Fox News: "Is Bert the Muppet a henchman of terrorist mastermind Usama bin Laden?"
XML-RPC: Call for Endorsements. "Ask not what the Internet can do for you, ask what you can do for the Internet."
John Robb: "One thing we take for granted in the Weblog community is automatic time-organization."
BBC: "Computer experts have painted a chilling picture of the potential threat from a combined terror and cyber-attack on the United States."
Fox News: "The Internet, they tell us, is a domain of hype and hoaxes, while traditional media can be trusted to check things out and get them right. Yet if one looks at Amazon.Com’s reviews of Arming America, it is immediately evident that Amazon reviewers found the problems with Bellesiles’ book a year ago, while the establishment was still smitten."
Judith Burton's new weblog looks interesting.
Oy, the NY Times archive has gone dark. This may be a Cluetrain issue. I used to point to the NY Times partially because their archives were so good, unlike most other pubs, they were solid all the way back to 1996. Now I know that when I link to a Times article it'll rot in 30 days. You'll see fewer pointers to the Times now, because I'm trying to create an archive. That's one of my goals.
A new macro for UserLand-hosted Manila sites.
If you call this macro from your home page or template, every visitor will see a picture of one of the FBI's most wanted terrorists, linked to the page on the FBI site. Let's get to know these guys. I've got a terrorist on Scripting News, it's in the right column, just below the On This Day In feature
suites.fbi contains the source for Frontier and Radio UserLand.
DaveNet: Do Muslims really love death?
London Times: "The FBI now says that 13 of the 19 hijackers probably did not know they were on a suicide mission."
Dan Gillmor: "If your mother says she loves you, check it out.'' That's the basic curiousity of journalism. When bin Laden makes an issue of Muslims loving death, it's essential that we dig in and find out if it's true.
Simon Kittle: Outlining with Manila under Linux.
MSNBC: The purposes of pacifism.
Mozilla.Org's comments on the proposed W3C patent policy.
Brian Livingston: There'll be no XP for me. "What all these new XP 'features' have in common is that they make Windows more convenient for Microsoft but less convenient for users."
FBI: Most Wanted Terrorists.
I've proposed a timeline for the transition for Weblogs.Com. If you're part of the community served by Weblogs.Com, please read the RFC, ask questions, and comment.
In Radio 7.1, users are identified by a usernum, which is simply a non-negative number.
CMS Watch interviews InfoWorld's Chad Dickerson.
Adam Fritzler has documented the AIM protocol. This will be useful.
AOL-Files.com is "dedicated to providing AOL members with information on how the America Online service operates."
The Cross-Industry Working Team is a "a multi-industry coalition defining the architecture and key technical requirements for a powerful, sustainable information infrastructure."
Here's a request for people who are good with Photoshop. I'd like an old-fashioned rendering of Uncle Sam, editing a weblog on a PC or a Mac. He should look determined and powerful. I think it's clear that this war we're at will be fought (like all wars) in people's minds. Our way of life is truly grounded in free speech, there's no better way to illustrate than showing our icon using the might of his mind.
Press release: Microsoft invests $51 million in Groove.
Mark Pilgrim: "Welcome to my weblog. I hope you enjoy it. I just got fired for it."
Rahul Dave: "Free countries have no business mixing state and religion."
BBC: Russia's threadbare forests revealed. "Only a small part of the northern forests of European Russia remain in relatively intact large sections."
Michael Fraase: "Microsoft intends to control every aspect of digital media, from creation to consumption."
London Times: "Bin Laden, kneeling in a cave, clad in combat fatigues, summoned Islam to arms. Bush, suited and enthroned in the White House, called his own country to fight, but just as importantly, urged moderate Muslims to support (or at least not oppose) the operation against bin Laden and his Taleban protectors."
WSJ: "Racing a deadline imposed by state education authorities, 'American Nation' authors and editors have been scrambling for nearly four weeks to place the proper historical perspective on a terrorist assault that has enveloped the country in a still-unfolding crisis."
Eric Soroos: JSP Proxy Responder.
I've been hearing a lot in the last couple of days about Al-Jazeera, the Qatar-based TV network that covers the Moslem world the way CNN covers the US. Screen shot. On NPR they interviewed people in their audience, they sound like people who have recently discovered weblogs. "Finally I'm getting the news unfiltered by CNN," they say enthusiastically.
Adam Curry demo'd weblogs for the Dutch Education Ministry.
Dan Bricklin: Copy Protection Robs the Future.
Scoble is having fun with his Radio 7.1 beta.
Wired: High Court Nixes MS Appeal. "On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear Microsoft's appeal that could have prevented as-yet-unspecified penalties from being levied against the software maker."
NY Times: "The Justice Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation have ordered agents across the country to curtail their investigation of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks so they can pursue leads that might prevent a second, possibly imminent, round of attacks, senior law enforcement officials said."
Radio UserLand: Web server port changes in 7.1.
New Manila theme, designed for directory sites, patterned after SoapWare.Org.
Chicago Tribune: "The flight attendant said 'Get him,' and, damn it, everyone went up and got him."
Just when you least expect it!
