I don't know what came over me this morning, but I got an idea after watching a speech by Elizabeth Warren on YouTube. I was in tears, the ideas were so simple and compelling, and so rarely talked about. We are a country of people, not corporations -- but we've lost track of that, and we're stacking the deck against the people. But then I remembered, she hasn't said anything about the NSA spying on the American people. One idea led to another, and people responded, and I kept going. I wanted to get all of it down here in one place, before moving on into 2014.

The tweets

12/31/13; 07:39:58 PM

I read a long post this morning about what it's like to be a nurse, and found it incredibly interesting. It filled in a perspective that I had not heard. And yet I spent lots of time talking with nurses during my father's long hospital stay in 2002, and my own -- the same year.

Back then, I had an epiphany about people who work in hospitals, who work in conditions most of us find incomprehensible, helping people in unimaginable pain, unimaginable until it's time for you to deal with it. The epiphany is that it must be wonderful to see the good you do, so clearly. In my own field, software development, it can be hard to feel how you're helping. In fact you get a lot of people sharing pain with you they can't find other outlets for. I learned in reading the post that it's the same in nursing.

While their work is gratifying and grounding, it's also grueling and abusive. She told the story so well, so personally. Yet in the comments people found many things to complain about. She just shared her point of view, wrote a blog post, and it was good, and of course the trolls gave her hell for it.

It's important to feel free to tell your story even if it cues up other people's permission to be jerks. Oh this person is showing vulnerability. Let's make her pay! I get it all the time. I've been getting it since I started blogging in 1994. I still do it, because it's what I do. I couldn't stop, even though I've tried, any more than I could stop breathing.

I don't have a solution, other than to say it helps to stand beside people who put themselves out there. The world is rough. That doesn't mean you can't share what you see. It just means it's important to feel the support. I want to provide what little of that I can, through this post.

What bloggers are guilty of -- always -- is telling their story imperfectly. It's the imperfections that make it interesting, and human -- and worth it.

Keep on truckin!

It's not like anyone gets out of this alive.

A picture of a slice of cheese cake.

12/30/13; 01:20:58 PM

This year's BOTY choice was such a big hit, the idea crossed my mind that I have a couple of products that distinguished themselves in my life in 2013, and what the heck, why not have a POTY to go with the BOTY!

The thought came to me while I was on a walk today in Central Park, listening to Grateful Dead music through one of the products, and played by the other one.

I said man, I finally have this figured out after many years of walking and listening, I have a rig that's worth talking about it's so good.

First the headphones. I like to say I buy headphones the way some women I've known buy shoes. I have a closet shelf full of them. Most of them I tried out for a few days or maybe a week or two and put them away, still in search of the ideal set.

But after I bought the Velodyne vFree headphones I not only stopped buying new phones, I starting giving the old ones away to friends. And these were some great listening devices. But none of them put it all together like the Velodyne.

First, they are wireless Bluetooth headphones. You wouldn't believe how much of a mess those wires are for me. Always getting tangled and knotted. Limiting movement. Pulling on my ears and the device. Now I look at people listening on their iPods on the subway and think that in two years the wires will all be gone. Once you try it this way there's no going back.

Also, they're loud enough, and the sound quality is great. A lot of good headphones need an amplifier when used with a mobile device. Not sure why, but it's observable. I guess these headphones, because they have their own power source, have their own amp. Regardless, you don't miss anything with these guys, and music has the feel it's supposed to. And it's a clean sound, maybe a little heavy on the bass, but I like that way. But not so much as some others.

Another thing that's great about wireless is you can wear them around the house without carrying the player with you.

Now there are problems with wireless. You have to remember to keep it charged. But that's a discipline we've all learned by now. It's just one more device. It takes the same kind of USB cable that Kindles and Google phones do. You probably already have a few. And the Bluetooth connection sometimes drops, but for some reason for me now not so much as it did in the beginning. It feels like my devices have learned to find each other. I know that can't be true, but...

Product #2

Now the other device is the new iPad Mini. I got one with 64GB and LTE. I used Verizon because I already have a T-Mobile device (my Nexus 5), and this gives me a bit of redundancy that may come in handy. Both devices tether. Glad we got over that argument!

