Craft

Stephen, thanks for the mention, even under the circumstances

It was interesting to hear my name called out on your podcast. I wasn't trying to troll, that's for sure. I also thought it was interesting to hear how the topic came up--almost accidentally, as a side reference related to the very topic I wrote about.

Radio Mike was mentioning Adam Curry's podcast content where "every ten or so words, he says 'F-you' or something...and it's like 'aaannnhh.'" That last word was as close as I could get to the spelling of the sound you make when you are unsure of whether you like something--you know, the so-so sound. In other words, Radio Mike's reaction seemed mixed as to the appropriateness of the language.

Here's my point: I'm not saying that people can't say those words. All I'm saying is that some people don't like to hear them, thus taking away from their enjoyment of the content. And, since podcasts are, in most ways, public content, we should keep in mind how we would speak if we were in front of our grandmothers.

Maybe the grandmother example doesn't totally fit, but I hope the picture is there.

By the way, it sounded like you weren't clear on the part of the podcast I was referencing. The bit that I was referring to was the "Connection is down" song with "Holy S*** Batman! [garbled--Connection is down?]" and, later, "F***ing 404!" I have to say, the song was clever, but...well, you already know how I felt about it.

At least I am listening.

I heard a quote that says:

The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.

--Oscar Wilde?

You could probably change that to say "The only thing worse than being listened to is not being listened to." Well, it doesn't have the same ring, does it?

But, again, I am listening. And I'm also learning: about podcasting, music licensing, and bluegrass music. So, when I do my first podcast, I'll have you to thank as an early example (not a negative one either).

By the way, while I'm kissing up, I'll use this opportunity to plug a product that Stephen first informed me about, FMRadioStation (a.k.a FMRadio) for Radio Userland. Check out the FAQ.

FMRadio does a good job of putting a friendly face on Radio, an application that is powerful and feature-rich, but not always friendly to users that want just a little more than the basic experience. Digging around in the outliner in Radio is not exactly the interactive experience I'm looking for.

One of the features that I like about the product is that, similar to other news aggregators, it allows you to group news by source--something that Radio's web version of the news aggregator does not do by default. With Radio's news aggregator, you get exactly that: news. You know, like "Here's the latest headlines from all your subscriptions." But it's all mixed up. FMRadio does better at this without replacing Radio Userland--it's a good complement.

Stephen was wondering how he made my "blogging short list." I added his blog, Blogging Alone, to my blogroll in June 2003 when he sent me an email message about FMRadio. I've been reading off and on since then. You can now find his podcasts (the Word of Mouth show) with Radio Mike at the Austin Podcasting Network.

Paul Graham: Hackers and Painters. Unlike architects (who figure out what to build) and engineers (who figure out how), great hackers and painters do both. Who makes a good hacker and how can you identify a good hacker/programmer in a job interview? Why is empathy an important skill for programmers? As a hacker who also studied painting in Europe, Paul may be uniquely qualified to write a book entitled Hackers and Painters. If you leave your day programming job only to get home and write more code, this is a great book for you. [IT Conversations: 'opensource']

IT Conversations, .NET Rocks!, and the F-list

IT Conversations is a set of interviews and recordings featuring well-known technologists on today's hot topics. The shows are often hosted by Doug Kaye from RDS Strategies. It's good stuff. Here are just a few of the featured personalities:

  • Steve McConnell
  • Jon Udell
  • Tim O'Reilly
  • Rasmus Lerdorf

I also enjoy .NET Rocks, which is syndicated (but not officially endorsed) by Microsoft Corporation.

My one complaint is that the interviews are not edited for language. I would certainly appreciate the occasional <bleep> over the F-word (with Adam Curry for example on IT Conversations) and the S-word.

I'm all for free speech. And I can understand the want to reproduce content in its truest, rawest form. But still, if you want to pretend that you're on par with real broadcast journalism, a little more professionalism is warranted.

