Scripting News for 1/21/2007

Time flies when you’re having fun 

The 10 year anniversary of Scripting News is approaching and with it, the ten year anniversary of blogging.

I’m thinking of having some kind of party to celebrate. Would you be interested in participating?

Bug report for OTM 

I’ve said it before, On The Media is my favorite podcast, I’m an unabashed fan, every Saturday I listen attentively to their latest.

That said, I have to object to their treatment, this week, of Presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich.

The point of the interview was how the media decides on our behalf which candidates will be taken seriously.

Kucinich took some controversial positions in the 2004 election and they turned out to be visionary. HIs supporters are enthusiastic, his focus is where I’d like all our candidates to be, ideas and issues. Maybe he wouldn’t be the best leader, but maybe if he were given a chance, he might become exactly the kind ofl eader we need. I can’t imagine he’d be worse than the current President, who the press took more seriously than Kucinich.

That OTM laughed at him during this interview is just appalling.

He took the high road over and over, even quoting Emerson, explaining why he chooses to run this gauntlet, again, when the deck is so stacked against him.

They should listen to their own report with a critical ear, and when they do I hope they apologize to the candidate and their listeners.

Digital Lifestyle Servers Everywhere 

Marc has been struggling to find the right phrase the helps people understand what he’s working on. Yesterday he wrote something I’ve heard him say, but I don’t understand, that he was “forced” to change from calling it server in the closet. Why? I find that helps to position the software, if that’s really what he has in mind. I want a server in the closet, one that really works for the house as an interface to the universe, both ways.

I also believe that servers belong everywhere, and predicted it, and it’s happening. Nowadays if you want to buy a webcam, you can buy one that connects into your wifi network and has an integrated HTTP server. That’s how you get the images — visit a web page on your LAN. I just bought a receiver that has a built-in HTTP server, so I can program the stereo over the Internet. It wasn’t the reason I bought the receiver, but you can imagine I was delighted to find that it was there. It’s also why I strongly believe that the TV set in your living room or den is also going to be a full computer, a peer on the Internet, a client of various Internet services (as predicted by Mark Cuban) and a server so you can control it using a web browser, and also so you can have your own private YouTube or MySpace (that, I believe is Marc’s vision).

All the players here are orbiting around a set of protocols and standards that make this stuff work, even the ones you usually don’t see playing well with others, the entertainment and technology industries. The attraction of the formats is irresistable. As TBL said: “Anyone can build a new application on the Web, without asking me, or Vint Cerf, or their ISP, or their cable company, or their operating system provider, or their government, or their hardware vendor.”

What he didn’t say, but surely is aware of, is that it’s possible to add new layers to the Internet that have the same properties, and new proponents of evolution who stand beside himself and Vint Cerf. It didn’t stop with TCP, HTTP and HTML, and it won’t stop with RSS and WiFi. But the philosophy that TBL stated so succinctly is so important that it’s worth codifying as a law. And it can be restated in a mashup of the words of JFK: Ask not what the Internet can do for you, ask what you can do for the Internet.

28 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Jake on January 21, 2007 at 2:09 pm

    Aren’t we past the 10 year anniversary of blogging?


  2. Posted by Anton2000 on January 21, 2007 at 2:30 pm

    Hello Dave, are you having fun with your receiver with built in server? What type is it?

    enjoy šŸ™‚


  3. Hello Dave.

    If the OPML Community Server software supported the MetaWeblog API and/or ’email publishing’ then I would use that at home. That’s the reason I bought a MacMini – a lovely silent box which I can stick up on top of the kitchen cabinet to serve my needs as a digital citizen. šŸ˜‰

    However, it now looking like I might have a simple PHP and Mysql solution for that box now – but without all the features of the OPMLcs

    Eventually, I’ll find a way to package up the whole system to install on your own server (or desktop) , but it does need some extras packed with it, to deal with the image, audio and video transcoding which I can now do. That bit might be tricky or restricted.

    People need much more than ‘just text’ these days. So many of our devices can create multimedia, but so few offer multimedia publishing via a single system.

    Flick could no doubt ‘do’ a YouTube, if they wanted. YouTube could no doubt ‘do’ a flickr if they wanted. Hipcast does audio and video but not images. Odeo could have done alot more too.

    Shozu seems to be a great step towards IAM (Images, Audio, Video) publishing via mobiles – but where are all the others?

    It seems so simple. Which is just the way we like it, right?



  4. would you really want to meet your users? I actually use to read your blog/website back in the day. you taught me how to xml-rpc, andother kinds of cool stuff.


  5. Lemon, yes, of course, but only if they are nice. šŸ™‚


  6. Predictably, there are people saying that other blogs came before Scripting News.

    Yes, there were blogs before SN. The first website, done by TBL, was in every way a blog. And Scripting News was not my first blog.

    The unique thing about SN is that it spawned so many other blogs and they spawned more, and on and on. Paritally this is because I released the software for free and also because I tried to convince people who I thought would be good bloggers to start blogs.

    There are probably some branches today that did not originate here, and I’d like to know about them and give them a high five, but there IS definitely something to celebrate here, and that’s all I have to say on that subject.

    I suggest people who get flack about this just point at this comment.


  7. Regarding your last two paragraphs, you should check out Metalink, an XML format for simpler file distribution.


  8. Thanks to you, Dave, I’ve been blogging since 1998. Clay Basket was my intro to web site creation and then Frontier allowed me to really dig in. Then Radio and now OPML Editor. If I’ve done one thing consistently for the past nine years, it’s blog. Thanks for all the amazing and powerful tools. – Donovan.


