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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
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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.


November 2011

Oct   Dec


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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.

I love my Kindle Fire Permalink.

A picture named fire.jpgI just started using it yesterday, so I could end up not-loving it, but so far I think it's a great product.

I like the small size, the feel of it (warm where the iPad is cold). But most of all I like the $200 price. Remember, I'm the guy who liked netbooks because they were so inexpensive.

The truth is, a lot of people don't have the kind of money that Apple users do. The new Kindle Fire makes iPad-like functionality available to them.

And for what I use the iPad for -- reading, watching movies, playing Words With Friends, it's perfectly capable.

And it works real well (surprise) with Amazon, which has my credit card on file, and delivers stuff to me a couple of times every week, or so it seems.

Like I said, I could come to hate this thing. It happens. Or feel ambivalent. But right now, I'm having the newbie good vibe glow. Love is in the air. Nice product. :-)

PS: A commenter says (rudely, so I moderated it) that I wouldn't love it if it came from Google. So funny. It does come from Google. This is very much an Android device. You can't miss that. It's got the Android taste all over it. I also use a Nexus S as my cell phone. So I'm an Android person. Someone forgot to check his fanboi assholiness at the door. :-)

Typecasting Permalink.

Simple thought.

People assume, incorrectly, that if you understand technical arcania, you can't understand other things.

So they only want to hear what you have to say about the tech stuff.

People even say "Dave stick to tech." Which means "I can't think of any other way to respond to what you just said." To which I push my glasses down my nose and look over the top of them, right at you and tell you to fuck off. :-)

I pride myself on being able to understand anything I need to understand. So I feel my opinions on things other than the web and math and programming, are just as well-developed as my ideas on technological issues. I've spent 56 years, so far, thinking about it all. Learning and asking questions, and keeping an open mind.

Unfortunately, I've always had to overcome other peoples' assumptions.

Same goes for age, gender and race. In theory, you don't get to sing the blues with soul if you're a middle-aged, white male. That's bogus!

As Ringo Starr (a middle-aged white male) once sang: You gotta pay your dues if you want to sing the blues.

Heh. I think I've paid some dues.

Just sayin.

People die, technologies don't Permalink.

A picture named celery.gifThe tech press will happily call things like Flash and RSS dead, when the word is meaningless, and incorrect. Both are technologies, not organisms. They were never alive and continue in wide use, and will likely continue for decades to come.

But when it comes to people dying, they won't use the word.

Words mean something. Writers and editors should know that and appreciate it, and not de-value them.

When Steve or Ilya die, it is surely sad. But the accurate statement is Steve is dead. Not Steve passed on. Relatives, fans and friends can soften the blow, if they want to. But reporters should use the real word.

BTW, you never know, the supposedly dead technologies might start growing again. It happened with Apple, long after people said they were dead, they now are the most highly valued corporation in the world. But organisms that are dead cannot start growing again. That's what the word "dead" means. So as an analogy it doesn't work either.

Preserving Manila sites Permalink.

When you've been blogging as long as I have, you leave behind a trail of sites that need to be kept accessible. The longer you blog, the more maintenence work you accumulate. Non-technical people don't seem to realize that the sites don't just take care of themselves. The environments they run in change, in so many ways.

A bunch of these sites are Manila sites, which has meant that I've had to keep a Manila server running. Long-term this isn't viable, and there are problems even in the immediate term. This last week the server that's hosting the Manila sites was getting some abusive traffic. This meant that the legacy sites were mostly inaccessible. And I found out how much developers and writers depend on them. I want them to be able to depend on them, even after I die. So this week I decided to do something about it.

A picture named tramp.jpgMigrating Manila sites to static sites has been something I've wanted to do for a long time. I've even had some starts at it, but investing in the past is always less interesting than investing in the future. So I never quite completed the projects.

I picked up on one of those starts, a tool called staticManilaSites.root, and got it to process the XML-RPC site. I had used this tool previously for some simpler sites, like bloggercon.org and thetwowayweb.com. But the XML-RPC site was one of the first Manila sites, and it used some features in one-off ways, that later versions of the software made impossible. But I got through that.

I built another tool called redirector.root, that I pointed xmlrpc.com at. It in turn redirects to the new S3 static site, xmlrpc.scripting.com. I had to point through an intermediate host for a couple of reasons: 1. There's no way to point a root domain at an S3 bucket, since the pointer must be a CNAME. 2. There is no equivalent of an .htaccess file for redirecting, on Amazon. The URLs had subtle changes. Like spec changes to spec.html. That's why I needed a separate redirector app, and it couldn't be a static site.

At first, I used a temporary redirect in case I made mistakes, or wanted to change strategies. When I was comfortable that everything was working, it changed to a permanent redirect. Hopefully the search engines will adapt, and stop pointing to the old pages, and eventually the redirector will only be needed for the various incoming pointers from sites that build on XML-RPC. There are a lot of them, and they generate a substantial amount of traffic. I know people think XML-RPC is "dead" but you'd be amazed how much development goes on in this supposedly dead protocol (which is one of the reasons I argue whenever people use that awful word). I mapped the four versions of the domain to the new S3 bucket. xml-rpc.com, xmlrpc.com, xml-rpc.org and xmlrpc.org. Eventually I'll probably give up all but one of these domains.

I also moved the domains, as I worked through them, to hover.com. I feel better about working with them than I do with GoDaddy. They're very anxious to please, and I feel like I'm one of their first customers, but I've also known them for a long time (it's part of Tucows).

I also wrote a script to scrape all the urls out of the site into a table, where I manually review them, and eliminate all the pointers that aren't images or downloads. Then I wrote a script that moves the assets from their old locations, which are pretty scattered, into a sub-folder of the bucket that contains the site. This reduces the probability of images or downloads being lost. Luckily none of them were gone, they were all still there. Which is surprising for a site that's over ten years old, like xmlrpc.com.

Then I converted www.opml.org to dev.opml.org, which is also an S3 site. And now I'm almost finished with outliners.com, which is moving to outliners.scripting.com. Safing-up the outliners site is particularly satisfying, because it was a project I did in 2000 to safe-up work that was done in the 80s. That proves something important. Unfortunately we are nowhere near a stable situation too. It may feel right now that S3 is a very safe place to store static content, but it's likely that 10 or 20 years from now it won't be. I remember keeping stuff on 5-inch Apple diskettes, thinking that we'll always be able to read those. Heh. In 2011 you can tell how silly an idea that was. But in 1982, it would have seemed quite rational.

I feel at this time I have a process, albeit a manual one, for converting a Manila site to a static S3 site. I have to do the same for my father's and uncle's sites. And a bunch of other Manila sites. My goal is to be able to turn off the Manila server altogether, soon.

© Copyright 1997-2011 Dave Winer. Last build: 12/12/2011; 1:24:41 PM. "It's even worse than it appears."

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