I bought an iPad Air when it came out and loved it, but that got handed down, because I very much wanted to try an iPad that fits in my jacket pocket, which the Mini most definitely does. I miss the larger screen sometimes, but I love the portability. With a few tweaks, I can see not carrying a phone. But remember, it's winter and cold, so I'm pretty much always wearing a jacket. We'll see how it works in summer, when I'm back doing daily bike rides in summer clothes.

But the iPad Air is as rational and lovely a product as the Velodyne, and of course the two go together perfectly, and connect over an open standard, so it's a religion-conformant combination. At the end of the year, it's clear that these two products made the most difference to me, and appeal to my tastes and lifestyle almost perfectly.

It might get better in 2014, I hope so, but it was worth noting that near-perfection has been achieved this year.

BTW, when I bought the Velodyne in April I paid $299. They're selling on Amazon now for $119. Wow.

PS: As I am working on the transition to a new CMS, I'm producing some blog posts in both environments, to get experience, and get a sense of what features are needed. Here's the new version of this post, in case you're interested in such things.

12/29/13; 01:59:18 PM

GitHub's Pages service seems ready-made for Fargo, so we're hooking them up. Here's how and why. In November I asked for a simple web server connected to Dropbox. I needed this for the upcoming version of Fargo. Until a couple of days ago we didn't have an answer.

The Pages service works does what we need. It means that users will have to learn how to use GitHub. Yes, it's technical, and will be hard for some users. But it's a beginning. We'll make it easier.

It's good. A place to start building.

PS: Just for fun I put a version of this announcement on my GitHub-hosted site.

12/28/13; 02:30:23 PM

Just read a piece in ComputerWorld about the success of Google's Chromebooks and how that's bad news for Microsoft. This is where I say "I told you so."

Microsoft had this market zipped up, with the netbooks, tiny inexpensive notebooks that ran Windows XP, had lots of USB ports, wifi, a camera, long battery life. These were incredible computers. I bought three of them over the course of the craze, bought one for my mom, and urged everyone else to get one. Meanwhile, Microsoft was making noises that they didn't approve. I couldn't believe it. Here they were getting lifted up by a gift from god, and they were saying it wasn't good enough. This is a company that had killed its own laptop business by not caring about malware.

When Vista came out, an awful operating system, they forced the netbooks to use it, when they should have dropped the price on XP to $0 to own the whole market instead of sharing it with Linux. They should have ran a victory lap. Fixed the bugs in XP, downsized their OS development group, and paid a huge dividend to shareholders.

Netbooks were wonderful, but they weren't good enough for Microsoft. Now the Google Chromebook is cleaning up the market that Microsoft should own.

We all lost here. Because the new netbooks, from Google and Apple, are closed systems, where the netbooks were wide open. I could access my file server from my netbook. I could put any software on it, or take it off, same with music and movies. Apple and Google are running gulags, the netbooks were Woodstock. That probably was the back-channel reason why Microsoft struggled so mightily to kill them. They were more interested in pleasing the entertainment industry than users.

PS: I have two iPads, and buy them for my friends and family. I gave a friend a Chromebook because I thought it was perfect for what she was doing, reading books and watching Netflix. I just wish netbooks hadn't been so badly treated by the tech industry, because they were great promising products.

12/28/13; 09:17:23 AM

Justin Hall of links.net asked me to do an audio recording about blogging.

I answered some of his questions, but as usual, talked mostly about what I wanted to.

Which is a big part of the blogging story imho.

Here's the audio, 24 minutes, hope you enjoy.

PS: This also adds to the thread started by Walter Isaacson about the origins of the Internet.

12/27/13; 12:13:51 PM

I spend the last month of each year thinking about who I want to honor as the person who best embodies the spirit of blogging. I always want to do something unusual, something that makes you think, that stretches the boundaries of blogging, but illustrates something about blogging that's essential, and perhaps not fully appreciated. And -- this year -- celebrates success!

