Top > Dave's World > Weblog Archive > 2002 > January > 20Previous/Next

Scripting News, the weblog started in 1997 that bootstrapped the blogging revolution.
Permanent link to archive for Sunday, January 20, 2002. Sunday, January 20, 2002

We released a set of changes that improve the generation of RSS in Radio 8. Includes support for the <language> and <category> elements in RSS 0.92; macros are now processed as feeds are built; a big speed bump; a bug fixed. The code also got a lot more maintainable. 

Tomorrow first thing I will read Garth Kidd's analysis of RSS in Radio. It's been a long day. Signing off now. 

Chris Gulker checks in. I made this a Story so I could experience the glitches. Got some work to do on Stories. Never should have included them in 8.0. They weren't ready. Live and learn. Again and again. Inch by inch. Sometimes you lose a yard. You still show up for the next play. 

I owe Derek Powazek an apology. Sorry I blasted you for what I thought was a not-nice design for your weblog. It was a long time ago. Maybe I was having a bad hair day. Today I enjoy reading your site, I check it out when ever it updates. I like what you write about community and design. Sorry for the harshness. What can I say. We all learn. Keep on truckin. 

Jon Udell writes at length about Radio. 

My name is Jenny, and I'll be your information maven today.. 

I really like getting love letters from people who use my software. Keep up the good work Binary Boy! 

Zeldman: "Our stupid industry pitifully undervalues good web writing." The Bird flips back at Zeldman. Some days the Web is so damned realtime and 1.0. Then Simon Fell supports my assertion (below) that nothing works and Seth Dillingham wonders how Radio can possibly work, as a business. 

Seth, we're going to be working out glitches in Radio for a few weeks at least. We're selling into corporations, government and education through consultants and VARs, they support their installations. Our core users will be like the hobbyists from the early days of personal computing who launched companies like Apple and Microsoft (and Borland, Lotus, Software Publishing, Symantec, etc). Enthusiastic supporters of the technology who want to see us gain traction and keep improving the software. That's how Lotus Notes got going. That's basically how software success works. If we don't get that, you're right, we're toast. Radio is like: Basic, Visicalc, 1-2-3, Hypercard -- but for the Web. Luckily our users have exceptionally good tools for communicating and building off each others' success. And the timing is interesting. It's both the best time and worst time to launch something like Radio. It's the best time because the market is so quiet you can hear the product in the market. But we're in a recession, and money is hard to come by. We're in a tight spot, for sure, and are hoping that the wave keeps building and people keep rooting for our success. Then it will happen, I'm sure of it. 

See the Credits page for an idea of how this might work.  

Robert Barksdale gets it. It's a bootstrap. A bit of a Hail Mary. It's like Peter Pan. If you believe in it, it happens. If you doubt, it doesn't. 

John Robb spills the beans and leaks about our dream of a deal with AOL. John is my friend and COO. I support him. If he wants to do a deal with AOL I'm behind him all the way. 

You can watch Bryan Bell put together a new theme for Radio, real-time. Don't tell him I pointed you there.  

Lucas Marshall says his weblog never gets any visitors. 

A new version of the Manila-Blogger Bridge Tool supports mirroring to non-news-item-oriented Manila sites. It's still considered a beta, there were some glitches reported last night (fixed), and it now flips the home page automatically. It's also a source of good sample code for RPC with Manila, and is a good-tool-making example for Radio 8, full source included, of course. 

I got feedback after releasing the Spam-Free MailTo feature that we should give users a way to get their email addresses out of the RSS feeds. So I put it on my to-do list. As I started to scope out the feature, I looked for the natural place in the Prefs system to put such a feature, and lo and behold, found that it's already there. Happy.  

On the other hand, when Radio generates the main RSS file for your weblog, it ignores the preference. Fixed

Ranting about users 

Editorial note: None of the following should be construed to mean that I don't love users. I do I do. I named my company after them. But..

While I go negative on Microsoft myself in many areas, I can't sing along with JD on this one. Users. Sometimes you just want to shoot them. (Luckily that's illegal.) Computers can't be as simple as toasters and still do all the things users want them to do. Can your car be as simple as a toaster? And do you ever hear nonsense like people who make toasters should give you a toaster for free? (If anyone knows where I can get a free toaster let me know. I need a new coffee grinder too. And by the way the heater in my office is on the fritz and it's cold. I wish my furnace were as easy to use as a toaster. And I wish the furnace company that sold me this piece of crap was still in business.)

Basically nothing works. Software's just like everything else.

I really liked this line in JD's missive. "This is not rocket science, though it must seem to be to the blinders-wearing programmers running the show in Redmond." I translated this in my mind to "the deathmarch-walking programmers in Redmond." JD, it's like Scoop Nisker used to say "If you don't like the software go out make some of your own." You'll find that it's a lot harder than it looks.

Flounder: "I wish Manila had an unlimited undo feature. I'd be able to get back my old design." See what I mean. He doesn't make a backup, and this is the software's fault. Heh.

While we're on the subject of stupid user tricks -- one of my favorite love-to-hate stories goes like this. "My mother could never use this software." There are so many things wrong with that. First, it's sexist and ageist, in one shot. Very compact. But some mothers are smart. Some are adventurous. Some are even geeks. So tell me about your mother. Maybe I'm not making software for your mother. Maybe your mother is really stupid. Or maybe she's a Luddite or a Mennonite, who, for religious reasons can't use software. My grandmother, rest her soul, never learned to drive. Does that mean they shouldn't have made cars?

Matt Goyer: "Dave when you say Mennonite you're really meaning to say the Amish or the Hutterites though as I've pointed out they too on occasion will use technology (but only in the barn)."


Last update: Sunday, January 20, 2002 at 10:17 PM Eastern.

Dave Winer Mailto icon

Click here to view the OPML version of Scripting News.

Morning Coffee Notes, an occasional podcast by Scripting News Editor, Dave Winer.

January 2002
Dec   Feb

Click here to see an XML representation of the content of this weblog.


© Copyright 1997-2005 Dave Winer. The picture at the top of the page may change from time to time. Previous graphics are archived.