Sure, the Internet allows more freedom of expression than other media. That is to be appreciated in some ways, but in other ways it can be detrimental.

Here's my F-list (those who have used the F-word or some other vulgarity in print or in podcast):

  • Dave Winer
  • Adam Curry
  • Stephen Dulaney (I didn't hear him say it, but he syndicated audio content with it in his "Daily Audio Browse")
    I did, however, enjoy his podcast about SXSW with the bluegrass music samples.
    Update: Stephen picked up on my rant, and, to my surprise, he mentioned it on his podcast. It's always scary when someone picks up on your criticism. But then, that's another reason why this medium is so great.
  • Mark Miller via .NET Rocks
  • Rory Blythe via .NET Rocks (not the F-word, but he did call Mark Miller a d***-less ignoramous)
  • and, surprisingly? (or not), Dick Cheney, here and here.

    Dave Winer complained about people questioning his professionalism and responded with this graphic from Mike Donnelan "demonstrating it."

    I won't pretend that I have never used those words. I have. But I make a point of keeping them to myself, rather than, as some Christians are accused of, "forcing my views [or language] upon someone else."

    I have a hard time enjoying content from the above list because of the reason I mentioned. Yes, I know--if I don't like it, I can always go away. I will keep that option open.

  • Steve McConnell needs a weblog

    Steve McConnell is one of my heroes. His book, Code Complete, is one of my favorite programming texts--definitely a classic. Guess what? Code Complete 2 is out!

    Steve has a website. That's pretty cool. Here's his picture. But Steve doesn't have weblog. Maybe he should start one at Construx, his current company.

    Maybe when you write like he does, you just wait a couple years, put out another classic book, and wait two more years. Blogging, daily or weekly, doesn't fit into that model. Maybe that's what he prefers.

    But, as I have been on a binge of consuming the blogs of some great industry minds, I would almost expect to see a blog from the great Steve. So far, I've found blogs for the following:

  • Grady Booch
  • Bill Vaughn
  • Rocky Lhotka
  • Martin Fowler
  • I'm also hoping to find a blog from Larry Wall. He has a website too, but not a weblog. Here's his picture. Based on his website, though, I guess he values time spent on things other than blogging.

    Joel on books

    Joel's foreword to a new book on Software Development.

    [Joel on Software]

    Funny Thought

    Data islands are seldom tropical.

    Reinvent the Wheel or Not?

    The Curse of Outlook.

    In reference to Ximian Evolution, The FuzzyBlog! wonders, "Why is it that things that try and look and act like Outlook end up being the same type of slothful, buggy pigs like Outlook itself?"

    He wonders if Chandler will also have the same fate, even "Is this just the natural end point for products that try and emulate Microsoft Apps?"

    I wonder, is it worth the risk and time to create an application that behaves much differently?  There are an awful lot of users out there that would find and Outlook-ish style application approachable.

    I think that in the end, competition in the software space both hurts and helps innovation.  It helps because competitors must both keep pace with each other *AND* find a new feature that beats the other guy.  But, it can also hurt because no feature can be counted on to be totally compatible or integratable (easily) with other systems.  Proprietary systems often lack just enough ease of integration to either require their consulting services or ensure entrenchment once the infiltration has been made into the IT infrastructure.

    Still, it seems that complete refactorings come along every several years that summarize, in one place, all or a representation of all, of the advancements that had been made in the preceeding technological generation.

    It's the pain of the early adopters all over again.  The late adopters may not gain competitive advantage, but they are more likely to have offerings available that are easier to integrate, either by design of the software system or by the sheer availability of service organizations (VARs, consultants) competing in that space.

    A Project Communication Tool

    Outreach Project Tool 1.0.0 (Max) [freshmeat.net]

    My company has been yearning for a project "dashboard" application that helps customers and developers, testers, project managers stay in good communication with each other.  I'm adding this to the list to come back and review.

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