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Scripting News

Scripting News, the weblog started in 1997 that bootstrapped the blogging revolution.

Published: Thu, 17 Aug 2017 15:10:55 GMT

Last Build Date: Thu, 17 Aug 2017 15:39:18 GMT

Copyright: © 1994-2017 Dave Winer.

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 15:09:57 GMT

I shifted my approach to development a few months back, with the turn to Old School, and decided to build where the users were going. Scripting News was still getting most of the flow, despite all my efforts to create new more compelling flows.

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 15:10:55 GMT

Another shift happened a few years ago, when I decided it was okay to develop just for myself, with no intention of ever releasing the stuff I was working on. That led to a new style of product, and a happier developer. I was always doing it for myself, and fooling myself into believing it was for other people. I'm no less a narcissist than anyone else. Once you own that, you get a lot more powerful I have found. ๐Ÿš€

New technology in the works

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 13:49:52 GMT

I don't know why this never occurred to me before, but we can do better than the realtimeness of RSS. One thing that's always been a concern of mine about RSS is the inability to update a post after it's been published. There's no allowance for this in the protocol.

But in the new scheme I'm creating, called for now Instant Dave just to keep it manageable in my head, not only are updates instantaneous but if I update a post, it flows back out to the subscribers at the same instant rate that new items go out, at the same rate that new posts go to Twitter and Facebook.

I'm working on one of the pieces of that puzzle today.

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 03:04:41 GMT

Problem with the president is that he and the country he's supposed to lead have very different values.

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 20:44:34 GMT

Sorry friends, I am doing test posts again.

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 18:05:26 GMT

Another good day of programming. Still working on Instant Dave. Lots more functionality in the second iteration. One thing I must have is the ability to update. If an item on my blog updates, it must also update in the Instant Dave interface. I often edit after I post initially. Correct spelling, tighten up the wording. Add links. These should all flow through to the people who are reading my stuff in Instant Dave.

Another day of look-away

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 12:37:13 GMT

I was having a good day yesterday until I started seeing tweets about the press conference. With dread I turned on MSNBC at 6PM and watched. When they started airing his full press conference I switched to a Law & Order rerun. By the time Maddow was over it was just one more thing. She did run a clip of Fox, when first processing the press conference. It was cause for hope. But of course by the morning I'm sure they've reconnected with their bosses, found their spin, and are ready for another day of look-away.

How does this end?

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 02:31:07 GMT

A simple way to show solidarity. Wear a MLK button for America.

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 02:16:15 GMT

Maddow asked a question tonight, wondering if what Trump said today helps the Nazis grow their movement. The answer is yes. The same way Al Qaeda and ISIS crave publicity for their atrocities, American terrorists use publicity to drive recruitment, to grow, so the next march and uprising is bigger. More campus invasions. A clash between the First and Second Amendments. Liberal college towns: Austin, Berkeley, Madison, Ann Arbor, Boulder, Cambridge, Portland, Raleigh. Every time POTUS does a press conference and whistles loudly saying he's behind the movement, expect more deplorables to step up. The people at the marches looked like people who last year at this time were going to Trump campaign rallies.

Tue, 15 Aug 2017 18:02:46 GMT

When the journos talk about Trump "appealing to his base" they are being too generous. He is a narcissist. There is no base. Just people who like him and those who hate him. If you like him you're cool (like the Nazis and KKK). If you criticize him, he's being treated unfairly.

Tue, 15 Aug 2017 14:17:07 GMT

People puzzle over Trump. Really? Two things to remember. 1. This is a replay of his refusing to disavow the support of the KKK during the election. 2. The president is a narcissist. There is no one else in his mind. His thoughts involve only himself. He likes the Nazis because they like him. That's all there is. If they were ever to criticize him he would flip on them in an instant.

Fairness only matters when it's Trump

Tue, 15 Aug 2017 14:27:39 GMT

Trump says he was treated unfairly.

What about Heather Heyer, the young woman who was killed?

What about Deandre Harris. Was he treated unfairly?

