The web is 20. Is it still relevant?
Congratulations to Dave Winer for realizing that his personality had become a polarizing force in the RSS discussions and for basically giving RSS 2.0 to the community. There is really nothing I can say that really expresses how amazing I find this move. By putting the specification under an Attribution/Share Alike Creative Commons license, Dave has essentially manage to make the rights on this specification very clear. This should put an end to any discussion related to how much control Userland exerts on the specification. The creation of an advisory board is also a move in the right direction. If there is one thing I would recommend, however, it is the election of two extra members that would be voted on by the community. This might be to consider in the future but my congratulations go to all members of the current advisory board. It is a tough job but one that I’m sure you will all do well. Once again, Dave, thanks for this great gift to the community. This, to me, has to be the most important announcement in the syndication space in several years and will ensure that the specification will move forward, hopefully putting behind us…Read More
CNN is running an interesting article about information data stores and the semantic web. A very sad thing was the following statement about the semantic web: One hopeful journalist from the Economist asked Berners-Lee to give an example of how companies could make or save money using it, but he didn’t have an answer. This is clearly an illustration that often geeks speak in terms that most people do not understand. I am often guilty of it myself (a cursory look through recent entries will give you an idea of why I’m making this statement) and I realize that we need to do a better job in explaining some of the key concepts in new technology. XML, RDF and other technologies related to the semantic web are indeed hard to understand when you talk to techies. As a result, they often get dismissed as too hard. In order to help people get a better understanding, I’ll try to come up with a simple example. Right now, this page is served to you either in HTML or RSS. Those are two different languages. One, HTML, is understood by your web browser. The way text is bolded, for example, is that I…Read More
“For sale, Internet historical documents and legal trouble. Call Deja.com for details.” This is not exactly the way Deja.com presented themselves but ultimately, this may be what transpires from their recent attempt to put the Usenet archives on sale. Usenet History For those of you who have never heard of Usenet, here’s a quick definition from the Usenet FAQ: Usenet is a world-wide distributed discussion system. It consists of a set of “newsgroups” with names that are classified hierarchically by subject. “Articles” or “messages” are “posted” to these newsgroups by people on computers with the appropriate software — these articles are then broadcast to other interconnected computer systems via a wide variety of networks.Some newsgroups are “moderated”; in these newsgroups, the articles are first sent to a moderator for approval before appearing in the newsgroup. Usenet is available on a wide variety of computer systems and networks, but the bulk of modern Usenet traffic is transported over either the Internet or UUCP. To put it simply, prior to the web, Usenet was what defined the Internet as a community. It covers subjects ranging from politics to computing, arts to news, and everything in between. Usenet, to the old timers was…Read More