Reading this article on BetaNews about Sun's response to Microsoft's move to embrace Java in .NET, once again I felt the urge to evangelize.
Sun, please move Java into the path of .NET. You're ceding them the high ground. Protect your leadership position.
Sun could instantly turn Java into the installed base leader in Web Services by baking-in SOAP and XML-RPC support.
Make Microsoft climb your installed base hill. It's almost as if Sun wants Java to be subsumed into .NET.
It's simple, Divide and Conquer.
For each developer community, call it Foo, create a new community, Foo.Net.
It's easy for a Foo developer to use Foo.Net.
But the transition the other way is not easy.
You'll see this happen with every open source development environment. None of them have any protection against this, either legally or in their communities. The leaders appear either not to know what to do about Microsoft, or aren't alarmed by Microsoft's strategy.
If they were alarmed, they would do what I recommend that Java do. (See above.) Protect your community, make it easy for them to participate in the Internet as a scripting environment without ceding their future to Microsoft.
As we've seen with Java, even an alert and aggressive competitor can't mount a defense without technical acumen at the top. We'll look back in a few years and play what if. What if the leaders of other development communities were paying attention when Microsoft challenged them?
If they taught software strategy in colleges, this would be covered in the first semester. It's basic stuff.
In the early 90s when Apple had the high ground in GUIs, they gave the market to Microsoft.
I remember meeting with a MS exec in that period, he was grilling me for info about Apple's counter to Windows. "When is it coming!" he wanted to know, and what will it look like?
I shook my head. "It's not coming."
He thought I was bullshitting him.
One more comment.
Today's Apple is doing it right.
I've heard that they're blown away by the response that's come from baking-in SOAP and XML-RPC in Mac OS 10.1. In a way I'm blown away too, but on giving it more thought, of course the Mac developers and scripters love it.
XML-RPC is the continuation of a philosophy of scriptable apps that started on the Mac.
XML-RPC has broadened that, to include the Unix developers, who love it because it is so Unixy.
Mac developers meet Unix developers.
That sparks the kind of love that Microsoft never will gather around itself. They're simply unlovable. Not to be trusted.
So Apple says "Hey this shit is interesting, let's give it a try."
Now Apple is too small to worry about trusting them. Sure they'd eat our lunch if they could, but they can't, so we don't have to worry. Their weakness is an advantage. Zig-zag. In the meantime the open source scripting leadership and the execs at Sun miss that they have a similar advantage, and don't use it. Shame.
Survey: "One man in Florida is dead. Another was found to have anthrax in his nose. They worked in the same office. Stevens lived within a mile of an airport that one of the Sept 11 terrorists flew out of. Is this a coincidence or terrorism?"
On September 11, my mother, Eve Winer, watched the destruction of the World Trade Center from a Brooklyn school where she teaches. Here are six of the pictures.
I just spent a few minutes reading the archive of Scripting News for September 11. It's good to have a record of the events as they happened. Confused people wanted to know what happened. The flow was awesome. Weblogs are good for confusing uncoordinated events where different points of view add up to a complete picture. Now we have a better idea of what we can do. I hope we can apply that to building a more powerful network so that if news gets out of control like that again we can respond more quickly, thoroughly and accurately.
Ptypes weblog: "Noam Chomsky has an obsessive-compulsive personality: Rigid, distorted, delusional, dichotomous thinking based on a tremendous amount of repressed anger projected as gnostic hatred of the 'Demiurge.'" Glad someone else said that.
Andrew Orlowski: "If that sounds confusing, we half suspect it's because it's supposed to be."
Ted Nelson: "The four walls of paper are like a prison because every idea wants to spring out in all directions.
Interesting cartoon. Kazakhstan has been trying to figure out how to build a pipeline across Afghanistan. Huge gas reserves. Land-locked.
Marketplace.Org: Crude Awakenings. "What if Afghanistan was stabilized?"
Here's a nice map of Central Asia courtesy the Sitara Group of Companies, Islamabad, Pakistan.
Steve Lohr: "So the new economy was not so new after all. But the technology still matters — as it always has." Amen.
Andy Sylvester: Rules in Radio UserLand.
AP: "Anthrax bacteria have been detected in the nasal passage of a co-worker of the man who died last week from the disease, health officials said Monday. The building where both worked was closed after the bacteria also were detected there."
AppleScript Sourcebook: "Despite all the excitement about the new AppleScript Studio, support for SOAP and XML-RPC may ultimately prove to be the more revolutionary new feature of Mac OS X 10.1."
Believe it or not there are people living today who write without a computer.
Lance Knobel: "Why is this lying bastard lying to me?"
Privately, economy gurus are telling their friends that we're headed for a deep and long recession. Publicly they're gushing optimistically about how strong the economy is and how it's headed for a quick recovery.
John Robb: "I would rather think that the positive comments aren't for cynnical reasons but rather are meant in the best interest of getting people to act normal again."
One year ago today I asked if the Mariners have a philosophy.
Baseball is one of those things you can afford to be an asshole about, imho. It's a mystical pastime. All-American mysticism. In what other endeavor could it possibly matter that you willfully destroyed your own shrine?
