Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Demo for Doc 2

This is a test.


Demo of wordpress.root

Please ignore, this is just a demo.

Header graphics in random order

The innovation is the “river of news” approach

Note: My comment was “awaiting moderation” — but I think the trackback from this post will appear in the comment section. Mike, could you delete it instead of approving it. Thanks.

Jason, et al — I understand the confusion, having dealt with similar questions all last week. Glad to have the ability to comment here, to elaborate.

The innovation here are the “rivers” of news, because they deliver the flows of these services in the most convenient form, imho, for mobile users, the entire flow, reverse chronologic order, with summaries linked to print-friendly versions.

The BBC does offer something approaching this format, organized by category, the Times does not. You have to use it on a mobile device to read news to understand why it works, as most of you do, clearly.

Here’s a guy who explains it better than I can.

There were a bunch of blog posts written by others around the time this stuff was announced, you can find them linked to here.

If you all have any questions, I’ll try to answer them.

Dummy post

Please delete me.

At midnight…

Now it’s after midnight, here’s what’s new…


This is a test post

Oh the buzzing of the bees and the cigarette trees.

I got a feeling, a feeling deep inside.

This is the dawning of the age of aquarius.

Do you know the way to San Jose?

I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore.

We are creatures, creatures of love.

An opportunity for investment

Continuing the discussion that was fired by Charlene Li’s post about podcasting and whether it’s achieving its promise. I wrote on xxx that from the perspective of the Scripting News community it’s doing just fine, now I’d like to explain what I think is needed for podcasting to break through.

Better user experience

User experience is another one of those terms that makes something human seem technical, but it’s what’s missing in podcasting. Today’s environment for capturing and listening to podcasts is difficult, very Gen-1. It’s easy to imagine something that works much better.

Amazon S3 in the OPML Editor

Thanks to Les Orchard for getting us started with a tool for the OPML Editor that has basic support for the Amazon S3 interface. It’s the starting point I’m using for my initial exploration.


1. I copied Les’s tool into Guest Databases/Apps/Tools and restarted the OPML Editor.

2. I downloaded and installed Andre Radke’s crypto extension, which is required. If this stuff ships, I’ll ask for permission from Andre to include this extension in the basic OPML Editor installation.

3. I ran amazonS3Suite.init, it created user.amazonS3, wich calls for two magic strings, which are provided on Amazon’s website.

4. I did my first call, and got a security error.

5. Jeff Barr says I should check to make sure there aren’t any extraneous blanks, which there were, once I got rid of them, it’s starting to work. Excellent.

Day Two

Working on some test apps.

1. I’ve created a bucket and uploaded a text file. Now trying to figure out how to access it in my browser. The technical docs are a bit hard to find. They don’t help much. I got a clue at Jon Udell’s site. Here’s my text file. (That link may not work later.)

2. I’ve written a script that uploads all the images I’ve used on Scripting News since 12/26/03. Here’s an example. I tried passing up metadata, but when I did, it screwed up the credentials. When I didn’t send any metadata, it worked fine.

3. After the image-uploader finishes running, I’m going to write a script that outlines a bucket.

Day Three

1. My Internet service has been sucking the last few days and it finally went down so my S3 project got stalled. Comcast. Grrrr.

2. The folder uploader is running nicely now. Its purpose is to provide a good basic application that, once working, I can simplify by making the API do more for me. Once the uploader is finished running I’m going to begin working on system.verbs.apps.s3.

Back to Phil Jones

Another very interesting narrative about my software strategies by Phil Jones. Of course I have a number of comments.

Phil, I appreciate that you’re not making it about personalities, but you don’t understand that 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 by fighting, because I only fight people who try to turn the clock back, because that’s the weakness of, the thing I hate about the tech industry.

