We have no plans at this point to deprecate the existing User Interface tools, or the existing UI framework. We realize that with the length of time it's taken to get Widgetry to production, the policy of doing only minimal fixes to the older tools and UI has been a problem for our customers. Replacing the existing tools with Widgetry versions would amount to further forcing our customers to stand still for the next year or two while that happened. So we have the following focus for Widgetry, Wrapper, and tools:
- On Widgetry, we will be looking at the ability to combine both frameworks. This may mean embedding Wrapper canvases in a Widgetry UI, the reverse, or both. That is under investigation, and we are looking for feedback from our user community on the best path forward here
- Given how long Widgetry has been under development, and the customer investments in the existing frameworks and tools, we don't believe that a wholesale replacement of the existing tools is in anyone's best interest right now. What you'll see is incremental improvements to the existing tools, including the UI Painter and the associated widget set.
- We are supporting Widgetry, but we look at the current release as a first pass, intended primarily to garner feedback from early adopters. We do not expect mature projects to migrate to Widgetry at this point in time, and we don't want to pressure them to do so. We do expect the existing early adopters to send us feedback on what's good, what's bad, and what we need to improve.
Wow - DRM free music sells better, bringing more money to industry coffers. It's like the VCR fight all over again:
Early sales indicate that DRM-free music is noticeably more popular than DRMed music, EMI senior VP Lauren Berkowitz recently told Bloomberg. The world's third-largest music label began selling its music without copyright protections last month through Apple's iTunes Store and reports back that sales have been "good."
Follow the link to Ars Technica for details - the uptick seems significant. So the question is, how many facts have to die before the RIAA and MPAA get a clue?
Doc Searls points to Steve Lewis, who reminds us that as good as the various web resources we have are, there's still a ton of material out there that has never been examined, much less digitized. For instance:
Indeed, much of the history of Iraq and its antecedents as of much of the Mid-East, North Africa, and the Balkans stills lays buried amongst the millions of pre-1923 Ottoman documents stored in the Turkish national archives in Istanbul and Ankara.
That's not even the half of it, apparently. I'm reading "Osman's Dream", by Caroline Finkel - and she notes that those Turkish archives are becoming less accessible even within Turkey. Not for political reasons, simply due to language barriers. From her foreword:
The past is truly another country in Turkey, whose citizens have been deprived of easy access to the literary and historical works of previous eras by the change in alphabet in 1928 from Arabic script to the Roman alphabet familiar to most of the western world. At the same time, an ongoing programme to make the vocabulary more Turkish is expunging words of Arabic and Persian derivation - the other two components of the rich amalgam that was the Ottoman tongue, today in danger of becoming as 'dead' as Latin. On the other hand, works from the Ottoman centuries are now being published in modern script with simplified language, enabling modern readers to gain some understanding of what went before. The situation would otherwise be dire; imagine an English literary canon which lacked anything written before the 1930s!
As much of a "triumphalist" as I've been for things like Wikipedia, the true scholar's work is hardly obsolete.
This came up in an email I got based on yesterday's post, but I would like to air this publicly - we don't intend to fork Seaside off and make a proprietary version. Seaside itself is portable between Smalltalk dialects, and we intend to take advantage of that fact. As well - the persistence solution we have in mind is GLORP, which is also portable across Smalltalk dialects. So - we intend to actively work with the community of Seaside develeopers (most of whom work in Squeak) to push Seaside forward. Obviously, we believe that Cincom Smalltalk will be the best and most scalable place to use Seaside - but we intend to work with the community on this one.
Michael Lucas-Smith is taking the technical lead on this project, so if you work in Seaside now, and would like to get involved, get in touch with him. This isn't going to be a "go dark" project for Cincom.
A complaint I've heard a lot is that we have promised any number of grand new plans (Pollock/Widgetry being one example), many of them have taken too long to deliver - or worse, have simply failed to materialize.
Ironically enough, given that we are supposed to be the experts in Smalltalk development, we've historically followed a very "heavy" development process, and allowed projects to drive forward without incremental deliveries along the way. What that's done is make for disappointing deliveries on any number of levels - projects that never ship, or that ship slowly and incompletely.
