July 18th, 2003
The ownership of Userland’s RSS 2.0 has been transfered to Dave’s new employer the Berkman Center. An advisory board of 3 people has been announced, Jon Udell, Brent Simmons, and of course Dave Winer.
Looks more like 3 card monte then meaningful progress.
June 27th, 2003
After reading this thread discussing Dave’s “clarificaton” of the <link> element, I think I finally figured out why RSS has always seemed straightforward and clear to me, but so confusing, and difficult to others.
I Believe in History
You see my history with RSS
goes directly from the straightforward, and simple RSS 0.9 to the well thought out, and refactored RSS 1.0, just skipping the murkiness in between. What becomes clear reading the above thread is what I’ve always felt at a gut level, the RSS 0.9x series is a kludge, an unacknowledge attempt to hijack one format (with high visibility) to serve the intentions of another. Its sort of a reversal on the old “when all you have is a hammer” saying, reformulated as “if you tell people really loudly, over and over that you pound nails with a saw, people will eventually believe you”. (and cut their hand in the process).
I knew things were dire at a times, but it never occured to me that their could be so much confusion about the basic RSS data model, and core elements. (this perspective again comes from using primarily RSS 1.0 which made as one of its cheif design criteria backwards compatibility with RSS 0.9, therefore never having cut itself loose to drift in ambiguity the same way)
Message is the Medium?
A more constructive way to characterize the confusion is whether RSS is a syndication format (the RSS 0.9 and RSS 1.0 data model) that is providing information about an external resource (and there for all <link> elements are conceptually contained by the <channel> element they are nested in [thats what nesting means folks!]), or is it a publishing medium, a really ugly, but semantically rich weblog in its own right (which is the argued for meaning of link in RSS 2.0, that necessitated adding the guid element).
ps. I promise something more interesting soon, really. Or at least more interesting to me
pps. if people are really have trouble extracting links from their weblog posts, contact me, and I’ll send you code to do is
June 14th, 2003
Why do people keep listening to this man? Sam
wants to know why Dave said MT’s RSS support “was funky”. Its obvious why, because Dave sees Moveable Type as a competitor, how deep do we need to look?
A man who claimed to invent RSS but doesn’t even understand the basic technologies or standards involved. He querulously wants to know
what version of RSS MT supports, because he can’t conceive of someone supporting multiple formats transparently. He makes wildly uninformed statements like “they produce RDF where RSS is called for”, um Dave,
that is called X-M-L. He follows that up with snide comments implying it is somehow Ben & Mena’s fault for RSS development being stalled, when an even cursory scan of the history of RSS will show that MT is largely a latecomer to RSS development, and very neutral, and that real problem lies somewhere else. (today stopped implying it and came out and said it, proving either he has no scruples in his FUD campaign or his memory is really starting to go [nice picasso though])
“chickenshit” for not kowtowing to his lousy design sense, Microsoft’s embrace and extend is something we should aspire to in our standards, and his critics are beating up on an old man on one the 1yr anniversary of his heart attack becausle we all secretly want him dead. An old man who can take the time to insult a product that apparently
he can’t even install, despite the fact that immense amounts of work were obviously but into making MT’s installation brain dead simple. (before they gave it away for free)
Dave is as welcome to his opinions as the next crazy old man you pass on the street, and if you reject the idea that his entire public persona is just the napalm equipped marketting campaign of a
rentless, unscrupulous competitor then crazy is the only sense it makes. So why do people keep treating him like some 800lb gorilla? Well, I’ll admit he certainly has got something special, I can’t think of any stranger who frustrates me nearly as much on such a regular basis.
Aaron asks Dave to explain 2 statements made on his website, Dave responds with a vicious attack.
Tim Bray seems to me to bend over backwards to be fair and flattering, but Dave feels this is trashing his reputation. I guess you could make the arguement that someone saying you “want to do the right thing”, and comparing you to a genius is trashing your reputation, but are you sure you want to draw attention to that reputation?
Ben writes a technical, and neutrally worded statement on why Echo might be a good idea. Dave responds with a ridiculous and very personal retort.
September 6th, 2002
diveintomark, has a very nice
abridged history of RSS, sort of an ethnography really. A much cleaner history really, then my own attempt, A Personal History of RSS, but then I was trying to pitch RSS to XML phobes, so I had a different goal. What I can’t understand is why anyone pays attention to Dave Winer at all. I haven’t used Radio, so maybe its just so brilliant you think the man must be a genius, but in his dealings with RSS his design instincts have been ugly and wrong, and his communication style would get him booted from my most civil society. And trying to trademark RSS was just underhanded. In the end AaronSW was right, people use tools to generate RSS, and parse it, and re-display it, and there is a stable of excellent tools available. So why does this debate still raging?