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Permanent link to archive for Friday, February 01, 2002. Friday, February 01, 2002

Mark Woods connects Radio and .NET over SOAP!! A big breakthrough. Remember this day. A developer got our products to work together. Break out the champagne. 

A picture named solitaireSmall.gifSjoerd posits: "Microsoft tries to make it so complex that you have to use their tools." Although I think that's often true, I don't think that's what was going on in the .NET hello world sample. Here's my theory. They had 2000 people working on this project, and they divided the tasks of developing various parts of the system, and the coordination (ie politics) betw the various organizations shows through in the design of the product. It's like a lot of company websites with confusing pointers at various levels of the site because different parts of the organization, at different times, had to get up some Web pages to protect their turf. My guess is that MS will hack at the details of that sample to make it simpler, as we are doing. It's going to be a competitive issue. 

O'Reilly: AppleScript on Mac OS X

Sylvain Carle: "Radio veterans, why not adopt a newbie?" 

A picture named weblogsComScreenThumb.gifDo you use the Weblogs.Com interface that's built into Radio? If not, please check it out. It presents the changes in the popular list of changed weblogs maintained by Weblogs.Com, but instead of seeing all the blogs that changed in the last three hours you see which of your favorite weblogs have changed in the last 24 hours. It's a more manageable interface, and ever more important as Weblogs.Com grows. Programming your favorites is done with a simple point and click interface, just like the News Aggregator, but for weblogs. 

Don's Amazing Puzzle is now top on Daypop too. What's the lesson? You probably aren't seeing all that's happening. Don't trust your eyes. Don't jump to conclusions. I hope that's why people find the puzzle so fascinating, it tells the truth about perception. 

Somewhere along the line people started listening to me. I wonder when that happened. I was the last one to figure that out. 

NY Times: "It's just a bunch of goofy puppets." 

A picture named worfthumb.gif A couple of days ago I dug up a story about Worf and Riker. It seems there was a Klingon rule that the second officer had a responsibility to assassinate the commander if he or she became weak. Worf liked that rule. Another Worf story. Talking about someone else, he said "So and so has gall." Pause. He continues."I like gall." 

Burning Bird: "I will continue to beat you about the head on this issue until you ultimately bow to my superior knowledge on this subject." 

George Scriban: "Has Apple implemented some way for Apple Events to respond to SOAP or XML-RPC requests?" Robb Beal says no

From the It-Had-To-Happen Dept, the Anti-Bloggies

Victor Echo Zulu: "Do you play Microsoft Solitaire?" Yes. 

Dan Shafer on migrating from Mac OS 9 to X. 

Ben Hammersley is blogging from Tehran. 

Don's Amazing Puzzle is #1 on Blogdex. Go figure. 

Jon Udell: "Sure enough, I counted 3 Fs." 

One year ago today: "Centralized servers no longer have a viable business model. That's good, because while our centralized servers huff and puff, the performance monitor on the PCs we use to browse and write for the Web stay flat, and so do the brains of most people using the Web. The users are getting bored, that's why our growth is flat too." 

Oy. A List Apart falls for the BigCo hype about Web Services. Zeldman oh Zeldman. Don't you love us? We're trying to make it easy for you. Instead you're praying at the altar of Big. "No good deed goes unpunished."  

Please feel free to ignore the above. 

Dan Gillmor: "I'm heading into the first session this morning, featuring Colin Powell, Lord Robertson (NATO head), the prime minister of Australia and others." 

Hit a bump 

Oy I hit a bump in the DIY Web Services project -- there's a limit on the built-in callScript verb, it can only be used to call script objects, not code objects.

I could write a text-to-script parser in UserTalk (yes Virginia, contrary to popular belief it is possible, it's just an Algol-like language), but instead we're going add an enhancement to the kernel to keep everything where it belongs.

So the ETA for this little mindbomb is now tomorrow or Sunday. Not a big deal, I wish it had been ready today, but that's life.

The silver lining to this is that I get to play with a juicy problem, how to get Blogger archives to flow through Radio 8. Robert Occhialini is asking the question on our discussion group. It's not necessarily as easy it looks. We'll figure it out.

A note to C developers 

Sometimes it seems people disagree with me before they understand what I said. That's human nature. But it doesn't change the fact that I was saying something.

Steve Zellers, who I admire and owe so much to, says we should like C because we use it. And we do like C and we do use it. But that doesn't change something important. While C plays an important role in the under-under-pinnings of the Web, the Web is glued together with scripting. Yes, the interpreters, databases, communication stacks are generally written in C. That's cool. But that's not the Web. (Postscript: Browsers are also written in C, and look where that got us.)

The Web is a view-source environment. From day one it was built on sharing what we know. If you like what someone else is doing, just get the source and have a look.

Yet it is still mostly a respectful environment. The only way to get this is to practice. Put up a website and do your work there. And get ready to learn. It's not enough to put up a website and leave it there, as many C programmers do. Update it every day. Tell more and more about yourself. And then you'll find yourself scripting more, and leaving some old philosophy behind.

If you haven't done this yet, you can't know what I'm talking about. Sorry. But the good news is that lots of C programmers (Java too) are starting weblogs. Some of the things you believe today will seem silly in a few months if you stick with it.

A picture named diy.gifAs much as I hated what Bill Atkinson said in the 80s about the priesthood of programmers, he was right. It can be a tyranny. It took a bit longer than Atkinson thought it would, but now many users are programming for themselves, and as this happened, it repositions C programmers. We're enablers and optimizers now, not gods, not gatekeepers. DIY is the philosophy of the Web, and because today's machines have so much CPU bandwidth, and scripting has evolved so much, they can DIY it, instead of waiting.

When Sam Ruby talks about unwashed masses using IDEs, I know he doesn't get it. But get this, he said it on a weblog, in public, on the record. So he's on the path to enlightenment. We'll watch carefully and nudge and push back when called on to do so, with love.

"It's even worse than it appears."


Last update: Saturday, February 02, 2002 at 6:59 AM Eastern.

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