I've been thinking about a lot of stuff recently. At some point in the future, I'll explain what's been going on. But allow me to randomly babble about a one of the things others are involved in that have become somewhat lodged in my brain.
In When the bough breaks, Mark Pilgrim outlined his reasons for ditching the Mac in favor of a Linux box (running Ubuntu, like all the cool kids). His post was widely read and cited, so I won't attempt to summarize the rationale. As with most things Mark writes, it's worth reading in its entirety—just like his fruit salad recipe.
This prompted long-time Mac enthusiast John Gruber to respond with And Oranges, another long post that's worth reading in it's entirety.
Tim Bray chimed in with Time to Switch?, questioning his continued use of a Mac.
Mark then responded to John with Juggling oranges, which details a bit more of his long history with the Mac and his efforts to hold on to his own data.
Marc Hedlund noted all of these in API Keys for Direct Competitors, which is ultimately more about this thread in the Flickr forums about openness and data portability in the new world of hosted services. He was smart (as he often is) to make the connection between these otherwise separate threads--they're really all touching on the exact same issues.
This is all utterly fascinating to me because:
- Long ago, I used Linux on a Thinkpad as my primary personal computer.
- I eventually gave that up when I found myself with three notebooks: Linux, OS X, and Windows XP.
- I liked the Powerbook so much that I bought a nicer one and used it for a while.
- I eventually found that the work required to maintain two different notebooks outweighed the utility of having them, so I dumped the Powerbook and adopted Windows XP on my work laptop as my primary computer.
- I care about openness. That's why I pushed for RSS at Yahoo and helped to start our developer network.
- I care about having control over the destiny of my bits, whether I crated them or bought them.
- I care about Flickr.
- These issues are not going away.
In other words, I've been down this road too. In retrospect, I learned a lot along the way, but it was also a colossal waste of time.
In the end, I agree with Marc:
the discussion of data freedom and ownership should continue. It's important. Eric's API Parity solution is a great one.
I wonder if we could use similar logic on the non-openness of most IM networks?
Posted by jzawodn at June 17, 2006 08:07 PM