This year's Blogger of the Year writes for the NY Times. In the past I would not have so easily thought you could both be a blogger and work at a mainstream publication. But this year our guy did something remarkable. He used his platform, his pulpit, to change the world in a measurable, significant way.

Nick Bilton decided that it was time to ask a question that the FAA didn't want to deal with, or had no way to deal with, or couldn't deal with for some reason. Political organizations often get stuck. The individuals inside may know it's time to act, but they can't pull it together.

Bilton asked a simple question that all of us who fly have asked. Would the plane crash if I kept reading a book on my iPad while the plane takes off? If not, why do I have to turn it off?

He asked this question for the first time in a post in November 2011, and the decision was made late this year, and now we're all flying with this one inconvenience removed. Sure, it's not like solving global warming, or avoiding the next banking crisis, or even getting good connectivity in Manhattan, but it's progress! And it shows the power of an individual and of a news organization to create change, to act as instigator, a provocateur, a problem-solver.

Thank you Nick Bilton for making our lives a little better, and using your blogging voice to accomplish it.

12/26/13; 11:07:53 AM

Don't kick a man when he's down.

If that were the rule. If kicking a person when they're down was considered as awful as the things you knock people down for, that would end it.

Make the punishment fit the crime, and stop there. And maybe if we wanted to be fair, adopt a rule like innocent until proven guilty, or try to see it from their side, or we understand that sometimes people tweet when they're: 1. Drunk. 2. Tired. 3. Lonely. 4. Feeling unloved. 5. Or neurotic. 6. Being human.

I once saw a pundit with hundreds of thousands of followers call a mob victim an asshole and people who I thought well of (before this) praised him as being a saint.

As Worf might say, sir you have no honor.

There must be a New Year's resolution in here somewhere.

A picture named tree.gif

Happy Holidays!

12/25/13; 07:50:56 PM

"Be a man" are the three most destructive words you can say to a boy or a man.

Because it really means: Die inside. Betray yourself. Fuck off.

Men Stay Silent in 1998 was all about this idea. It has been a consistent theme of my blogging going all the way back to the beginning.

Please watch this video. It's important.

12/24/13; 12:00:03 PM

I'm working on the next CMS for Scripting News and then for Fargo.

Here's a blog post created using the new system, it'll give you an idea what's coming.

Happy holidays everyone!


12/24/13; 11:38:16 AM

Impossible scenario: The Twitter mob chooses someone to make an example of. They go after that person's job. The company says "We're standing behind our employee." It'll never happen. Companies have to make the right business decision. And that means firing the radioactive person and replacing them with someone who is not radioactive.

  • Standing behind the employee would just fuel the rage, and cause the company itself to become the target of the mob, probably even more than the employee. Boycott. The management would be fired, and replaced by people who will do the right thing for the business. Which is why no company will stand up to the mob.

A few weeks ago one of the maintainers of node.js was fired because he didn't accept a check-in that would have made language in the code be gender neutral (at least that was my read of it as an outside observer). There was some question whether he understood what was being asked of him because English wasn't his native language. What an ugly scene, for so little, from someone who was so generous!

I have been surrounded like this myself, many times, over the years. Believe me, the mob has tried to get me fired. If I had had a real job I'm sure they would have. When I was the CEO of a company, the mob went after our families. These are not principled acts. Don't kid yourself. If they think they can get you fired for having the wrong political opinion, they will.

I've been told that "Free speech has consequences." Everything has consequences, like hounding people for practicing free speech. The consequence is that people won't speak. Great. What a cruel joke if the greatest communication medium ever invented was used to stifle communication.

12/22/13; 08:28:51 PM

A picture named happyHolidays.gif

12/22/13; 11:25:47 AM

I don't know anything for sure, and maybe the people who live in working class neighborhoods in San Francisco and the East Bay are the only ones who have a gripe with the people of tech, but my gut says this is just the start.

I think the busses are incredibly good symbols of the problem with tech. They have these big windows, that you can see out of, but I don't think the people inside spend much time thinking about what's on the other side of them. The people of tech have an abstract and incorrect idea of what it's like to be outside their bubble.

