Archives » January 15th, 2003

January 15, 2003

Drama Queen

Mark Pilgrim is being such a drama queen this week.

On Monday, he got a little snitty because XHTML 2.0 doesn’t have a <cite> tag in it. So he declared “Standards are bullshit” and put his page back to HTML 4. His design didn’t work too well with HTML 4, so he redesigned his page, and wrote up this long rant about how XHTML 1.0 was supposed to be a stepping stone to XHTML 1.1, and since he wasn’t going there anymore, he didn’t want to do XHTML at all. He has had it.

This is the point where he throws down his feathered boa and storms out of the room. I just want to slap him like a child and send him to his room for a time out. What’s the point of this little tantrum? Mark is usually so reasonable, and his site has always been a shelter of sanity that you could turn to for a nice middle ground. Why such a snit? Why now? The XHTML 2.0 working draft has been out for nearly half a year. And it’s a working draft. As in a bunch of non-related ideas just thrown around to see if any of them stick. Everybody pretty much declared it irrelevant last year, but now Mark has single-handedly reignited the debate, and everyone is coming around to the same conclusions again. Is he having a bad week? Is it a publicity stunt? Or did he just feel like flushing his Prozac, ripping his clothes, and jumping around like a monkey for a while? I don’t know.

Most of my site is XHTML 1.0 Transitional. Except for this weblog, which is HTML 4.01, because Blogger uses <br> instead of <br />. They’re decent standards, I picked them because they work well, and I’m not going to be throwing a holy fit about them any time soon. I just can’t figure out why some people get so worked up about all this stuff.

Zeldman says his piece gorgeously.

Larry Has Lost

The news has come down that Larry Lessig has lost his Eldred Supreme Court case. Lessig was trying to get the Sonny Bono Copyright Extension Act overruled, and basically trying to get the Supreme Court to limit the power of Congress to extend copyrights whenever the hell they want. He lost, and so we all lose. The concept of a work slipping out of copyright and into the public domain after a certain period of time is effectively dead. But still, through it all, Lessig is trying to be optimistic. He says:

But if there is any good that might come from my loss, let it be the anger and passion that now gets to swell against the unchecked power that the Supreme Court has said Congress has. When the Free Software Foundation, Intel, Phillis Schlafly, Milton Friedman, Ronald Coase, Kenneth Arrow, Brewster Kahle, and hundreds of creators and innovators all stand on one side saying, “this makes no sense,” then it makes no sense. Let that be enough to move people to do something about it. Our courts will not.

More from Doc and Dave. I guess the ball’s in our court. What should we do now?

Bye Bye Kmart

Yesterday’s announced Kmart closings have hit close to home. The Kmart here in Carson City, where I worked for a year and a half, is one of the stores getting the axe. Not that we care, we’ve got our shiny new Wal*Mart on the edge of town. But I still can’t help feeling like I’ve dodged a bullet. I haven’t worked there for four years, and still I’m thinking to myself, “I’m glad I got off that sinking ship.”

Plus, the Kmart was always convenient to go to if you were in that part of town. Now it’s just going to be a big empty store in the middle of a big empty strip mall. A strip mall that was built because developers thought stores and shoppers would flock to any strip mall built up around a Kmart. They didn’t. And now the Kmart is going, which leaves McDonalds and Starbucks as the anchor stores for the mall. Yeah, that’ll pull the shoppers in. This could easily be the preface to a book titled “How to Lose Money in Real Estate”. And now the empty Kmart can join the empty old Wal*Mart at the other end of town, the two of them perfectly bookending the city. Factor in the empty Ormsby House hotel downtown, and we can start marketing Carson City as a modern ghost town!

Oh well. At least it will be fun to read the front page of the newspaper and hear the city supervisors bitch and whine about this. They bitched and whined when Wal*Mart built their new store on the wrong side of the county line, depriving them of all that tax revenue. I can just imagine what they’re going to say about this new turn of events! Bad for the city, good for people who laugh at city government.

Update: The article in the Reno paper has quotes from city government. I wonder why the Carson paper didn’t go with that angle? They’re usually all over it when the city fathers are cheesed.