Archive of UserLand's first discussion group, started October 5, 1998.

scriptingNews outline for 4/3/2001

Author:Dave Winer
Posted:4/3/2001; 12:04:39 AM
Topic:scriptingNews outline for 4/3/2001
Msg #:22135
Prev/Next:22134 / 22136

Good morning citizens of the universe!

A note to Microsoft people who read Scripting News. Reading this site allows foreign thoughts to enter your mind. If you read other sites, more foreign thoughts. This is a good philosophy, imho, because it helps make your ideas relevant to other people. It's easy to get sucked into the internal drama of Microsoft and think that's all that matters. That's the trap-door all gorillas eventually fall through. They get so big that no one can exist inside it and outside it. Eventually the world moves on. There's no precedent for it working otherwise, afaik.

Andrew Layman, the top XML guy at Microsoft is clearly planting the seeds for Microsoft's disapproval of what we're doing with the BDG. They have been so resistant to it, so fearful of it, so fear-provoking of it. I don't know what their internal plan says about the future of SOAP, and how many "full" implementations there will be, but I suspect the number is 1, maybe 2 (gotta keep up the appearance of it being open). I want to open the door wide, and make it an inclusive club, so there can be lots of SOAP interop, so if Microsoft plays games with the market, we have choice.

Further, I truly don't like having my positon mis-stated in such a Microsoft-serving way.

I like SOAP. They ignore XML-RPC, that would be an easy way to get interop with lots of software, including ours, I guess that's a bug. So we say "OK, let's get interop with SOAP." Then all they do is give me grief. I've not heard from a single Microsoft person a single note of gratitude and acceptance for the hard work we've done to make SOAP understandable.

I have spoken with some ex-Microsoft people to get their perspective on how Microsoft parses this situation, and they have no doubt that world domination is the goal. Please understand that I am as opposed to that as Andrew is opposed to anything less than "full" implementations, and I will do everything in my power to prevent that from happening. That was my "contract" with SOAP, that it would open up the networking interfaces from now on. "Impossible to implement" is not open, and neither is "Whatever Andrew says."

Anyway, assuming the best of Microsoft, they're simply surprised, and perhaps like Apple's reaction to the Web in 1993, they truly don't like what we're doing. Well, imagine how surprised I was to find out that HailStorm is a closed box. Surprise is fun. Accept it, and if you want to, challenge it, but do it in a way that befits the stature of your company. You can handle something a little different from what you planned. If you can't you have no business being in the software business, as Bill Gates always reminds us. So what if there are thirty interoperating SOAP 1.1 stacks. Why assume that Microsoft's engineers can't produce software that has value, even when there's competition?

If you want "full" implementations I think your best strategy is to work hard to make the BDG-level implementations roaring successes, make the implementors feel like kings and queens, and show them how much you appreciate what they've done to help make SOAP a success. Gush with praise, instead of withholding it. Act like a representative of a truly great company. And please include UserLand in that, we have worked hard on this and deserve success.

Anyway this is a colossal waste of my time, and I don't appreciate it. Being put on the defensive, constantly, by a company with so many resources, it's just not fair. What did I do that was so terrible? I'm trying to bring more developers, including UserLand, to SOAP.

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