Weblog Archive >  2006 >  December >  21 Previous/Next

Scripting News, the weblog started in 1997 that bootstrapped the blogging revolution.

The BBC, in a deal with Azureus, will share high-def programming using BitTorrent.  Permanent link to this item in the archive.

The Queen of England has a podcast feed. Here's her 80th birthday speech. Via the TelegraphPermanent link to this item in the archive.

We're making progress on next week's meetup in NYC. We still need to pick a date, I can't do the 27th, when I'm going to a Knicks game with Steve Rubel. But I can do the 28th. We need a place to have it. Ideally, a conference room (or classroom) that can seat about 25-30 people, we can meet at 5:30 or 6PM, talk for a couple of hours, and then go to dinner. Anyone have a room they can volunteer? And Greg Cannon points out that it's so far an all-male affair. It would be great to get some women there. We're not looking for dates, Greg points out, but how about a little variety? That would be nice!  Permanent link to this item in the archive.

What makes things work Permanent link to this item in the archive.

A picture named funkytunes.jpgFirst, thanks for a great discussion yesterday. The best part was there was only a little ad hominem bashing, much less than we used to have whenever we have a sprited discussion of technology. I remember when I couldn't say anything without getting surrounded by a bunch of really nasty personal stuff. Didn't happen yesterday. Almost from the beginning I started learning, and that's always appreciated. So thanks! Good work.

I might have felt a bit differently right off the top, about JSON if I hadn't read this bit of anti-XML propoganda on site that appears to be a JSON advocacy site. If I didn't know to question such things, given the domain name, json.org, it appears to be the advocacy site. Even if it isn't JSON-central, clearly there is some reinvention going on here.

A picture named california.gifBack in the mid-90s, my first reaction to XML was to retch in horror at the inevitable politics that such a beast would certainly evoke. Back then I was very happy to be working on the web, I thought of it as the platform with no platform vendor, and I saw XML as a way of inviting all the would-be and former platform vendors back in to rule our lives, and prevent us from having any fun or making any money. Eventually I was won over, for one main reason -- interop is important. If I make software that has an open and easy to understand protocol for communicating with other instances of itself, then other people can write plug-compatible software, and users can choose between products based on features, performance and price, not compatibility. I had already seen the world melt down several times as the technology industry fought to form lock-in through various schemes to delude people into thinking they were open to being replaced, when they were anything but.

Fast-forward to 2006, after a lot of time was put in by a lot of people to get a teeny little bit of interop here and there, and predictably, it's being erased, of course, by the tech industry. I don't think there's any doubt about it. This just happens to be the week I took a look. I don't know why. Maybe I was bored. Maybe it was meant to be.

A picture named elves.jpgLes Orchard, who I admire, and have worked with several times, says I shredded his product. I didn't mean to. However I did mean to shred the idea that everything can be redone at any time. Sure there are always lots of arguments in favor of starting over, but the one argument against it, imho, is the strongest, interop is sacred, and anything that throws out interop is highly suspect. One way to do things, no matter how flawed, is better than two, no matter how much better the new way is. The Perl community has a different motto, god bless em, but in the space where all languages interop, the less-is-more and worse-is-better approach is what makes things work.

So JSON isn't evil. It's just the internal object serialization format for JavaScript. No problem. But using it as a basis for interop, when there were already good ways to achieve interop is evil, imho. I don't think that's what del.icio.us did, but I do see some people advocating that, and I think they're wrong. Am I going to do anything more about it? No fucking way. There's a nasty war in Iraq, a national election next year, I just bought a house, I may want to write a book, and I'm fighting other battles that demand more of my attention. But I'm glad we could have this discussion, and please continue, I enjoy learning new stuff.

A tale of corporate atrocity Permanent link to this item in the archive.

I had lunch with Marc Canter yesterday, and he told me about a conversation he had with Tim O'Reilly and Cory Doctorow, where they told him they knew I had nothing to do with RSS. I asked how they said they knew. They had apparently asked some people at Netscape and they said they didn't work with me. As if that was how RSS came to be the powerhouse it is today. It isn't. Eventually Tim came around, and gave me credit for making RSS happen. Thanks.

The process whereby RSS came to be so powerful was one of building out both ends of the technology, supply and demand, and putting some currency on the network, and hoping it boots up. In the case of RSS as a transport for blog posts and news articles, it did, and the two pieces were Radio UserLand's blogging tool, Radio UserLand's aggregator, and a few early blogs, including Scripting News (the currency). It also worked in a similar manner, eventually, for podcasting.

Today I received a link to a patent granted to Microsoft, where they claim to have invented all this stuff. Presumably they're eventually going to charge us to use it. This should be denounced by everyone who has contributed anything to the success of RSS.


Last update: Thursday, December 21, 2006 at 6:56 PM Pacific.

Comment on today's
Scripting News

Dave Winer Mailto icon

December 2006
Nov   Jan

A picture of a beautiful little tree.

Click here to see a list of recently updated OPML weblogs.

Click here to read blogs commenting on today's Scripting News.

Morning Coffee Notes, an occasional podcast by Scripting News Editor, Dave Winer.

Click here to see an XML representation of the content of this weblog.

Click here to view the OPML version of Scripting News.

© Copyright 1997-2006 Dave Winer.