We recognized that this had become a problem, and we've been changing our internal development process to be more lightweight and - dare I say it - agile. Along the way we've modified our product roadmap accordingly. After I announced that we would be supporting Seaside yesterday, I received a number of emails that could be summarized as follows:
"Oh great, another new direction you won't deliver on"
As painful as that was to receive, it's a message I understand. We have spent too many years telling you how great Pollock was going to be, and too many years neglecting obvious flaws elsewhere in the product. One change in the roadmap you may have noticed is that it's smaller. There's a reason for that: I'd rather promise things I know we can deliver than push out a huge list of things we can't.
What does that mean you'll see from us in the short term? We are releasing ObjectStudio 8 in August. At the same time, we will release a service pack for VisualWorks. That will probably be a download of updated parcels (and new Mac VMs - yes, those are still being pounded into shape). I'll be getting some scheduling information on the major areas of interest:
- Improved Tools
over the next few days, and we will then have a better idea as to when we can push out the next major release after ObjectStudio 8. Between now and then, additional service packs are quite likely, and in line with the idea of incremental development and delivery. I'll also have more details on those admittedly vague "major areas" - for example, "Improved Tools" will get more details.
What won't you see from us? You won't see grandiose visions of "the next big thing" promised for delivery N years from now. You'll see incremental, step-wise improvements - which means that you can expect initial support for Seaside in months, with incremental improvements in that direction on an ongoing basis. The same will hold for the rest of the roadmap - you'll see incremental improvements delivered on a regular, ongoing basis - and I expect you to hold us to that.
Technorati Tags: product management
This morning, I announced that we'll be supporting Seaside. This evening, I'm asking for feedback on that. The high level direction is fairly straightforward:
That leaves a lot unspecified - our engineers have been thinking about this, but I'd like our developer community to chime in too: What do you need from Seaside on Cincom Smalltalk? For that matter, what should we call it :)
Any and all feedback welcome, either in comments here, or in email
Via Jeff Jarvis, I see that it's not just the management chain in the mainstream media that wants the world to stop so they can get off - the worker bees also want to cover their eyes, ears, and mouths, and chant "la la la":
The union said the day of protests was a response to the “accelerating threat to journalism and journalists from devastating cuts across the industry, resulting in chronic under-resourcing, downward-spiralling working conditions, job losses and falling editorial standards”.
“This will be a day of huge importance. The time has come for us to stand up as one and send a loud, clear message that our industry is in deep crisis,” said Jeremy Dear, the NUJ general secretary.
Read Jarvis' critique. It's fine to protest the shape of reality, but what do these people expect to actually do? Do they expect to wave a wand and have newspaper subscriptions magically restored to their former levels? It's a new media landscape out there, and they can either lead, follow - or get out of the way. Looks to me like they are actively choosing the last one.
Technorati Tags: stupidity
Widgetry reached the "1.0" milestone earlier this week - Sam announced that on his blog. A few people noticed that we didn't make much of that announcement, and that's true - we've talked (probably over-talked) about Widgetry for a long time, so we thought it best not to make a big thing about the release.
It's out there, we support it, and it will be included in a service pack we'll ship in August. We'll be formally releasing ObjectStudio 8 at that time, which is a very big deal for our ObjectStudio customers - it's a major upgrade. Details on the service pack will be forthcoming, but here's what it'll probably look like - a downloadable archive of component updates (new parcels, possibly updated VMs, that sort of thing). We'll make that available as we ship ObjectStudio 8.
|So what's next for Cincom Smalltalk? Well, many people noticed Gemstone's announcement of Seaside support at Smalltalk Solutions - we saw the enthusiasm for that, and got a number of questions about what we plan to do with the Cincom Smalltalk port of Seaside. We plan to support Seaside, and that support will include a relational persistence solution. We are still in the early stages of what that persistence solution will look like, so I don't have any details yet. However, we won't be waiting on that for basic Seaside support. Michel Bany has done a great job of porting Seaside to Cincom Smalltalk, and we will be supporting that.|
Right now, you can consider the Seaside port in the "preview" directory to be a public beta. Within the next couple of weeks I'll have timelines available for full support, and a first roadmap for our Seaside plans. Also - we would love to hear from you about this - where can we add value to Seaside while at the same time remaining part of the Seaside community? Send your feedback to me on that.
I just discovered Andrew Dubber's site - he writes on copyright and music, which is an area I dabble in here. This post, where he quotes Paul Birch, is illustrative of the problem we face with the content industry (music, movies, etc):
In response to Mark I actually think there is nothing wrong with making a copy for your own use, in a sense side-loading to an iPod or similar is an extension of that use. Under current copyright legislation there is a need for customers to be allowed that facility but without it giving rise to them then making multiple copies for sale. The very specific instrument that allows the one and not the other is the difficulty in drafting any amendment.