Anyway, this year my beloved Mets are not playing in the post-season. That's good. Expect a solid ship for Radio 7.1.
Mets fans take the long-term view. For a good many years our opening day motto was "Wait Till Next Year."
That's part of the philosophical lifestyle.
We also have a well-developed sense of humor that's passed down through the generations. On the subway last year after losing the World Series to the Yankees in five games, I said to a young man who was in tears because the Mets had come so far only to lose to the most despicable foe imaginable, "Get used to it young man, if you want to be a Mets fan, you're going to be doing a lot of that."
Of course the American League is not a "real" league.
Software patents, from a CFO's point of view.
WaSP to W3C: Remember your Charter and Mission
Barry Bonds hit #73 in the first inning of today's game.
We're starting to document new technical features in Radio 7.1. I'll try to get one new document up per day. These are not things that users would care much about, but may be relevant for developers who want to be be compatible with Radio in some way.
Upstreaming will get a significant upgrade in 7.1. In 7.0 the whole www folder was mirrored in the cloud, and there could only be one cloud for each user.
In 7.1, only one folder is upstreamed, and any sub-folder of that folder can specify where it is mirrored through a new file called #upstream.xml.
Radio UserLand: #upstream.xml.
Further, inside Radio, upstreaming is managed through a driver architecture, which makes it easy to support protocols that we don't support in the box. In the first release two protocols are supported -- FTP and xmlStorageSystem.
A note to Cam and others, in the corner-turns we're doing in Radio and Weblogs, we've factored email addresses out as the key for user records. Instead we're using "usernum"s. In our next generation, which is coming online slowly, email addresses will not be publicly visible.
Note: Corner-turns are hard, eps when you have to bring along thousands of users with you. We'll make it work, without too much breakage and frustration, and when it's done things will work much better.
Tomorrow's note will be about ports and Radio. We found a clever but obvious way to make it so that clicking on those white-on-orange XML buttons can automatically subscribe you to a feed in Radio, and in software that's compatible. It's so obvious that we missed it until we really squatted on the problem and then it became clear. In the meantime, think of it as a puzzle, and see if you can figure out the solution.
(The problem is that we don't know if Radio is running on port 80, 81, 8080, or whatever.)
NY Times: US attacks begin in Afghanistan.
Bush's speech. We're destroying training camps, defenses, infrastructure in Afghanistan. We will provide aid to the people of Afghanistan.
BBC: US begins attack.
MSNBC: First wave of US strike begins.
DaveNet: Seven Years of DaveNet.
Dan Gillmor: "In the wake of the Sept. 11 atrocities, we've understandably allowed our attention to be diverted from almost everything else. Now it's time to get our eyes back on the key issues facing the technology and business communities."
The Best Things in Life are Free is a "song written by B.G. DeSylva, Lew Brown, and Ray Henderson for the musical 'Good News' which opened on September 6, 1927 in the 46th Street Theater in New York City."
Abraham Lincoln: "We here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation under God shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth."
E pluribus unum was chosen by the first Great Seal committee in 1776. "Out of many, one."
Scoop Nisker: "If you don't like the news go out and make some of your own."
A directory of anniversary pieces.
I'm now Dave #2 on Google.
The Onion: A Shattered Nation Longs To Care About Stupid Bullshit Again. Amen.
NY Times: "The European Union appears to be moving toward unified regulations for software patents that would be less encompassing than regulations in the United States and Japan."
Guardian: "Alcohol advertising is beginning to return to US TV stations as broadcasters desperate to boost revenues are swallowing their principles."
Doc Searls: "If you want to add value to the Web, do it for everybody. Not just for yourselves. No strings, patents or anything else attached."
Washington Post: "No network TV series takes itself more seriously than The West Wing does, but even by its own standards, the episode, called 'Isaac and Ishmael,' came across as pretentious and pietistic hubris."
Now there is a third way to "ping" the new bootstrapping Weblogs.Com. First there was the XML-RPC interface, then SOAP 1.1, and now there's an HTML form you can use to ask Weblogs.Com to have a look at your site.
NewHome.Weblogs.Com: Ping-Site Form.
If it's new or changed it will appear in changes.xml. From there it will appear on our Updates page, and new places yet to be designed. It's a publicly accessible file. Read it once an hour. Build a marvelous user interface. Customize. Add favorites. Share your inspiration. Be a hero to the webloggers.
Aaron Cope created a bookmarklet for the new form. Coool.
Discuss on the weblogs-com mail list.
I got an email from David McOwen. "The State Attorney General got a Grand Jury to hand down 135 Years 9 Felony count indictment, each count carrying 15 years and $50,000 fine for each plus the $415,000 restitution and damages they are seeking for the install of RC5 client. I can't even think of any words to say."
Richard Koman: "In December 1999, David McOwen -- a system administrator at DeKalb Tech, part of the Georgia state university system -- installed a screensaver from Distributed.net on some of the computers at DeKalb. That was his mistake -- but he never could have guessed how big a mistake that would turn out to be. As it turns out he will likely be arrested in the next few weeks on charges that have a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison."
BusinessWeek: A Martyr for Distributed Computing?
