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Scripting News -- It's Even Worse Than It Appears.

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.

Icons in Bootstrap Toolkit menubar Permalink.

Last night I wrote a post asking for advice on getting a graphic icon to display in the Bootstrap Toolkit menubar.

I got some great advice from Brian Sassaman and Nik Cubrilovic, and it solved the problem, and now I have the feature working. (Modulo problems yet to be discovered.)

Recall that the goal was to have an icon in the menubar that when clicked would make the menu visible or invisible.

You can see it in use on my Worknotes site.

Perhaps this is a feature others want to impmement? Just View Source.

Also, I'm not the best icon guy or CSS guy, so if you come up with something you think is better, please let me know.

Opportunity for a commenting system Permalink.

First, I want to say I am happy with Disqus. The support I get from them, when there are problems, is absolutely first class. They really care about their users, and I am happy with the service.

But Disqus isn't exactly the service I want. It's very close, but it's missing some controls that would make it work better for me.

I would like to limit comments by characters and paragraphs.

Let's say, to start, limit comments to 640 characters, and one link.

A bit more than a tweet, so you can express an idea fully, and a nudge, if you need more than a paragraph, you should be writing it on your blog not mine. After a certain size, you're not commenting anymore. You're writing a new blog post.

There are more features that would come after this. Like something to limit the rate at which new comments appear. Or a way to say "hold all comments until this time and then publish them all, and shut down comments." Think about how that would help keep people focused on the issue in the post instead of devolving into pointless permathreads and debates in the comments.

I've believed this since I started discuss.userland.com in 1998 as an adjunct to Scripting News. Every post would appear there as well as on the blog. And comments would develop underneath. It was from that environment that the first layer of the blogging community booted up. If you look through the archives, you'll see comments from many of the earliest bloggers, before they had blogs.

So encouraging people who have a lot to say to get out of the shadows and do it on their own blogs is part of what I do. I need the commenting software to help me with this.

With all the startups in Silicon Valley these days, I would be surprised if someone isn't already working on this.

I don't miss Facebook Permalink.

A picture named silo.gifI am a nicotine addict. I smoked for 31 years, and gave it up almost ten years ago. Every once in a while I think about buying a pack. The high would be amazing. But I've not done it once since quitting.

So I know what it's like to kick a habit, and quitting Facebook, for me, was nothing like that. I never think about checking in there. I don't imagine I would enjoy the first puff or the second. I don't dream about dancing with Facebook the way I dreamt about dancing with a 6-foot cigarette in the weeks after quitting in 2002.

When asked what it feels like to not be on Facebook, I say that I never felt I should be there in the first place. It never felt right, never felt like a place I belonged. The more I learned about it, the more that was confirmed. And the fact that I feel no pain of withdrawal is even more confirmation.

Beaver's Revenge Permalink.

Speaking of iPad apps, I tried Beaver's Revenge last week because there wasn't much new coming from Angry Birds.

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It's rough and kind of ugly, but I love it. And then Angry Birds came out with a new level, and it feels so sterile and Disney-like. Beaver's Revenge has the kind of lunatic destruction and irreverence that made me fall in love with Angry Birds in the first place.

I think this is going to be a huge hit. Give it a try and tell em I sent ya! :-)

Enough with the apps already Permalink.

I never know if one of my blog posts is going to take off. Most don't. But yestderday's post about apps not being the future probably set some kind of record. It got a lot of links and a lot of reads.

Had I known it was going to get so much attention I would have spelled out exactly what I meant by app. The question came up emailing with Brent Simmons who wrote a post about my post yesterday. I didn't understand the confusion until I did a little back and forth with him.

I said this: I mean app as in "there's an app for that."

A picture named criticism.gifI'm talking about the newspaper or magazine that, when you click on a link to go to one of their articles, puts up an interstitial telling you that you could read the article in their app instead. Initially, I installed one or two of these. The other day I installed a big comprehensive one from Google. Flipboard is the original one of these reading environments that is not the web. The NY Times has a slow buggy huge app for reading their news.

Now don't get me wrong, there's no reason they shouldn't produce these apps. Go ahead. They have every right. But I also have every right not to use them. And if they insist, as the NY Post does (their content isn't available for iPad users on any other terms) I can just skip their content altogether (which in the case of the Post, who gives away their paper at subway entrances in NYC and is an awful Murdoch trash rag that would be an insult to dead fish to be wrapped in it, feels just right).

If that's all there was to it, I probably never would have written this piece. But last week I read about a speech given at LeWeb in Paris by George Colony of Forrester Research, that got a lot of coverage. He said the web is over, and apps are the future. (BTW, when you search for George Colony on Google they're so sure you meant George Clooney they don't even offer the choice of George Colony.)

It was that speech, plus Google's app, plus a well-timed interstitial that got me thinking. Why is it that I find this concept of the future so repulsive.

I wrote five pieces yesterday. I guess that was the best one. Sure hit a nerve. A lot of people agree. Enough with the apps already.

I think the publishers like the idea because it offers hope of a new paywall, an electronic one. My guess is that it's a hope in vain.

Tablets are almost ideal reading environments. I don't think, as some developers do, that the iPad is the ultimate. I think it's heavy and cold, and makes my arm fall asleep when I read lying down. I think the software is a glitchy. Like great movies, great computer experiences are all about suspension of disbelief. If I forget I'm reading on an iPad and get consumed by the story, then the technology is working perfectly. The iPad experience is good, but there's still a way to go. And all this business about apps is a real spoiler for suspension of disbelief. I'm clicking a link, expecting to learn more about what I was reading (that was certainly the author's intent) but instead I get an ad for an app. If I seriously consider it, I've lost my train of thought. If I actually take the detour and install it, I've lost bigtime. The best way to minimize the loss is hit the Back button and skip it. But that's a loss too. I clicked the link for a reason. And that was thwarted.

I'd be happy with a pref that says to all websites "I'm never going to install your app, so please don't bother with the pitch." Sort of like a No Solicitors sign on the front door of my house (which I don't have, it's too rude to people who are not solicitors).

BTW, I wrote a piece a month ago about Google's search website on the iPad and how awful it is. They made it even worse. Now if you click on the Classic link at the bottom of the page you lose your search string and have to enter it again. At least in the past when you clicked Classic, after scrolling to the bottom of the page, you got the search results you were looking at in a more compact form.

To anyone from Microsoft who may be reading this far, here's a chance to get a bunch of iPad users. Make Bing work exactly like Google on the desktop, on the iPad. Or offer it as an option. I will use your search engine from now on on the iPad if you do that. Google is deliberately screwing their iPad users. Now you guys can be the heroes.

All of this is of course imho, as if that needs to be said. But when there are a bunch of new Apple zealots reading stuff here calling me "some people" or "this guy" in my own blog, well it needs to be said.

Also I let comments run more or less rampant in the last post. It got to be too much to moderate them all. Even so if a comment required my approval and it was idiotic or unnecessary (how many times do we need to hear that there are things called intents) I just let it sit there unapproved. You don't have a right to place your ideas here. If I'm not reading your book-length comment why should I impose it on my readers.

© Copyright 1997-2011 Dave Winer. Last build: 12/21/2011; 8:58:08 AM. "It's even worse than it appears."

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