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Permanent link to archive for Friday, June 27, 2003. Friday, June 27, 2003

Jon Udell: My Conversation with Mr Safe. A must-read. Udell converses with Tim Bray's Mr Safe about RSS. Tim's claim that RSS is not deployable by conservative corporate managers was instrumental in getting the frenzy over Echo cooking. But Bray was wrong, RSS is in fact being widely deployed by lots of Mr Safes. And they've been quietly adopting the optional features of RSS 2.0 over the last few months. In other words, Bray is saying RSS is losing at the exact moment that it's running its victory lap. Now, Udell criticizes me personally in his piece, as Bray dismissed me (in a very humiliating way, not appropriate for a person of his stature) and I asked Udell not to do it, but he insisted it was his right. I decided to point to his piece anyway, because it's important that you hear from him. While I offered my endorsement to Echo, I did it with reservations. I don't believe it's necessary, or even advisable. As others have said, we're taking too big a risk that a BigCo (like Google or IBM, for example) is going to take control. If you think I've been a bad leader, talk to me, tell me what you want to do, and I'll see if I can accomodate. But you have to listen too, and that's what you guys haven't been doing. When I talk (so it seems to me) you flame. That's not a conversation, and it's been going on for years. I don't think the Big's are going to care about what you want. I haven't found Google particularly interested in keeping the market open, and my experience with IBM on SOAP was not very good either. Both companies use patents. You may believe they have your interest at heart, but I'd keep my eyes open about that. 

Andrew Grumet: "Programmer grumbling is unfortunate but it is no match for the roar of happy users." Amen. 

Did you know that the BBC has an RSS feed just for news about Harry Potter? 

Russ Lipton sends a pointer to weblogs from the Spokane newspaper, the Spokesman-Review.  

Last year: "It's nice, even wonderful, to be able to walk for five minutes on a gorgeous California summer morning." Two years ago: "You can know what until now, only KnowNow knew." Three years ago: "I like new elements that have imperfect names and that are supported in content by leading content providers." Six years ago: "By the time a child is 18, he or she will see 80,000 murders on TV and will never see a couple making love." 

I was talking with Halley a few days ago and she asked what's going on with my friend with the weblog who has cancer. I shuddered. I haven't seen him update in a long time. Oh shit. I just checked his site. He updated Tuesday. "It's been a busy few weeks. Claudia and I bought an apartment in lower Westchester just north of the city." Whew. Glad he's okay. Brian and I were two sick guys with weblogs last summer. Seems like we're both getting back on our feet. Coool. 

Charles Cooper: "I'd love to get his reaction after SCO produces documents with keystroke-by-keystroke copies of proprietary IP -- including typographical mistakes -- which subsequently made its way into the open-source community." 

Feedback to people working on Echo 

To non-technical readers, and people who don't follow the daily ins and outs of RSS politics, here's a brief explanation of what's going on.

A group of developers, including some very important ones (the developers of Blogger and Movable Type, notably) have decided to develop a format to compete with RSS and an API to compete with the Blogger API and the MetaWeblog API.

You may or may not like this idea, if you don't there's not much you can do about it, because it seems to be happening anyway, or something seems to be happening. I think if you're a user of this stuff, you can tune out for a while at least. However, it seems that some of the space on Scripting News will be devoted to this for some time to come.

So now a bit of feedback to the people responsible for Echo.

1. Please help me get rid of the personality issues. If I'm going to participate, hatred has to be off-topic, at least in the big places for discussions. When you see someone indulge, and there have been some outrageous examples, it's better if you ask them to stop, than if I have to.

2. Start an Echo weblog. Eat the dogfood. Show us in real-time what an Echo-compliant weblog looks like.

3. It should have an Echo feed, asap. And it should also have an RSS 2.0 feed, so people with aggregators can subscribe to it. This is a pragmatic thing, it's very hard to follow the project now. There are enough people involved to have one or two people serve as chronicler of the project.

4. I think it's wonderful that it's happening on the Web and not on mail lists. But you have to compensate for the fact that there's no single place to go to stay informed by creating one.

That's about it for now. Yesterday's endorsement is finished.


Last update: Friday, June 27, 2003 at 2:28 PM Eastern.

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