Blogs Are Cool -> Self Publishing -> Truth about Javascript

Blogs Are Cool

There is a lesson in their existence. The other day I was in a meeting where I completely botched articulating a point. The point was this: geeks have a tendency to love complexity. They don’t have the ability to understand consumers. For example, if I was going to setup a web site, I would setup a host, and install the OS, and on and on. What a consumer needs is this: Enter title, enter text, hit button… ok, done, it’s on the web now.

Isn’t it strange that most of the programmers I know don’t get that? It is also strange since that was the original idea for the World Wide Web. Even before it had Virtual Shopping Malls and it was called the ‘Information Super Highway’ (side note: isn’t strange that the government would refer to the internet as a ‘highway’? Almost all highways in the US are free. Why don’t they provide a free ‘super highway’ to all its citizens? Isn’t it also strange that when you declare a noun possesive you use an apostrophe, yet when you use a pronoun like ‘it’, you must not use an apostrophe? I digress.)

Anyways, where was I. Oh yeah! The WWW was originally designed to be ‘two-way’. The problem was that nobody could figure out the trust issues, broken links, etc. Still, they were thinking about it. It wasn’t supposed to be static. In fact, I remember Alan Braverman telling me that he was working on annotations when he was doing his small part on the NCSA Mosaic project (aka – the pre-Netscape web browser). Yet, it wasn’t until late 1999 that this thing called a ‘blog’ started to take off, and then add another 3 for them to go to the mainstream. That is a good 10 years. Ouch.

Well, it has been a long time coming, and I’m glad it is finally here. Yes, there is a lot of noise… but it is so refreshing when you can get the answer to something right from the originator of the idea. Unfiltered. Pure.

For example, I’ve been thinking about computer languages again. One of my great mistakes (of many) has been the ignorance of JavaScript and what is was influenced by. I wanted to know its history, so I did a search and found a recent article by it’s creator, Brendan Eich. In the article, he clearly describes the history and the influences. (I’m still kicking myself, and should kick those on the self mailing list for not recognizing this significant derivative). He names the names and describes the forces at work when they built it. This is yet another example of why the internet is so great.

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