#
 I hate paywalls tied to subscription. I’m never going to subscribe to a Philadelphia news org, but based on Jay’s recommendation I might pay $1 on my EZ Pass for News to read this story, esp since I saw the Civil War movie.

I just had a thought, I might subscribe to a Philadelphia news org for a week or two, given that the Knicks are playing their NBA team right now in the first round of the playoffs. I really want to know everything there is to know about this faceoff. See, I want to pay for journalism here, but journalism hasn't been willing to sell it to me, at any price. They've never gotten the basic truth of: "The customer is always right." Really important point and true in every way.
Scripting News

22 Apr 2024 at 14:20
#
Over the weekend I tested the blogroll plugin for WordPress. It worked. After a little more testing and docs-writing we'll be ready for other people to test it, an important step before wider use. So if you're a regular Scripting News reader, and are curious what this blogroll stuff is about, you'll be able to try it out pretty soon.
Scripting News

22 Apr 2024 at 14:00
#
Jeff Jarvis writes that a German man who died with 70K books in his house was obsessed with the work of writer Arno Schmidt, who was my great-uncle, my grandmother's brother.
Scripting News

22 Apr 2024 at 13:51
#
Doc asks the question on all our minds: "Why does ChatGPT misspell the f*ck out of words on images?" Don Park, Wes Felter and JY Stervinou chime in.
Scripting News

21 Apr 2024 at 22:27
#
 Back in the old days, during a great sport event, we'd post our feelings, pro or con, to Twitter.

I observed as follows: "Let's do something great with our lives! In the meantime I miss the role that twitter used to play and never will play again. It was the place to go to say 'How about those Knicks!' when they win a game like the one they won last night. Not no mo." Betsy Devine was the first to like this. I felt heard.
Scripting News

21 Apr 2024 at 22:25

Quiet mode for the blogroll

 After living with the blogroll on the home page of Scripting News for about a month, and having heard from early testers, I felt that it was demanding too much attention when I was reading stuff on the blog. So I made some time last week to experiment with a subtler sidebar.

In Quiet Mode, the blogroll doesn't call attention to itself until you click on it. Then its background changes from neutral to white. That's the equivalent of shining a spotlight on it. Also the borders become blue to indicate that the browser's focus is on the blogroll.

I wanted to do more to tone it down. So, in Quiet Mode the title moves up and to the left, and is in a much smaller font, boldface, nicely visible and stands off from the list, but doesn't call your attention to it. It's there when you want to know more.

You may want to call it something other than a blogroll, btw. If you're using blogs to coordinate projects with others, something I think a lot more people would do if it worked better, instead of "blogroll" you'd might call it your "workgroup."

Anyway, I have switched Scripting News over to the new quiet mode, it's already the default, but I put a checkbox just below the blogroll that lets you toggle between the two modes to see the difference and possibly spot problems. The checkbox will go away before long. I just want it there to quickly do an A-B comparison.

Here's a quick video demo of Quiet Mode.

And a place to comment or ask questions.

Scripting News

20 Apr 2024 at 17:18

Quiet mode for blogroll

 After living with the blogroll on the home page of Scripting News for about a month, and having heard from early testers, I felt that it was demanding too much attention when I was reading stuff on the blog. So I made some time last week to experiment with something I called Quiet Mode.

In Quiet Mode, the blogroll doesn't call attention to itself until you clicked on it. Then its background would change from neutral to white. That's the equivalent of shining a spotlight on it. Also the borders become blue to indicate that the browser's focus is on the blogroll.

But I wanted to do more to tone it down. So, in Quiet Mode the title moves up and to the left, and is in a much smaller font, boldface, nicely visible and stands off from the list, but doesn't call your attention to it. It's there when you want to know what this thing is. You may want to call it something else. If you're using blogs to coordinate projects in a workgroup, something I think a lot more people would do if we worked on making it work better, instead of "blogroll" you'd have it say "workgroup."

Anyway, I am going to switch Scripting News over to the quiet mode, and it's already the default, but I put a checkbox just above the blogroll that lets you toggle between the two modes to see the difference and possibly spot problems. I've started a thread on GitHub to discuss.

Here's a quick video demo of Quiet Mode.

And a place to comment or ask questions.

Scripting News

20 Apr 2024 at 17:18

A street in New Orleans

A street in New Orleans that Meta.ai invented. I asked for Joseph St across from the cemetary. Even so an interesting image, makes me think of the city in a nostalgic way.

Scripting News

20 Apr 2024 at 03:25

WordPress for One

 More and more I'm getting used to WordPress as the platform I develop for.

Imagine if you, as a developer, could add your own data to a WordPress post. Then you could build editors that work at a higher level. For example, you'd keep the Markdown source for the page. When it was saved the system would re-render the Markdown, turning it into HTML, but you'd still have the Markdown around for editing. And of course there are other kinds of editors that make sense, knowing that the output is going to the web, but you don't have to write in the technical language of the web. You might want something more suited to wordsmiths -- ie writers, if you are a writer. I have that working here, and have been building on it.