  9. hey, we’re all nice deep down- we just have ‘off-days’ – like everyone šŸ™‚


  10. Dave
    You’ve already said it yourself in the comments…there were blogs before, so why try to claim that your site represents the birthday for blogging? Not to take away in one bit (as others may) your contribution to blogging, but it’s not the 10th anniversary of blogging, only Justin Hall holds the credit for the first blog, you hold position 2 & 3 (my take on blog history from back in 2005). I’m happy to join in the celebration for, credit where it’s due, but you’re doing yourself a disservice by claiming it is more than it really is.


  11. I don’t know what Justin says, if he wants to talk, I’d be happy to.


  12. Whoever was first .. dunno… – but surely SN is the ‘oldest/longest running’ blog? – ie: still active today?


  13. Dave, I don’t care who denies it; without your efforts, I and many like me wouldn’t be doing what I do today: blogging and podcasting. Let me know if you have a celebration and I just might hop a plane from Philly to your neck of the woods dude!


  14. Dave,
    Having been blogging since October of 2000, I’d certainly enjoy the opportunity to celebrate your 10 years of blogging.


  15. We could also hold a party in Second Life, over at ‘The Wave Diner’ , next to ‘The RSS Platform’, on the ‘Podcast Peninsula’ šŸ™‚


  16. Dave,

    I’m a loyal reader and would love to help celebrate the big b-day if possible. Please let me know when you end up having something put together.



  17. Posted by Tommy on January 21, 2007 at 6:29 pm

    “That OTM laughed at him during this interview is just appalling.”

    I didn’t hear it that way — Kucinich was making fun of the New York Times’s overblown image of itself, and the interviewer was laughing at the image.


  18. Celebrate! Celebrate!. Congrats on 10 years!

    Hold the parteh’ in Chicago, or St Louis, or Kansas City so that more of the Left Coasters, the Right Coasters, and the Middle Grounders can more readily attend.

    Seriously, what can we, us, the peanut gallery do to convince the crazy uncle, uncle fluffy, uncle sippy not to wrap-up teh weblog in April?


  19. Posted by Sleepydog on January 21, 2007 at 8:08 pm

    Macintouch has been around since 1994. It’s basically a blog.


  20. Yeah, and DaveNet started in 1994. Not sure which started first. Scripting News is still the proto blog.


  21. Davenet was about 2 months after Justin Hall, but noted that my history in 2005 didn’t include Davenet, which it should have (I cant edit it now…don’t own the site anymore).

    Again though, I take nothing away from your fine…and indeed wonderful contribution to blogging as we know it. Titles such as “The Godfather of Blogging” and “The Blogfather” are well and truly deserved, but it doesn’t change history…if anything you’re the father of the blogging CMS…and lets fact it, what’s blogging today without an easy to use and efficient backend. Let’s celebrate something like 10 years of “CMS Blogging” or “modern blogging” or similar!


  22. >>I strongly believe that the TV set in your living room or den is also going to be a full computer, a peer on the Internet

    I do too…don’t know if you know about my company, but we’ve created the first open p2p market; what will be cool is that people will create stuff…and sell it to each other…no more “central authority”

    and, yeah, I’m nice…


  23. What may I do to help?


  24. Dave,

    I have two comments on your servers-everywhere post:

    1. To some extent, this trend is happening because including a Web server is the easiest path towards developing apps, since you can tap into a big pool of trained developers who don’t need to know your particular device. You might be aiming towards LAN visibility of your device as a design point, but world-wide visibility comes for free. This gets very interesting. For example, the SlimServer music server from Slim Devices (I’m not affiliated) is developed to enable them to sell their SqueezeBox appliance, but it enables people to listen to their home collections from work.

    2. Your post uses embedded-server examples as the springboard for discussion, but what about servers in the devices we already perceive as computers? Mac OS X ships with an installed Apache that it only uses for file sharing, but couldn’t it be used for much more? A lot of the “Web 2.0” buzz is around social networks and hosted apps, but with pervasive servers a lot of this functionality can be distributed to customers’ nodes. The natural place for my space isn’t, but my computer, running social-networking protocols out of the box.


  25. Re your bug on OTM. What are the steps to reproduce?
    I listened carefully, and I missed the bug.

    I heard two laughs and a chortle. Both laughs came after witticisms. It seemed to me that Bob Garfield was appreciating the jokes. The bit was by Jeff Coehn the former communications director. He had a quip about there being no term limits on pundits. Garfield laughed. Then Kucinich threw a little sarcasm at the New York Times talking about their heavy burden in being the ultimate arbiter of public opinion in America. The Chortle came after Garfield and Kucinich wrapped it up, when Kucinich, almost as an afterthought, popped in with his URL ( It was a little comical.

    What was offensive in any of that? To my mind, when a guy says something witty and you laugh, that’s a good thing.


  26. Posted by Tommy on January 23, 2007 at 8:25 am

    Maybe the problem is Garfield (the OTM host) so often laces his reports with sarcasm and it’s hard to tell when he’s being serious / respectful. So if you approach the report assuming he’s reaming Kucinich with snide snickers, that’s what it sounds like.

    On the other hand, it’s a nationwide program with a ten-minute report about Kucinich, so even if he WAS getting reamed by the host (which I don’t think he was), Kucinich can’t really complain, can he?


  27. Kucinich wasn’t complaining, I was.

    Just imagine if he had said what he must feel when people laugh at him.

    Anyway, I didn’t realize that was Garfield’s style, I don’t really pay that much attention to the interviewer. Now I will.

    And one more thing, the purpose of On The Media is to look at the issue, not become the issue. They should try to be dispassionate about this stuff. Garfield wasn’t neutral, he was defending the reporters who dismiss Kucinich. Why not interview some reporters and ask them if they’re really serving their readers and listeners by deciding in advance which candidates should be treated seriously.

    The report was very very flawed.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: