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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 software developer 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 and NYU, 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

scriptingnews2mail 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.


February 2012

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.

A core feature of MORE, on the web Permalink.

A picture named moreAd.jpgThey're still out there, scattered, but still kickin butt -- the people who used ThinkTank, Ready and MORE outliners in the 80s.

I wrote about these products in my Outliners & Programming piece, written in 1988 as UserLand was starting up.

MORE was the ultimate in this series of outliners, and it had a very important feature that allowed you to use the structure of your document to control its appearance, as a printed document, a series of presentation slides, or a graphic tree chart. The graphics combined with this depth that made MORE an interesting product, imho.

Well, we now have that feature built into OPML Editor outlines. I'm starting to use it in two contexts. First, in the World Outline software, where it's already being used to render the blogpost and howto nodetypes, and in Scripting2, the software I use to edit and publish Scripting News.

Here's an example of a document rendered with the new techniques. If you used MORE you'll recognize the style immediately.

Another demo document.

Here's a screen shot of this blogpost being edited in the outliner. See the rules at the top of the page?

It works differently from MORE, which used a big dialog.

The rules are now specified in XML. There are advantages to doing it this way. I can just copy/paste the rules, or use the Boilerplate facility in the Bookmarks menu. We have lots of support for outlines of XML that dialogs don't get you. Just being able to drag the rules around an outline makes a big diff. The point is that rules are themselves a structural thing. Having them be edited in a structure turns out to be a big win.

Anyway, it works!

JavaScript is nice, but weird Permalink.

I've been slowly learning JavaScript over the last few months, and just got bit by something that I think is a mistaken design. I bet it's bit everyone for whom it's not their first Algol-like language.

The problem came up with an image that had an "undefined" src property.

I could see it was undefined in Firebug. When the page loads it's not not undefined. I click on it, and boom it loses its definition. How could that be.

Well, you could have assigned it an undefined value. Let's look for an assignment. Found it.

Search on Google. Aha. The weirdness. You can call a function with fewer parameters than it defines. The unspecified parameters are (ta dahh) undefined.

Even C, the most laissez-faire language in AlgolLand doesn't allow this!

Once I knew what I was looking for I found it right off, fixed it, and all is good. :-)

Adventures in programming with Uncle Davey.

© Copyright 1997-2012 Dave Winer. Last build: 2/9/2012; 6:22:01 PM. "It's even worse than it appears."

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