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About the author

A picture named daveTiny.jpgDave 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.

Contact me

scriptingnews1mail at gmail dot com.




My sites
Recent stories

Recent links

My 40 most-recent links, ranked by number of clicks.

My bike

People are always asking about my bike.

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Here's a picture.


February 2011

Jan   Mar


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FYI: You're soaking in it. :-)

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Dave Winer's weblog, started in April 1997, bootstrapped the blogging revolution.

Radio UserLand serialnum Permalink.

A picture named celery.gifI've been keeping a copy of Radio 8 running on one of my servers so I can easily do prior art research.

I had been running it for more than 30 days, so I got a message saying my Trial Version had expired and I should enter a serial number. If I didn't have one I could purchase one at the UserLand store.

Of course, the store is long-gone, so what to do?

Well it turns out I was organized enough to keep a serialnum, in the place where I would expect to find it.


There it is. In case anyone needs one, that should work. :-)

PS: I uploaded the last versions of the apps to a static folder.

A picture of a slice of cheese cake.

Viewing RSS in a browser is broken. Here's the fix.. Permalink.

I've never understood what the browsers guys do with RSS, or why they do it, but they have really made RSS a mess to deal with in the browser.

How it used to work: Click on an RSS feed you'd see XML.

Some users thought it was a bug, and reported it as such. Maybe the browser-makers got those reports too, and decided to try to do something about it.

So they obscured the XML, and showed you the headlines and descriptions and linked to the stories in the feed.

The problem with obscuring the XML is that you make it harder to understand, not easier. Why are there two ways to view the news, and why is one so plain and ugly and the other so flashy and distracting?

Analogy: Pop the hood on your car and see an incomplete image of the interior of your car.

When I pop the hood I want to see the engine. How awesome it looks! Frightening. Quickly before my mind overloads, close the hood and get in the car, turn on the radio and get on my way.

A picture named try.jpgThat's how I'd like RSS to work. Click the icon. See the code. Either you're interested or you hit the back button. You can report it as a bug. Developers are familiar with the idea of bugs that never get fixed. They're called features. :-)

It's very important in the minimal blogging tool that when the user clicks on the XML icon, he or she actually sees the XML. That's how I, the designer of the software, insist that it work. The RSS is the main result of their work. Any confusion about that is confusion about the product itself. And if you're a curious technically-inclined person, RSS actually interesting to read, and quite easily understood. Much more interesting than the vanilla stuff the browser guys want to present. And by having it easily visible, designers are responsible for keeping it easily understood.

So that's the bug and here's the fix...

I wrote a simple web app that displays XML and link to it from my app.


It took about 15 minutes. Seriously. All it does is read the XML file, put it inside an HTML &;t;pre> element. It's hard to imagine a browser interfering with that.

It works. I recommed to developers that you stop trying to understand what the browser guys are trying to do, and write your own XML displayer, and link to it instead of the naked XML.

© Copyright 1997-2011 Dave Winer. Last build: 12/12/2011; 1:33:58 PM. "It's even worse than it appears."

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