I first encountered this in a town hall meeting I went to at Apple in the late 80s. I was one of several speakers, and I went last. I had been asked to tell what it was like to be a developer for Apple's products. I had been an Apple developer for a long time, then. I worked with their first developer relations guy in 1980.

I had very much idealized what it must be like to work at Apple. I imagined it was great! And I knew that my life sucked. Now here was the surprise, they felt the same way. Being a developer must be wonderful! Everything is taken care of for you. All you have to do is put up some dialogs, use our code, and in a few weeks you get rich! And you don't have to deal with the asshole execs. And whatever other grief comes from working in a large organization (which I now understand much better, but still from a distance). Of course none of this has anything to do with what it's like to be a developer. Our paychecks are iffy. We don't have health insurance. You always break our stuff because you don't care or understand. Most of us go out of business leaving the founders unemployed and broken. Etc etc.

Now tech is much bigger today than it was then, and much more pervasive -- and it affects far more people's lives. And people read the news, and they know that the companies are helping the government spy on us. Those busses are such excellent symbols. When are they going to come out of the busses and find out what it's like for the rest of us. Not their idealized view of who we are, but who we really are.

Sadly, all that's really needed here is some public relations pablum. Some feel-good ads on the Superbowl that glorify the users, not the products. Have your employees show up at charity events, and make sure there are reporters there too. With a little time and money, the problem could be "solved" in a superficial way.

I don't know what the real answer is. It's impossible for everyone to understand everyone else's perspective. But the people who live in SF and Oakland who are being driven out of their homes have a real gripe. They probably like to live where they live, like you they have friends and family nearby, a job perhaps, and moving to Walnut Creek or Petaluma isn't what they want to do. And the rest of us who use your stuff, and don't like to be pushed around either, are feeling a little sympathy for the protesters.

12/22/13; 10:43:44 AM

I want to get my iPad connected up to SMS and Google's chat system (I use an Android phone, at least for now), and whatever else people are likely to want to use. I've always found this horribly confusing. I want to get it right.

I have a Google Voice account, btw -- and I use it.

Should I install Google's chat app on the iPad (it's now called Hangouts, I wonder what it will be called next year, and what scams it will drag me into).

I want something that's easy to set up, that I can recommend to friends and most important family members.

12/22/13; 10:26:48 AM

Is a reporter still a reporter if he or she owns stock in company he or she works for?

Does it matter how much stock the reporter has?

When reporting, how does the reporter keep his or her ownership from influencing the journalistic work?

Should they recuse themselves from writing stories that might increase or reduce the value of their stock?

When a publisher says dealing with sources is entirely up to the reporters, does that still work if the reporter is a co-owner of the publication?

Can you wear the hats of reporter and owner at the same time and still think of yourself as a reporter?

Are the legal protections for owners different from those of a reporter?

When you get a subpoena, can an owner protect sources?

Will an owner aggressively pursue the truth? Or profits? What if there's a conflict?

12/21/13; 10:27:31 PM

It's so funny, here we are almost two years since Linsanity, and the Knicks are a complete disaster. So what if the Knicks had kept Lin? It's a trick question, because it wouldn't have saved the Knicks, it wouldn't have even helped, but it probably would have destroyed Lin. He'd be where Raymond Felton or J.R. Smith are today. Wasted in body and spirit.

I saw a picture yesterday in an article about how to cope if you're the fan of an NBA team that sucks. There are so many of them. Not many as bad as the Knicks, but this is a year of extremes. Either you suck terribly, or you're great. And the distribution is mostly East vs West. Western teams are kicking ass. And for the most part the ass they're kicking is Eastern ass.

Anyway, back to the picture. It was a really sweet photoshop of LeBron James in a Knicks uniform. I had to look three times before my brain could parse it. What if LeBron had chosen the Knicks instead of Miami? Another trick question. He wouldn't be LeBron, the smartest and most driven player in the NBA (in addition to being the strongest athlete) today. LeBron wouldn't choose the Knicks because he had a choice. He went with the team with Pat Riley as CEO. And the owner, whoever he is, either just as smart as Riley and James, or he's smart enough to let them run the show.

