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Permanent link to archive for Saturday, September 21, 2002. Saturday, September 21, 2002

Weblogs and healing, part four. Rod Kratochwill sent me an email after my last essay on the subject, saying that his weblog was helping him process the loss of his wife in a car accident earlier this year. I just read his weblog and got some small sense of his pain. By telling the story in public, by sharing -- even with strangers, it spreads out, and perhaps the sense of alone-ness dissipates. Best wishes Rod, if nothing else, you're being heard. 

99 days no-smoke Dave. Tomorrow is 100. What does it mean? I can smell stuff. Tuesday is the big doctor's appt where I find out how my heart is doing. I go on the treadmill and get an ultrasound and EKG. By then it will have been 100 days since the surgery. Meanwhile after the last couple of weeks, starting with Seybold on Sept 11, I'm sleeping a lot to catch up on my 12 hours per day that I had been missing. I also decided I should go to Denver for Digital ID World. Not speaking, just as an attendee. What a luxury. No work to do, just schmooze and play. 

Seth Russell: "The RSS 2.0 spec just reflects where the market is and where it wants to go. It's simple, uncontrived, and preserves the momentum of RSS. It is truly going to be difficult for a committee to come up with a better spec." Thanks. 

I have a new test version of the channel compiler. If you've been seeing doubles after installing the last version, try this one out and see if the doubles don't stop. They have here, so far. But you have to wait for a variety of channels to update and convert to 2.0 to see the problems. I'm going to keep testing for a couple of days before releasing. Postscript: After three scans, it works great. No doubles. It's guid-aware. Yippee! 

Michael Sippey wants to know what RSS is useful for beyond syndicating and reading news. Answer: nothing. That's what it does. Yes synthetic channels are a good idea. For TV program guides and interfacing with calendars. But if you want to do the Semantic Web, you need a different format. They're still discussing it on the RSS-DEV list. At some point I will write up a Where We Are document, that also explains the last two years of RSS and why it was so confusing. It won't be about blame, we can move beyond that now. Here's the synopsis. RSS stayed pretty constant while we all argued about what it is. We wasted a lot of time. Let's hope that's over now. 

A picture named leninsmall.gifOn this day in 1999, Jon Udell became a RSS channel in BYTE. And on this day in 1997 I was reading Microserfs. Did you know they came up with a new application for Lenin? I thought this was especially brilliant. As I said then, "It's not just about Microsoft" and it's not just about Lenin either. 

BBC: "Californian authorities have decided against prosecuting former astronaut Buzz Aldrin after he punched a documentary maker who claimed his moon missions were faked." 

IBM DeveloperWorks: "XML-RPC is the granddaddy of XML Web services." 

Wired: "Crowley set up a website called, a clearinghouse for sharing calendars created with Apple's new iCal calendaring program, which allows people to publish calendars online." 

Courage on the Web 

Yesterday the weblog community found a peaceful solution to a war that was brewing.

It was the world vs Erin Clerico. There were so many people savaging him, I didn't see anyone looking for a way out of the dispute betw Erin and blogger Dave Johnson. For some reason I got a lot of email about this. I told everyone that as far as I could tell Johnson was being a gentleman, and that even though I'm not a lawyer, it seemed that Erin didn't have much of a case (he was threatening to sue). But I also asked people to stop calling Erin names, and try to see it from his point of view. He's worked hard to build a business that people respect, and he's upset that someone is doing something that may harm his business. He has a valid point, and probably would back down if people would just listen. So that's what I did, I listened, and it worked, they both backed down and peace came about.

Proves a point, sometimes someone has to be strong for there to be peace. When everyone is cowardly except the person being attacked, there's no way out. That's why the logjam over RSS broke. Mark Pilgrim had the courage to get the facts. That was a big deal. Yesterday some of Erin's detractors called him a bully. He's not a bully, he was just scared, but they were bullies. A mob, no better than white men lynching black men. No thinking going on. A blood sport. I am ashamed to be associated in any way with this. Think before you join a mob. Use your mind, and when you see people being cruel, have the guts to say it's wrong.

Bullies have a way of backing down when they feel the presence of just a tiny bit of courage. It takes courage to say "Let's find a way out of this." And that's how you can tell the difference betw the abuser and the abused. One doesn't want a way out, and the other desperately does.


Last update: Saturday, September 21, 2002 at 6:46 PM Eastern.

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