I've gone back to Radio UserLand and tried to extrapolate, where would we have gone with that product, 22 years later. And now I'm beginning to see in the pieces that are forming the new product I've been working on, something whole, something that works.

I think of it as "WordPress For One" -- you might be writing as part of a larger site, but this is your writing space, a place you can mold to fit your style, where it gets more comfortable over the years, more you. That's what I've felt has been wrong with the direction the web has been going in, we're getting boxed into smaller and smaller spaces, but for some of my writing I want a nice stage with good lighting and full freedom to tell a story that I have to tell, not necessarily all at once, but possibly in a series, over time.

I also want to be influenced by your story. I want Working Together.

Of course I still very much develop for FeedLand, and in the back of my mind I want to loop back around to Drummer (it's my main writing environment), and then I have another product I call Belter I want to finish. And I wouldn't mind trying to make a CSS thing that makes more sense than the tragedy CSS is, and also would love to see a port of Frontier to Linux, though I don't see doing that myself, but I would like to guide it (so it runs all the old stuff first).

Scripting News

20 Apr 2024 at 02:55

WordPress as the platform

 More and more I'm getting used to WordPress as the platform I develop for.

Imagine if you, as a developer, could add your own data to a WordPress post. Then you could build editors that work at a higher level. For example, you'd keep the Markdown source for the page. When it was saved the system would re-render the Markdown, turning it into HTML, but you'd still have the Markdown around for editing. And of course there are other kinds of editors that make sense, knowing that the output is going to the web, but you don't have to write in the technical language of the web. You might want something more suited to wordsmiths -- ie writers, if you are a writer. I have that working here, and have been building on it.

I've gone back to Radio UserLand and tried to extrapolate, where would we have gone with that product, 22 years later. And now I'm beginning to see in the pieces that are forming the new product I've been working on, something whole, something that works.

I think of it as "WordPress For One" -- you might be writing as part of a larger site, but this is your writing space, a place you can mold to fit your style, where it gets more comfortable over the years, more you. That's what I've felt has been wrong with the direction the web has been going in, we're getting boxed into smaller and smaller spaces, but for some of my writing I want a nice stage with good lighting and full freedom to tell a story that I have to tell, not necessarily all at once, but possibly in a series, over time.

I also want to be influenced by your story. I want Working Together.

Of course I still very much develop for FeedLand, and in the back of my mind I want to loop back around to Drummer (it's my main writing environment), and then I have another product I call Belter I want to finish. And I wouldn't mind trying to make a CSS thing that makes more sense than the tragedy CSS is, and also would love to see a port of Frontier to Linux, though I don't see doing that myself, but I would like to guide it (so it runs all the old stuff first).

Scripting News

20 Apr 2024 at 02:55
#
 More and more I'm getting used to WordPress as the platform I develop for.

It's been hard to get used to. Imagine if you, as a developer, could add your own data to a WordPress post. Then you could build editors that work at a higher level. For example, you'd keep the Markdown source for the page. When it was saved the system would re-render the Markdown, turning it into HTML, but you'd still have the Markdown around for editing. And of course there are other kinds of editors that make sense, knowing that the output is going to the web, but you don't have to write in the language of the web. You might want something more suited to wordsmiths -- ie writers, if you are a writer. I've gone back to Radio UserLand and tried to extrapolate, where would we have gone with that product, 22 years later. And now I'm beginning to see in the pieces that are forming the new product I've been working on, something whole, something that works. I think of it as "WordPress For One" -- you might be writing as part of a larger site, but this is your writing space, a place you can mold to fit your style, where it gets more comfortable over the years, more you. That's what I've felt has been wrong with the direction the web has been going in, we're getting boxed into smaller and smaller spaces, but for some of my writing I want a nice stage with good lighting and full freedom to tell a story that I have to tell. I also want to be influenced by your story. I want Working Together. Of course I still very much develop for FeedLand, and in the back of my mind I want to loop back around to Drummer (it's my main writing environment), and then I have another product I call Belter I want to finish. And I wouldn't mind trying to make a CSS thing that makes more sense than the tragedy CSS is, and also would love to see a port of Frontier to Linux, though I don't see doing that myself, but I would like to guide it (so it runs all the old stuff first).
Scripting News

19 Apr 2024 at 17:07
#
 It's totally ridiculous to equate protest with antisemitism, esp with Israel led by a MAGA ally.

The two concepts are orthogonal. I do not support the Israeli government any more than I supported the government of my country, the United States, when the MAGAs were in charge. We lost over 1 million Americans who did not have to die imho, because our government was not only immoral and hugely corrupt, but also made no attempt to govern. I am a child of Holocaust survivors and an American born in the USA, and am proud of and grateful to my country. Any American is free to protest the actions of our government or any other government, or really anything. If you don't believe in that then you aren't actually trying to make America great, you're saying something altogether different and incompatible. I am American. I am also deeply offended at other Americans who propose to speak for me. That actually is antisemitic, btw.
Scripting News

