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Permanent link to archive for Thursday, October 24, 2002. Thursday, October 24, 2002

Jon Udell: The publish/subscribe Internet

ETag support for Manila, for RSS and scriptingNews2 feeds.  

For ten points, guess what this is the start of. 

Please don't tweak the little white-on-orange XML icon. I'm seeing variations out there. That's not cool. Its value is diluted by varying it. If you don't like it, do something completely different. But a little change here and there, and eventually its value is gone. 

RIAA: "The use of your digital network to pirate music, movies, and other copyrighted works both interferes with the business purposes your network was built to serve and subjects your employees and your company to significant legal liability."  

No Web-based play by play tonight. I'm going to the game! Yeah. No shit. 

Dan Shafer: "Baseball is attractive because it is a thinking man's game and I am a thinking man." 

News.Com: "The ultimate promise of Web services -- delivering software as a service -- is at least a decade away from being fulfilled, according to a report from IDC." Bah. 

Larry Lessig continues the Don Park thread about open source and software creativity. My response is below.  

Ernie the Attorney: "I love outlines." 

AP: "Two men wanted for questioning in the wave of deadly sniper attacks were arrested early Thursday." 

From JY comes a French radio network that uses our own Radio.  

A couse in Ireland teaches Web publishing with Radio UserLand.  

John Foster has pictures from outside last night's Game 4.  

Rob McNair-Huff confirms that he can edit Radio outlines in OmniOutliner on the Mac, through OPML; and vice versa. This is a big deal.  

Open source, Mitch and Larry Lessig 

A picture named animatedcerf.gifHere's a copy of my email to Larry Lessig on open source, Mitch Kapor, software creativity, getting credit, getting paid, etc etc.

1. I have been a leader in releasing source code. Frontier, first shipped in 1992, ships with much, but not all of the source. This was before there was even a concept of open source. I have also been the beneficiary of source releases. As a grad student in the 70s, I learned to code reading the source of Unix. Again, before there was any concept of open source. Part of my objection to the hype is as if it's something new. It is not.

2. If you can figure out how to get us paid to do development, and not in some socialist sense, but in a free market sense, with dignity, I'm all for it. I've even proposed such methods, something akin to Nielsen Ratings. On the other hand, with my source out there, all of it, I don't see how I can get credit, in any way, for what I've created.

3. I've seen this over and over. The open source community has little respect for creativity. If I don't patent my creations, I've learned, they will erase me from the record. This may be the biggest obstacle to gaining the trust of creative people. It's as Bowie predicts for music, but as usual we're a decade or so ahead in the software world.

4. I look forward to Mitch's creation. I know better than most what he's capable of because I worked closely with him in the past, we learned from each other (maybe not enough of that) and competed. I have great respect for Mitch. But I also am concerned, like Don Park is, as any reasonable person should be, that it will be impossible to compete with Mitch. I don't like that idea.

Baseball and men 

A woman friend who (I think) is watching the World Series this year because the men around her are so interested, writes to say her seven-year-old son seems, to her, to have a very special liking for the sport, and she posits that it's male hormones at work, and this set me thinking. Is it? Maybe, but probably not in the way she thinks.

A picture named smallrose.gifBaseball may be the male equivalent of a sewing circle, but like Yiddish concepts converted to English, something may be lost in the translation. More accurately, baseball may be the equivalent of the great tales told at a campfire by hunter-gatherer man. Our team is our village. The stories of Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Lou Gehrig, Joe Dimaggio, Jackie Robinson, Willie Mays, Roger Maris, Hank Aaron, Roberto Clemente, Nolan Ryan, Tommy Agee, Mookie Wilson, Cal Ripkin, Barry Bonds, are tales of great warriors, who, even if they lost on the field of battle, did so with great honor and courage. There's also Pete Rose, the fallen hero, Charlie Hustle, the most successful batter in the history of the game, who is not in the Hall of Fame (a mistake that must be corrected while he's alive). And Baker and Soscia, the chiefs, the elder statesmen who lead today's courageous warriors into battle, with dignity, strength and honor; and take their place among the great chiefs of all time.

Baseball is nothing if not history. That's why the business of baseball is so disconcerting, it spoils the illusion that it's some greater cause we support. When one stops and thinks, really, there is nothing going on, but why does it feel so good? So important?

It may be male hormones that makes us such suckers for the schmaltz, or it might be the male heart, that loves the greatness of his gender and finds today so few ways to express it. Some argue that there are no real differences between the genders, but it's impossible to argue that baseball isn't a male thing; and while women may enjoy watching, it really is ours alone. Nothing wrong with that.


Last update: Thursday, October 24, 2002 at 3:20 PM Eastern.

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