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Dave Winer -

Scripting News - 2021-07-25T17:26:55Z

- 2021-07-25T17:26:55Z
A new PagePark feature makes it possible to serve an OPML file as the home page of a site, even when the file is located on another web server.

- 2021-07-24T20:10:46Z
Today's song: Radio Ga Ga.

- 2021-07-24T18:17:51Z
Does anyone else think the Olympics is offensive from a climate change perspective. All that carbon burning. What if instead we had an Olympics where people did heroic things to put carbon back in the ground.

- 2021-07-24T13:02:22Z
You know the saying -- locks are for honest people -- I think this is also true of the Constitution. If enough people decide that they don't respect the rules, then the rules don't hold.

Where have all the magas gone? - 2021-07-24T18:42:16Z

Long time passing.

Where have all the magas gone?

Long time ago.

Where have all the magas gone?

They all got covid, every one.

Oy! Will they ever learn?

Oy! When will they learn?

To the tune of Where Have All The Flowers Gone by Pete Seeger.

- 2021-07-23T16:52:44Z
Yogi Berra: "You can observe a lot by just watching."

- 2021-07-23T19:31:41Z
A remarkable statement from the Republican governor of Alabama about vaccination. A divide is forming in the old Republican party. If journalism wants to help, they need a name. I suggest "post-maga" Repubs.

- 2021-07-23T12:40:16Z
Someday there will be one venue for each of the olympics. We don't build another UN campus every four years. Why do we do it for sports?

- 2021-07-22T17:16:55Z
Now that I can see tagging in action, I changed how tags are displayed. A tag appears as a single-square-bracketed term, in blue. When you hover over it, it's underlined. This is more consistent with the way links work. And single-square-brackets are less intrusive than double, but still convey the idea that where you're going is different from a normal link. Feedback is welcome. I'm also finding bugs in the tag server. Of course, and that's good.

- 2021-07-22T17:21:10Z
Falling in love with Google Reader and then giving up on open RSS-based news after it was cancelled is like falling in love with The Monkees, and giving up on music when their show was cancelled. Long term the open wholesome tech ecosystem is where the breakthroughs come from. When the users learn to accept that tech companies just harvest these developments, don't manage them or develop them, or care about them, then progress will accelerate, but not until then. The power is strong, but you have to use it.

- 2021-07-22T17:04:23Z
Scott Love sent a link to a piece that said Google Reader was beautiful, and something huge was lost when they shut it down. Kind of like American Pie about the death of music, and as wrong. As it turns out, since we now know how it turned out, having Google adopt RSS was a pretty bad thing for everyone, except maybe Google. The tragedy isn't that Google fucked us over so hard, it's that even now, eight years later, people still haven't figured out that companies don't make wholesome tech, they consume it. Leave it like an Amazon rain forest after harvesting. Google Reader should have been called Exxon Valdez Reader. The author's attitude toward people who understand this tragedy is to dismiss us as naïve. Which is ridiculous given the premise. It's like saying that we liked the meal but we insisted on it being served it by Darth Vader. Oh boy he betrayed us! The users have the power, this has always been true, and until now, they have used the power to be idiots.

Tagging in Scripting News - 2021-07-22T13:56:36Z

There's something new on Scripting News today -- tags.

When you see a tag reference, click on it to see a list of refs to the same tag.

An example of a tag reference. Click it, see what happens: RSS.

When you hover over a tag ref, it should turn blue.

When you click on one you should see a dialog that looks like this.

If the text in the dialog has tags, you can click on them.

The left and right arrows move back and forth through the tags you've clicked on like the arrows in a browser.

Here's how it works:

  • When I'm writing, my CMS passes the OPML of today's writing to a new server app called a tag server that scans for tags. A tag is simply text that's enclosed in [[double square brackets]].
  • When it finds a tag, it adds it to a database, with the following info: the URL of the OPML file it came from, the path to the tag in the outline, the created attribute of the headline it came from in the outline, and the screenname of the author (for now, just me).
  • Now we can do a query, such as: Find me all the items tagged by davewiner with the term RSS.
  • And that query can be displayed in a dialog when you're reading the blog.

A quick video demo.