But I’ll give you this much. You have figured some of it out, and you’re trying, and that I appreciate. And you allow me enough pride so I can respond to you. Most 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. Your piece is worth a response, and here it is…

It’s not about personalities

The people who make it about personalities are missing everything. It’s as if what was going on on a baseball field is a result of personalities. To some extent of course it is, but it’s also about how you swing a bat, catch and throw a ball, how good your eye is and how good your mind is. In software the quality of your thinking matters even more, in fact that’s all there is. And so many people miss the big picture, without even trying to see it. The notable thing about Phil, is that in a crowd of people who aren’t trying, he is. His reasoning ability isn’t remarkable, what is remarkable is that he cares enough to reason. And if you want to do that, you need to get your mind out of the schoolyard, and start thinking about the media revolution we’re in the middle of.

It’s not about formats

I don’t care if Atom gains strength, just as long as it doesn’t hold anything back or sacrifice any of the progress we’ve made. I said early-on that I would support Atom, and I have. I don’t want to fight over this so I don’t. Unfortunately some of the people involved want a fight, so they act as if one is hapening, and this confuses a lot of people. The tech industry, as I’ve written so many times, tends to throw out whole generations of work because of ignorance or jealousy. That’s what I’m against, if I’m against anything. If you try to figure out what I’m doing and remember that, about all that I’m willing to fight against is redoing things that already work, that don’t need redoing, because that is so often the knee-jerk reaction of this industry. I’ve seen whole careers wasted this way. We should all be fighting against that, imho.

I’m not trying to “win”

I’m not trying to win in the tech arena, certainly not in the sense that I’m trying to make anyone or anything or anyone lose. I’m interested in creating tools to manage information for people who have it. It’s the users that matter, Phil, not the techies. I think DMOZ and Yahoo’s directories are the wrong model, that this all needs to be opened up. There’s no single home page on the web, so why should there be a single home page for the global directory. Let a billion flowers bloom. May the best root win. May there be as many roots as there are points of view.

If the Semantic Web people were to create useful tools, I’d use them. I use HTML and HTTP, they’re wonderful. They were fully hatched before I heard of them. But when something doesn’t exist that I need, I don’t wait for someone else to do it, I do it myself, or if I can’t, I find out who can, and ask them to do it. So if I need news to flow through RSS, I have dinner with Martin Nisenholtz at the NY Times and ask him to flow his news through the network. If he won’t do it (he did of course) I would go to someone else. These days Microsoft is blowing me off. No problem. There are other tech companies. Eventually someone at Microsoft will get that they would do better working with me than against me, that a single guy can’t compete with a multinational corporation, and we’ll work together again, only this time we’ll go to the trouble to have a contract.

About Wikis, the other thing Phil got wrong, I’m pretty sure I understand them, and it won’t be long before OPML will be a form of content that wikis understand, both on input and output. If anyone wants to work on that, let’s start a project. Wikis already produce RSS, btw. There’s no conflict. You can’t defeat me by making content tools dammit, I think content tools are good!

Come on let’s stop fighting

Phil why are all your analogies about wars and fighting. I’m actually a creative person, always have been. Does someone who writes a book try to defeat anyone? I don’t think so. I think they want to express something. I want new tools to exist for people with knowledge to be able to share it with others and to build on other people’s knowledge. That’s how I express myself. It seems to me the only person who would want to stop that is someone who wants people to not share or have knowledge. What am I missing?

Anyway, I do appreciate what Phil is doing. Maybe we can have more discourse that isn’t about personalities, because none of the people who write about mine have any insight into it, and you aren’t going to figure me out that way. I’m actually pretty easy to figure out. I don’t hide what I’m doing, that’s also part of the formula (he doesn’t mention this). I’m a media guy who had to master technology because that was the only way to make it work.

Because people have gotten so good at lifting my ideas before I can finish building them, I’m going to go more stealth in the future. I’m not going to show my work until it’s ready to use. Then the people who want to fight with me will have to catch up, and in the time it takes to do that, I’ll be able to finish the thought, hopefully. Either that or I’ll just let you all do it yourself and I’ll go fishing or make pottery, or something.

But believe it or not, I think my life’s work is almost over, or about to enter a new phase, that’s quite different from the last directions. So maybe we’ll find out if there are any brilliant architects out there who have a vision that goes beyond OPML, RSS, outliners, blogging, podcasting, etc. I’d love to meet someone like that.