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Permanent link to archive for Saturday, December 13, 2003. Saturday, December 13, 2003

La Fing: RSS: une alternative au Web? Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Finally something worth pointing to on Frank Paynter's site. You won't be disappointed. Before you click make sure your mouth is empty.  Permanent link to this item in the archive.

We're doing lots of domain remappings tonight on the ping handler and static server for If your site doesn't show up in the changes list, it's probably because the ping went one place and the static page was written to another. It should all resolve itself over the next few hours, Murphy-willing of course.  Permanent link to this item in the archive.

BTW, is now on Eastern time.  Permanent link to this item in the archive.

A picture named morris.jpgHighly recommended, Chris Lydon's latest interivew with Democrat factotum, Dick Morris. He's very bullish on the Internet, says that Dean is to be given credit for breaking through, but he's too far left to win. Why does Morris say he's so far left? Because he was against the war in Iraq. That's so funny. I would just say that proves that he was thinking. No matter, Morris says come Election Day, the economy will be in good shape, the troops will be safe, and everyone will have a drug discount card; and old Howard Dean better have something to run on come November 2004.  Permanent link to this item in the archive.

A picture named walter.jpgBTW, Morris has the same top-down disease all the other old operatives have. They still have to let go of something dear to them -- that they are on top of anything. Chris almost got there in one of his interviews (I think it was with Jay Rosen). He quoted Walter Cronkite saying "And that's the way it is." And Chris said, no thanks we'll decide for ourselves (reminding of the great Annie Lennox song). But in the back of his mind Chris was thinking that he would be the new Walter. And Dick Morris thinks we'll be happy chatting with robot candidates. Fuck you Dick. Democracy is government of the people you schmuck. We don't need marketers.  Permanent link to this item in the archive.

What's more pathetic, planning a smear campaign or telling everyone that one is coming? Hard to say. How about inspiring us with some ideas. We knew the Internet was great before Dean came along. The Republicans got it wrong when they say Dean is McGovern. A more apt analogy is Netscape vs Microsoft. The Dean guys are making the same mistakes Netscape made. Yeah you got there before the Republicans. Now build some alliances, spread the love, before the hoarde invades. I can be convinced. I keep telling you how. Let's go already dammit. I don't want to see Dubya get a second term. Man. Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Harper's Magazine has an interesting taxonomy. (Scroll down.) Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Ward Cunningham, the designer of the original Wiki, has taken a job at Microsoft. If you have advice for him, leave it here, on a Wiki of course. Permanent link to this item in the archive.

BBC: 'Iran's policy of blocking access to certain websites has been defended by the country's authorities at the UN digital summit."  Permanent link to this item in the archive.

NY Times profile of Dean campaign manager, Joe Trippi. Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Canadian regulators said it's legal to download music, illegal to upload; and imposed a tax on playback devices to be distributed among artists. "MP3 players with up to 10GB of memory will have an added levy of $15 added to their price, while larger players will see $25 added on top of the wholesale price. MP3 players with less than 1GB of memory will have only a $2 surcharge added to their cost." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Ask the users Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Google's Jason Shellen proposes a change in the functionality of the white-on-orange XML icon. He says most users find it confusing, but I wonder about that. How many people click on things they aren't interested in? I don't. Too busy. I might, if I knew nothing about XML, click once, after seeing them pop up in lots of familiar places, seeing something I don't get, click on the Back button and remember not to go there again.

I agree that most Web users today won't understand what they see when they click. However, I don't think they'll understand something that looks different from, but contains the same information as the page they just came from. Why is this here twice? the uninformed user might ask. To which Shellen says, it's explained on the page itself. But I don't read, responds the user, I just skim.

But it would be good to verify some of the assumptions by actually asking some users what they think. And we know that the white-on-orange buttons are good for something, and they will be less useful if they aren't used consistently.

Markup in titles in RSS? Permanent link to this item in the archive.

The RSS 2.0 spec and its predecessors may not say clearly enough if you can or can't include markup in titles. But I don't think you should include markup in titles. Titles are like file names (not exactly of course). They are a happy medium between software and people. Both must be able to read them and make sense of them, in all contexts, and do so easily. While it seems reasonable that a description may contain markup, it also seems reasonable that a title should not. So, if I were writing a validator for RSS, and encountered markup in a title, I'd warn the author that many processors would not be happy about this and it would be safer to strip the markup from the title.

Disclaimer: Scripting News is a weblog, not a spec. If you interpret it as a spec you will be making a mistake. I think I've said this quite a few times, but a few people still treat it as if I were writing a spec here. Not so. And not fair.

A postscript. I went back to see what the spec actually says, and it turns out it's not really a problem with the spec, rather with my recollection of what the spec says. Scroll to elements of item. It says descriptions may contain entity-encoded HTML. It doesn't say that a title may. So if that's the biggest problem people can find with the spec (which many were flaming about when I wrote it, it's not like they offered any help, btw) then it's a pretty damned good spec if you ask me.


Last update: Saturday, December 13, 2003 at 10:02 PM Eastern.

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