Birch seems to believes that ideally, we should be able to copy music for our own use - but since it's so easy to "do the wrong thing", it needs to remain illegal. This is the logic that left speed limits at 55 mph for decades, even as drivers nationwide ignored that limit. Andrew went on to point out how copyright law just hasn't kept up with digital reality very well:
When you looked at this page, you made several copies of it without even meaning to. There’s one at your Internet Service Provider and another in the Internet Cache folder of your hard drive (Copy my website, will you?! Where are my lawyers?).
What we have is old law and practice trying very hard to stifle the new reality, in order to preserve the now (increasingly defunct) business models that were premised on scarcity.
Technorati Tags: law
Mathew Ingram points out exactly how much most newspapers get wrong about aggregation sites:
Scott Karp at Publishing 2.0 has a great post about how newspapers can work with aggregators and the distributed ecosystem of the Web, instead of just moaning about how Google and Yahoo are stealing their business, as Tribune owner Sam Zell and others like to do from time to time.
If the people running the news sites spent a few minutes looking at their referer logs, they'd see what Mathew is talking about. I get tons of referrals here from Google; I'm sure that it's an avalanche for the major newspaper sites. If they started dealing with that reality - instead of fighting against it - things might start looking up for them.
Technorati Tags: newspaper
Scoble doesn't much care for the way social networks force organization on him:
So, what do I want? I want a social network that just lets me add contacts. Lets me add them for any reason. Lets me add them wholesale from other social networks. Lets me import them from Outlook. Or Facebook. Or LinkedIn. Or Twitter. Or Jaiku. Or Orkut. Or Gmail. Or wherever. And then lets me manage them on a granular level. Why can’t I add tags to each contact? Tags I pick. Not that are forced on me by some 22-year-old developer who has no idea about what a 42-year-old’s social network looks like.
It's probably some database guy who's forced that path on you, actually. Someone went ahead and set up a limited number of ways to save data, and that was the end of that. The same kind of tyranny has been plaguing HR departments for (literally) decades now, but they tend to complain less.
Technorati Tags: social media
Congress doesn't write legislation for exceptions,'' Klundt said. ``In this environment, everyone has different challenges.
This is the kind of stupid thinking I see at my daughter's school - where students can be expelled for carrying any kind of drug. That might sound reasonable until you realize that the regulation covers Mydol, cough drops... that sort of thing. What drives me bats is the replacement of judgment by rules. It's deemed too risky to leave anything to subjective reason; better to come up with a set of idiot rules that are easy to follow (even when they result in obviously stupid outcomes). Here's a Bonus link for more mind numbing "rules over thought" thinking in a Virginia school.
If this kind of thing were limited to a specific domain, it would be laugh worthy. Sadly, it seems to permeate everything.
I'm getting closer to the 4.4 release of BottomFeeder - I have to thank Michael Lucas-Smith for his suggestions on UI changes, and Rich Demers for spotting the bugs and inconsistencies along the way to implementing those changes. Here's a screenshot of the updated tool - click through for a bigger image:
Here's the same feed, but with an item selected:
The big change is the item toolbar, and the reduction of the (overly complex) menus in the item and content panes. You can grab the ongoing work via the dev links - and make sure to apply updates. I'm using the development builds myself now, so there's less need to worry about stability :)
Ramon Leon explains that Smalltalk - like Ruby on Rails - is "opinionated software". Consider the browser:
Smalltalk’s browser is rather opinionated, luckily, thanks to Rails, opinionated software seems to be having somewhat of a revival. When it comes to writing code, the browser forces you into a certain mindset, one that other languages don’t force you into. When I create a method in Java/C#/Ruby, I have to choose little more than what file and class it belongs in. I *can* organize the code well, but there’s little incentive to do so and my unit of work is rather undefined, I could be slicing and dicing methods, classes, namespaces, etc., usually with the full screen devoted to code across various files or even god forbid in one giant file. This encourages a code now and organize later approach. Sadly, later often never comes, and the code is left functional but messy.
Smalltalk on the other hand, defines my unit of work as *the method* and by doing so forces me at every turn, to continually organize my code in semantically meaningful ways. When I create a method, I have to choose a class category, a class, and a method category to put the method in. If I don’t, Smalltalk kindly categorizes the method for me in a protocol called “as yet unclassified”. It’s almost an insult, but it’s also a not so subtle reminder than I’m writing code sloppily, faster than I’m thinking. It reminds me to slow down, think for a second, where does this thing belong.