Mon, 14 Aug 2017 14:37:43 GMT

Here's the third in a series of new NPM packages I've produced in the last few months. This one is called githubpub. It's close to the ideal for the #indieweb storage system. You put your web content in GitHub repositories, and they are served directly from there from the public API, with a domain name associated with each site. It's not as easy as Dropbox, and requires a bunch of setup, probably not something for end users, but a bunch of the pieces are there and work.

Mon, 14 Aug 2017 20:56:15 GMT

We are right now at peak peach. If you love a peach as I do now's the time.

Mon, 14 Aug 2017 14:11:31 GMT

Poll: Do you have a relative who Trump reminds you of?

Mon, 14 Aug 2017 23:23:31 GMT

Protestors in Durham NC topple confederate monument.

Mon, 14 Aug 2017 23:25:45 GMT

Just a place where I can fart around testing out the new stuff.

Mon, 14 Aug 2017 15:42:35 GMT

Venture capitalist Bijan Sabet says "people in the workplace should not face any form of discrimination for their own personal politics and preferences." I agree, strongly. But then he struggles with what it means when Peter Thiel, a board member of Facebook supports Trump. I felt that Facebook should fire Thiel as a board member because his views about free speech are in conflict with Facebook's mission. But I also objected strenuously when Brendan Eich was forced out at Mozilla because he gave money to an org that opposed gay marriage in California, before the Supreme Court ruled on it. I could see how Thiel's actions re Gawker presented a problem for Facebook, but I felt that Mozilla and the tech industry blew the Eich call.

Mon, 14 Aug 2017 13:49:50 GMT

I've always loved the style of New Mexico homes. Here's a great example. I have Zillow send me listings like this one, think of it as real estate porn, so I can dream about the kind of life one would have in such a place. It was easier to dream when I was younger. Now I'm too wise. I know that the picture a house paints has little to do with the lives that are led inside it. Sometimes the most beautiful surroundings are home to the most miserable people. And there can be much happiness and love in humble even ugly surroundings. The beauty of a house is a symbol for us, a symbol of beauty inside the people living there.

Mon, 14 Aug 2017 03:27:54 GMT

The best interview I heard about Charlotteville was with retired General Russel Honorรฉ last night on MSNBC. He said a militia attacked the city. The combination of lots of high powered guns and protests overwhelmed the small-city police. Haven't been able to find it online.

Mon, 14 Aug 2017 03:15:29 GMT

Game of Thrones took a turn to idiocy. In one moment the Mother of Dragons didn't want to finish Cersei off, now she's sold on Jon Snow's vision of the army of the dead attacking from the north. What changed her mind? We never saw it happen. Was it the note from the three-eyed Raven? Who knows. After last week's glorious battle scene, they shot their wad. Back to the story which consists mostly of reunions and weird pairings of characters doing really really really really stupid things.

Sun, 13 Aug 2017 16:48:39 GMT

Occam's deduction. If he quacks like a duck, he's probably a duck.

Sun, 13 Aug 2017 21:34:42 GMT

Two words cover the last week with Trump: 1. brinksmanship and 2. careening.

Sun, 13 Aug 2017 16:56:44 GMT

I'm usually totally against SJWs attacking people on the net, but in the case of Nazis who crawled out of their holes to show their faces in Charlottesville, please, go right ahead.

Sun, 13 Aug 2017 21:06:44 GMT

Part of Trump's comments yesterday about children playing with their parents, more than the usual Trump creep factor.

Sun, 13 Aug 2017 21:16:00 GMT

I can't figure out why people are so psyched about the eclipse. There was a very-near-total eclipse in Palo Alto in 1989 or thereabouts. I was there. It got dark. Then it got light. I looked at it in one of those special cards. Yeah there's the eclipse. What's next? I don't get fireworks either however. Maybe it's the same kind of thing.

Sun, 13 Aug 2017 16:11:39 GMT

In the future, every segment on Face The Nation, Meet The Press, Rachel Maddow, will be available as a YouTube video within minutes of it airing. Their interviews should not be proprietary. We all have an interest in them. And they should circulate easily over the web.

