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

Berkeley is a small town Permanent link to this item in the archive.

A picture named yeah.gifTom Hunt a Berkeleyite since the 60s, who makes a living helping people keep their computers running, says Berkeley is a small town. If you look at the University as a factory, everything else is just a little place where everyone knows someone who knows everyone. I've now lived here 2.5 years and it's not unusual when I go out to meet two people I know. It's a small town with lots of creative people who like to use their minds. My kind of place.

Anyway -- there was a Laconica hackfest here a couple of Saturdays ago, at the open working space on Shattuck near Ashby. I had never been there, but I know a bunch of people who work there. Turns out a friend, Ken Sedgwick, was hosting the meetup even though he doesn't use Twitter or very much. But Ken knows how to package up Unix software so that it's easy to install and maintain. He's a consultant, that's one of the things he does for his clients.

So I went to the hackfest with a mission -- I wanted to create a Twitter that anyone one could install for themselves and host in Amazon's cloud. I have a theory that Twitter can be like Lotus Notes, a workgroup application that installs like shrinkwrap software did in the 80s. I want to learn about this, and hopefully -- if the theory is right, help start a billion Twitters to go with the billion weblogs we've got running now. Or something like that.

We had a dinner last night at China Village on Solano, eight people showed up, Ken told us where he was at. It sounded great, but he kept saying how much more there was to do. Even so he let us try out what he had, and it was a lot easier than most of the tech I have to crunch my head through (I was thinking of OAuth, which took two weeks). I was able to get my Twitter running in 10 minutes. Nothing to it! (Now, I have a little experience with EC2 and that probably helped. But it's still really easy. A tech type could get through it in no more than an hour.)

So here it is...

This is going to be the Scripting News community Twitter if such a thing is possible. Create an account if you want. I have no idea if this is permanent or if we'll have to start over at some point. But I'm proud of the work that Ken did, and excited about the possibilities for the future.

I don't want to point to Ken's HowTo until he says it's okay. I think it is. But you never know, we'll do things in the right order. But know that Berkeley is humming, we're creating some good stuff. Glad I moved here.

An alternate OSCON? Permanent link to this item in the archive.

OSCON == Open Source Convention.

Pretty sure I was at the first one, in Monterrey. It was described to me by Tim O'Reilly, who puts it on, as a place where all the open source platforms could come together under one tent. Perl, Python, PHP, Apache and many others.

It's been in Portland for the last few years, and this year it's moving to San Jose.

A picture named frontier.gifI had hoped to lead a discussion at this year's OSCON about porting Frontier to Linux. Frontier is the runtime environment that the OPML Editor builds on. It's an object database, scripting language, outline-based editor and database browser, debugger, multi-threaded runtime, verb set, Web CMS, TCP stack, built-in web server. It was the environment that XML-RPC, SOAP, RSS and of course OPML were developed in. All this and the whole download is about 5MB and it installs in a minute. It also has an RSS-based updating mechanism and most updates are "hot" -- meaning you don't even have to relaunch. I love this enviroment, I built it starting in 1988 as the last programming environment I'd use, the one that had everything I wanted, and that's what it is. And because the early development was done so (ahem) early, it was designed to run well on 1Mhz machines with 1MB of memory. As a result it fits really nicely in today's machines.

Now, it runs on Mac and Windows, but I really want it to run on Linux -- so I proposed a session at OSCON to discuss this and see if I couldn't recruit people to work on this. Unfortunately, yesterday I got the rejection email. I kind of expected it, because O'Reilly doesn't seem to like me these days, or whatever -- I don't know and it's not important.

Then someone sent me a pointer to which is in Portland on June 17-19. Now I have an incentive to see if people want to go there. San Jose is closer to Berkeley, so I'd rather go there, but a really open OSCON would be something that's worth supporting. There are other new projects that don't have space at OSCON, so maybe we could all get together in Portland and see what happens. Permanent link to this item in the archive.

A picture named united.gifA new URL shortener.

Ho hum.

No -- it's interesting -- seriously.

The URLs are weird. Are they shorter? Not sure.

The web used to be full of weird ideas that stretched your mind.

Not so much these days.

This is one of them.

Let me know what you think!!

PS: Wish I had thought of it. ;->


Last update: Wednesday, March 11, 2009 at 8:57 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.

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