It's even worse than it appears..
Sunday February 11, 2024; 10:35 AM EST
  • Most Hacker News threads devolve into people talking about personalities, not about tech stuff. But yesterday's thread about OPML was the rare exception, until someone who says they like me (I guess) said something personal and ugly. #
  • I wonder why after all this time we can't see how pointless it is to have opinions about people, esp online. Everything you hear is passed through someone else's filters, so you're getting a huge dose of their personality along with a sliver of insight into the person they're talking about. #
  • And don't forget to factor in that sometimes when someone has put an obstacle in the way of big companies, you can earn favor inside those companies by scandalizing the person whose work they object to. There was a lot of that happening as RSS crossed paths with some very big and rich companies with lots of employees, and an interest in appearing to interop without the cost of interop.#
  • I've tried to add formats, protocols and software to the mix, always trying to compromise. It's not mentioned in the Wikipedia page on RSS that I had a format that does what RSS does, a year before it existed, but I gave it up so that Netscape and UserLand would build on the same format, RSS. #
  • I didn't invent RSS. I did something much greater, I compromised. We had the leading blogging software at the time, and Netscape had the feeds of four credible news orgs. When you put them together, that turned out to be huge power. We eventually pulled in all of social media and all of professional publishing into one format. Ask anyone who was active at the time. The blogging world adopted RSS in an instant, in 1999 and 2000. And in 2002, when the NYT adopted it, again, in an instant the entire news world all of a sudden all had RSS feeds. You can see it in the steady stream of announcements in the archive of this blog. #
  • BTW there was someone brilliant at Netscape who saw our compromise and responded with more compromise. Their next version of RSS had some of the features we had left behind in our format. We never asked them to do that, they just figured it out. Collaboration is something that requires two, one person can't collaborate on their own. I know that sounds ridiculous, but sometimes people don't look for the other party who made compromise possible.#
  • I don't think even the people who were closest to it at the time understood the move. And I don't think very many appreciate the power that comes from being the one who throws in the towel on their pet project to attain unity. #
  • One way of doing something is always better than two. That's just a restatement of Postel's Postulate. Be conservative in what you send. #
  • That doesn't just apply to you, it applies to all of us collectively. Every time you add something that already exists we're all going to pay for it. #
  • If you think that saying this makes me cantankerous -- well, I say okay -- but you're wrong because it's generous and brilliant to push back when people add complexity. Of course people don't like to hear they're doing something wrong, but when it comes to accumulating complexity debt unnecessarily, well imho you have to listen to that. Complexity is a force against interop. #
  • We should be looking for opportunities to work together to create something greater than anything any one of us can create. #
  • See also: the role of prior art in design.#

© copyright 1994-2024 Dave Winer.

Last update: Sunday February 11, 2024; 9:51 PM EST.

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