Saturday, August 31, 2002

Straw 0.8 is out

Various small fixes, Mark Pilgrim's plus RSS quality indication for the user, Timothy O'Malley's timeoutsocket. More information here, as before.

RSS 0.94

Well, I have complained about this so many times in the past that I thought I should mention it: there's now a (draft) specification of RSS 0.94. It even documents all the elements from the previous RSS 0.9x incarnations.

Thursday, August 29, 2002

Nobody's perfect

Common Lisp is a wonderful language. It really is. If you don't know it, you can't judge it, and if you know it, you probably love it, if you have any taste whatsoever. I'd be using it all the time, if it weren't for, in some cases, other languages making it easier to deal with the rest of the world. But even the best of standardising committees do make their mistakes.

Wednesday, August 28, 2002


I usually don't much care for the meta-blogging discussions, but Jarno summed up at least some of my feelings about the why of all this writing. I just tried to explain yesterday to a friend why I prefer this to a medium such as usenet news, but I don't know if I really did it right (or if he was interested :-)

These things are fundamentally different. Blogging is about content production and writing. Usenet is about discussions. I really don't care all that much about long-winded threads going always over the same stuff; I want to write, occasionally commenting on something someone else has written, but mostly about things I have done or seen. I really don't want to worry about being on topic in a forum; anything I want to write is on topic here, by definition. I don't want to participate in the mindless flammage and meaningless meta-debates discussion threads tend to degenerate into. I want my writing to be always visible (as long as you know the URL), not hidden somewhere there among thousands of messages, expiring from a server message pool when too many other people have filled their HD space.

This is all about writing. And also about, egoistically, me, and the things I care about.

Monday, August 26, 2002

RSS diversity

The multitude of RSS versions out there causes many problems. I have complained about that in the past. Winer apparently had an idea about merging the two main branches, RSS 0.9x and 1.0 (of course, this wouldn't help with the vaguely documented mess that is 0.9x.) He just doesn't bother explaining how having a flavor attribute would help if all the tags inside the containing element were still different, and how it would be better than just having different top-level elements which is the current situation.