Dit is wat er gebeurt

Dit is wat er gebeurt als er teveel ego’s op één hoopje zitten. Dave van Userland is geen gemakkelijke mens, maar Mark Pilgrim is dat zeker ook niet. En de manier waarop die twee elkaar afschieten, ‘t is echt niet proper. Volgens het goede oude tertius gaudens-principe kan een gevolg van dit achterlijke gebekvecht zijn dat er zeer binnenkort een akkoord komt tussen, eum, pakweg Microsoft en Google om een eigen RSS-achtig formaat te definiëren. En, while they’re at it, een eigen blogger API.

En zou dat een slechte zaak zijn? Eum, neen.

Yesterday I pointed to Mark Pilgrim’s slam of RSD, a format that’s been widely adopted on both sides of the blogging APIs. Pilgrim made it personal, by attacking the person who authored the spec, Daniel Berlinger, as if you could reduce a popular format to a person, and then defeat the format by enflaming the author of the spec. It’s the usual trick, use the person’s name in a flame enough times, and the casual reader thinks it’s the person you’re writing about who’s flaming. Now that they’re not coming after me, it’s pretty clear what’s going on. And I’m reading the archive carefully enough to notice who’s saying what, and I’m not falling for the trick.

Then Sam Ruby stepped in, contradicted Pilgrim, and tried to take the attention off the back-channel, the not-visible conversations. It became totally clear, as RSD was thrown out, that decisions were being made in places no one could see except for Sam’s friends. Sam explains how that works: “What’s important is that no final decisions are made ‘offline’.” The key word is “final.” Later he will be able to claim that he never said it was an open process. The correct statement, if the process were to have some kind of balance, for all kinds of developers, not just ones that can afford full-time developers flying around the world to meetings, would be “No decisions are made offline.” Sam must agree to that before anyone should accept that his process is open, fair, or even has a chance of working.

Now, I admit I haven’t been following the Wiki, but I have been reading Sam’s weblog, and the Formerly Echo weblog run by Danny Ayers, and following the mail list, and I have not seen a single contribution from the Blogger or Movable Type people. Are they not participating? Or is their participation entirely back-channel? Who else is is not visibly participating? I want to know who’s pulling the strings. If it’s open, I should have all the information that Sam has, or some reasonable portion of it. Sam says you can’t have it all, it would be impractial. Of course. But he’s not providing any information. There’s a big difference.

Extra: Read the first comment in response to this Rich Salz piece about the “grass roots” API. The fascinating angle on all this reinvention is that none of these people create weblog CMSes, aggregators or editors. Where are all the people who do that? Why are none of them participating in the public discussions? [Scripting News]

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