Were it only so in NYC. We are stuck as a basketball town because one of the owners is absent, and the other is vain, over-confident, and as the Oracle says of Neo in the Matrix, "not too bright." It really is a toxic combination.

NYC, the richest city in still the richest country in the world. We have all the nicest things you can imagine, but we can't have a great NBA team because the guy who owns it thinks like a small-town boy. Could we trade teams with, say, Houston -- a town that has no appreciation for basketball? Or Indianapolis? They could probably use the money. What could we give almost any city in the US to take Dolan off our hands so we can engineer a good team, if not in 2013, or even 2017, maybe in say -- 10 years?

Because we're never going to get there with Dolan.

BTW, Carmelo Anthony is a wonderful player, and he's smart and he really cares. This is what's so great about basketball, it's an intimate sport. The players don't wear masks. And there are only five playing at a time. You get to study them. The Knicks are stuck in hell, and it's really no player's fault. A team is not the sum of the parts. You can't do math on the players on a team. The Knicks are proof of that. What the Knicks are missing is drive. You have to have talent, think as a unit, be smart, that's enough to get you on the court. Now what's your ambition? It's not what you say your ambition is, because Melo says his is to win a championship. But it's laughable when he says it. I'm sure he wants to be on a team that wins a championship. That means he has to hook up with a guy like LeBron. Years ago he was too young and lacked the confidence to let a stronger person boss him around. I think that's what the Knicks struggle is really about. The wearing-down of Carmelo's pride, and the circus sideshow, the comic relief, provided by Dolan.

Anyway it's fun to think about basketball, and more fun to write about it because none of it matters one bit.

12/19/13; 02:06:06 PM

I did several workshops with Jeru Kabbal in the mid-late 90s.

I did a website for him, and archived his tapes when he died in 2000.

Also a transcript of one of his talks.

When I was preserving his site, I saw that the links to his tapes were broken. I had let a domain lapse. Then the other day I came across them in an archive, and put them in a safe place in a folder on scripting.com. I figure if any of my sites survive over time, it's this one.

Here are pointers to the tapes, in MP3 format.

Jeru's teachings helped put things in better perspective for me, maybe his wisdom can help other people too, over time.

A picture of a slice of cheese cake.

12/19/13; 11:10:35 AM

On Tuesday I posted a question -- how to serve HTTPS from an S3 bucket?

Several people suggested using CloudFront or CloudFlare. So yesterday I tried both.

These are not reviews. I'm just briefly reporting the results. I'm an HTTPS newbie. I'm looking for more info, and other options.


  • CloudFront is an Amazon service. Setup takes about five minutes, then about 20 minutes for them to provision it.

  • First, I set up a new bucket called tmp.scripting.com. I put a single file in it, hello.html, which contains a single line of JS, alert ("Hello World").

  • Then I went to the CloudFront panel in AWS, and created a new distribution. There's a big dialog with lots of options, but most of the defaults are fine. Choose one of your buckets, it assigns a domain name for you to use to access your distribution. You can provide a CNAME -- I did -- testsecure.scripting.com, pointing to the domain they provided. You can choose HTTPS, which I did (the point of the experiment). I don't have a certificate, and I am new to HTTPS.

  • I was able to access hello.html via ordinary HTTP, and over HTTPS using Amazon's domain, but not using my domain. This method will not work for hosting Fargo in a bucket that can be accessed over HTTPS without (as I understand it) spending $600 a month.

  • Sticker shock. I wish the big companies had left OAuth as-is, complicated for sure, but widely deployed. An individual developer can't spend that much money to jump through a hoop for large platform companies.

  • Hope we can do something to lower the barrier for independent developers. Amazon or Dropbox could do something here. My opinion: removing barriers to deploying static JavaScript apps is good for business.


  • This service may be closer to doing what I need, but to find out I have to give them my credit card info, and I wish I didn't have to do that just to find out if it would work.

  • CloudFlare wants a whole domain to play with, which isn't a problem -- I have many that I'm not doing anything with. I gave them one and created a sub-domain, put an index file in it, a static HTML page that says hello.