The #indieweb storage system

Sun, 13 Aug 2017 13:44:12 GMT

I've tried to explain this idea many ways over the years. This time I'm going to explain it technically, without any detours or analogies.

  • Call the service WebStor. It's a storage system for the web.
  • There's a website that allows you to browse your files. Upload new ones, delete them, change the attributes of files individually or as groups. It's a lot like the browser interface for Dropbox but it does more than Dropbox does.
  • You can attach a CNAME to any folder, like When a request comes in for, WebStor serves the content out of the folder that had the CNAME attribute.
  • There's an API, based on OAuth, that lets blogging tools post to a user's account, possibly limited to a specific folder. That way Mary, an independent developer, could write a blogging tool worked with WebStor. And so could Sue and Megan and Arnold. And because it's OAuth, the user can control which one has access to which folders.
  • The user pays for the service. No advertising. Unless the site gets huge traffic the cost should be at most a few dollars a month.

That's the idea. If we had this then users could own their own space in the web and developers could create tools for the users. Instead of just having a few developers, all of them large, creating silos, a thousand tools could bloom, as could many cloud-based storage services. But we need one to go first.

I've also posted this as an issue on the GitHub repo for Scripting News, so there's an easy place for people to ask questions.

Sun, 13 Aug 2017 02:50:54 GMT

NYDN front page.

Sat, 12 Aug 2017 14:19:25 GMT

How to oppose white supremacists safely and effectively.

Sat, 12 Aug 2017 14:35:13 GMT

I believe a "fractional horsepower" Twitter has a place. Twitter itself is like a major news organization. FHPT is a blog.

Mr Kim's bar mitzvah

Sat, 12 Aug 2017 14:27:09 GMT

What to do about North Korea. I've thought about this, as has everyone else, for a long time. Read a bunch of stuff. Listened. Discussed. And I have two takeaways.

  • Accept it. North Korea has nuclear weapons. and can deliver them anywhere in the world at any time. It's time for the world to transition. Accept North Korea as a nuclear power. Have a bar mitzvah for Kim Jong Un. Say a prayer. Wish Kim Jong Un well. He's a man. Welcome North Korea to the league of nations.
  • Embrace the people of North Korea as citizens of the world, our equals. To survive they have to trust us, and like it or not we have to trust them. In the meantime, send them all our programming. Starbucks. Amazon. HBO. JavaScript. YouTube. Eventually they will exert power over their leadership. Hope they have better judgement than the voters of the United States.

Fri, 11 Aug 2017 18:47:53 GMT

The question is what if anything is left after Trump is done.

Sat, 12 Aug 2017 01:11:04 GMT

When Trump hosted Russians in the Oval Office everyone thought they planted listening devices. Now in August they're tearing it down.

Sat, 12 Aug 2017 01:05:28 GMT

As the war situation gets worse, the thought of Trump supporters going crazy with their guns seems tame. The NRA needs to get them nukes.

Fri, 11 Aug 2017 18:52:25 GMT

Think about offering Trump a few billion dollars to resign. Most presidents would be insulted, but I have a feeling Trump would be tempted.

Fri, 11 Aug 2017 15:25:27 GMT

During the campaign Trump very openly said he might use nuclear weapons. That disqualified him to be the person who decides when to use them. Yet here we are. It was 100 percent predictable we'd be where we are now. And it's likely to get even worse. It's hard to see how we come back from this.

Introducing the daveutils package

Fri, 11 Aug 2017 13:22:50 GMT

When I started programming seriously in JavaScript, I did what a lot of programmers do, I started a utils file where I put all the general-purpose routines I like to have around.

That's what daveutils is. An NPM package of handy JavaScript functions.

Frontier programmers will find these functions immediately familiar. They are borrowed from the builtin verb set of Frontier. And of course those routines were borrowed from the programming I did on the Mac before there was a Frontier. So these names go a long way back.

BTW, this is the second in the series of NPM packages I'm going to roll out here on Scripting News. The first was opml2JS, introduced on August 7.