Read the whole thing - explains a lot of the reasons that people taking a first look at Smalltalk have difficulty. Smalltalk's tools work in their own ways for their own reasons.
Technorati Tags: development
While perusing iTunes today, I ran across a very nice podcast - "The Stack Trace" with Norman Richards and Sam Griffith. I was searching for Smalltalk, and there was the first episode, covering image based development. Sam Griffith did a really nice job of covering this topic - we've talked that up on "Industry Misinterpretations" too, but Sam covered the ground very well - especially for people who just don't know much about the topic. I've subscribed, and so should you.
Technorati Tags: development
Looks like Dell's lawyers haven't quite figured out that any takedown request they issue is actually a PR move (and not a positive one). On June 14th, the Consumerist pushed out a letter they got from a former Dell sales guy. On the 15th, one of Dell's lawyers tried to get them to take it down - after a brief exchange, she said this:
Dell will not regard any such immediate action as an agreement regarding the merits of the request, or as an admission of any liability on the part of consumerist.com or any related person or entity.
If after any necessary discussion between counsel we cannot agree that this was indeed the appropriate course of action, you can always re-post the item.
That's a comment that is utterly oblivious to the nature of the net, and - even more striking - oblivious to what the Consumerist mentioned in the (for now) final comment on the matter:
Of course, it is your decision whether you want to pursue this matter, but I advise you to talk to the team that had to deal with the falllout from the Jeff Jarvis affair before you decide to try and silence your critics. Work for the customer, not against them.
This may sound like a crazy idea, but I think companies need to do two things:
- Fire their "legacy" PR people, and get a team that actually understands the net, social media, blogs, podcasts (etc)
- Rearrange the org chart such that the legal department reports through PR
Why? Well, a law department acting under "the old rules" can do enormous damage to a firm's reputation - I've talked about these sorts of things before. Any legal action aimed in the takedown direction needs competent oversight, and it's likely not going to come out of the legal department.
Sometimes, the copyright commandos go so far over the top that they amaze even me. Consider NBC/Universal General Counsel Rick Cotton (via Ars Technica):
"Our law enforcement resources are seriously misaligned," Cotton said. "If you add up all the various kinds of property crimes in this country, everything from theft, to fraud, to burglary, bank-robbing, all of it, it costs the country $16 billion a year. But intellectual property crime runs to hundreds of billions [of dollars] a year."
Yeah, those violent crimes are minor league stuff - we should be focusing on the entirely overblown issue of piracy instead. Follow the link to Ars Technica for the details on how overblown it is - they claim "hundreds of billions" in losses, which is just so much crap.
The main problem is that the music and studio industries have worked very, very hard to ensure that their products are not available in forms that are easy to consume. DVDs that have unskippable ads, CDs with malware, digital content with DRM - it's all set up to hinder use, not encourage it. Remember that these are the same bozos who wanted to ban VCRs - they simply can't wrap their head around the idea that people will pay for convenience. There are always going to be Torrent sites, but given a choice between a convenient, legal (and not onerous) system and the illegal bypass system, most people will stay legal - just like most people stop for red lights.
People like Cotton do enormous damage to the industry they claim to protect.
One of the things that drove me nuts about the show "Jericho" was that they got so many little things wrong. The people didn't look dirty or hungry enough, for one thing - and illnesses that we no longer think about would come back with a vengeance - things like Cholera and Dysentery, for instance, and Scurvy.
In any event, I was listening to a podcast that hit on that yesterday - Dan Carlin's "Hardcore History" talked about the Black Death as a way of understanding what a post apocalyptic time would look like. It's really hard to conceive of just how bad things were - England's population dropped from 6-7 million down to 2 million between 1348-1400, for instance. Just imagine what modern life would look like under such a death toll - we might even do worse than they did, since medieval people fed themselves from local supplies.
