Dear Dave,


Assuming that you are calm down now and it is my turn, I would like to give you a sermon.  I am posting on my blog because you didn't return my recent e-mails.  Don't be surprised if it comes at an angle you didn't expect for I have had this thought for a while now.


Where the f**k do you get off asking questions like "Who is Ben Trott?"


Ben is just a guy who was doing what he liked to do and voicing his opinions timidly like everyone else.  I gave him my feedback for his own good and not for your benefit.  He did a good job with MT and now he got something going with Six Apart.  I don't know him and I don't care if ever do.  I have met you several times and I liked most of your personalities except the part where you tear people apart by asking condescending questions like you did with Dave and criticizing friends for having their own f**king opinions.


Dave, what do people have to do to have opinions of their own and still be your friend or have a civilized conversation with you?  Is there some unknown minimum requirement?  Knowing you, I don't think so.  Being pissed off out of your mind is no excuse to tear apart people like you did.  Is RSS that f**king important to the world?  I don't think so.


If Ben is a nobody, so are you for no one cares for people who will sacrifice people over technology.  RSS is like that cherry on top of the ice cream.  People would like to have it, but are not willing to lick the floor to get it.


Turn back the dials on your pissed-off meter, sit back on your chair, and show the world that you are worthy of our respect for you, Dave.


PS: Don't poking the Selfish Pig again.

On Adding Bullsh*t

Dave had this to say about me this evening:

"There are very few people in the world who I trust to add none of their own bullshit.  [snip]  People sometimes bend over backwards to appear to be fair and say things that are wrong. I think I caught Don Park doing that. Hey Don, is <dc:date> really better than <pubDate>? That sounds like bullshit to me. Sounds like you're trying to get someone to think you're reasonable. Weren't you the one who told me to never be reasonable? That was good advice."

Dave was referring to this bit in my Watch Your Six post:

"Ben of Six Apart explains why Six Apart has pledged support for Echo.  Unfortunately, his list of reasons are mostly resolvable technical complaints against RSS.  For example, Ben writes that Dublin Core elements are technically superior.  I'll agree with that."

Just before getting married, I told my wife of my Selfish Pig Rage Rule which is:

  • Wait your turn

For eleven good years, that rule worked well for us.  I also use the rule with friends.  So Dave, I apologize for upsetting you and how I will upset you when my turn comes unless I forget to.  Chances are, I'll just forget to get pissed off since that is why the Rule really works.

Now, I will say these "designed to make you feel guilty" words though.  Dave, the operative word was 'technically.'  That word may be interpreted in many ways, some bad, some good.  Frankly, I am surprised that you, a friend, chose to interpret it in a way that leads you to sum it up as bullsh*t.

Also, my advice to be unreasonable was my attempt to address your habit of bending over at the wrong time and getting shafted badly, which just builds up emotional stress in you until you blow up seemingly for no reason, catching most people unaware and upset at you.  Since you obviously missed what I was trying to point out to you, here it is:

If you can't handle the big waves of emotional ups and downs, make the waves smaller.  I have similar problems so I made the waves smaller by being unreasonable more regularly and in smaller magnitudes.  I also use humor to minimize stress on people around me.


p dir=”ltr”>What I wrote above is not some attempt to be reasonable or clever.  This is how I survive being me day to day, Dave.  You can find your own solutions if this doesn't fit you.

Comcast Sucks

My first broadband at home was @Home which started a not so jolly adventure in which I felt I was at the receiving end of a gang-bang.  After getting bad service from @Home, and more of the same from AT&T, I am now in the hands of Comcast.  June 30th was the switch over from AT&T to Comcast which was confusing to say the least.

Their Transition Wizard did nothing for my setup except do annoying things like changing my browser home to  And then I had to dig around Comcast site to find the POP3 and SMTP addresses which are:


Your username and password remains the same.  You can't change any of your mailbox settings just now because website won't let you login using those username and password just now.  Customer service guy told me to give it 24 hours out of which I have only 8 hours left as of this post.

One major bad news is that USENET support is now provided by GigaNews, but with 1 gig per month cap.  Getting started ain't easy either.  You have to login to website (which you can't at the moment) and turn it on somehow and then wait for GigaNews to send you the password (I think the username at GigaNews is your Comcast login name prefixed with "gn".  BTW, GigaNews newsgroup server address is:

Update 1: A little more on newsgroup situation.  Old AT&T newsgroup server is still available at '' although I don't know how long it will last.  Another part of website indicates that the Giganews newsgroup server address is:

although I couldn't login yet just like website.  Phewy.

Update 2: I was finally able to login.  Newsgroup server address is indeed  Hurrah!  BTW, GigaNews username and password has no relation to Comcast username and password.

AdSelect, not AdSense

Google's AdSense is cool, but I want what I would call AdSelect for my blog that allows me to pick and choose which ad I want to display out of a set filtered by Google advertisers' criterias.  This would allow me to post ads about products or businesses I have bought or am a customer of like Casio Exilim EX-Z3 or Sharper Image.  I don't want ads that I have nothing to do with.  All right, I'll be frank.  I don't want ads that I have nothing to do with unless they pay me more money.  Better?

