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Permanent link to archive for Thursday, February 21, 2002. Thursday, February 21, 2002

I'm working for Frank McPherson. He asks for control over the size of the text in the viewFavoriteWeblogs macro that I released last night, so tonight I'm adding that feature. It's relaxing light work. I need some of that. Too much heavy lifting the last couple of weeks. So here's the demo. How does it work? The macro now takes two optional parameters, called pretext and posttext, they both default to the empty string. If you specify them (example), the pretext value is inserted before each item and time, and the posttext value is inserted after. To get the new version, update Radio.root.  

It scares me when Microsoft runs articles entitled "The Death of the Browser?" Why does it scare me? Because if Bill Gates woke up one morning and decided to kill the browser, he could do it. He could even do it slowly so no one notices. 

The much anticipated Comments feature for Radio 8 rolled out last night. BTW, any Manila site can host comments. So if you run a Manila site, you can have a community of Radio 8 bloggers flowing comments through your DG. You just have to turn the feature on. 

Shifted Librarian: How to use YACCS with Radio

Status-Q: "A bit more hacking, and the comments are now handled on my server by a PHP script and stored in a MySQL database. Congrats to Userland for coming up with such a simple scheme." Key point, the way we do comments in Radio does not require you use Manila on the back end. 

BTW, you can see many of the comments for the day, on this page. It's the default Manila site for Radio comments, and you can see that a lot of people are using the default.  

A bit of late afternoon philosophy. If a person asks "Why is the sky blue?" it does not follow that they want the sky to be some color other than blue. It could be that they do in fact want it to be some other color. But by asking the question they have not given you any information about that. Even less information is transmitted by this question: "What color is the sky?" If you believe it's blue, you can say "I believe the sky is blue." 

Paul Prescod: "Most people really do not have any understanding what SOAP is." I agree. 

Radio Bump: "We need another browser to get at least 30% market share very badly." I agree. 

Adam Curry: "Its brain-training." 

Thanks to Mark Pilgrim for the pointer to Zen Stories. I just read one. Very relaxing! 

eVectors has a new Radio tool called rssDistiller. "With rssDistiller you can extract rss feeds from most regular web pages." 

A picture named worship.gifJon Udell blogs Paul Graham: "You may not believe it, but I promise you, Microsoft is scared of you. The complacent middle managers may not be, but Bill is, because he was you once, back in 1975, the last time a new way of delivering software appeared." 

Nick Denton: "I have a new theory: the west coast is the home of weblogs because people in New York have a real city to enjoy, and real newspapers for which to write, and there's no damn time to opine for free." I don't get it. He's blogging from NY, for free, opining. What? 

MSNBC: "Less than a week after its blockbuster debut on the Nasdaq stock exchange, online payment firm PayPal has been hit with a class-action suit charging it with improperly administering users accounts and poor customer service." 

Scott Girard: "If you have kids, you probably know about GoGurt." 

Blogging Dane blog David blogging me blogging Doc blogging Jacob blogging lots of other bloggers. 

Daniel Berlinger posts a mini-review of Six Degrees. 

On this day four years ago Jeremie Miller put up an XML parser in a Web page. It's still there. He went on to design Jabber, based on more low-tech XML goodness. 

Russ Lipton: "Software vendors aren't omniscient." Amen! 

Rob Fahrni: "Hey Dave, Zeldman's personal size still uses tables for layout! I think he's adopted Dogma 2000 for his personal stuff and uses his bag of tricks for paid gigs." 

Thanks to CamWorld for the link to this Walmart computer, $399, with no operating system. Screen shot

Morning coffee notes 

Good morning and welcome to Scripting News. I will be your guide today to many wonderful things on the World Wide Web.

First note. Looks like CSS beat out Dogma 2000 in yesterday's survey. Maybe I should phrase it another way. If you had to choose between a plain text weblog that had something to say and one that used all the latest and greatest technology but had nothing to say, which way would you go?

Another thing -- I was going to make an offer to Zeldman -- I'll convert Scripting News to CSS if he'd use Radio (or some other inexpensive CMS) to edit his weblog. We waste a lot of time looking up at Microsoft and saying how they fuck us over, but we don't use each others stuff. If Zeldman used ours and hit a deal-stopper bug, do you think we'd fix the bug more quickly than our friends up north? Something to think about. Instead, his strategy increases our reliance on Microsoft. Sorry, that's not where I want to go today (or tomorrow).

BTW, Microsoft guys don't like the "stuff us in a locked trunk" metaphor. But get this, we are right now stuffed in their locked trunk, the damned Web browser, although we're mostly in denial on it. Did they ever ask us, the users and developers of the Web, if we wanted them to kill Netscape? (Or to be fair, to help Netscape to an early demise?) Had they run a survey, do you think we would have said "Oh sure go ahead and take control of the Web, we all want to be MS developers, sure." Uhhh, no. I don't think so.

And speaking of fairness, why exactly should we be so fair with MS. Do they play fair with us? Ask Jim Allchin to tell you his vision for the Internet. I bet it's not a pretty picture. Does he play fair? Hmmmm.


Last update: Thursday, February 21, 2002 at 7:07 PM Eastern.

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