Mr Safe: Tim Bray said you're all washed up, kind of like Charles Goldfarb.
Dave Winer has done a tremendous amount of work on RSS and invented important parts of it and deserves a huge amount of credit for getting us as far as we have. However, just looking around, I observe that there are many people and organizations who seem unable to maintain a good working relationship with Dave.

I regularly get pissed-off at Dave but I really truly do think he's trying to Do The Right Thing; but there are many people out there who can't get past being pissed off. This is what life is like.

There's an uncannny echo here, for me. The thing that came before XML was called SGML. SGML was largely invented, and its landscape dominated, by a burly, bearded, brilliant New Yorker, Charles Goldfarb, who is currently making a well-deserved killing bringing out the Definitive XML Series of books for Prentice-Hall. Charles is loquacious, persistent, smart, loud-voiced, and nearly always gets his way.

There were a lot of people out there (still are, I guess) whom Charles drives completely nuts and just won't work with him. Which is one of the reasons that, when we invented XML, we felt the need to give it a new name and a new acronym and so on. Mind you, Charles, who as I said is no dummy, climbed on board the XML bandwagon about fifteen seconds after it got rolling and was a major help in getting the thing finished and delivered.

I'm very confused about this. Dave (or rather, Mr Safe) says that Tim Bray said something nasty about him here. In fact, Dave says that Tim said he's all washed up, like Charles Goldfarb.

But as I read it, I'd love to be washed up like Charles Goldfarb, seeing as he's "currently making a well-deserved killing bringing out ... books for Prentice-Hall", having "climbed on board the XML bandwagon about fifteen seconds after it got rolling and was a major help in getting the thing finished and delivered". Sounds like Mr. Goldfarb is still very active in his community, still considered an authority, and is being rewarded for it. I hope I'm that kind of washed up someday.

In fact, it'd be pretty keen if that's what people meant if someday they said, "Les is Dead", though I can't find where Tim said that.

So, where's the nastiness? It's not like Tim took notes from Mark's spanish lessons and told Dave to go "chinga tu madre" or "come verga". That's nasty. Far as I can tell, Tim compared Dave to a guy in another community who has his own contingent of haters yet is still undeniably a brilliant guy just trying to Do The Right Thing as he sees it.

Was the nastiness in saying that some people can't "maintain a good working relationship with Dave"? Or that Tim gets "regularly ... pissed-off at Dave"? I mean, they're both obviously true. It would have been nasty and untrue had Tim said that no one can maintain a good relationship with Dave, because there are also obviously a lot of people who do. But, Tim didn't say that.

So, as far as I see, I'd personally be happy to have Tim Bray write about me like this in public. shortname=washed_up_huh

Archived Comments

  • Les, here's the clue: I'm not you.
  • Give up on trying to find reason in Dave's little outbursts. It's gotten to the point where you can't even rebut his points because they make no sense. As far as I can tell, if you acknowledge the fact that some people don't get on with him, or disagree with him some way, you are personally insulting him and being cruel. I'm sorry, but that is logically rude, and I refuse to be trolled.
  • One possible conclusion is that Dave, upon hearing or reading the name 'Charles Goldfarb' mentally transposes it with the phrase 'washed up old fart', or something similar. Another possibility is that someone forwarded the link to him with a nastified (and/or gloating) commentary or summary, and he was reacting to that, rather than Tim's actual posting.
  • I should also mention that there may be something in Tim's posting that I (and most other people, apparently) just don't see, but which is there nontheless. If there is, I'd like Dave to point to it and explain it. I'm not usually so dense as to miss a blatant subtext, but I must allow for the possibility that this is one of those times.
  • Dave, all you're doing is lowering our Winer Numbers. Moving on...
  • I hope this doesn't hurt Dave's feelings again, but I also think Dave simply misunderstood or read too much between the lines which is why I recommended his post to others in my own blog in the first place. I have met Charles Goldfarb and found him to be a likeable and respectable old fart just as I think of Churchill as a great admirable old fart (I have fits whenever I imagine him as a young buck :-). At 41, I have fears of being washed up, but I know that if I do, it will be me who decides when I am washed up. Speaking of washed up, can we please wash this ugly episode out of our mind now?