Scripting News for 3/21/2006

NY Times: “Microsoft’s said that its new Windows operating system would not be ready for consumer personal computers for the holiday sales season.” 

Mini-Microsoft: “Oy. Oy. Oy.” 

Fantastic piece in today’s SF Chron about the new eastern span of the Bay Bridge. I thought the bridge was almost finished, but not nearly so. It won’t open until 2014, according to the plan, which doesn’t really exist, yet (even though construction is quite far along). The original plan called for the bridge to be completed by 2004, but politics interfered. But it wasn’t rational politics, about where the most resources go, it was about esthetics. A completely functional replacement for the not-quake-safe eastern span could have already been deployed, but the mayors of each of the cities wanted something ornamental that would look stunning and be famous world-wide, like the Golden Gate Bridge is, on the other side of SF. They also worried about how the ramps toward each of their cities would look. Oy. And you thought software industry politics was bad! (BTW, there was a small quake today in the East Bay, a reminder that there are important non-esthetic reasons to finish the new bridge.) 

Bruno Pedro has a tool that converts an OPML file into wiki-formattted text. 

Donald Knuth, famous comp sci prof and book author at Stanford, doesn’t have an email address, according to “You wake up, start answering email and the next thing you know it’s noon.” I know the feeling. He’s also the #1 Don on Google.  

Phil, thanks for listening, no sarcasm. 🙂 

Scott Rosenberg: “Web 2.0 sometimes seems in imminent danger of collapsing in a heap of cutesiness, obscurity and alphabetical anarchy.” 

OPML to Wiki? 

How long will it be before there’s a wiki that supports the MetaWeblog API? A quick search on Google indicates that it might already have happened.

Anyway, send me a pointer to such a wiki, and I’ll try to get the OPML Editor working with it. If there are problems, I’ll document them, and when they’re fixed, I’ll try again.

There’s absolutely no reason that you shouldn’t be able to edit wiki-text using an outliner, and I bet it would be pretty useful.

Phil Jones part 2 

Another very interesting narrative about my software strategies by Phil Jones.

1. He’s figured some of it out, and he’s trying, and that I appreciate.

2. I’m not at war. I’m not trying to defeat the Semantic Web, and I like wikis. You’re not going to figure me out with warfare analogies, because

3. I only fight when people try to turn the clock back, because that’s the weakness of, the thing I hate most about the tech industry.

4. And he allows me enough pride so I can respond. Many of the people who comment about my work say I’m stupid, or a bad person, and I’m neither, and I won’t encourage such discourse by honoring it with a response. As soon as it gets personal, that’s when I walk out of the (virtual) room.

I wrote a longer piece last night, but that’s basically what it says.

A Microsoft-run blogging conf? 

It’s not surprising that Microsoft is doing some funny stuff with their RSS support.

I’m not at their blogging conference this week, but some honorable folk from the tech blogging community are. I wonder if they’re having a session on Fact-checking Your Ass.

Did you ever see the Sprint commercial with the guy sitting behind the desk in front of a top-floor skyscraper window, explaining how he’s using his cell phone to Stick It To The Man. His assistant, a Smithers type, says, But you are The Man. He responds, “I know.” So you’re sticking it to yourself? Big pause. Maybe. 🙂

In other words, there’s something weird and funny about a Microsoft-run blogging conference. There’s something not very blogging about it. Hmmm.

4 responses to this post.

  1. Urhh … it’s not a blogging conference. It’s a conference about online technologies — RSS/Atom being just one of them.


  2. I can’t speak about all outliners, but the ones that I’ve seen (like most mind-mappers) are mostly limited to hierarchical organization. Even if OPML supports arbitrary graphs, the outliner might not…


  3. Mice explaination from Donald Knuth

    Email (let’s drop the hyphen)
    I have been a happy man ever since January 1, 1990, when I no longer had an email address. I’d used email since about 1975, and it seems to me that 15 years of email is plenty for one lifetime.

    ALSO.. He has videos of lectures available!

    SCPD – Donald E. Knuth
    The Stanford Center for Professional Development (SCPD) is posting “Computer Musings,” lectures given by renowned Professor Donald E. Knuth, Stanford University’s Professor Emeritus of the Art of Computer Programming. SCPD is digitizing about one hundred tapes of Knuth’s musings, lectures and selected classes and posting them here. They are available to the public free of charge.


  4. I put a note on my favorite wiki/etc software. Got this response: which references a XML-RPC plugin ( to Trac.


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