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Scripting News, the weblog started in 1997 that bootstrapped the blogging revolution.
Permanent link to archive for Friday, February 15, 2002. Friday, February 15, 2002

A new CSS-based Manila theme: A Theme Apart.  

A picture named megnut.gifA vignette from the wild wooly world of weblogs. Last night in a desperate search for something interesting to say about the programming work I was doing, I found a funny error message, and put it on Scripting News. Megnut saw it and sent me an email. "Earlier this evening I came across this error in some old code, 'The Error handler has had an error! Oh, man...bad day!' and it had me laughing out loud. I guess what makes them so funny is the dichotomy between the personality of the messages and where they come from: something as soulless as a web server." To which I responded. "Most of the error messages from Weblogs.Com are written as if talking to someone who's about to burst out into flames. This stuff warps ones' personality I guess, is the moral of the story." Meg gets the last word. "Too true. ;)" 

Peter Wright: ".Net marks the dawn of the third age of computing -- embrace it."  

Isaac Salpeter: "Who is Peter Wright and what has he done with Andrew Leonard?" 

Burning Bird checks in from St Louis. More weblogging car travels. Doc's car broke down yesterday in San Jose. "Off the road again," says Doc. 

While I wasn't watching a new meme seems to have taken hold. Blink. Derivation? I don't know. I guess the b stands for blog? What other kinds of links are there? Heh.  

Zopista: "Hmm perhaps a few more mentions of Radio and I'll get on Dave Winer's weblog." OK. 

Brent Simmons: "Iíve often wondered about the kind of mind that canít like two things, that has always to proclaim one is great and the other evil." 

David Kurtz: "Just drink the kool-aid, ok?" Try again. 

To people who love CSS, and think it's the wave of the future, check out the Linux Advocacy Mini-HowTo. Everyone who is promoting a cause can learn from this excellent doc.  

This is the first cat to ever appear on Scripting News.Interesting, I see people doing hierarchies with Wiki's these days, another thing that's on my periphery (like CSS). Bill Seitz, a longtime Manila user, seems to be doing this on his (new?) Wiki. I'd love to know what the user interface for creating these hierarchies looks like. Of course we do hierarchies in Manila sites, they're called directories, we edit them in an outliner, but Wikis work differently, it seems. 

Looks like I'm going to do a 45 minute presentation at the O'Reilly Emerging Technology conference. That's cool, should be interesting, I'm going to talk about distributed content management. I was also invited to speak on a panel about web services, chaired by Adam Bosworth. That's cool, Adam is a smart guy. I also suggested they invite Simon Fell, Sam Ruby, and Andrew Layman to participate in the panel. PS to O'Reilly -- how do I get on the radar for the people planning the Open Source Convention? 

Speaking of Sam, ever the patient evangelist, he has a plan for getting WSDL into Radio 8. I will read this of course. I guess that's the price of success, people want you to do things to help get their favorite technology adopted. This is a new experience for me. I'm accustomed to being on the other side. I appreciate the respect Sam is showing. No sarcasm. 

Speaking of Simon, he has something new too today. "I started by building a subscriber interface to the data. You register the URL(s) of the weblogs you want to subscribe to, and the port & path of where your callback handler is. Then when the service sees a change in any of the URL's you subscribed to, it'll call you back with a SOAP message saying its updated." Now this is easy to support. I do nothing but say "Keep going Simon, great stuff." 

Thanks to Jonathon Delacour for listening and feeding back.  

Cockroaches after nuclear war 

Henry Jenkins: "Like cockroaches after nuclear war, online diarists rule an Internet strewn with failed dot coms."

Jenkins' piece echoes a belief that's getting more hollow every day. He says "It may seem strange to imagine the blogging community as a force that will shape the information environment almost as powerfully as corporate media." It may seem strange to some, but to me it doesn't go far enough. Corporate media is disappearing. It's diseconomic. It fails to give people with minds what they want, differing perspectives and access to information.

His quote, adapted to 1981, would go like this. "It may seem strange to imagine the personal computer community as a force that will shape the information environment almost as powerfully as mainframes and minis." They did said stuff like that. Instead, as we know, the PC devastated the mainframe culture's control of information. When the revolution was over, IBM was tottering on bankruptcy (they recovered) and all their competition either transitioned to PCs, or retreated to the workstation market. In all cases, they lost control, and before that happened, to many, it was unthinkable that they could.

Call us cockroaches if you want, I'm sure IBM thought Apple, Microsoft and Intel were cute and dirty too, but distributed and decentralized news is rapidly becoming an accomplished fact, as fractional horsepower computers overtook centralized and controlled computers in the 80s. Too much attention was paid to the dotcommers, the PC revolution also had carpetbaggers and charlatans. To pay attention to the excesses would be to miss the trend.

Michael Fraase exposes an incorrect story about Comcast that spread like wildfire.


Last update: Friday, February 15, 2002 at 8:29 PM Eastern.

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