I'll have more to say about this, but first I wanted to introduce the feature so you can try it out.

If you have questions or comments, you can post them in this thread.

- 2021-07-21T14:20:46Z
What if Twitter or Facebook let you argue privately, one-on-one, with a random anonymous person who takes the other side on an issue you feel passionately about. You can say whatever you want, the other person can opt out at any time, so can you. Repeat as many times as you like.

- 2021-07-21T14:12:40Z
Poll: Who is responsible for more mass-killing lies?

- 2021-07-21T13:29:15Z
Idea: What if the vaccine is like a big gun and the virus is an army of BLMs and Antifas marching down the street, coming right at your house, with your kids inside! You must be a librul, you have no protection.

- 2021-07-21T13:46:40Z
Alabama doctor: “One of the last things they do before they’re intubated is beg me for the vaccine. I hold their hand and tell them that I’m sorry, but it’s too late.”

- 2021-07-21T12:43:30Z
In the end I was rooting for the Milwaukee Bucks. I don't understand why, maybe it's because I had been following the east more than the west, largely due to the time difference. Or maybe it was my connection with Wisconsin? Whatever the reason I was happy last night because the Bucks won the series, 4-2, over the Phoenix Suns who are also an excellent team. I felt bad for Chris Paul, this was his first chance in the finals and at age 37 perhaps his last, after a long playoff career, marred by injuries, and he didn't win, not just because the Bucks wanted it more. The playoff process is a long grind. He was still standing, but the Bucks prevailed -- because of Giannis Antetokounmpo. He's a superstar in league with the best, plays through pain, and basically carried the team on his back. He is also famous as a terrible free throw shooter, but last night he made 15 of 16 free throws. Without that, the Bucks would've lost, and we'd be going to a game 7 showdown in Phoenix tomorrow night. The most important thing to me, and Giannis commented on it too, is that the Bucks are a team that was developed through the draft and trades, not as a superteam formed for the purpose of winning a championship, like the detestable Brooklyn Nets. The two stars of the Bucks, Giannis and Khris Middleton, have been on the Bucks since 2013. I feel great that the NBA, despite the best efforts of the superteams, is still a game where talent and perseverance wins. The playoffs were good this year, it was the year the Knicks competed well, and young talent impressed and entertained. Now it's time to shift to the Olympics which start on Friday, and the Mets who are in first place!

- 2021-07-20T20:44:35Z
Still reading the Autobiography of Malcolm X. He asks if you think it's a coincidence that the US dropped the bomb on Japan, a non-white country, instead of Germany, a white country. The official story is we used the bomb as soon as it was ready, but that could just be a story. He asks a good question, and many others. I wish we had more people around today asking questions like that.

- 2021-07-20T15:14:44Z
Bezos wants to move manufacturing into space. I had never heard that idea before seeing a quick interview today with Anderson Cooper of CNN and the two Bezos brothers, who look very much alike. The rich one is the guy in the dorky cowboy hat. He says some industries that use up too much of the earth's resources would be better in space. I started to think about what he might have in mind. Server farms run on solar energy, and cooled by the vacuum of space. Perfect. On the other hand, who would regulate his businesses in space? No OSHA, no unions, no taxes or laws. I bet they're all thinking about this, and I kick myself for not having thought of it myself.

- 2021-07-20T15:00:29Z
Jeff Jarvis wonders why insurance companies haven't weighed in on Covid vaccination. For example, charging higher rates for unvacinnated people. Now that you mention it, I wonder why too.

- 2021-07-20T12:36:41Z
What's "historic" about Bezos' trip today? The first human in space was Yuri Gagarin in 1961. The first American was Alan Shepard. Gagarin orbited earth once. Shepard went up and down, did not orbit.

- 2021-07-20T14:50:07Z
In Denmark they have a children's show about a man with a huge penis that he uses to help people. At first it's a little shocking to this American, but why shouldn't we think of a penis as something friendly and useful. I was brought up to think of my penis as something shameful, dirty, to hide, to apologize for. I can't imagine how I got those ideas, but they were and are there in my infant brain. Eventually we learn to have fun with our penises. Hopefully. Why not start as a kid? Thanks to John Oliver for his incredible little tutorial.

