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. :-)
I'm from Missouri when it comes to these things.
This idea of a once-and-for-all development tool is like the Divining Rod of the Olde Days. Perpetual Motion. The goose that laid the golden egg. The fountain of youth. Shangri-la. Bigfoot. The Loch Ness Monster. Cold fusion. The Singularity!
In 1981 or so, I was visiting BYTE Magazine in Peterboro, New Hampshire. They told me about an ad running in the next issue for a product called The Last One, which purported to be a development tool so easy an end-user could create their own applications. Goodbye programmers, they said. This is the last program you'll ever buy (hence the name).
When we finally saw it, it was a cheesy flat-file database with a fairly complex reporting program. Some marketing guy, a snake-oil salesman, had conjured a scam to get money from unsuspecting users, who (probably justifiably) were fed up with waiting for programmers to give them what they wanted.
Since then there have been many The Last Ones and none of them live up to their billing. The ones that are any good just turn the users into programmers. Which is fine, but let's not mistake that for nirvana. There are lots of ways to do that. Maybe some better than others. The problem is the sales pitch, not the software.
So when Google promises this, I think -- I bet it's an RSS aggregator of some kind. Probably like a bunch of others, but with more marketing ooomph. Let's give it a try and see what it is.
Update: Kevin Tofel says it's more like Visual Basic. I rest my case.