Archive >  2008 >  December >  22 Previous / Next

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

Rick Warren is over the top Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Thanks to David Weinberger for offering a foil for me to argue with on the case of Rick Warren giving the invocation at the Obama inaugural. I posted a rough version of this in a comment on Doc Searls' blog, in response to a piece Weinberger wrote on the NPR site. I just did a little editing and reposted here.

I've been preaching the stuff that Weinberger is saying for a long time, but...

I think he's wrong, and Obama is wrong, and the people who say this is over the line are right. This isn't a conference at the White House we're talking about, this is the inaugural.

Weinberger doesn't say where his limit is. Who or what would be unacceptable for giving the inaugural invocation? Suppose Warren was a white supremicist who said that Negroes are property. He's entitled to his opinion I suppose. But should that be on stage when we inaugurate the first black President?

Is Obama actually that open minded? I've read his book and I honestly don't know the answer, the book doesn't give me enough info.

What if we were talking about a Neo-Nazi who said all Jews should be deported? Obviously, we can't have that, right Dave? That would be about you and me, and we've been there before or more accurately our parents have. I don't want to stand alone and explain why we can't let Jews be singled out that way.

Warren has some very bad ideas about gays. Do they really have to stand alone Dave and say no this is too much?

Obama makes a big point about not being an ideologue, about being a pragmatist, and I'm with him, up to a point. The United States is an ideology, not just pragmatics. We've been too pragmatic the last eight years, we've turned the other way while the rule of law was trampled along with the Constitution. Enough. I heard Obama say that in Denver, and it was right on. Enough. Warren is too much. I think the only correct answer is to boycott the inaugural. Sorry, no party. This is outrageous Dave.

This isn't just Obama's homecoming, it's our country's. If we don't stand against this, we're going to get four more years of pragmatics. We won't survive that. At the end you won't recognize the United States. We've got to come back from the last eight years. Putting Warren on stage is not coming home, not when it leaves the gays so out there. But I won't let them be out there alone, just as I wouldn't expect for Jews to be out there alone if we were the ones being singled out. Or blacks.

I'm also horrified that you used left-right tactics to argue your case. Very bad. I don't happen to be a liberal Dave. But I am an American and I believe in equal protection. How do you explain where you come from, and I don't care if you drive a Volvo or a Prius. Honestly, I think any American with any pride, especially blacks and Jews and gays, must stand against this.

Update: Melissa Etheridge is a Rick Warren fan and is going to the inauguration (she's gay).

Update: Barney Frank, a Congressman from Massachusetts, explains precisely why it is wrong for Warren to be given the honor of delivering the inaugural invocation. (Frank is gay.)

Update: Rick Warren pulled the anti-gay language from his site.

Posterous Permanent link to this item in the archive.

A picture named love.gifI've noticed that Mike Arrington tends to use Posterous for pictures he posts while traveling, pics of his dog Laguna, random stuff. I wondered why he used it instead of Flickr, which is what I generally use for pictures and small movies, and today he wrote a review and explained -- it's because it takes absolutely nothing to set up. You just send an email to post@posterouscom add an enclosure if you like, and it automatically creates a blog if it doesn't know you (you're identified by your email address) and then creates a post to hold the enclosure and text. This is the way we like our software, easy to get started with, and with instant rewards. Good work! ;->

I tried it out, enclosing a copy of the MP4 video of Singin In The Rain from 1929, with a bit of text scarfed from, sent as an email to Posterous, and sure enough a moment later, it sends back a pointer to a blog with a long weird name, and I click on the link, and there's the text and the movie.

After that I went back and read the email, it said they were happy to meet me, and I could sign up for an account and my Posterous blog would then have a nicer name. Seemed like a good deal. It suggested "dave" -- but it turned out to already have been taken. I then tried "d" -- that was too short, then "dw" which it approved, and now I've got yet another presence on the www.

Now come the questions.

1. Does it have an API? If not, then it's fairly useless as a blogging tool. It should, at a minimum support the MetaWeblog API, so that tools written for WordPress, Blogger, TypePad and all the blogging tools I''ve written (Radio, Manila, lots of one-offs) are compatible. It should also support the ping protocol, which will let it integrate with virtually every service of the "live web" (and as far as I know they do support it).

2. I reviewed their RSS feed for my site, and it's pretty good! They don't fuss around with multiple versions of the feed, and their RSS is mostly plain vanilla, i.e. really simple, the kind that every RSS processor will understand. Now a few things they could do to simplify even more.

a. They declare three namespaces at the top of the feed, but only use one. The other two should be removed.

b. There's no version number on the <rss> element. Since they use namespaces, it must be 2.0, because RSS didn't get namespace support until 2.0. Dan MacTough notes that the version element is there, in the midst of the unused namespace declarations. My bad! :-(

c. It does no harm to use a CDATA on the <description> element, but it isn't necessary since all the characters are properly encoded.

d. I don't like that the permalink is encoded in the <description>. Unfortunately this has become common practice in RSS, but the information is already in the <guid> element, which is good. They're presumably replicating it because some reader doesn't display the permalink from the <guid>. I say deal with the problem where it's located, get the reader to display the permalink. Because of this extraneousness, in software that behaves well, the permalink will be displayed twice, unnecessarily. Yuck!

e. Same with the link to the comments. RSS 2.0 has a <comments> element. I wish people would use it.

f. Finally, they use Yahoo's Media RSS namespace to convey the information about the MP4 movie I enclosed. I guess some software they want to work with isn't looking for the base <enclosure> element that was designed for exactly this use. In cases like this, I support both, because it should be possible to write a podcatcher or, in this case, a movie-catcher, that conformed to the original spec and knew nothing about Media RSS, which came later and is an optional extension. The way Posterous has coded it, such a catcher app will completely miss the movie. This is the way breakage creeps into a community, and breakage is, of course, bad.

But on the whole, they did a very nice job, otherwise I wouldn't bother with the feedback. ;->

Bailout hall of shame Permanent link to this item in the archive.


Last update: Monday, December 22, 2008 at 7:29 PM Pacific.

A picture named dave.jpgDave Winer, 53, pioneered the development of weblogs, syndication (RSS), podcasting, outlining, and web content management software; former contributing editor at Wired Magazine, research fellow at Harvard Law School, entrepreneur, and investor in web media companies. A native New Yorker, he received a Master's in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin, a Bachelor's in Mathematics from Tulane University and currently lives in Berkeley, California.

"The protoblogger." - NY Times.

"The father of modern-day content distribution." - PC World.

One of BusinessWeek's 25 Most Influential People on the Web.

"Helped popularize blogging, podcasting and RSS." - Time.

"The father of blogging and RSS." - BBC.

"RSS was born in 1997 out of the confluence of Dave Winer's 'Really Simple Syndication' technology, used to push out blog updates, and Netscape's 'Rich Site Summary', which allowed users to create custom Netscape home pages with regularly updated data flows." - Tim O'Reilly.

Dave Winer Mailto icon

My most recent trivia on Twitter.

My Wish List

On This Day In: 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 1998 1997.

December 2008
Nov   Jan

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 1997-2008 Dave Winer.

Previous / Next