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Scripting News, the weblog started in 1997 that bootstrapped the blogging revolution.
Permanent link to archive for Wednesday, September 18, 2002. Wednesday, September 18, 2002

Jason Levine: "Did you hear? There's a virus that's causing infected websites to display only XML today." Hehe. 

Picture of a beautiful bouquet of flowers, the symbol for RSS 2.0.Fredrik Lundh sent a pointer to his EffNews project to build an RSS news reader for Windows. He says there are some problems that we need to fix on our end before he can support RSS 2.0. I cc'd his email to my namespace rabbis, Tim Bray, Sam Ruby and Sjoerd Visscher. It's great to work with Fredrik again. It was his early support of XML-RPC, in Python, that got the ball rolling.  

Very quietly earlier this morning I removed the caveat from the RSS 2.0 spec. Anxiously awaiting the end of the universe.  

I also removed the caveat from the blogChannel module and added support to the Scripting News feed

A copy of the email I sent to Evan Williams, Ben Trott and Jake Savin re support for RSS 2.0 in Weblog tools. 

Economist: Can Don Logan repeat at AOL what he did for Time Inc? 

I posted some thoughts below on Health and the Web. 

I'm testing a new guid-aware service compiler for Radio's aggregator. When I change the text of this item, it should not reappear on the News page in the next scan. This addresses a long-standing feature request, made possible by RSS 2.0. (The change is not yet released. Just testing. Hi Jake.) 

Jeff Barr says I lied about Bill Kearney's message about deathbeds. I don't see how Jeff could possibly know. 

NY Times: "Sun Microsystems plans to throw its weight behind the 'open source' software movement on Wednesday as part of an industry effort to offer an alternative to Microsoft's Windows." 

Last night I got a thoughtful email from Sean Palmer on a way to make RSS 2.0 work for people who want to develop in RDF. While reading it, I took a break to look at last year's archive for this day, and found an essay written by Palmer explaining the Semantic Web. I really appreciate the time and effort he's put into this. It's totally worth seeing if we can all use the same format going forward. If anything his email is too generous to UserLand (but that's a flaw I can easily overlook). RSS must also work for our competitors. Yesterday I sent an email to Ben Trott at Movable Type asking for his support. Later today I'll write to Evan Williams (I think Evan is busier, I could be wrong about that). I've been emailing with Sam Gentile, Brent Simmons and Juri Pakaste, all of whom make aggregators. The goal is to lay a frozen foundation for interop so the market can straighten out and then stabilize. There's a good mix of tools and aggregators. Some are commercial, some are open source. All platforms are covered.  

Health and the Web 

I don't write much about my health because I don't like to dwell on it here. My weblog is one of the few parts of my life that is realtively unaffected by the disease that I have and the recovery from the surgery that I had in June to treat the disease. In the coming years I think we'll find that weblogs are very good for promoting recovery. I'm glad to report it really helps when you're limited physically, to still be able to be part of the world through the Web.

In some of the discourse over the last few days I've heard people say that I've recovered, so now I'm fair game. Well, I don't subscribe to the belief that just because someone writes in public that that makes them a fair target for attack, but in case it's not clear, I am not recovered. I am running at a much slower speed than I was before. I am weak.

I think most of these people are young. Their bodies are strong. They don't see me so they don't know that I'm older than they are, and even if they did see me, they probably wouldn't see the weakness. But it is there.

I want to keep working, but if the choice is between my health and work, health is going to win. If your body is healthy here's a chance for you to learn. Some day it won't be. You may ask other people to cut you some slack because of that, as I am now. I believe that offering a kindness comes back in the form of kindness; and that being cruel comes back as cruelty. So take a moment before posting a flame and ask yourself if you really have to do it. And never make assumptions about the strength of person on the receiving end of your attack. They may not be able to speak up for themselves as I can. And they may not be able to handle it.

On one of the threads a blogger named Stavros said that he wanted to see me take on all comers. I sometimes get the idea that people show up for the flamefests as a form of entertainment. It is not entertaining for me. In one of the threads I asked if people really cared. No one said they did. Now I know some people will attack me for saying this. So be it. I'm going to keep working and creating as long as it makes sense to. But if it gets too heavy I'll stop working altogether, permanently. I'm too good to be wasted as a form of entertainment.

I have a pretty good idea why Jon Postel died at such a young age. And why Douglas Adams did. The pressure of living a creative life is enormous. When that intersects with the Internet the pressure can increase to an unsustainable level. If other people doubt that lives are at stake, I don't.


Last update: Wednesday, September 18, 2002 at 5:33 PM Eastern.

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