The user is a rapidly evolving creature being defined by possibility.
opinions from the head lemur
[Posted] May 10, 2000

David Ignatius needs to do his home work

Are we moving too fast for you?

Everyone with an internet connection and a little bit of help can be a publisher. Looking at the explosion of websites in sheer numbers, a lot of people are doing it.

One of the complaints people have with the web is determining the veracity of information they see on the web. The price of publication is the lowest of any medium, and the potential readership is far higher than at any time in history, in any medium.

Print Journalism has always had a certain cachet for inquiring minds.
For many years it was how we got the news. The Washington Post has been regarded as one of the top newspapers in the United States and across the world.

This nugget "A Kinder, Gentler Microsoft?" appeared in the Sunday May 7th print edition of the Washington Post and subsequently on the Washington Post website.

This was an Opinion Piece written by David Ignatius. Everybody has a right to express their opinion on any subject. One usually expresses an opinion for or against an issue based on factual information and crafts their opinion from there.

I saw two problems with this piece.
The first one was the entire article screamed,

The second and more troubling item was the following:

"Ballmer hopes to build Microsoft's new identity partly around a computing language known as XML. Invented several years ago by two Microsoft technologists, "
Source: Washington Post

Sorry Daniel, Microsoft did not invent XML. XML stands for Extensible Markup Language.

"1.1 Origin and Goals XML was developed by a Generic SGML Editorial Review Board formed under the auspices of the W3 Consortium in 1996 and chaired by Jon Bosak of Sun Microsystems, with the very active participation of a Generic SGML Working Group also organized by the W3C."

Jean Paoli, was the only member from Microsoft on the development committee for the XML 1.0 recommendation.

Credibility or Gullibility

One of the complaints people have with the web is determining the veracity of information they see on the web. Anybody can publish anything and they do.

News Organizations have traditionally been very careful about checking sources, when publishing. This has been one of the guiding principles that allow organizations to gain the trust of their readership and maintain their credibility. For the Washington Post, an internationally respected newspaper making such a blunder, is especially troubling, in view of the fact that all you need to check the facts is a few mouse clicks.

As more and more websites appear, sifting through sites becomes problematic as the accuracy of the material can be verified and checked by including hyperlinks to the relevant source material.

Opinions are just that.
On the web you Can show people how you arrived at yours.

I have included a demonstration of this power in the References below.

A Kinder, Gentler Microsoft?
David Ignatius
(XML) W3C Working Draft 14-Nov-96 XML 1.0
Washington Post


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