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Permanent link to archive for Wednesday, May 22, 2002. Wednesday, May 22, 2002

News.Com: "A legal fight that has pitted file-swapping software companies Kazaa BV and StreamCast Networks against big record labels and movie studios is collapsing as the small companies run out of funds." 

NY Times: Netflix IPO Raises $82.5 million

Last week I spent some time talking with Ben Hammersley, the British tech journalist who's working on O'Reilly's book on XML-based content syndication with RSS. Yesterday we emailed back and forth several times. My last email to Ben yesterday attempted to answer this question, how does RSS 0.9x evolve? 

Gina Barton: What is a Journalist? 

Sean Gallagher: "So what's the future? Smaller magazines. More niche publications. More magazines with a limited life span. Fewer issues, with content online to keep readers hooked in between. More web, less frequent hardcopy." 

CNET reviews Netscape 7 Preview Release 1. 

More idea flow from Jeroen Bekker on opening Groove to the Web. "Investigate simple solutions to publish selective content from a Groovespace you would like to make available to a broader audience." 

Jenny the Librarian: "And I wouldn't necessarily have to leave my current session in order to be part of a second, concurrent one. I could monitor the blog, chat session, or video stream. It would be a conference version of TV's picture-in-picture." Exactly. And let's go further. You wouldn't even need to be at the conference to do all that. Linear thinking asks "Why would anyone want to go to the conference then?" I know because I was pushing two leading conferences in the software industry to open up, just to have real-time weblog-style reports on the conference website so people who weren't attending could know about the new stuff announced at a conference. (My efforts failed, btw.) I believe conference providers could raise the prices for attending in meatspace, if the public could attend virtually for free. Being there counts for everything. If you're not there, you can't make any news yourself (kind of self-evident). The first conference that fully opened up via the Internet would be historic, and wildly successful, imho. 

Jim Zellmer observes that Microsoft has recently acquired two companies, Great Plains and Navision, that have excellent developer communities. 

Megnut: "Reading weblogs has made me greedy for access to a constant stream of nuggets from the brains of those I admire." Amen. 

Ed Cone: "The elders of the blogging tribe are generous with their links."  

Two reasons I don't generally link to Andrew Sullivan. He rarely points to other bloggers, if ever (today he disclaims it). Second reason. No permalinks. Today he discovered them. Hope! On the other hand, I totally agree that we have no obligation to point at anything.  

BlackHoleBrain: "Round, naked, mindless, boneless, fried chicken blobs." 

Wired: "The mole turned out to be one of the show's most trusted characters." 

On Metafilter: "If only Nina could have killed Jack at the end." That would have been cool. 

I'm thinking seriously about wiping the template for this weblog and starting over. I'd make it look like DaveNet looks now. A more serious look. Easier to read perhaps. 

A picture named udell.gifI just had a phone talk with Jon Udell, who I saw at last week's conference. It had been a few years since he had been to Silicon Valley, and was not prepared to see the devastation of the economy here. I live here, and it snuck up on me, although some of the changes were sudden and unmistakeable. Part of me is very glad to see all the For Lease signs on office space. For so many years those buildings were filled with people spending public money on projects that couldn't go anywhere. Now at least there's space available, and presumably people, if and when the lights come on again. I encouraged Jon to write about this. There's space available in DaveNet and Scripting News for ideas and perspectives that get technology flowing to customers. 

Paolo: "In the very unlikely case that for some reason I have your IP address, there could be a message for you in the yellow box on the right of this page." Screen shot

Rick Klau found a Palm outliner that understands OPML. This is very cool. That outliner could plug into our content system in a variety of ways.  

Steve MacLaughlin: "It's easy to draw a big bulls-eye on the record companies, and to rant and rave about how they're screwing the artists." 

Hey Apple has developers 

A remarkable article in BusinessWeek about Mac developers and Apple. A constant theme in the early days of this weblog and my column. And, it's even worse than it appears. Sometimes Apple says it has matched a developer and taken over its market, when it's not even true. Everyone loses, the platform, the developer, and the platform vendor.

Amelio's Apple was no better. It's Internet strategy was OpenDoc, Cyberdog and Quicktime. Terrible strategy. Developers were leading in content management, totally ahead of Windows.

The article is also remarkable because it cites Rob McNair-Huff's weblog. Nice. One more thing, it's also cool because, according to the article, small commercial developers exist. This has been a big outage for quite a few years.

Perhaps Microsoft could have the same epiphany about its market. Sometimes small developers break through where the platform vendor is clueless. I've seen it happen.

What a difference 

Five years ago today: "Microsoft does the developer game absolutely as well as they can, but they should be easy to compete with. Realistic developers understand that Microsoft is a growth machine, so if you're lucky enough to build a bonfire within Microsoft's reach, even a small one, they're going to try to build one of their own, just like yours. They have to do it, it's in their genetics, it's in their business plan."

Five years ago Microsoft had the best developer program in the business. Today, after a series of utterly stupid gaffes in developer relations, they're losing to Apple, and that's ridiculous, because Apple is everything that a developer company is not. Microsoft fell into the trap of believing it was the whore (quoting JLG) when the only viable developer strategy for a company as large as MS is to be the flashiest pimp on the block. That Apple can make such serious inroads with developers is testimony to the disarray at Microsoft.

How did this happen? First the browser wars, then the Java wars, then the confusion over the .NET strategy, and the icing on the cake -- the antitrust conviction. Of course it's not over until it's over. I ran into David Stutz of Microsoft at the O'Reilly conf and talked with him about this stuff. He said some high-level people at Microsoft are saying what I've been saying. I said let's set up a meeting. There's no time like now to get the developer thing working again.


Last update: Wednesday, May 22, 2002 at 8:43 PM Eastern.

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