19 Apr 2024 at 15:19
#
Quick video demo of meta.ai. This is a demo of just one feature, its ability to recalc drawings as you edit the prompt that defines the picture. As you can tell from the demo I love it because it's new, creative, super fun to use and to watch the result. And lovely to see this much progress so quickly. You really should watch it on YouTube so you can see how what I type relates to the image in real-time. It's like subtitles inverted, with a very knowledgeable, creative and high bandwidth computer network behind it. Living in the future.
Scripting News

19 Apr 2024 at 14:06
#
I did the blogroll stuff because I needed a minimal feed reader that could run from the right sidebar of any app.
Scripting News

19 Apr 2024 at 02:43
#
I just spent a few minutes with meta.ai, Facebook's answer to ChatGPT, and it's really good. The drawing functionality recalcs while you're entering the prompt, so if you type, "vary gender, age and race," and as you type each word, the image changes.
Scripting News

19 Apr 2024 at 02:30
#
In the past, when I have tried to make other people's products better, it often doesn't go very well. The archive of this blog is filled with great examples. Yet I, as they say, persist. πŸ˜„
Scripting News

19 Apr 2024 at 02:16
#
 Suppose you're working deep inside a complex project and have an unrelated idea.

How long does it take to switch to writing mode, get the idea down, and return to what you were doing. The less time it takes the more fluidity. Twitter totally won there. And we, the bloggers, made a tradeoff. We accepted fewer features and writing in a silo because it was practical. It worked, where less fluid software didn't. So they got all the casual writing, and over time sucked the life out of blogging. I think it's time to put the fluidity back, without compromising on features and lock-in.
Scripting News

18 Apr 2024 at 14:47
#
I just tripped across this post from 2009 where Matt had sent me an email saying they were supporting the Twitter API in WordPress. I had forgotten this. That's how long it's been that he's wanted to hook WP up to the social web. It doesn't look like I posted that to Scripting News. I wonder what other nuggets of forgotten history I'll find there.
Scripting News

17 Apr 2024 at 15:35
#
If Tesla went out of business, would my Model Y stop working??
Scripting News

16 Apr 2024 at 20:42
#
Good morning NBA fans. Today is the official beginning of the post-season, and this Knicks fan is one freaking happy camper. Just thought I'd get that outta the way before getting down to business.
Scripting News

16 Apr 2024 at 15:29

Working together

 Each form of online discussion has a grain to it. Doc and I used to talk about how something "follows the grain of the web." Twitter has its own grain, formed by its character limit, what information is shared (ie number of followers in both directions).

I made a list of some of the social networks I've been on starting in the mid-70s. The list is very long. And each of them had their own limits, rules and features, and each led to a certain kinds of relationships between the participants. Mail lists that gain traction always flame out. It's hard to get people to read your blog. If you make it easier it changes into something else. Instagram, Youtube, TikTok form hierarchies of influencers. I think of those as the networks Taylor Lorenz covers.

But there isn't a structure that I'm aware of that leads to people working together. It's a puzzle I keep trying to figure out.

We need working together to survive climate change and fascism. It would be good to crack this nut.

One of the nicest things about ChatGPT is that it's always up for working with you. The critics of AI don't begin to understand this. As an example, I'm going to ask ChatGPT to draw a picture of people working together. Here it is. I didn't have to wait. It didn't look at my follower count, or my bank statement to decide if it was willing to work with me. I pay the $20 a month, and I've got a persistent always-on collaborator.

What got me thinking this way this morning is a bit of collaboration I did with palafo (a human) on Threads. It's remarkable. We actually did some work together. No sarcasm. It may be hard to read the thread but if you're curious about collaborative systems, here's a real example. Serendipitous, unplanned, but we figured something out by combining our experiences. Fantastic.

Later, Ben Werdmuller, a person who I've gotten to know recently, is intelligent and asks good questions. He asked one today, how do they get the live audience on SNL to laugh when they want them to laugh. I had an idea and shared it. (This was discussed on Reddit. I also checked with ChatGPT.)

If you take away one thing from this post it's that we can collaborate with the machines, and maybe that will unlock collaboration between humans. In fact, in a way they are facilitating the collaboration. If you want to be part of the collective human intelligence, you may be thinking about the machines the wrong way. Maybe they're the most human thing we have, because AI is made up of humans, somewhat like Soylent Green. πŸ˜„

PS: I asked ChatGPT to draw a picture of humans working together to clean up a mess.

PPS: Yesterday I gave John O'Nolan what I think is a good idea for getting his Ghost blogs federating with Threads, Mastodon et al. I didn't expect thanks or even a response, but I wonder if he even heard it. Most of the time, trying to help other people results in not even an acknowledgment that they saw it. If I were him I'd look for a painless, quick way to get maximum interop. Something like ghost.social. I'd give the same advice to Matt at Automattic (in fact I think I did).

PPPS: I think acknowledgment is a key part of working together on the web. Nothing more than "I wanted you to know I saw it" is often all that's needed to grease the skids of discourse. I've had a friendly disagreement with Manton at micro.blog about this.

Scripting News

16 Apr 2024 at 15:08



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