To get a feel for it, consider this chronicle passage by John Clyne, who lived through the plague in Ireland (from Wikipedia):
That disease entirely stripped vills, cities, castles and towns of inhabitaints of men, so that scarcely anyone would be able to live in them. The plague was so contagious that thous touching the dead or even the sick were immediately infected and died, and the one confessing and the confessor were together led to the grave ... many died from carbuncles and from ulcers and pustles that could be seen on shins and under the armpits; some died, as if in a frenzy, from pain of the head, others from spitting blood ... In the convent of Minors of Drogheda, twenty five, and in Dublin in the same order, twenty three died ... These cities of Dublin and Drogheda were almost destroyed and wasted of inhabitants and men so that in Dublin alone, from the beginning of August right up to Christmas, fourteen thousand men (i.e., people) died ... The pestilence gathered strength in Kilkenny during Lent, for between Christmas day and 6 March, eight Friars Preachers died. There was scarcely a house in which only one died but commonly man and wife with their children and family going one way, namely, crossing to death."
The plague had so many far reaching effects, including a number of peasant revolts after the first wave had passed. There were also large population movements - throughout Europe, people blamed Jews for the plague (people always love a scapegoat) - and many Jews resettled in Poland (across what is now Poland, the Baltics, Eastern Russia, and other parts of Eastern Europe). That community is now gone, due to the Holocaust - but the original movement there was an echo of the Black Death. I'm sure that none of the people who fled there in the 1400's could possibly have conceived of something worse.
Here's what I take away from all this - we have it pretty good now. The next time someone complains to you about how hard they have it, ponder the 14th century for a moment.
I'm reading two different books about two very different sorts of empires - "Osman's Dream", a history of the Ottoman Empire, and "Empire Express", which covers the building of the transcontinental railroad in the US.
Those two should keep me busy for a bit :)
Dare Obasanjo links out to Yaron Goland, who explains some of the things Dare had alluded to here - whereupon the Atom community, led by Tim Bray and Joe Gregario broke out their ceremonial Dave Winer suits and proceeded to act like jerks.
Note also the opprobrium tossed at Rogers Cadenhead for having the temerity to work on the feed spec that is used by the vast majority of feed enabled sites. The syndication space has turned into a parody of itself.
It's Saturday, so it must be log time again. 189 BottomFeeder downloads per day last week; the details:
Next up: the HTML page accesses:
|Tool||Percentage of Accesses|
And finally, the Syndication stats:
|Tool||Percentage of Accesses|
|Net News Wire||3.7%|
|Google Feed Fetcher||3.4%|
Looks like IE has stopped "racing ahead" in the syndication numbers, and things are settling down to look more like the HTML stats - two main tools, and a smaller number of other tools in their wake.
Is the music industry filled with people with room temperature IQs? Last night I flagged this post from Mathew Ingram, and this morning I found the whole story here, on Download Squad. Here's what happened, via Download Squad:
Our editorializing [ed: about an RIAA suit] seems to have ruffled the feathers of an IFPI executive who is now threatening action, not against us, but against another blog who simply linked to our piece. In an effort to quell what Paul Birch of Revolver Records calls, "malicious statements and blogs on the internet" he has threatened Andrew Dubber of the blog New Music Strategies with veiled words about lawsuits, and by directly threatening to file a formal complaint against him with the University of Central England, Dubber's employer. All because in the course of discussion on the topic Andrew Dubber's blog follows exclusively he felt it relevant to link to something we wrote.
That's a SLAPP suit if I ever saw one. But wait - there's more! Again from Mathew Ingram, we find out just how deep the vast well of stupidity in the music industry runs. Here's Jay Rosenthal, who runs SoundExchange - they collect royalties from internet radio (et. al.):
“I sincerely am starting to hate the Internet. I know you see the Internet as some incredible invention that has opened the door to unlimited distribution of music -- and your lofty goal is to bring music to as many as possible. But all I see is a tidal wave of artist abuse.”
I think I can summarize Rosenthal's idea: "Stop the world, I want to get off!". Can someone page Professor Peabody? We have a ticket for one, one way to 1978.
Technorati Tags: marketing
Mathew Ingram notes the rise of libel suits associated with blogging - which is to be expected, I suppose, as public figures attempt to deal with blogs the way they've always tried to deal with media: bask in the positive, lash out at the negative.
The difference being that most (not all, certainly) media outlets have a legal arm that handles that stuff, while individual bloggers just go broke. I suspect that we would see even more of these kinds of suits if it weren't for the kind of blowback that tends to happen when these cases get publicity.
Technorati Tags: PR
This week, we got Travis Griggs to join the show - he and Michael have been working together for the last few weeks in Walla Walla. We discussed development tools work in Cincom Smalltalk, and the ideas Travis has for taking things forward.