  • To set it up, you go through a series of steps where you turn over DNS to them.

  • Now, it's not clear that they actually did anything -- because when I access the page I get the same headers that I got before I CloudFlare'd it.

  • Regardless, to get HTTPS you have to give them $20 a month. And it's not clear if that's on top of the $600 per month you have to pay for the certificate. (My guess that it is.)

12/19/13; 09:07:38 AM

Facebook's inline ads look too much like posts.

They start with names of people you know and like.

For example, here's a screen shot.

  • A picture named whichIsTheAd.gif

Can you easily tell which one is the ad?

This is a problem.

12/18/13; 10:44:47 AM

This argument has been going on ever since a blogger crawled up on land and said Hello World. Reporters project the qualities of reporting on blogging, and find it fails. Sigh. Because blogging !== reporting. Not the same thing. Not used the same way. Different qualities.

I'm participating in a thread on Facebook on this subject, and just posted this bit, trying to put the matter to rest, for the 18th time in 19 years. Here goes.

  • I don't like blanket statements about bloggers, just as [pros] probably don't like blanket statements about book writers, or essayists, interviewers, op-ed writers, radio personalities. There are all kinds. But each medium has its strengths. When you project the qualities of another medium on blogging, you'll find it wanting. That's not much of a revelation. But if we tried to judge NPR reporting, for example, on the standards of blogging, it would be found lacking as well.

  • Blogging was never able to do what a reporter does. It's not what it's about. It's about empowering the people you cite as sources to go directly to each other. That creates a flow that reporters can use. They are using it now, but didn't get that at the beginning. That, to me, means that blogging has totally achieved its purpose.

I really think that's all there is to it. NBA players gossip openly with each other, providing fodder for sports reporters. Same with Angela Merkel, the President of the United States, would-be Presidents, the Pope. They all communicate publicly with each other, openly -- and reporters do better work because of it. That's the story. Wrap it up and ship it.

A picture of a slice of cheese cake.

12/18/13; 10:05:40 AM

An off-list conversation with Ann Greenberg.

Ann: In reply to Restarting Kleiner, I mostly hated college, I found there was so much self congratulatory indulgence, brown-nosing and rigid hierarchy. Let's face it, the rich and powerful in any institution try to leverage the creativity and upward desires of the poor and weak. All the while calling it nurturance. But because of the strings, great art cannot be cultivated that way because it can never be self-critical.

Dave: Me too. But I loved grad school because I picked the right subject, and I went to a school that focused on doing, not writing or pontificating. Then, after a career as an entrepreneur I went back to university and was able to create a revolution using the resources of the campus and other faculty. So I have had very positive experiences, even though as an undergrad I was not part of the club, as you experienced.

12/17/13; 02:11:03 PM

There are ads all over Manhattan for Microsoft's tablets.

They have to position against the iPad because that's the first thing anyone thinks of when they think about a Microsoft tablet. How is it different from an iPad?

Microsoft's answer is that it's serious and for business.

Not very compelling, because I don't understand how a tablet could be for one or the other. Microsoft's tablets have less software than Apple's. In order for it to be more serious it would have to have software that Apple doesn't. I believe it's the other way around.

But there are applications that Apple's tablet should be doing well that it isn't. It's really shitty for watching TV. If you want to watch a live program on an iPad, like a sporting event, if you want to use the tablet as a second screen, you need to have a second tablet! Because switching to a different app puts the TV app to sleep. So you can't look something up on the web while watching a game.

Now I know it's technically possible for a tablet to allow you to access one app while another app continues to run. I used to be able to do this on netbooks. I was also able to access a file server, so I didn't have to have a copy of a video to be able to watch it. Hey even today there are plenty of things worth watching that aren't on Netflix. And Netflix works just like TV on an iPad. You have to switch in to watch it, so you need a second iPad to get a second screen.

Why doesn't Microsoft make their tablet really good at this, and position accordingly. Assuming Apple doesn't fix the problem too soon for that.

