Discussing software, the web, politics, sexuality and the unending supply of human stupidity.

Another nugget of Dave's advice, too late for my frantic, meddling hands:

Now that I've shown you how to make fire, please don't go around changing things in the root files unless you really know what you're doing. It's like farting with the Registry in Windows. You can do serious damage this way, and get into lots of trouble.

The update times and permalinks all refer to a timezone in which I don't live. It's actually a quarter to eleven here (Holland, Central European Summer Time), and a quarter to ten in my normal timezone (UK, British Summer Time).

Had an intersting chat with a guy earlier about reputation systems at the What the Hack Speedgeek. Now we've got thunderstorms and the rumbling of the railway providing the background for WTH.

The Kitten Eating Idiot User From Hell: "I must say that while everybody on the list is gushing about how easy this tool is, honestly that has not been my feeling. Just saying." I'd say it has a few minutes where you realise how it all works, then after that it becomes natural. Then you get the 'this hasn't got the features I need' syndrome. Which is all fine and natural. Let's help Dave by asking smart questions, poking the right holes and generally making things nice.

My meta-prayers are answered: there is a wiki for the OPML editor, where I can post lots of requests. (Aside: I cannot take the blame for 'meta-prayer', Google informs me that this story got it first, but they don't seem to use it correctly. A meta-prayer is a prayer which enables other prayers to happen or eases the location of prayers for the recipient - in this case, Dave Winer - to answer. Of course, true omniscience eliminates the need for meta-prayer in anything but the sissy type of prayer that reasonable people who don't want to admit to being atheists talk about.)

Matt Mead: "Maybe the disinterest in RSS, at least from people I try to inspire, stems from their ambivalence to the world around them. Personally, I want to know as much that's going on in the world that I find interesting that I can digest in a day. That's why RSS is so important: it's like adding 10 stomachs to your body so you can eat 10 times as much in the same amount of time. Wow, that's a horrible metaphor, but I think you get the point."

I wish there was a way so that I could click 'new blog entry' and it would create a new item at the TOP of the outline. Blog posts should be assignable to categories that have children (for instance, I have an OPML and an OPML Wishlist category. I want to assign some entries to the OPML category, and some to the Wishlist category. Hmm, this is definitely ponder-worthy.

Dave answers, and he answers before I post: "...right now you have to accept my dorky view of how a weblog should be arranged. It's something that has to be done slowly and carefully, because we'll be living with the design basically forever. I don't have time right now to do it slowly and carefully."

Tom Ligda: "Interesting. Why in some cases does the "#" show up and other times the [arrow] shows up?" The # shows up when it's a simple entry like this (just one top-level item), but you don't get it when you have a titled entry (ie. a top-level item followed by subsidiary items). My opinion? That's wrong. You should have a # after every piece of content. And I know that since I run a Wordpress blog, my criticism is exempt from being taken seriously. Just kiddin'.

Lisa gets it right: " "Can't I just get it anyway through my browser?" Well, yes, you can, I'd say. And then the person would tune out -- as if someone with a horse and buggy just didn't want to hear about this "car" thing. Syndication is FASTER. It's a difference in number that creates a difference in kind. Like a car, it dramatically expands your reach."Exactly. Next thing, people will be confusing podcasting with streaming audio, despite the fact that the difference between podcasting and streaming audio is exactly what makes podcasting what it is. It's not podcasting for nothing. It's designed to go to places that ordinary streams don't, like me while I'm slouched in a state of semi-consciousness on the commuter train to London.

So, here's how it is. I like the fact that everything is an outliner. I don't like the way it's laid out. Though I respect the fact that Dave thinks that this is the best way to lay out a blog, I don't. The delineation between title and non-titled blogs is non-existent. I don't know how you would add comments. This isn't criticism, it's just an observation. I think this tool is totally badass, but it's limited by the fact it's only for Windows. There's no way I'm moving exclusively to a Windows software-based solution. It's impractical. That said, there is a glorious simplicity to it, something which I have to say I admire Dave's work on greatly. Simplicity is a rare beast and should be congratulated. This editor forces you to adopt a very different style from the one that Wordpress does. I do like the fact that software places these limitations, but I would like it more if we could find a way of emulating what's good about different pieces of software in their native environments. For me, I'm not going to change blogging software because I prefer the creative limitations that Dave's software provides over the creative limitations that Wordpress provides. It's easier for me to just change my habits to blog in a more Wineresque manner (and before anybody says anything, that's a good thing!) than it is for me to change my software, and lose some of the things I value about blogging (like, for instance, being able to hop on to a public terminal, type in my blog's URL, log in and post stuff). The OPML Editor is great software, but it's great software that should be backed up with a great backend and great customisation. For instance, the blog template currently just has %body% representing the whole of the blog. Sorry, but that's not enough customisation.

I suppose what you really need is a way of just clicking 'new post' and it'll take you to the top part of the outliner.