Juha-Pekka beat me to it, so most of you probably already know that MetaCase has been honored by SD Times in their list of 100 companies in the industry. More specifically, they list MetaCase as one of 5 companies that are shaping the modeling arena (the others are IBM, Ravenflow, SysML Partners and Telelogic).
Why, they use Cincom Smalltalk :)
Jeff Jarvis listened to a radio conversation that talks up writers and editors, and talks down blogs. It's kind of amazing to be able to watch a mindset live on even as the business around it morphs.
Torsten points out another one of the nice things about Smalltalk - your ability to dive right in and fix any code you want:
In Smalltalk fixing bugs in old versions has never been a problem: anything is open and changeable. If the vendor doesn fix it you are able to modify the code yourself. This is what makes customers and developers happy
Note that this doesn't have anything to do with open source (in license terms) - in terms of access, Smalltalk has always been open source.
Alan Kay is receiving an honorary degree at the University of Pisa tomorrow - looks like it'll be a live webcast, but it starts at 5 AM EDT. Anyway - here's the link. The links for the live webcast are on the site, so if you plan to be awake then, head on over.
Andres seems to have been having similar thoughts on PC purchases today :)
I had to make a decision... would I buy PC hardware to keep running Windows, and thus invest a sizable portion of my expenditures in running (eventually) Vista, which is well known to be an abomination? I concluded that doing so would be to throw money away. Thus, my answer to that was to get a Mac, which will mean using roughly the same hardware to run a serious operating system built on serious foundations instead.
I've been using Windows as my working system since the early 90's - I moved from Apple II to DOS before that. Having said that, I've gotten increasingly tired of playing sys-admin for Windows boxes - it's bad enough dealing with my system - but dealing with my wife and daughter's systems is not making anyone happy. So... here's what I just got my wife:
She'll want the fun of opening it, which is why that's a photo of the box :) As I replace existing systems around here, I intend to just say no to Windows. The sys-admin tax is just too high.
Technorati Tags: Windows
Michael Gorman is reliable - I can always count on him for a long winded, uninformed rant about the evils of the internet. Here's his lede today:
The life of the mind in the age of Web 2.0 suffers, in many ways, from an increase in credulity and an associated flight from expertise. Bloggers are called “citizen journalists”; alternatives to Western medicine are increasingly popular, though we can thank our stars there is no discernable “citizen surgeon” movement; millions of Americans are believers in Biblical inerrancy -- the belief that every word in the Bible is both true and the literal word of God, something that, among other things, pits faith against carbon dating; and, scientific truths on such matters as medical research, accepted by all mainstream scientists, are rejected by substantial numbers of citizens and many in politics.
Here's the problem - none of the problems he raises are due to bad information on the net. Every single one of the information gaps he cites as worrisome is old - I remember reading about each and every one of them in "Time" and "Newsweek" as a teenager.
Gorman seems to believe that pre-web, there was a "golden age" of journalism, when facts didn't get distorted, and reporters got things right with unerring accuracy. Hmm - Back in the 70's, I remember the big climate scare being "the coming ice age". Now, it's "global warming". Without wading into that debate, I'll note that they can't both be correct - and I'll also note that both are memes that were (or in the latter case, are) heavily pushed by the media.
Gorman is writing on the Britannica site, so I understand why he's trying very hard to make his case without bringing up Wikipedia. I've written about Wikipedia and encyclopedias before - to summarize, Wikipedia is edited every single day by a self selected group of editors. Things like Britannica are edited periodically by a paid staff of editors. Does one group have biases while the other is magically objective? I don't think so. Depending on the topic being written about, "experts" can be hard to find, or extremely biased by the surrounding culture. For instance - how would an encyclopedia written by a group of recognized experts have dealt with Africa circa 1900? How would the text differ from one written - again, by a set of recognized experts - a year ago?
The splendid, objective expertise that Gorman imagines in the world of editors and professional writes doesn't exist now, and it's never existed. Biases - conscious and unconscious - have crept in consistently. Scientific errors (due to incomplete or inaccurate understanding of the underlying science) have always been around, and will always be around.
I read a fair amount of history, and I like to get a start on topics that may be of interest to me on Wikipedia. I find that the articles there range from good to excellent on the area I'm interested in (European history, mostly). Gorman would probably tell me to visit a "real" encyclopedia; I'd advise him to read this, which I addressed to him 18 months ago. Gorman was in "gatekeeper" mode then, and he's still there now.
Oh, and do read Clay Shirkey's response to Gorman.
Technorati Tags: hubris