Dave Winer, 56, is a visiting scholar at NYU's Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute and editor of the Scripting News weblog. He 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 New York City.
"The protoblogger." - NY Times.
"The father of modern-day content distribution." - PC World.
"Dave was in a hurry. He had big ideas." -- Harvard.
"Dave Winer is one of the most important figures in the evolution of online media." -- Nieman Journalism Lab.
10 inventors of Internet technologies you may not have heard of. -- Royal Pingdom.
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.
8/2/11: Who I Am.
My 40 most-recent links, ranked by number of clicks.
FYI: You're soaking in it. :-)
Notes for tonight's meetup.
1. Definitely demo of Scripting2, both authoring and reading.
2. Making stuff readable. Stylish.
3. Yesterday's meetup.
4. Arikia says chat clients could be a lot better. Discuss.
5. Thai food on 8th St with Thai Mojitos!
Rich Ziade, who lives and works in NY, explains why he created the Readability bookmarklet.
He explains, that as a reader, he wants to be left alone while he's reading. I know the feeling very well..
It's the mirror image for why I, as a writer, strive for the most readable website possible. It's so simple. I want you to read what I've written. I want it to look inviting, and when you dive into it, I want you to get lost in the words, and then the words melt away and the ideas come into view.
I want my voice to appear in your head. The way the words look is, at that point, totally unimportant. What matters is that they act as a vehicle for my voice, as if I were there with you while you are reading.
In writing it's not the journey that's the reward -- it's the story. ">
I strive to write words worth reading. I do not want the "design" of the website to interfere with that.
When I go to a great restaurant I don't want the waiter to interfere with the experience. I came there to eat and be with my friends. Same thing with software and with websites. I came there to read and to learn and to be inspired. The website can help, but it isn't the show. The website is there to transmit ideas.
I'm going to meet Rich tonight, and I'm going to shake his hand and thank him for contributing to the readability of the web. Then we're going to talk about what else we can do.
The name of the new software powering this website is Scripting2.
It's name is consistent with the name of other projects I've done over the last couple of years.
River2 is a complete from-the-ground-up rewrite of the aggregator I wrote in 1999 and adapted to be part of Radio 8 in 2002.
Scheduler2 is a rewrite of the Frontier scheduler. Much more efficient, better stats, easier to debug, assumes threading is available . And Log2 is a rewrite of the Frontier logging code.
In all cases it took a lot less time to write the new one than the original. And they are much easier to maintain. In some cases they've been so complete and error-free that there has been no need to maintain them. That's the way these "2" implementations go. You learned a lot with the "1."
Scripting2 is a rewrite of my blogging software. Its roots go back to the NewsPage suite developed in 1995. With this rewrite it no longer has code from before May 2010. I've learned a lot about web programming, esp in the Frontier environment, in the last 15 years. It's great to have an up-to-date codebase.
That said, there's still a lot to do before others can use it.
1. The blogroll in the right margin is editable, as are the templates, but you have to be on the server machine to do that. Obviously there needs to be an API to get and set those.
2. The user must be able to configure the tool. Where is the server it will communicate with? Do they have a custom domain name, if so, what is it? There's a built-in glossary function. There must be an easy way to edit it.
4. There will be an Edit This Page function in the app. This is one of my biggest complaints about current blogging tools. They don't allow you to edit things you should be able to edit, like the template for the site. And while there are edit links on stories, I believe everything should have an Edit button on it. That way you don't have to understand two viewing models. Having a "dashboard" to edit content is wrong, imho, and represents a huge step backward in the art of blogging. I want to bring it back, and make it a competitive issue.
5. Scripting2 will be great for podcasters. You can right-click on a post to attach an MP3 or AVI to any blog post and it will automatically show up as an enclosure in the RSS feed. It won't scrape the HTML as WordPress does, which is, imho totally wrong. (This feature was in the old Scripting News software but hasn't been implemented yet in Scripting.)
6. There's no browser interface, all access is via its API. I'm doing an outliner-based tool, but others could be built, including a browser interface.
7. Right now all publishing is live to the site. There must be an intermediate step, where you're previewing a post before you publish it. This feature was never implemented in the original software. Personally, I don't mind editing while people read, but other authors do mind. (BTW, building the feed and building the HTML are separate ops, even now. So when you publish the HTML the feed isn't updated, until you press the Build RSS button in the editor window.)
8. Add commands to the right-click menu.
9. What about second and third-level text? It's an outliner after all. What if I add some text subordinate to one of the paragraphs in a blog post? Should that be rendered in-line or should it start a new web page? That way each blog post could become a whole site. This is now within reach, at least technically, if not conceptually. Are people ready for this? Am I ready for it? ">
10. Images. I'm still using the image-management code from scripting1. Must have equiv-or-better functionality in scripting2.
11. One template or two? Right now I have different templates for story pages and all other pages. The difference is the title and the byline. I think I could find a way to have just one template with a little "media hacking."
12. Table-less template. For people who hate tables (I'm not one of them, obviously) the good news is that you have full control of the template. If you think you can get something that's nice to look at to work without tables, show me how and I'll get rid of the tables.
13. There are display bugs related to expand/collapse on the home page (and the ancillary pages). If you collapse the first item it slightly smooshes the headline of the second story. If you collapse the second story it completely smooshes the third. If anyone has an idea why this is happening, please comment below. (Update: Colin Faulkingham supplied the fix for this. Thanks!!)
14. Some people will want a preference to not generate the paragraph-level permalinks (the little purple hashes adjacent to paragraphs on story pages). Most people seem to like them. Some people find them annoying, or worse. Obvious oppty for a pref. (Default on.)
15. Should I put a Tweet This button on the posts? A Facebook Like button? I really resist doing this because, while it may seem like a good idea today, in a year or so, will it still seem right? What if I had put Myspace links on, or Digg links on my stories in 2005? When you go back through the archive those would seem crazy, almost defacing of the content. Don't those things belong in toolbars or bookmarklets? Interested in knowing what people think. (Steve Jobs got to ban Flash, do I get to do the same in products I design? Heh. Yes I know I'm not Steve Jobs.)
16. It says "Eastern" everywhere, but the server is still running on Pacific time.
More items/issues will be added to this list as I remember them.