- 2021-07-20T01:44:16Z
I decided to watch Tucker Carlson for the first time and was rewarded with a video of Michael Wolff taking down Brian Stelter, and couldn’t agree more with what Wolff said.

- 2021-07-19T16:33:40Z
Dear braintrust: I need to find double-square bracketed tags in some text. I believe I have a regular expression that does this. Please check it out. I want to be sure. 😄

- 2021-07-19T20:36:16Z
Today was a total programming day, followed by a bike ride on the rail trail. I have a new feature coming for Scripting News. As soon as I posted this I started writing. It happens that way every damned time.

Reporters are pussycats - 2021-07-19T20:42:15Z

More confirmation that today's blockbuster news about Trump is about the crazy place we were in six months ago. I don't get reporters who think that's acceptable. Their job is to know (and tell us) what crazy place we're in right now.


When are some reporters going to get into the present and deal with today's truth. Stop praising the military for *saying* how fukced up everthing is. Praise them for keeping it from getting that way.

Let's hope Biden, first thing when he got on the job, sat down with the military and told them they fucked up big, and they better be prepared next time. I suspect he didn't because he hasn't fired any of these nincompoops.

We need to stop thinking like pussycats and start getting in front of this. We're getting our asses whipped every time, and we're the United States dammit.

- 2021-07-18T21:45:40Z
Today's song: Good Old Desk.

- 2021-07-18T20:03:25Z
Memeorandum has been a regular stop for me for news for decades, is now mostly links to news that's behind paywalls. I couldn’t possibly pay for most of them, too many subs to manage, and I don’t read enough of any individual pub to justify subscribing. I do subscribe to NYT and Washington Post. But I don’t get enough value from either, honestly. This continues to be a lousy situation. The pubs only talk about how news is broken from their point of view, but the readers point of view matters as much, if not more.

- 2021-07-18T19:32:40Z
If you have a Google phone they know every place you go.

- 2021-07-18T19:49:04Z
We're living in the post-apocalyptic world. Somehow we got used to it.

- 2021-07-18T15:21:00Z
When will I be able to set an alarm on my iPhone that wakes me up when there are five minutes left in the fourth quarter of the game I’m watching?

Reality check - 2021-07-18T17:20:09Z

From the Washington Post via Political Wire:

  • Around the world, scientists and public health officials fear that the world’s protracted battle against the coronavirus is at a delicate and dangerous moment.
  • Reality checks abound. Coronavirus infections are surging in places with low vaccination rates. SARS-CoV-2 is continuing to mutate. Researchers have confirmed the delta variant is far more transmissible than earlier strains. Although the vaccines remain remarkably effective, the virus has bountiful opportunities to find new ways to evade immunity. Most of the world remains unvaccinated.
  • And so the end of the pandemic remains somewhere over the horizon.

Salvador Dali - 2021-07-18T19:40:16Z

Portrait of Ruth Lachman, 1961.

- 2021-07-17T19:30:13Z
Poll: How long do you think racism has existed?

- 2021-07-17T15:37:30Z
Rupert Murdoch should be more famous for what he's doing to the world. He mostly stays out of view. That should stop. He should stop just being a punchline for MSNBC jokes. He's trying to kill more hundreds of thousands of Americans. And of course not just in America.

- 2021-07-17T16:48:03Z
I don't own any Facebook stock, and in general do not approve of how the company conducts itself, but President Biden's line about how Facebook is killing people is horribly misdirected. If he said Rupert Murdoch were killing people, before Facebook, then he'd be credible.

- 2021-07-16T19:57:07Z
To friends who read this blog, esp people from ye olde tech industry in Calif -- I think you'll enjoy this podcast conversation with my old and good friend Guy Kawasaki. Just like a Hobee's breakfast, Siam Garden dinner, or Buck's Woodside, back in the day.

OPML's building block -- the include node type - 2021-07-16T13:26:36Z

I was talking with a developer yesterday and the question came up, what about huge outlines? How does OPML handle those? That gave me a chance to tell the story about how i'm archiving Scripting News, and how include nodes work.

All systems have to evolve as projects get bigger -- you break it up into components and link them together in a single document. That makes the code more manageable, and makes it possible to reuse the pieces. Every serious system has to provide for breaking big things up into smaller, reusable bits. For example...

