Well, I guess the blog hiatus I mentioned yesterday didn’t last too long – my old friend Dave Winer has gone and done something outrageously stupid, even for Dave (and that’s saying something). After a couple of posts in which he made cryptic comments about someone stealing ideas from him, and how he was going to retire from blogging and disappear somewhere, now comes a bombshell from Dave’s long-time friend Rogers Cadenhead, who took over the RSS Advisory Board and so earned the everlasting Wrath of Winer. TM
According to what Rogers said in his post, he got a letter from an attorney acting for Dave, asking for money to be repaid and intellectual property of his – related to the OPML project – to be returned and any use of that property by Rogers Cadenhead to cease. As described by Rogers, this refers to development work that he did for Dave on scripting.com and Weblogs.com, and also some things he did related to the development of OPML, which according to Rogers is largely an open standard.
Of course, this whole affair stems from the RSS debacle, which gets weirder by the day. And let’s remember one thing: Rogers Cadenhead has supported Dave throughout the years, trying to work with him on RSS and other matters – and in fact, tried so hard to defend Dave that others have accused him of being a “Winer lackey” and “sycophant.” And this is what he gets for it. As he puts it:
“[Dave] has succeeded in making me sorry I took his invitation back in 2004 to get involved in RSS, a syndication format that will forever be mired in childish personal animus because of his mistaken belief that allowing other people to contribute to its success will rob him of credit.
Dave has a response here, but it does little to change the perception of a spoiled child who wants to hang on to what he feels is his toy, and not let anyone else have it. And as Shelley points out at Burningbird, very few people are talking about it (other than a few brave souls such as James Robertson), which in all likelihood is because they are Dave’s friends or because they are afraid of him, or because he is so toxic that they don’t want to get involved. And what sucks about that is it allows a beneficial technology to be held hostage by a single man.