News.Com: "David McOwen is losing a lot of sleep these days over his decision to participate in a distributed computing project two years ago."
Things are returning to normal in the software industry, and that means that the analysts are starting to ship articles they have been writing about Web Services, SOAP and XML-RPC.
Now on reflection, I agree with Clay Shirky that the BigCo's are promoting a crock. The idea of a WSDL-UDDI network bootstrapping and connecting sources and destinations is a marketing nightmare. There's no way the developers at the BigCo's can deliver, even though the customers would like it if they did. It's another in a continuing series of snake-oil propositions that programmers are not needed, and nothing could be further from the truth.
To me, as one of the inventors of this technology, it's always been about Working Together, not magic. Go back through the archives of DaveNet and Scripting News, you'll see this pitch over and over. Roll up your sleeves, drop your egos, and find a friend to work with, hopefully someone who's quite different from you.
When software development works, it's because people worked together, not because someone blew everyone's mind with their greatness and got everyone to stop competing for mindshare. No single solution works for everyone. We need lots of minds working to create the systems that users want.
Yet the analysts continue to focus on proving the BigCo's wrong. I suppose that's better than if they were trying to prove them right. But the analysts, imho, are failing to get the Work Together message.
What's the take-away? I'm not sure. I'd love to see a regular flow of first-person testimonials from real developers using SOAP 1.1 and XML-RPC to improve their systems in non-amazing ways. I'm thinking of starting a new mail list for business development of these protocols, staying away from the deep technical issues (there really aren't any) and focusing on how we can help each other build the systems our users want.
BTW, a note -- the path for XML-RPC and SOAP 1.1 goes back to 1988 when I worked with Don Park on UserLand IAC Toolkit. It was a transport-independent API for distributed computing. Then Apple took over the market and eventually we deprecated our toolkit in favor of Apple's. We wanted to bring the transport to Windows, Bill Gates agreed, but Apple balked. In the early-mid 90s, Microsoft deployed COM, which did what Apple's toolkit did; and then DCOM which allowed COM messages to move over networks. In 1998 we revitalized the cross-platform vision as XML-RPC. It worked, and now both Microsoft and Apple are building on the same networking foundation, validating the initial premise going back to 1988, things work better if the networking interfaces are consistent, if platform differences are hidden behind the programming interfaces.
And of course as many will point out (and will be correct) the underpinnings of this work can be found in Unix dating back to the mid-70s. A patent in this area is going to run into an big old wall of prior art that's not patented. If there's any justice in the US legal system they'll lose. But that's a big if.
Over the last few days I've been emailing with each of these people, Jeffrey Zeldman, Kevin Werbach and Clay Shirky, and have wanted to share with each of them that the weblogging world changed dramatically in the last three weeks. I realized that they're all in NY, and possibly missed some or all of what went on.
I have messages for each of you, but they come down to this -- the same revolution that's happening in weblogging (it's not just hype, change your pov please) is happening in the XML world. (It's the same thing guys.)
Zeldman sees it in the face-off in the W3C over patents. Since when do independent developers push back so consistently and eloquently on the greed of the BigCo's? When did this ever happen before? Perhaps in the context of the WTC events it hardly seems stunning. But if you put back on your old filters about the technology world you'll miss that there's a new sense of can-do among indies. We have more in common with the unheard people in the third world. And we can take the power we've always had, the power that comes from not waiting for instructions from the BigCo's. This level of courage isn't much of a barrier when we're at war.
"Oh there goes Dave again," say Clay and Kevin (in my imagination). Zeldman is probably puzzled.
Please take a moment and read what Charles Cooper said about weblogs coming of age. There were similar themes in Fortune, Wired and the NY Times, but no epiphany as clear as Charles's. Now, the same thing is happening in XML. The article hasn't been written yet.
MSNBC: "US troops trained in mountain warfare began arriving Saturday in Uzbekistan, Afghanistan’s northern neighbor, military officials told NBC News."
DaveNet: What to do about the W3C?
Barry Bonds hit number 71 tonight. The people are happy. A new record. That's cool.
"Bonds - never the most likable player among fans, opponents and even some of his teammates - wasn't embraced by any of the Dodgers on his trip around the bases. Earlier this season, the rival Dodgers were infuriated when the Giants stopped the game at Pac Bell after Bonds hit his 500th home run against them." Gotta love it. That's how baseball is played folks. You don't hug the other guy when he sets a record. Ugh.
Update: He just hit #72. Wow.
I'm getting some interesting pushback from an informed source close to the patent wars between the BigCo's. This person says that Microsoft is not playing hardball over patents in the W3C situation. I asked this person and I ask you to check out the discussion about patents at the O'Reilly Open Source convention, particularly comments from Microsoft's Craig Mundie and David Stutz. There was a corner-turn there, I had never heard Microsoft be so menacing of independent developers. If you believe Mundie was speaking for MS (he's a vice-president) it would be hard to say that MS isn't in league with the most brutal and unprincipled abusers of patents in the software industry.
