[April 1999] Roy Fielding on Al Gore's "geeky blunders"

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From: Adam Rifkin (adam@KnowNow.com)
Date: Sun Nov 26 2000 - 01:54:18 PST

Why did I not find this till now?? Baw ha ha ha ha...


> Vice President's campaign web site touts open sourse in closed system
> Sacrameto Bee
> April 9, 1999 Martha Mendoza
> SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Vice President Al Gore's attempt to speak
> nerd-talk to computer programmers has developed into a high tech faux pas.
> A message hidden in the programming code behind Gore's presidential
> campaign Web site touts his support for sharing software codes. But the
> high tech aficionados who went looking behind the scenes found the
> entire site is running on Microsoft, a closed and private system.
> "It's like he's saying he's all for buying American cars and then
> driving around in a Honda," said Jim Jagielski, a core developer of the
> open source Apache software that powers most Internet Web sites.
> Even more offensive, said Stanford University computer information
> sciences student Alexei Kosut, is Gore's casual use of the term "open source."
> "He's using buzz words that have specific meanings. For those of us who
> know what those meanings are, this is not endearing," said Kosut.
> Open source is a registered trademark referring to the free distribution
> of software codes.
> "Applying the term to the content of a Web site is sort of silly," he said.
> Gore, whose technical savvy has brought him widespread Silicon Valley
> support, launched his campaign Web site Tuesday.
> Later that evening at a private, $10,000-a-plate fund-raising dinner at
> the home of high tech investor John Doerr, Gore invited guests including
> Netscape cofounder Marc Andreessen and Excite cofounder Joe Kraus to
> "log on and look in the source code."
> "You will find a secret hidden message there from moi," said Gore.
> It's not hard for an Internet user to peek behind the scenes of Gore's
> Web site. Simply go on the World Wide Web to algore2000.com, choose
> "view" from the top of the screen and click on the word "source."
> Suddenly the tanned and happy image of Gore is replaced with this message:
> "Thanks for checking out our source code! ... The fact that you are
> peeking behind the scenes at our site means you can make an important
> difference to this Internet effort."
> The site invites computer programmers to share their ideas about how to
> improve the Web site, "in the spirit of the open-source movement."
> Gore's support of "open source" programming follows a growing movement
> in the high tech community to share and communally improve the codes
> behind software. The practice defies Microsoft Corp.'s competitive
> practice of keeping software source code private, so that it can
> surprise consumers with new developments.
> Linux, for example, is an operating system that makes computers run,
> similar to Microsoft's Windows. But unlike Windows, anyone can download
> Linux code for free and develop it in new ways.
> Apache, another open system, is now the server for most World Wide Web
> sites. But not Gore's. Yet.
> John Witchell, a partner at USWeb who developed Gore's site, said
> Thursday that in reaction to input from Web site visitors, they are
> going to shift to a true open source operating system and server in
> about three months.
> "This was an honest initial attempt," said Witchell on Thursday. "What
> you will soon see is a Web site that is widely respected in an open
> environment. We're going to get better and better at this."
> Gore already drew ridicule from the high tech community when he said in
> an interview that he helped create the Internet, a remark he later
> blamed on being tired. And just minutes before launching his campaign
> into cyberspace Tuesday, Gore's campaign staff rushed to remove
> questions asking children for their names, e-mail addresses and zip
> codes -- a practice soon to be outlawed on some Internet sites by
> legislation Congress approved last year.
> Gore 2000 spokesman Roger Salazar said Thursday that despite the
> bumbles, the Web site has done "far more than any of the others to reach
> out to people of America."
> "We've taken unprecedented steps to seek their input and have folks get
> involved," he said. "This was a genuine attempt to get people involved
> in the process."
> In it's first two days, Web site operators received more than 5,000
> comments.
> University of California, Irvine, doctoral candidate Roy Fielding, a
> leader in the open source community, said Gore's geeky blunders are
> amusing.
> "I think at that campaign they're just a little overexcited about the
> notion of open source in general and how that could appeal to people,"
> he said. "I'm not terribly upset about it."


"Gee-whiz shit" doesn't turn me on. -- Dave Winer on in-situ HTML editting :)

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