  • Node.js has packages. You can include a package in an app, or in another package, with a require call, like this: const fs = require ("fs"); Then you can refer to exported bits from the "fs" package in your app as if they were part of it, because they are.
  • The programming language C has the #include directive: #include "standard.h". The C preprocessor reads the file, and replaces the #include directive with the contents of the file. Includes can contain includes.
  • Wikipedia has a survey page explaining how inclusion works in other languages, such as Fortran, Pascal, PHP.
  • OPML has include nodes which have a type attribute whose value is include and a url attribute which is the address of an OPML file. When the user expands an include node, the outliner reads the contents of the OPML file and inserts it as subs of the include node. To the user, if the net is sufficiently fast, and the file is a manageable size, they wouldn't need to know that it was an include node.

An example. I archive my blog, which is written in an outliner, and saved as OPML, at the beginning of every month. I save the previous month in a repository on GitHub, and empty out the outline I edit. The CMS that builds the HTML rendering and the RSS version of my blog is able to jump month boundaries. So I have a convenient-size outline for editing, and everything else just hums along.

But what if I wanted an outline of all my blog posts going back to May 2017? I would do that with include nodes. And just for fun, I did exactly that.

Here's an OPML file that contains includes for each of the months of 2018, 2019 and 2020. If you have an outliner that can expand includes, then you can view all the writing for those years in one outline

- 2021-07-15T15:10:05Z
Podcast: The question we're not willing to discuss. We need new leadership, and it's not the Lincoln Project. Their war is within the Republican Party, which is not the war we're fighting. Our war is whether we go back to slavery, or do we live up to the promise of the country post-Civil War and Great Society. We need black leadership. We need to respond to the slavers very clearly, no, we will not discuss what you want to do. Your only choice is whether you will change or you will crawl back into the hole you came out of. There is no other choice. And we need to expel from Congress every traitor to the Constitution, and there are many of them. No half-steps. Nothing that makes people feel like everything is okay, that our war is winnable with stark advertising.

- 2021-07-15T13:27:49Z
Trust me, watch this 18 minute video. It's a real mind bomb on racism. 18 minutes, for a brain explosion. That's a pretty good deal.

- 2021-07-15T13:12:07Z
I have not been able to find Guy Kawasaki's podcast feed. The usual tricks aren't working. Here's his Apple Podcasts preview page. Usually if you give that URL to the GetRSSFeed app, it returns with the address of the RSS podcast feed. This is where it took me. I viewed the XML, and it shows me an HTML page? If anyone can figure out the URL of his podcast feed, please let me know. Thanks.

- 2021-07-15T13:08:06Z
A link to my Glitch server, running the latest PagePark. It might take a while to load, I'm using the free version, for now.

- 2021-07-15T12:32:15Z
Why is it that Senate Majority Leaders of either party are always putzes? Is there some advantage in not having someone you can respect, even a little, in this job?

- 2021-07-15T12:26:25Z
Isn’t the re in refactoring redundant?

- 2021-07-15T12:23:13Z
I'm trying to figure out how to show bike trails in Kingston NY, on Google Maps.

- 2021-07-15T12:09:54Z
Sometimes I get stressed, like everyone else. I have a technique for working my way through it. I ask myself this question: What would Dave do if he wasn't stressed out. Change the perspective. I'm now outside myself, am an observer of myself. Often I have no trouble writing down a few things. Then I do one of those things. If it works, I get into it, and an hour or two later I forgot why I was stressed.

Virgil quick come see... - 2021-07-15T15:43:43Z

There goes Robert E. Lee.

Liberty and justice for all - 2021-07-15T13:39:13Z

We swear allegiance to each other.

- 2021-07-14T21:04:49Z
In the early days of the web there were mind bombs everywhere.

- 2021-07-14T15:23:59Z
Brandon has broken through, a total server-land neophyte, broke through via pure persistence. He followed the example of my PagePark installation on Glitch, is using the mirrors feature in PP to render outlines from LO2. He is motivated and I am inspired.


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current date: Jul 25, 2021 - 3:15 p.m. EDT