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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.


December 2011

Nov   Jan


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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.

Bootstrap toolkit question Permalink.

For one of my BT applications, I need to be able to toggle the black menubar at the top of the page. When you're reading, the menubar is a distraction. 99 percent of the people who come there will not need it, understand it, care about it, etc. So, rather than have the whole menu present, I want to shrink it to a 16-by-16 icon (or less). Click the icon to make the menu visible. Click it again to hide it.

Here's a screen shot to illustrate.

I thought this would be simple, given my experience with the outline node type, but I've hit a problem. The image doesn't show up. It appears to be "behind" the black menu bar. I poked around and thought that it was the result of it having a z-index of 5. So I gave my image a z-index of 6. Still doesn't show. Gave it a z-index of 60. Still no show.

This is the advantage of using a common toolkit, I hope. It doesn't matter what the graphic is, as long as I can get it to display. Any ideas?

Improving tech criticism Permalink.

Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard has asked me to contribute a piece for their end-of-year roundup. I did one last year. I guess we were thinking about paywalls then. It's not such a hot topic now.

A picture named jobs.jpgAt the end of this year I'm thinking about the need for proper criticism of software, alongside other arts like theater, movies, music, books, travel, food and architecture. It's finally time to stop being all gee whiz about this stuff. Tech is woven into the fabric of our culture, as much as or more so than the other arts. And it's headed toward being even more interwoven.

We all need this, on all sides of the art. As users and creators. There's very little understanding of how we work. That's illustrated perfectly by the Isaacson bio of Steve Jobs. We now see what a disaster this is going to be, from the future-historian point of view.

I've thought that perhaps a panel of product creators could give awards to journalism that really captures the spirit of technology. The goal would be to move away from the lone inventor myth and see tech projects as more like film production or a even more apt, a TV series. Software is a process. It's not like Starry Night, as Joni Mitchell said, but it's not like a song either. It's like Breaking Bad or Dexter or Boardwalk Empire.

If I could nudge the editorial people in a new direction, this would be it.

Let's advance the art of technology criticism.

PS: I'd also like to see J-school students learn how to manage infrastructure.

Blogger of the Year (thinking) Permalink.

Here are my previous Bloggers of the Year:

2001: Joel Spolsky.

2007: NakedJen.

2008: Jay Rosen.

2010: Julian Assange.

Just so you know, I'm thinking about who I'm going to shine the light on this year.

If you have any suggestions, feel free to comment. As usual, please keep comments short, and on-topic. If this provokes a few paragraphs of thought, or on a different topic, please create it in your own space. I try to keep comments here as just that -- comments -- not blog posts, and related to what was said here on this blog. In 2011 there are many ways to put a blog on the Internet. Use them, and perhaps you too can be a BOTY! :-)

Why apps are not the future Permalink.

I hear it everywhere. The web is dead, apps are the future.

A picture named webIsDead.gifI heard it first on the cover of Wired Magazine in March 1997 and again in August 2010. I was so impressed I added it to my blogroll, as a reminder to all that you're reading a dead medium.

That was said in jest, of course. :-)

I'll keep playing here while the rest of you flirt with apps. I'll be here when you come back. I know it's going to happen. Here's why.


Visualize each of the apps they want you to use on your iPad or iPhone as a silo. A tall vertical building. It might feel very large on the inside, but nothing goes in or out that isn't well-controlled by the people who created the app. That sucks!

The great thing about the web is linking. I don't care how ugly it looks and how pretty your app is, if I can't link in and out of your world, it's not even close to a replacement for the web. It would be as silly as saying that you don't need oceans because you have a bathtub. How nice your bathtub is. Try building a continent around it if you want to get my point.

We pay some people to be Big Thinkers for us, but mostly they just say things that please people with money. It pleases the money folk to think that the wild and crazy and unregulated world of the web is no longer threatening them. That users are happy to live in a highly regulated, Disneyfied app space, without all that messy freedom.

I'll stay with the web.

Update: I wrote a follow-up to this piece.

The header graphics are back Permalink.

I got tired of the simple un-colorful header using Google Fonts, and have brought back an ancient bit of Scripting News paraphenalia -- the header graphic.

They appeared here in 2004 through 2006.

I rearranged the home page so things are nice and neat!

Luckily, I created a list of all the graphics in an easy to parse format. I loaded them all into the scripting2data.root database, where the software chooses a random graphic every day.

Today's graphic is a Florida roadside picture with a sign that says No Passing Zone. Don't ask me why. It's art. :-)

Yahoo Weather API Permalink.

Random note. I came across a Yahoo Weather API that produces RSS 2.0 feeds with information about the current weather by geography. I will certainly use this in some context at some point in the future. I wanted to be sure it was easy for me to find. :-)

© Copyright 1997-2011 Dave Winer. Last build: 12/14/2011; 8:37:53 AM. "It's even worse than it appears."

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