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Scripting News, the weblog started in 1997 that bootstrapped the blogging revolution.
Permanent link to archive for Monday, October 01, 2001. Monday, October 01, 2001

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, 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." 

Happy birthday to Jake Savin (32) and to Ken Kiesler (56). 

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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Coming of age 

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.

XML is coming alive 

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?

Idea processing 

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.

Weblogs, SOAP and XML-RPC 

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.

The UserLand updates page now reflects the contents of changes.xml. You'll see some new sites there that are not Manila or Radio weblogs.

Hello Apple 

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.


Last update: Monday, October 01, 2001 at 9:41 PM Eastern.

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