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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