12/17/13; 12:05:19 PM

I've been transitioning all my content to static hosting on Amazon S3. It's the perfect way for me to store stuff for serving. Very low cost, and much more reliable and hassle-free than running my own servers, which I have been doing (and continue to) since the beginning of the web, 1994 or so.

I'd love to completely get out of the business of running servers, but that's not likely to ever happen. But the last thing I want to do is move content that's in S3 into a space where I have to run the server to keep it on the air. I refuse to do that!

So I want to figure out how to serve HTTPS on S3.

PS: I see that it is possible if I use Amazon's name as the host. Really, this is not an option for apps like Fargo. I need to maintain the branding. If you redirect to amazon.com when you use Fargo, well that just doesn't work

12/17/13; 11:10:16 AM

Intro: Reporters should be working tirelessly to get an outcome like Watergate's. Both were about the government spying in the United States, but the latest scandal is much larger. I really don't see how the NSA survives this. We need massive government reformation. Yet the press is complicit. And this reporter wants to blame the generations that lived through Vietnam and Watergate for their complicity! What?

Dave Weigel has the most ridiculous theory about why 60 Minutes has turned into a PR mouthpiece for the NSA. It goes like this. People who remember where they were when JFK died use Viagra and watch 60 Minutes.

That's where he leaves it blank for us to fill in ourselves with various unspecified ageist theories. Presumably, I guess, people who are my age or older (I was 8 years old when the tragic event happened) are so scared of everything that we need to be reassured that the government is really okay and looking out for us after all.

Now Dave, sit on my knee while explain to you, s l o w l y, how this really works.

People a little older than me were drafted and sent to Vietnam. I missed the draft by a year. Many of them came back from the war with a very bad feeling about the American government. More than a few of the rest of us marched on Washington to try to end the lunacy. A few years later, President Nixon was caught wiretapping the Democratic National Headquarters in DC. You're probably too young to remember this too. Look it up. After an attempt to cover it up, making it much worse, he was the first and only US President to resign in disgrace. If you think that people who lived through all that have a lot of faith in the government, well you should go back to school because you got nothing from your expensive education.

PS: People much older than me are still making a contribution. So fuck your ageism.

12/17/13; 09:51:01 AM

Thanks to Steve Marx who is a developer advocate at Dropbox, we have a very nice and simple Hello World app for Dropbox.

As promised, I've packaged it up so people who come along later have it easier than I did.

  1. Before starting, think of a name for your app, and find a server with https where you can store an HTML file. I used the public folder of my Dropbox account, but I started my account a long time ago when you could access these files directly over the web. If you started your account more recently, you won't be able to use that feature.

  2. Visit the Dropbox app setup page. Click the big Create app button in the upper right corner. Screen shot.

  3. Click on the Dropbox API app option, Files and datastores, Yes, your app can be limited to its own, private folder, and enter the name of the app you decided on in step #0. Here's a screen shot with the options chosen correctly. When you're ready, take a deep breath and click the Create app button.

    • Make sure your app doesn't have the word Dropbox in its name, as illustrated in my screen shot. That doesn't fit their branding guidelines and they'll refuse to create it.
  4. Copy your App key, you'll need it later, and enter the OAuth redirect URIs. This part is a little tricky. You need to enter the exact address of the web page containing your app, which you haven't created yet. It must begin with https://, as indicated in the prompt. Here's a screen shot with the two parts highlighted.

    • Also click the Enable additional users button, if you anticipate that other people will use this app.
  5. Here's my Hello World app. Do a View-Source in your browser. Copy the text and paste it into an editor. Replace my app key with yours. Screen shot. Save. Do whatever you need to get it into your https server folder.

  6. Pray.

  7. Access your copy of the app over the web. With any luck you'll be redirected to the Dropbox site to have your app authorized. When you do so, the page reloads, and a dialog appears saying the file was written.

  8. Look in your Dropbox/apps folder. You should see a new sub-folder, with one file in it, hello.txt. That's it! When this works you can pat yourself on the back, because you've written a Dropbox app!

12/17/13; 09:28:15 AM

Last built: Fri, Mar 14, 2014 at 12:29 PM

By Dave Winer, Sunday, December 1, 2013 at 10:06 PM.