Heh. I told you this was coming. I think I'm beginning to really get how perverted Microsoft is. First they make big hay about how they're booting Java out. Everyone gets their panties all tied up in a knot and throws hissy fits. Then they bring it back (of course it's totally polluted, non-standard, lots of extra lock-in). Guess what, the same people will be upset. They'll write articles about how nasty Microsoft is. And in doing so will miss other cool stuff they could have been writing about. And miss the really devious things Microsoft is doing that they don't want you to write about. They get coverage both ways!
6/5/01: "When a magician wants to trick you he gets you to look over there while the action is over here."
Q42's chat system keeps getting better. I added it to the navlinks to the left, click on Chat.
Apple is opening a new store in Palo Alto tomorrow, the first in Northern California.
Richard Wiggins: "The apparent terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 changed the skyscape of New York City, and the political and emotional landscape of the United States. The attack may have also changed how the leading search engine, Google, thinks of itself."
It's so confusing. As a developer, how can you show, in a positive way, that you support the spirit of the Web? With all possible humility, may I suggest that in addition to supporting the controversial technologies, state publicly that you support XML and XML-RPC. When you support these two layers you are supporting the philosophy of the HTTP and HTML. Brain-dead simple, and free in every way, not just royalty-free.
The First Amendment says "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances." Is this a bug? What about corporations or consortia prohibiting the free exercise of speech, etc?
Small improvement. I added a white-on-orange XML icon on the Updates page leading to changes.xml.
On the Free-W3C list: "I think people misunderstand what the W3C is -- it's a consortium, and most of its bills are paid by the BigCo's. It's going to do what the BigCo's want to do. Now was it a good idea to mortgage the future of the Web in this way? I think we now know the answer -- it wasn't."
I had not been following this mail list. It's awesome -- the BigCo's are totally cornered. Bravo Web developers. Keep on truckin.
W3C: "In October 1994, Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the Web, founded the World Wide Web Consortium at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Laboratory for Computer Science in collaboration with CERN, where the Web originated, with support from DARPA and the European Commission."
Nazim Amin: "We were about 5 hours out of Frankfurt flying over the North Atlantic and was in my crew rest seat taking my scheduled rest break. All of a sudden the curtains parted violently and I was told to go to the cockpit, right now, to see the captain. As soon as I got there I noticed that the crew had one of those 'All Business' looks on their faces. The captain handed me a printed message. I quickly read the message and realized the importance of it. The message was from Atlanta, addressed to our flight, and simply said, 'All airways over the Continental US are closed. Land ASAP at the nearest airport, advise your destination.'"
The town of Gander welcomed many stranded passengers.
The Onion: Microsoft Patents Ones, Zeroes. "With the patent, Microsoft's rivals are prohibited from manufacturing or selling products containing zeroes and ones — the mathematical building blocks of all computer languages and programs—unless a royalty fee of 10 cents per digit used is paid to the software giant." Heh.
Steve Lohr: The Microsoft Conundrum. "With Windows XP, the new operating system that goes on sale later this month, Microsoft is aggressively pursuing its bundling strategy. The new system tightly integrates software for online shopping, playing music and video distributed over the Internet, personal identification and digital photography."
AP: "Barry Bonds hit home run No. 70 Thursday night and tied Mark McGwire's record."
Kottke: "I want my innocence back, but I don't think that's going to happen."
More email saying that the eruption of the patent issue in the W3C is over WSDL. If so, skip the IDL stuff, write sample code, docs, and hone your interfaces so they're super-lean. And by the way, in case it's not totally obvious, there are no royalties for using or patents on XML-RPC.
If you're still laughing and want more, check this out.
Register: "Sources familiar with the W3C's patent policy have confirmed that demands for the standards body to adopt RAND licensing were initiated by IBM."
Interesting people are discovering Tim Jarrett's glue connecting Manila and AppleScript. In two years most Mac apps used in working on websites will be able to connect to CMS's through XML-RPC. The Big Three: BBEdit, Dreamweaver and Photoshop.
KarachiCam: "The first and only webcam in Pakistan."
BBC: "A chartered Russian airliner en route from Tel Aviv to the Siberian city of Novosibirsk has exploded over the Black Sea with about 77 people on board."
LiveJournal takes the plunge. A new friend for XML-RPC.
NY Times: "The Internet's success on Sept. 11 could largely be attributed to the fact that nobody attacked it." Correct.
Link-rot note. I point to the NY Times so frequently partially because they have been good at maintaining archives. Perhaps that's no longer true. Yesterday I wanted to re-read Clay Shirky's op-ed piece that appeared in the Times last summer. Clicked on the link. 404 Not Found. Ooops.
Surely the editorial people at the Times understand the value of keeping the record intact over the years. When I grew up in NY I used to spend winter weekend afternoons at the public library scrolling through the Times on microfilm. I don't recall paying any money for this. I cared, as a kid, what people of the day thought of the events that were happening around them. I watched WWII start. I learned about Jackie Robinson, The Army-McCarthy hearings and Fiorello LaGuardia. Now if links don't even last a year, what am I supposed to do? Oy.
Rogers Cadenhead: "We've had a Tivo for more than a year. My 2-year-old uses it to watch commercials he likes over and over again. He doesn't understand why no one else's TV works that way."
