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Permanent link to archive for Friday, January 18, 2002. Friday, January 18, 2002

We closed a serious security hole in Radio 8 this morning. Please update now. Details are here.  

Don Box is going to work for Microsoft. Mazel tov. 

A fascinating article on XML.Com, which I'm sure Don Box would find interesting. The authors and I are at extreme positions, but are actually a lot closer than it might appear. We agree that WSDL isn't going to work.  

A new version of the Manila-Blogger Bridge Tool is coming. The next step is to make it work with non-news-item-oriented Manila sites, like the site I used to test Manila in 1999. It's still running and still useful. I read that Mark Pilgrim wants to use this. I wonder how many others do. Love Manila Month continues. (Postscript: I'll wait till tomorrow to release this. Lost a lot of time to the security fix.) 

With this fix, Mac OS X users can try my crazy tutorials.  

Sam Ruby believes that WSDL is one of the cables of the bootstrap of Web Services. I don't. How will this get resolved? We'll try both ways. If he wants to support services that don't have WSDLs, he'll have to bend. If I want to connect my software to services that require WSDLs, I'll have to. The wild card is other developers. I may drag my heels on WSDL only to find that a developer working in Radio or Frontier solves the problem for us, and same with Sam's environment. 

Back to Dan Bricklin, who eloquently explains the software ethic that we share what we learn. Radio is a lab for man like Dan to pick up some new art. This is how software development really works, but unfortunately it's not how the USPTO views it. In their view I should put obstacles in his way that penalize him from learning from my work. I once wrote a clone of Lotus 1-2-3 in C, keystroke for keystroke a clone, so I could learn the issues of spreadsheets. Mine was better than VisiCalc, because I used the sparse array trick that Lotus pioneered. I never published the software, but I wrote it so that I could have. Again, there's no shortcut for learning, you have to dive in up to your shoulders and take a chance at drowning. Luckily in software if you have good backups you don't actually die when you drown. 

Dann Sheridan: "There was a lot of bad news coming out of IDG today about web services. The diamond in the rough was Dave. I can tell you coming out of the bowels of a large consulting company, there are many proposals on the street beginning to be accepted that are not being talked about on the wire. I'm not talking about small consulting projects. I'm talking about huge proposals to revamp entire product lines of large companies. It's not coming -- it's here." 

Dann cites the InfoWorld article about my keynote yesterday, which I had not seen. Reading it I cheered. Finally the story I've been trying to tell, the coming-together of Unix and the desktop, is getting through. The Web was not, as some said, the invention of the Unix people, it was a merging of the art of user interface, with the gutsy depth and simplicity of Unix. To make all this work, without ceding our future to the Big's, we must work to help each other.  

BTW: Correction to the InfoWorld article -- it's patents that are the scourge of the Internet. Proprietary schema are not a problem, just ignore them and they'll go away. Patents are more insidious. 

I was glad to see that my old compadre from Visi-Days, Dan Bricklin, is exploring the development environment in Radio 8. That's so cool. I sent Dan pointers to Matt Neuburg's work, documenting the programmer's view of our world. There are at least two docs people should add to their collection of links. The first is the full text of the book Matt wrote for O'Reilly that Tim has graciously allowed to be archived on the Web. It describes Frontier 4.2.3, which was a very long-lived version, Mac only. The second is the collection of Matt's The Doctor Is In! articles that describe many of the new things that came online after 4.2.3. BTW, for the curious, our animal was the bison. Very good choice.  

Washington Post: "AOL Time Warner Inc. is in talks to buy Red Hat Inc., a prominent distributor of a computer operating system, an acquisition that would position the media giant to challenge arch rival Microsoft Corp., according to sources familiar with the matter." 

Put an outliner on people's desks, hide as much as you want, but if they're smart, they'll find it anyway.  

Lance Knobel started a Radio weblog which he thinks of as a commonplace book. "Commonplace books arose in the renaissance as a means for learned men to record quotations or observations that seemed important to them. I came across the idea when reading about the architect Leon Battista Alberti, who kept an apparently extraordinary commonplace book." Sounds like a weblog to me! 

Microsoft is giving a presentation at Xerox PARC about Web Services. Here's an interesting quote that reveals a lot about the MS pov: "Customers will demand a seamless experience even if the overall service consists of multiple web component services each built and administered by different organizations across multiple security domains." 

Now the UserLand pov is even broader. We include the possibility that customers will be running components from different vendors, perhaps even Microsoft, and want to be sure everything interops. In 2002, after countless wars between technology companies with the customers caught in the middle, choice is the first right of users.  

Sun's James Gosling on .NET: "You find stuff in it that has essentially loopholes for everything. They had this problem in their design rules that they had to support C and C++, which means you have to have a memory model where you can access everything at all times. It's the existence of those loopholes that is the source of security, reliability and productivity problems for developers. So on the one hand, they copied Java, and on the other hand, they added gratuitous things and other things that are outright stupid. That's amusing." Doesn't Solaris run C code? 


Last update: Friday, January 18, 2002 at 10:13 PM Eastern.

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