When
· Naughties
· · 2005
· · · November
· · · · 28 (4 entries)

Liberals Fall · As I (very safe­ly) pre­dict­ed a cou­ple of weeks ago, the Cana­di­an gov­ern­ment fell to­day and we’re look­ing at a Jan­uary elec­tion. You have to feel sor­ry for the can­di­dates who, most places in the coun­try, will be slog­ging through the snow and sub-zero tem­per­a­tures; but not that sor­ry, it’s long past time we had this lit­tle cathar­sis. As I was scan­ning the cov­er­age to­day I ran across the blog of Monte Sol­berg, an Al­ber­ta To­ry of whom I’d nev­er heard, but who gives the po­lit­i­cal nar­ra­tive in an un­forced, flow­ing, insider’s voice; he’s a nat­u­ral. I was a lit­tle in­trigued that it’s not ob­vi­ous at all from his web-site which par­ty he rep­re­sents. On the oth­er hand, it’s tough to see a guy this un­af­fect­ed and nat­u­ral be­ing re­al com­fy as­so­ci­at­ing with a plas­tic on-message droid like Stephen Harper.
 
The Saga Continues · The Mas­sachusetts Of­fice XML File For­mats saga, that is. The lat­est news is that the Mi­crosoft an­nounce­ments last week are play­ing well in Bos­ton. Com­mon­wealth sec­re­tary Thomas Tri­mar­co stat­ed “we are op­ti­mistic that Of­fice Open XML will meet our new standards”, and I’m op­ti­mistic too. Ob­vi­ous­ly the key word is “will”, since we haven’t seen what’s get­ting sub­mit­ted to ECMA and nobody’s seen what will come out of ECMA. Our own chief stan­dards geek Carl Cargill wrote Mr. Tri­mar­co a let­ter, which you can read over at Piper Cole’s we­blog.
 
Catcalls · It seems like my lit­tle thought ex­per­i­ment has touched a nerve. Scoble, Dare Obasan­jo, and Randy Hol­loway all push back, amaz­ing­ly enough all mak­ing the same ar­gu­men­t: how can I be against du­pli­ca­tion in office-document XML for­mat while at the same time be­ing mixed up in the Atom Pro­ject? The ar­gu­ment is fal­la­cious, but at least Robert and Randy made it in grown-up, po­lite terms, leav­ing the child­ish name-calling to Dare. Now, as for RSS and Atom: When I came on the scene in 2003, RSS was al­ready hope­less­ly frag­ment­ed, and there was ex­act­ly ze­ro chance of any of the large-egoed thin-skinned pro­po­nents of the var­i­ous ver­sions de­cid­ing to make nice with each oth­er. Atom is pre­cise­ly an at­tempt to re­duce the num­ber of vo­cab­u­lar­ies that im­ple­men­tors feel they have to sup­port. Turn­ing to the office-document space: right now the world has ex­act­ly one fin­ished, de­liv­ered, stan­dard­ized, totally-unencumbered, multiply-implemented XML-based of­fice doc­u­ment for­mat. You are the guys who want to in­tro­duce an­oth­er, in­com­pat­i­ble one. And I think that’s OK; but re­strict your in­ven­tion to the spe­cial­ized Mi­crosoft stuff that ODF can’t do, and don’t re-invent the ba­sic­s. Why is this con­tro­ver­sial?
 
Seems Like Forever · But it’s on­ly Technorati’s third birth­day. I don’t re­mem­ber when I first stum­bled across them, but I ac­tu­al­ly paid re­al mon­ey for a feed of point­ers to my brand-new blog. No­body who hasn’t been be­hind the fire­wall at Tech­no­rati or one of their com­peti­tors can grasp how patho­log­i­cal­ly hard it’s been to keep a ser­vice like that up and run­ning in the face of the con­tin­u­ing in­sane growth of the bl­o­go­sphere; they’ve had some tough times but it’s been a long time since they weren’t there when I need­ed them. To­day, Ni­cholas Carr tries to ex­plain the big pic­ture that Tech­no­rati and their sec­tor fit in­to. I don’t know, I think any­one who claims to un­der­stand what’s go­ing on is be­ing aw­ful­ly damn brave. In­ter­est­ing­ly, I’ve heard Dave Sifry make a com­pelling big-picture pitch sev­er­al times that’s as con­vinc­ing as any­thing I’ve read, and as far as I know he’s nev­er ac­tu­al­ly writ­ten it down. Dave? [Dis­clo­sure: I may have a con­flict of in­ter­est with re­spect to Tech­no­rati.]
 
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