Companies should have a PIN for every customer they want to talk to on the phone. I'm not even going to admit to being me for a random inquisitor who calls and claims to represent one of my insurance companies. Prove it, I say to them. They can't. Sorry, can't help you.#
I was asked why I'm adding great GitHub scriptability to Drummer when Microsoft is evil and huge. First, I use GitHub, a lot, and love it. I loved it before Microsoft bought it, and I'm experienced enough to have known even then that their acquisition by a big tech company was almost a given. Our support of GitHub in the short term won't do much to help GitHub, maybe in the long term it will. But that isn't a good reason not to implement the compatibility. For that I turn to a famous quote of the notorious criminal Willie Sutton who was asked why he robs banks. I'm sure you already know the answer. #
For poets, think of GitHub as a great arena where all kinds of sports are played, except in this analogy the sports are ideas and docs. #
Until now there hasn't been a great arena for poets. There's only been such an arena for programmers, and that's very new. GitHub didn't exist as the great programming idea arena until maybe the mid-teens. Maybe it's just now starting to come into its own.#
Certainly a big publishing platform like Facebook and Medium had the opportunity to do this, but the too quickly pivoted to business models, and that had a chilling effect at making it a great arena for ideas. #
Amazon, amazingly, had the best opportunity to create such an arena, I begged them to do it, openly, but they wouldn't do it.#
What does such an arena need? Not a whole lot actually.#
A simple user authentication method. The technology for this is called OAuth. It's what everyone uses. It's what GitHub uses. Twitter does, Facebook, Slack, on and on. The important thing about this method of authentication is that YOU KNOW HOW TO DO IT. You use it, you don't even think about it. It makes sense to you. So right off the bat, you're ready to join in. I can put a command in a menu to Log on to GitHub and you won't be surprised at all by what it does.#
The only other thing it needs to do is storage, and GitHub does that, very powerfully. Have a look at my ArtDownloader project for an idea. There is a huge amount of art there. It's great stuff. Hook it up to your screen saver, and enrich your life. It's free for you, and guess what, it's free for me too. GitHub says fine, we'll host it, you don't even have to ask. You can create your own repos. I promise you, it's not hard and we can probably even make it easier, given enough time. #
Another thing it is -- based on an open standard -- GIT. So we're not getting locked in the trunk here. We are free to leave. We are depending on their API which their competitors will hopefully clone. They'd be idiots if they didn't. They probably already are. #
This is where I like to work -- at the edge of possibility. We might be able to bootstrap something wonderful here. I am certainly optimistic myself based on the intelligence and curiosity of the people who are using Drummer. And their collegiality. That's the most important ingredient. I've had all this stuff for years, outliners, code that writes to GitHub, scripting interpreters, etc etc. But having all of it in a package that is used by enough smart people, to help start the bootstrap, that's like the sourdough starters everyone was trading in the early days of the pandemic. You can have all the ingredients, but if you don't have people to play in the arena, nothing interesting is going to happen. #
copyright 1994-2021 Dave Winer.
Last update: Wednesday November 10, 2021; 4:19 PM EST.
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