What is Dave Winer talking about? June 15, 2001 10:39 AM   Subscribe

Can anyone figure out what Dave's saying today at Scripting?
posted by mathowie to MetaFilter-Related at 10:39 AM (20 comments total)

He wrote:

From the It's-So-Ironic Department. A menacing crowd on Metafilter said we had to provide a way for people to opt-out of the XML listings on Weblogs.Com. OK, so last Friday I did the work, wishing that the "feedback" had come while I was writing the app in 1999, or at least come in a friendly way now, almost two years later, since I don't remember all the assumptions in the code and had so many other things to do. Weblogs.Com is a free service, of course, done with love for the Weblog community. Oy, these people treat us like we're total slime. Whatever. So now they're complaining that the person who submitted Metafilter decided to opt out of the XML listings. I guess the moral of the story is that when you start designing other people's software you take responsibility for being a software designer.

However, I have the ability to add "house accounts" to Weblogs.Com, so I just added Metafilter. It will appear in the XML files associated with a UserLand mail address. If you use one of the services that reads our XML files you'll have to reconfigure your favorites, but you'll be able to get Metafilter changes through the XML interface once again. I think most people have figured out that if they want to use these services that they can't opt out. Sorry it's so complicated. It was simpler before. Oh la. It's Friday.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 10:39 AM on June 15, 2001


I'm of course, the person that submitted MetaFilter way back when, and I didn't want to get anymore spam from my address in plain view at weblogs.com, so I opted out of the listings, since he announced the feature in response to the last thread on the issue.

How is that ironic? Anyone?
posted by mathowie (staff) at 10:40 AM on June 15, 2001


I don't understand any of it, really, (who is complaining that metafilter opted out?) but shouldn't you write dave a note and let him know that you were the original submitter, and that *you* would no longer like to be listed? - rcb
posted by rebeccablood at 10:56 AM on June 15, 2001


I don't understand either, except that it's perfectly consistent with Dave's Rodney Dangerfield complex.
posted by mw at 11:05 AM on June 15, 2001


from the oh-so-ironic department: dave blames others because he didn't comment his code. Oh la.
posted by moz at 11:06 AM on June 15, 2001


I emailed Dave about the whole thing, but he hasn't written back.

I wrote to him regarding the "ironic" comment:

"It would seem ironic that you'd blast microsoft to the point of possibly banning users with IE from reading your page, yet you don't see why users want to protect their email privacy to the point of removing their listings from your tools."
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:17 AM on June 15, 2001


Maybe what's ironic is that Dave added the XML listing with everyone's email addresses long after he first established the weblogs.com service. At that point when people complained about the fact that all of our email addresses were in public view, he said, essentially, "Screw You."

No, that's not ironic.
posted by daveadams at 11:20 AM on June 15, 2001


The problem is that Dave made the decision to make email addresses the primary key for all their user databases. So then there's no way to change the email address without causing a lot of pain. The ability to change your email without creating a new account (which was Dave's suggestion) was one of the big requested features back when people cared about Manila.

Maybe what's ironic is that Dave doesn't realize he's supposed to maintain his software after he releases it and fix problems, even if people didn't find it while he was in the right mood.
posted by daveadams at 11:23 AM on June 15, 2001


Pronoun trouble.

All users of MetaFilter are one big amorphous "they", from the Dave!!!-worshippers to the hecklers like myself. There's no possible way that the "they" who are disappointed that MeFi isn't being shown as being updated (hint: always) could be a different "they" from the people who wanted this feature.
posted by harmful at 11:26 AM on June 15, 2001


Matt I hear Dave sent you a long email in response to all of this. Anything interesting? :)
posted by daveadams at 12:23 PM on June 15, 2001


i think that maybe dave misunderstood what the menacing crowd was asking him to do -- i didn't see it as asking for their sites to not be listed in the xml files, but just for their email addresses (optionally?) not to be listed in those files.

it does look like the members lists for userland-hosted sites are no longer public by default. (or at least it isn't available for the various sites i just checked.)

kudos to dave and the userland crew for that.
posted by jimw at 1:27 PM on June 15, 2001


I emailed Winer early this morning and asked him why he kept harping on about the whole anti-ms thing. He called me a "bully". I wear the mantle proudly.
posted by owillis at 2:23 PM on June 15, 2001


I think Dave's ire is coming from the trouble he has justifying the time and expense necessary to keep his free Web services like weblogs.com alive. It's a great community and I hope there's a way to keep that free weblog space around in some forum.

It's a little odd for him to bring an issue to MetaFilter for comment and then dismiss us as a "menacing crowd," but half the reason Scripting News is a spectator sport is because of contradictions like that.
posted by rcade at 5:05 PM on June 15, 2001


If only people had complained about the problem when he was developing the software, we wouldn't be in the predicament. I mean, duh. Can we get it together people and just have fun! Come on HAVE FUN.
posted by chaz at 5:54 PM on June 15, 2001


Zoooooooooooooooooooooommmmm!
posted by darukaru at 7:22 PM on June 15, 2001


i think that maybe dave misunderstood what the menacing crowd was asking him to do -- i didn't see it as asking for their sites to not be listed in the xml files, but just for their email addresses (optionally?) not to be listed in those files.

I don't think he misunderstood at all.
posted by sudama at 10:01 AM on June 16, 2001


i think that maybe dave misunderstood what the menacing crowd was asking him to do -- i didn't see it as asking for their sites to not be listed in the xml files, but just for their email addresses (optionally?) not to be listed in those files.

I don't think he misunderstood at all.
posted by sudama at 10:01 AM on June 16, 2001


I so want to be Dave Winer when I'm 15 years older, still working on cutting-edge stuff and having a ball doing it. I just don't want to have the personality disorders.

Cripes, Dave, all anybody wanted was a way to a) completely delete their account -- clear enough to me -- or b) have it display a userID instead of their e-mail addresses. Those aren't earthshaking issues, and your carping that they are makes you look foolish to the rest of us who can program.

As for me, I've dealt with half the problem by leaving most of my old Userland accounts set up with an e-mail address that got shut down. Works for me.
posted by dhartung at 9:43 PM on June 16, 2001


Radio Userland is the beginning of something very cool, if Userland survives. Weblog.com also quite cool, and that's what I told Dave when we last exchanged email about the privacy business. I appreciate the changes that he made.
posted by tranquileye at 9:07 PM on June 18, 2001


Userland is a labor of love as much as it is a business -- it makes enough to cover expenses, according to the recent profile of Dave in Wired. I think he may jettison the company's free web services at some point, but Frontier, RU, and the new software he's working on should be around for the duration.
posted by rcade at 6:25 AM on June 19, 2001


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