Really interesting brain dump by Ray Ozzie on experiences being cross-platform with various products, from VisiCalc, to Notes and now Groove. Ray says that Lotus didn't need to be cross-platform (ie run on the Apple II and various weird almost PC clones) to kick VisiCalc's butt. That's soooo true. The PC was a juggernaut, and Mitch learned all you could learn about shoehorning apps into the Apple II's limited memory. VC was probably the best spreadsheet you could do on the Apple II, no oppty to challenge there. And Notes didn't really mean much on the Mac (I remember it was a big deal, but who uses Notes on the Mac). But (there always is one of those) I wonder if there aren't too many Windowsisms in the Groove code base today (4.5 million lines according to Ray) and if they had another version on another OS if those would be there. I know that we got going on XML-RPC and SOAP because we needed it, we had Windows and Mac code bases that needed to talk to each other. More to think about.
What a thrill to have a developer with Ray's experience on the weblog net. We could schmooze like this once every few years at conferences, but sheez, I don't go to conferences very much these days, certainly not the same ones Ray goes to. BTW, (imho) if Ray decided he wanted Linux-On-The-Desktop to matter, in a few years, it would. I think Doc throws in the towel too soon. Linux on the desktop didn't make it because it was conceived as a frontal assault, offering nothing that Windows didn't already do (much) better. There will be opportunities to fork from Windows, as Microsoft gets more in bed with other BigCo's in other industries. Want a refuge from Hillary and Valenti? Or maybe you just want a break from legacy-ware? Can't use Windows. Maybe you don't trust Apple, yet. BTW, here's a doc from 1997 where I told our users that the Windows version of Frontier wouldn't try to dig into the desktop the way the Mac version did.
Every once in a while a blogger comes along that I just like, is easy to read, has lots of fun graphics, a great attitude. Some of the blogs in this thread include Cabinet, Black Hole Brain, Phil Ackley, and now (the reason I mention the concept) FarrFeed. Good humor, great gifs and jpegs, some animated, and a friendly creative voice. Yesterday Farrs's birthday, his weblog has comments enabled, so you can wish him a (belated) happy day.
Christian Crumlish warns that there is a political leader of a powerful country developing weapons of mass destruction and threatening to use them. Hint: it's not Saddam Hussein.
Jon Udell writes a "deployment descriptor" for Radio at InfoWorld.
From Car Talk. A doctor goes to a bar every Sunday to get a special drink, an oak-flavored daiquiri. One time the bartender prepares the drink with hickory because he's out of oak flavor. The doctor, on tasting the drink says "There's something wrong with the drink." The bartender admits it. "Okay, I admit that it's a hickory daiquiri.." Arrrrgh.
Markoff piece on Microsoft's appearance at the LinuxWorld show next week. He says: "Linux has failed as a desktop alternative to either Microsoft's Windows or Apple's Macintosh operating system." If it's true, when did the failure happen? How do you measure failure? Markoff is not a columnist, he's a reporter. Things that appear outside quotes are supposed to be fact, not opinion. To say that an OS and a community have failed, one must have some substantiation. I could definitely imagine circumstances where Linux gets a surge of growth on the desktop in the future. For Markoff to be wrong, all it has to be is an alternative. I'm a sports fan. As Yogi said "It ain't over till it's over."
1986 NY Times article about copy protection. You could have said, a few years later, that copy protection had failed, but that would have been wrong. Now they call it Digital Rights Management. Same thing.
Steve Gillmor: "Spam will go away -- with the death of e-mail."
Latest Udell column. Put people first for a change. Can't go wrong with that.
Here's what I love about movies. Two people can see the same movie, and see two completely different things. Consider The Pledge, starring a very old Jack Nicholson and directed by Sean Penn. It's a poignant movie about truth and trust. I don't want to give away the plot or the ending, but it's dark, and to me, really rings true, in the same way As Good As It Gets spoke for me. Lately I've been reading reviews after seeing movies and reading books, instead of before. It's always interesting to hear what the reviewers got from the story, it's rarely the same thing I got.
1/28/98: "I've read a bunch of reviews of the movie, and no one seems to get this. Hunt is a great actor! She played the role usually reserved for the male lead in a love story. And Nicholson was stunning as an extremely opinionated man who we learn to love."
Two years ago: My Friend's Heart Attack. Whew!
Heard on NPR yesterday: "Don't confuse god with the flag, they have nothing to do with each other." That's not an exact quote. Somehow the US flag became a religious symbol and the symbol of a country. This is a bug. It's not about god. Also, great interviews with Divine and John Waters.
Philosophy of Web services
Had a very interesting meeting yesterday, for some reason I'm not allowed to say who it was. So I'll characterize the person instead of naming him. He is an advocate of a particular scripting language, on that's got a loyal following, but it's not one of the huge languages, like Perl or Java; but it's not small either. We were talking about the Seybold keynote on web services. I've got my cast pretty well set, but I was interested in having this person demo some kind of SOAP or XML-RPC app with his scripting language. No matter how we approached it, he was always trying to sell his scripting language, which of course is okay, but later this struck me as totally at odds with the philosophy of web services.
I was reminded that when I was in manifesto mode for this stuff, that's exactly what I was saying. And when I meet users that's what they value the most, no lock-in, ease of movement and migration of code. The only ones who don't see it this way are the big companies and their followers who snicker about choice issues, and assume everyone wants to use the environment they use or will want to once they are assimilated. Emphatically, these people are not using the Web, and they might as well use their own language's native mechanism for cross-network communication, they gain nothing by using a protocol that's supported in lots of languages and environments. Yes, I am naive, and I choose to be that way. I understand that sometimes people pretend to support choice, when they really just want to confuse people, or keep them arguing about small details while they take over the world, but I hold them to a higher standard. Let's dispense, once and for all, of these monsters. If you can't handle competition, get out of the kitchen. You know what I mean.
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