Scripting News for 4/22/2006

My Mozes keyword is scripting. Find out more here

Buy.com has extended RSS with a namespace. An example of a buy.com feed. 

Upcoming conference activity. I’m going to be at Seattle MindCamp 2.0 at the end of the week. Coming back on Saturday night, and then down to Mountain View for the Internet Identity Workshop. Thinking maybe I should host a dinner in Palo Alto on Tuesday considering that it is my 51st birthday. Getting old! Onward. Later in May I’m participating in the Future In Review conference in San Diego. In June, we’re definitely having a Super Unconference of some sort, the week of June 19 (toward the end of the week for sure). We’ve gotten a huge number of offers of space in downtown San Francisco, I’m working with Marc and Sylvia to sort it all out, and then we’re going to make invitations to discussion leaders. There’s a lot of energy around it, and it is preceded by Vloggercon (I’m going to find some way to participate in that) and postceded by BarCamp SF (ditto) and then Gnomedex (I am a DL there). We’re going to look for a big umbrella to put over all the events on the west coast in June, maybe the Summer Olympics of Unconferences? And then, after all that, I’m going to try to sneak away for a trip somewhere relaxing, and believe it or not I’ve signed up for BlogHer, at the very end of July. At that conference I’ll do a lot of listening and notetaking, and look for ways I can help the Hers.  

Almost 9 years ago: “Anger is a very powerful force. If it’s allowed to release naturally, it can be a thing of beauty. It can be safe. A source of movement. It makes things happen.” We so misunderstand the emotion, it’s considered negative, but it doesn’t have to be aimed at anything, it can just be. And when it’s expressed, things change. “When a friend changes you can find the bond that’s connecting you at a deeper level.” The great 20th century writer W Somerset Maugham had something to say about this. “We are not the same persons this year as last; nor are those we love. It is a happy chance if we, changing, continue to love a changed person.” 

Maugham also said: “There are three rules for writing the novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.” :-) 

Scott Karp notes changes in the Technorati 100.  

I almost wrote exactly what Cringely wrote in his newest piece. No sane user wants to restart the computer just to run a Windows app. Windows apps should run alongside Mac apps as if there were no difference. Why should a user know or care which API an app uses? Think about it this way — you can run a standard transmission car on the same road that automatic transmissions run on. You can use a Atom 0.3 feed in the same aggregator that reads RSS 2.0 feeds. So why exactly do you have to reboot your computer to run a Windows app? And thanks for the nice plug. My ego is pretty strong, I like to think with good cause. :-) 

Scaling, again 

Amyloo spotted a feature announcement at Pito’s blog, he says that polling of OPML Reading Lists won’t scale, but it will, and imho it’s the only way to go.

Here’s the deal. HTTP has a very efficient mechanism for software to determine if a resource has changed, it actually has more than one, but the one everyone seems to have settled on is known as eTags. You can basically ask a server if something has changed since the last time you looked, without having to get the whole thing, just getting the “head” of the thing, which is a small fixed size (as if reading lists were very large, they’re not).

If you have a pinging protocol, unless you’re going to send a ping to every subscriber (which isn’t practical because of firewalls and NATs), you’re going to have to ask some central authority whether something has changed, and nothing is more efficient at that than eTags, nor as widely implemented, nor as utterly optimized.

So this is not quite a mathematical proof that you’re chasing your tail by implementing a notification system for changes to reading lists, but such a proof is possible.

We went through this with RSS, there were doomsayers who said it would never scale, but those worries have gone away, as RSS clearly has scaled.

Mutual non-breeding 

WSJ: “I don’t think the blogosphere is breeding cannibals.”

I don’t think the WSJ is breeding idiotic Republican idiots.

2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Henri on April 22, 2006 at 6:40 am

    There’s only one reason to reboot the computer into Windows:
    To take advantage of direct hardware access, especially 3D graphics cards.
    In layman’s terms: to play games.

    Reply

  2. “No sane user wants to restart the computer just to run a Windows app.”

    And yet there was a bunch of people so interested in getting Windows to run on the Intel macs that they were either spending their time, or their money (by offering bounties) to get it to happen.

    I think Apple released BootCamp to co-opt this existing movement, and bring it a bit under their control.

    I’m sure a big part of the motivation of the grassroots Windows on Mac crowd was the “because it’s there” challenge of it.

    Still, I think there is a much larger group who is perfectly willing to reboot their computers to run a windows app — people who play graphics intensive computer games. An intel mac isn’t going to be the best bet for the most die-hard among this group, but it’s probably good enough for a lot of college students who only have room and money for one computer, and who want to use a Mac, but don’t want to give up on the windows game market.

    Yes, virtualization & API emulation approaches are going to be the way to go for most people using most applications, but BootCamp was an easy way for Apple to get people to give them a second look who’d otherwise ruled them out.

    Reply

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