RSS and disappointment

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

I am disappointed.

I am disappointed that the work I did yesterday to show that RDF can work well within a simplified RSS environment is for naught because assumptions have already been made, decisions sealed. Jon Udell writes, paraphrasing Sam RubyAssuming that the RSS core is now frozen…. Why is there an assumption that the core is frozen? Why is there an assumption that Userland owns RSS 2.0? Because Dave Winer says so? Because a few – a very few– other people say so?

What of the community, who must continue to be faced with issues of two different RSS specifications; who will have to face the difficulties inherent with this again in the future?

I’m disappointed because assumptions have been made that the efforts of the RSS 1.0 working group and Userland can never merge. The result of this assumption is that those who wish to write or read RSS in the future must bear the burden of both groups lack of cooperation.

I am disappointed because we were starting to see such good questions from the user community — questions such as those that appeared in the comments attached to my postings. Questions that allow us to define why some of these issues are important to many of us. Questions and comments that serve to make technologists take a good hard look at what we arrogantly decide is ‘good’ for the community.

Both RSS groups have been working far too long in a vacuum, and this week the lid got popped and fresh air came in. And I have never seen groups, normally so diametrically opposed, work together so well as these two did this week, trying to put that lid back on as quickly as possible.

I am disappointed that the RDF working group didn’t join the debate and benefit from such an open discourse with the user community, in addition to taking this opportunity to clarify much of the confusion and complexity about RDF. However, the debate was so short, the working group may not even be aware that it happened.





Note from Management

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

I get private email communications all the time based on my postings, and most are great.

Sometimes people will write because I have made a typo or a grammatical error, and I really appreciate this. I prefer not to make these kinds of mistakes, but can get excited when I write and not notice the problem at first. These kinds of emails are very helpful.

Sometimes people will send gentle notes to let me know I’ve gone over the edge, I’ve lost my perspective, or I’ve been unnecessarily rough. Again, I appreciate this. I am nothing if not a passionate person, but I genuinely don’t want to be mean or cruel, or pedantic or tiresome. Only a friend would take the time to let me know that I’m heading in a direction they know I’ll regret at some point.

Sometimes people will want to agree or disagree with that I write and want to chat offline. Well, I consider this a treat. I am a richer person by hearing your views, and being allowed to discuss mine. Most sincere thanks for this gift of time you give me.

However, there are times when I get people who want to say hurtful, vicious, demeaning, and abusive things offline. By doing so, they can dump on me but still maintain a persona of sweetness and light with the world. This passive aggressive technique is, to me, about one of the most dispicable things a person can do.

When people (a very few people) indulge in these sorts of emails, it leaves me tired, hurt, and very touchy. Then I react online and the rest of my readers haven’t a clue why I’m so cranky, or why I’m reacting so strongly to certain events. Or worse; they wonder why am I lashing out at such as generous and kind hearted person.

I don’t like getting emails that tell me that I’m sick, I’m sad, no wonder I’m single because I’m such a bitch and nobody would have me, I’m a loser, I have no life, or today’s particular treasure which stated that I blamed this person for all the problems in my life, and that this was pathetic.

Say what? No offense to any of you, but none of you have that kind of power over me. But these kind of emails wear me down.

So, here’s my new plan. I’ve replied to the sender of the recent email the following:

No more. If you want to talk with me, do it in public. No more of these personal attacks in my email. If you’re so proud of what you have to say to me, say it in public.

I have received abuse from this person for months. Next time I get an email from this same source, it goes online. And this person is more than welcome to print anything I say privately online if they wish. I am not ashamed of what I write.

There is a difference between disagreeing with a person and abusing them. And I’m tired of being abused.

Thanks for your time. End of management memo.


RSS Summary

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

Folks, to all intents and purposes both RSS groups are continuing along on their separate paths. Whether the RSS 1.0 group continues using RDF in their specification is an open question, which I hope they will resolve as this indecision leaves confusion in its wake.

I think the community loses by this divergence, but I have done all that I can to try and influence this and haven’t been successful. I will continue to answer questions about my interpretation of any of this, but won’t continue my direct efforts in this regard, not because I’m angry and am picking up my marbles and going home, but because I am going to need to focus my time on those things I can influence, such as making a living.

I did appreciate those questions about the use of RDF within the simplified RDF RSS 2.0 specification. Those were a treat, and I thank you. Please feel free to continue asking questions, privately, via email.

On to other things.