Dori Smith on patents in the W3C. "You've got the 800 pound gorilla at the table now. Is the best approach to kick him out, or to try to work with him?"
I wrote my position paper on patents and the W3C on Sunday. Patents in standards are like terrorism. You can't give an inch. To answer Dori's question, flip it around. Let's create a table where software patents are off-topic. Let's do the legal work to get a court decision about their constitutionality. Patents are opposite the spirit of the Web, which is built on freely shared formats and protocols. You can't be partially open, it's all or nothing, imho.
Capsule review. Last night's West Wing was worse than a CNN town meeting. What a load of crap. I cringed 18 times and then fell asleep. Looking forward to the season premiere next week. I wish they had run it instead. I'm fed up with all the depressed people hogging the airwaves. Let's move on, write some code, make some love, eat good food, we've still got a lot to do. Terrorism sucks. Racism sucks. Let's create beauty together. The West Wing at its best is very good. Yesterday was very bad West Wing.
FWIW, they probably wrote the script two weeks ago. In that context it makes sense. In today's context, running the fantasy, the season premiere, would have been much more satisfying. In that sense last night's WW was good art, it was an anachronism, and provides some clue as to how fast things are moving now. Popular culture of two weeks ago is already out of date
One year ago today: "Mariners fans delight in beating the White Sox two games in a row. A hollow victory. If you beat a team with no philosophy, what have you actually won?"
BlogScript "uses the built in XML-RPC and AppleScript functions of Mac OS X.1 to post to Blogger powered sites."
It should work with news-item-oriented Manila sites too.
One of the joys of DirecTV is that you can watch The West Wing at 6PM, when it's playing on the east coast. Unfortunately I missed the start, so I have to wait until it's finished recording. I haven't figured out how to watch a show while it's recording. There must be a way but I'm just a newbie.
I hoped for much more from Clay Shirky. He takes apart the proof-of-concepts at XMethods, and then explains how the BigCo's don't create open interfaces, and at the very end says "An interesting example of what a group of like-minded developers can do with Web Services is the Blogger, Manila, and Jabber collaboration, which is using XML-RPC. But.." But what -- we're working together? Clay, that's what it's about, developers working with developers.
Clay's piece is more a rebuttal to other analyst's pieces about Web Services than it is about Web Services. If you want to know what I think is going on, check out the foreword I wrote for the O'Reilly book on XML-RPC. It is exciting, for the freedom it offers and the bridges it creates. It's not about the BigCo's and stock quote services or magic engines that figure out what you mean.
Randy Lea: "I have been using the NIST web server to set my sytem time, doing it the hard way dealing with HTML. After I read the blogged info on the time/xmlrpc, I just created this little 8 line program to set my Win32 box's time/date."
My Killer App for Radio's Right-Click Menu.
Register: We'll fork the Web to keep it free.
New Manila theme: Vanilla Manila 1999. It's available on UserLand-hosted Manila sites.
Paul Boutin: "Wired is collecting Web sites whose content is posted either by people living in Afghanistan, or by recent expatriates."
NY Times: "Stocks moved higher around midday today, as investors weighed the effects of the latest interest rate cuts by the Federal Reserve against another round of corporate profit warnings."
Tim Jarrett: "I just started publishing to my Manila blog using Applescript on OS X 10.1 and the RPC interfaces. Blogging from TextEdit. It's a baby step."
New verb for Frontier/Radio -- tcp.getCurrentTime -- calls a NIST server and gets the current date-time using RFC 868. It's easy, you can set the system clock in one line.
XML-RPC: XML-RPC Interface for Current Time.
SoapWare: SOAP 1.1 Interface for Current Time.
Note: Two new domain names were added for this app, time.soapware.org and time.xmlrpc.com. The DNS changes were made earlier this morning and may not have percolated to your server. If so, for now, send the messages to rpc.weblogs.com, it's the same machine.
Finally, I released a Frontier/Radio Tool that implements the Current Time server, as spec'd above.
Mark Pilgrim: "Look, look, honey. I can use the most powerful worldwide network ever created to call one server in San Francisco using XML-RPC that calls another server at the National Institute of Standards using the RFC 868 protocol to get the current time. Isn't that amazing?"
Announcing a Weblogger User Group in Silicon Valley.
I started a new mail list for discussion among W3C members and independent developers who want to work on new formats and protocols with a simple rule that all participants disclaim any patents in the areas that the W3C is working.
Head Lemur: "I see this RAND business as a coercion attempt on the part of private companies to subvert the work of the W3C and to control the web through license intimidation."
WebReference: "Our latest version of HierMenus squashes a long-standing issue: namely, the dreaded DHTML memory leak in Internet Explorer. Take a look at the new code and learn how you can prevent IE from eating up memory in your own DHTML applications."
Joshua Allen: "Many people think that Microsoft is an ivory tower where we ignore our customers."
Orion Ramsey: "We put Braille on drive-up automatic teller machines."
Information Week: "By early 1998, several attempts at an XML protocol for interprocess communication were made. Allaire Corp.'s Web Distributed Data Exchange (WDDX) was one independent attempt of note, but it was SOAP, developed by Dave Winer, CEO of Userland Software, Microsoft engineers Bob Atkinson and Mohsen Al-Ghosein, and Don Box, co-founder of DevelopMentor Incorporated, that was to become the basis for Web services."