Funky Defined

Dave sent me a link to what he means by funky.

"A feed is funky if it uses extensions to provide information that can be expressed by core elements.

"If everyone strives to not be funky, then it becomes trivially easy to write aggregators, and new entrants to the market can get in quickly and at low cost, and users get more choice.

If we were to go the opposite way, with every source of feeds inventing their own replacements for core RSS 2.0 elements, the cost to enter would become increasingly high, and it becomes more likely that programs will express compatibility in terms of products, not formats. So "funky" is anti-interop; and "not funky" is pro-interop." – Dave Winer

He also adds:

"I never wanted to have to define this, because I hoped the issue would go away, quickly. But the people who could have done something about it refused to, so the wound festered. The problem, imho, isn't the term, but the practice. People should try to follow the spec, and if they don't we should ask them to explain why.

BTW, I don't think it's cool to repeat information two or more times in a feed. That makes it more complicated to understand. Keep it simple. That's the value of RSS. Anyone who can understand a little HTML can understand RSS. That's important!" – Dave Winer

I still like my Funkyness Illustrated post better.  Words are so…tiring.  I wonder how much exercise value Playboy foldouts have on its readers.  FYI, I am talking about neck tilting and stretching in case you were thinking other things.


p dir=”ltr”>UPDATE: Unless I misunderstood his words, Dave and I disagree on whether an RSS feed can have both <pubDate> and <dc:date>.  I think it's harmless.  Dave don't think it's cool.

Comments and Replies on RSS

These are some of the comments and replies which I thought deserve being hoisted up into a post.

Optional Core Elements

"Don: Those "core" elements are *optional*. There's not anything wrong with not using them and the spec says absolutely nothing about it being wrong. Using Dublin Core — the ISO-Standard which is *not* related to RSS 1.0 — in RSS 2.0 is perfectly valid usage, as any RSS validator will tell you." – Tomas
"Tomas, have you wondered *why* those elements were made *optional*? Anyone who browsed through the RSS discussions will know that those elements were made *optional* for user's convenience, and not for RSS 1.0 crowd to lay Cuckoo's Eggs within RSS 2.0." – Don Park

Frozen means Unmeltable?

"Don, none of the specific 5 points Ben mentions are resolvable because they would all need changes to the spec, and that's frozen.  In an ideal world perhaps these and other changes could be included in an RSS 2.1, but this isn't an option." – Danny

"Danny, the spec is not frozen even if Dave say it is because he is not really in full control of it. If he was, we wouldn't have all this argument.  [snip]  If you think you can change the world as a person, changing a spec should be easier than changing the world. If you really want something wholeheartedly, you shouldn't know how to stop going after it nor stop short of begging for it. If Dave seems like an unstoppable force, it is because he throws his whole being into it and not like some intellectual college debate." – Don Park

"The spec can be changed, and even rewritten. I think that's what Rogers Cadenhead's group is doing. The people who want to see theselves stopped by the spec are lawyers not developers. If they were writing apps they would have been done with this kvetching a long time ago." – Dave Winer

"My understanding of the situation is that Dave will not prevent people from refining the spec itself for clarity and encourages people to add namespace-based extensions to RSS 2.0 that *supplements* without *replacing" the core elements.  Knowing Dave, I will even go further and guess that Dave will embrace good ideas and incorporate them into the core spec.

What was done can be undone. The man who wrote the word 'frozen' is still around, thankfully, so taking that word and using as an absolute truth against the man who wrote it originally makes zero sense to me." – Don Park


p dir=”ltr”>Thanks to Danny, Tomas, and Dave for the guest appearance.  The star of the show is, of course, yours truely.  I particularly like the Cuckoo's Egg bit.  Joy of writing is appreciating one's own words like a baby without a diaper discovering a new toy, warm and soft, when he turns around.  Until the next episode of "As the Bowel Churns", goodbye.

Wes Felter on Funky RSS

Finally, someone who echoes the point I was making with my Funkyness Illustrated and Watch Your Six posts:

"I didn't want to dirty my hands with the RSS/Echo controversy (since I don't use an aggregator and I don't have any control over my RSS feed), but eventually my curiosity overcame me. I tracked the RSS funk to its source and I have to wonder what these people were thinking. Extensions are great, but it's a well-known principle that extensions are for adding new features, not replacing features that already exist in the base spec. If you think RSS has bugs, you can't make them go away by adding more." – Wes Felter in Hack the Planet


p dir=”ltr”>I don't really care who originally made the booboo, who forgot to complain timely, nor listen to embarrassing apologies.  I am bad with names anyway.  But I do care when the booboo starts copulating and evolving in my living room.  Now let's just fix this damn problem (it is braindead simple to fix technically) and move on to something new to pour our hearts out over.  This Selfish Pig is getting bored.