Thu, 10 Aug 2017 13:39:22 GMT

2013: Men and multitasking.

Thu, 10 Aug 2017 14:58:03 GMT

Wikipedia page on James Damore's memo.

Thu, 10 Aug 2017 13:55:20 GMT

I'd like to see a discussion among programmers of all types about how we can work together to help people. I think our software is being used in some bad ways and more are being contemplated. But I strongly believe that they can be used as a force for good.

Thu, 10 Aug 2017 13:40:16 GMT

I searched for an image of a "woman programmer action figure" on Google, and came up with nothing. There are images of "programmer action figure," but they're all men.

Thu, 10 Aug 2017 21:36:19 GMT

There is a Grace Hopper action figure from LEGO.

Thu, 10 Aug 2017 21:07:05 GMT

"Be the first one on your block to have your boy come home in a box."

Thu, 10 Aug 2017 12:51:35 GMT

myRoute53: Creates a JSON map of your Amazon Route53 names.

My take on what James Damore wrote

Fri, 11 Aug 2017 00:18:35 GMT

This is my summary. I've read many that were more harsh, but I think are wrong. This is what I got from what he wrote.

  • There are differences between men and women. Not individual men and women, but as groups. For example, men are generally taller than women. There are of course women who are tall and men who are short. It's a general statement about a group, not individuals.
  • From there, he suggests that there may be reasons there are fewer women programmers, other than how we raise and educate children. I don't think there's anything to apologize for there. It's a scientific statement that anyone, male or female, privileged or poor, young or old, would make. It's also the kind of statement a programmer would make.
  • My non-programmer friends laugh at the things I say, the questions I ask, because in my mind I'm always trying to debug something. Figure out how it works. Think of new things it could be used for. Spot problems in the design.
  • Programmers must have great respect for truth, because our apps don't work until they are grounded in truth. Garbage in, garbage out. 1s and 0s. True and false. If then else. Programming is good training in the scientific method. Most of our lives aren't this absolute. But computers are. They do exactly what the program tells them to do. What the programmer tells them to do.
  • I don't know why there are fewer women programmers than men. That is the crux of the issue here. Many people will (try to) shut down anyone who says that out loud. But any person trying to get to the truth has to admit they don't know.

Wed, 09 Aug 2017 12:05:10 GMT

Ever get a phrase stuck in your head and you find yourself saying it over and over silently, sometimes, and audibly others? Today, for me, that phrase is the name Millie Dresselhaus. There's a commercial on TV that imagines that everyone is saying her name all the time in weird ways and places. She's a real person. Unfortunately it turns out she died earlier this year. I am sorry.

Programming is like skiing

Wed, 09 Aug 2017 23:59:18 GMT

(image) Well, not really, but in a way.

I remember having a conversation with a business associate who wasn't a skier, who said he liked sports where he got a good workout and that skiing was for lazy people who don't like to work.

I told him he's got it all wrong. Skiing is a very taxing sport, hard on all parts of the body. When I'm done with a day of skiing there isn't much more I can do other than take a bath and eat dinner.

He thought skiing was easy because sheez you just go to the top of the hill and gravity does all the work. I guess he thought it was like sledding.

Programming still kicks my ass after doing it for over 40 years. I still learn new stuff, reach new heights, and know much less than I thought I did, all the time. It requires incredible concentration and memory and creativity to think of ways to do things that you can kind of describe in words but have no experience making work with ones and zeros.

People who haven't programmed think it's like coding. You just code it up like a Morse Code message. Other people think up the ideas, coders do the coding.

Well it doesn't work that way. Not even slightly in the ballpark of that way.

Diving into IAM, but...

Wed, 09 Aug 2017 18:20:39 GMT

I decided to dive into IAM permissions for S3 and see if I could get a writing tool to hook up to S3 at least in a way that programmers and adventurous users could figure it out.

Basically I'm doing by-hand what OAuth automates.

However -- a simple Hello World program that uses the credentials gets permission denied so there's something wrong in the setup.

Any help much appreciated. ๐ŸŽ