Reuters: "As great inventions go, e-mail had a rather ho-hum beginning back in 1971."
Register: Carnivore substitute keeps Feds honest.
Brett Glass: "Society cannot function on constant high alert any more than an individual can function with a constant fever."
Backend: "It seems a Manila-Newbies mailing list subscriber received a spam through the list and sent a report to SpamCop." It got worse.
I watched CNN and MSNBC last night. They showed pictures of Americans lining up to buy gas masks. I don't see that happening anywhere around me. People are mostly doing what they do. I hope the rest of the world doesn't think people in the US are so scared. Three weeks of round-the-clock coverage is enough. It's time to start covering the news not through the lens of Sept 11.
I really like the way things are going on the Syndication list. Mostly I've been lurking, but today I posted a pointer to an old site that's still running, the Top 100 channels subscribed to by Radio users. The same data is available in OPML.
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A musical surprise this morning. I selected all my David Bowie songs and right-clicked to play them in WinAmp, thinking it would be all Ziggy Stardust and Major Tom, but to my surprise, there's a conversation so I turn it up and listen. Bowie and Bing Crosby talking about Christmas, old tunes, and little boys. Then they sing The Little Drummer Boy. So beautiful. It's great to hear Christmas music in October (I won't feel that way next month, I'm sure). It's also beautiful to see younger and older people singing together, an American and a British person. Let's cross all the bridges.
One more thing while I'm thinking of crossing bridges. As a US citizen, I'd like to thank the UK for supporting my country so consistently and enthusiastically. We like to kid each other, the Brits call us The Colonies, and we remind them who won the war (all of them) but that's in the past. Now the world is so much smaller. It's great that we have such good friends on the other side of the pond.
Guardian: "Osama bin Laden was in Kabul last week."
It's Tuesday and You Know What That Means. (Maybe you don't?) OK, it's a months-old Scripting News tradition to take a programmer to lunch every Tuesday. You could take a different one out every Tuesday, or if you have a favorite programmer you can favor that one. It's good for the programmer, one good meal a week and some fresh air. It's also good for the economy. Let's fill up our restaurants with good technical conversation. Ask your programmer friend what's up. How's it going? Got any new tricks.
Apple still says that XML-RPC is the work of the W3C. If Microsoft got something like that wrong they'd change it within minutes and apologize for the mistake. We've been through that with them a dozen times. Mistakes happen. Not a big deal. Please fix the page. Thanks.
JD Lasica: Don't try sharing these photos.
Changes to changes.xml. Breakage!
Screen shot of a UserTalk script that reads changes.xml into the object database.
This XML file tells you what user-agents have been sending XML-RPC and SOAP messages to the new Weblogs.Com server. So far it's mostly Frontier and Radio. By publishing this, I hope to motivate developers working in other environments to create tools for people running weblogs.
There's a mail list for the Weblogs.Com work. Please send questions about this project to the list.
Comments about the future of my.userland.com and getting info from Weblogs.Com.
The official W3C response to the patent discussion. "W3C takes no position on the public policy questions surrounding software patents The draft policy does attempt to answer this question: In a world where patents exist and may be used to constrain conformance to standards, how should W3C best proceed in order to accomplish its mission?" Oy. That's a change.
5/12/99: "Tim Berners-Lee, the scientist who developed the World Wide Web almost a decade ago, called on the Internet community Wednesday to fight against the patent system."
5/17/99: "I appreciate the reasons why the patent system was set up, but there is a really big problem here," Berners-Lee told the congregation. "The bar for innovation seems too low. You are able to take an existing social practice and write software to do it and get a patent."
Lots more TBL patent quotes in this Google search. It looks like we lost a friend today. Ouch.
NY Times: "Before the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, the Bush administration was on the verge of announcing a Middle East diplomatic initiative that would include United States support for the creation of a Palestinian state, administration officials said, and it is now weighing how to revive the plan."
AP: "Hoping to end its six-year run of losses, Salon.com began charging Monday for full articles in a move that will transform much of the online newspaper's Web site into a subscription service."
News.Com: W3C patent plan draws protests.
Dan Gillmor: "Mac OS X is truly ready for prime time."
NY Times: The News Media Prepare for War.
I saw a show on PBS last night that opened my eyes. It was about the resentment poor and working class people in the US have for educated and middle-upper-class people. They interviewed poor people, some of whom were very eloquent and communicated clearly. They reported on a political battle in Burlington (a small city in the NE US) over white bread vs whole wheat. It was a serious matter to the poor folk, who don't have so much money for bread. Now I've been poor myself, but it was a long time ago. Then I wondered about people who read this site. Are you poor or working class? Unemployed? Do you have hope for the future? That seemed to be the thing that separated the poor from the well-off -- the poor people didn't have hope of ever not being poor.
Another idea for TiVO. They know what shows I'm watching, right? I assume that's how they populate their collaborative filtering database. Well how about sending me a report via email, with links to websites about the shows. Or put a HTTP server in the TiVO so I can browse my history.
News.Com does have RSS feeds. Oy, I think I must have Alzheimer's. Many apologies and thanks for supporting XML.
Another quote I missed while sipping from the firehose. "Dave Winer's Scripting News, in particular, sparkled."
Mahesh Shantaram: "We need more 100% Indian blogs on the Net. They will carry a wholly different perspective arising from entirely different experiences."
Today's song: "If you wanna run cool, if you wanna run cool, if you wanna run cool, you got to run on heavy, heavy fuel."
Daypop keeps on rolling. Here's a list of the top 40 links on the weblogs it scans.
Adnan Wasim: "Half of what you find on Times of India is propaganda."
Rahul Dave: "It's true that The Times of India has a pro-India slant, just as much as the CNN has a pro US slant, or BBC a pro English, and probably a bit more when it comes to Pakistan."
SoapClient.Com has a browser-based interface to the new Weblogs.Com server. Very nice.
Heather: "We're going to have a very small girlie moment today. We're not going to talk about current events or anything that might better humanity in any way, shape or form. Or design, or the dogs. We're going to talk about nail polish."
SF Chronicle: "Leaders of the Taliban said yesterday that they had Osama bin Laden 'under our control' and hidden in a secret location, but would release him to the United States only if shown proof that he had plotted the Sept. 11 attacks."
Times of India: "A suicide squad of three pro-Pakistan militants on Monday stormed the heavily fortified Jammu and Kashmir assembly building leaving 26 people dead before two of them were killed in a prolonged gun battle."
Red Herring: "While Exodus restructures, the door is opened to all kinds of competitors, notably the companies that own the networks."
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Charles Cooper: When blogging came of age.
When this article appeared, we were still firehose-sipping news about the WTC disaster, and many people may have missed this article. Please take a moment and let's reflect on where we are in the world of weblogs.
First, thanks to Charles for having a big heart. Our egos clashed sometime last year over something that didn't matter very much. It would have been easy for him to not look at what's going on in weblogs, but he had the guts to look again, and this time he liked what he saw.
I've wanted to open a door at News.Com for quite some time. It seems we could do more with them. For example, I'd love to see a Charles Cooper weblog, one where he jots down his ideas, asks questions, points to sites that form background for stories he's working on, or records his thoughts on articles he won't have time to write, or aren't in his domain.
News.Com is a news organization -- and that means they employ lots of people who write news. Flow in and out of those minds could be increased, and the quality of their product would increase and we'd be able to move faster when big stories break.
It's interesting at the same time, on the XML-DEV list, they're debating whether XML has run its course.
What a difference in perspective. In so many ways XML is just coming alive. Focus on the application, enabling people like Doc Searls, Glenn Fleishman, Dan Gillmor, and maybe someday Charles Cooper, to have higher bandwidth access to people with minds.
Information, ideas and views exchanged between people using their minds, not numbing them out. More thinking. And who doubts that more thinking would be good, especially when the threat to civilization is so real?
XML is just there to help, it isn't itself interesting, but what it enables is interesting.
Let's ask Scripting News readers what they think about this.
Survey: Why do you read Scripting News?
In the 80s we coined the term idea processing for the category of software we were creating, which eventually became known as outliners. I chose a higher-level pitch because I wanted people to see that you could do more with computers than make text look pretty when you print it. You could use a computer to organize thinking, outlining works so much better on a computer than on paper, it deserved a new name, because the activity was so fundamentally different.
The last few weeks have really stretched my mind, and guess what -- I'm back in IdeaProcessingLand. Blogger and Manila are outliners, just really primitive ones. And that's cool, because this time around the loop we started where people are, on the Web, and can take them into outlining on a really easy optional slope. I believe the best blogs will be those edited in outliners (like this one) but even if I'm wrong, I'm happy because lots more ideas are flowing now.
So what we're doing today is idea processing, but on a much larger scale than what we were doing in the 80s. Networking is a solved problem. Lots of people have Internet access. And computers have gotten so much more powerful. A new mission that's a loop back to an older one.
We're back in development mode on Scripting News. I'm really pleased with the interest people are showing in the re-wiring of Weblogs.Com.
New spec: Weblogs.Com XML-RPC Interface.
New feature: You can call it via SOAP 1.1. The interfaces are identical. Examples of a request and response are provided.
Aaron Cope implemented the interface for Perl.
When I was testing the SOAP interface I hit a bump in the Frontier's implementation of the xml.rpc verb.
Apple: "These protocols are standards supported and defined by the WC3, an Internet standards organization."
This is incorrect. I've tried sending emails to people at Apple, but their site still incorrectly says that XML-RPC is managed by the W3C. If you know anyone at Apple, please ask them to correct this mistake.
BTW, I added Mac OS X to the directory of 48 XML-RPC implementations. They're the first operating system to bake in support for XML-RPC. Quite a milestone, esp for a platform with so many content tools. I've heard them say that the work is over, but imho it's just beginning.
Are there bright marketing people at Apple? Send me an email. There are many markets to explore now that your technologists have built the foundation into the OS. Let's meet for lunch in Cupertino.
© Copyright 1997-2006 Dave Winer.