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Microsoft improves SmartTag feature (let's get back to Decentrali zation talks here)...

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  • Robert Scoble
    Microsoft has just told me that they are changing the SmartTags feature to respond to our criticism. Below is the note I just received. I ll reserve the right
    Message 1 of 15 , Jun 16, 2001
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      Microsoft has just told me that they are changing the SmartTags feature to
      respond to our criticism. Below is the note I just received. I'll reserve
      the right to look at the final implementation before I announce that this
      feature is totally good, but at least we can go back to discussing
      Decentralization technologies.

      Is the Stutz "interview" dead?

      +++++

      I'm a developer for IE, not responsible for smart tags, but I know what's
      going on.

      Because of the -- and there's no better word for it, we're shocked --
      uproar, the following changes are going to be made:
      1. smart tags off by default (they were on by default to exercise the code,
      get Watson crashes)
      2. the user-overrides-authored-meta-tag option removed
      3. no recognizers shipping in box. So until you do have a recognizer
      installed, when you click on the smart tag button, you get navigated to a
      gallery from which you can download desired recognizers.

      Will that make you happy? Probably not. But that's the current state of the
      feature.

      If you choose to mention this prior to the release in the public builds --
      2497+ should have the changes -- please don't identify me other than "a
      source".
    • apwizard@usa.net
      Hi Guys Glad I read this. Normally support MS on most issues, simply because i realise thay are not real isssues. Smart Tags was becoming a real one, I
      Message 2 of 15 , Jun 17, 2001
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        Hi Guys

        Glad I read this. Normally support MS on most issues, simply because
        i realise thay are not real isssues. Smart Tags was becoming a real
        one, I designed a little website-post-it type thing some time ago but
        got sick thinking what this would do to people's privacy, and never
        put it out in the world. MS is wise to listen and not put one feature
        in Smart Tags that allows anyone to invade any part of a users world
        and the website is an intimate part of it.

        great feature for those who need it , when they need it, keep it on a
        leash, in the user's hands.

        ashok

        --- In decentralization@y..., Robert Scoble <rscoble@f...> wrote:
        > Microsoft has just told me that they are changing the SmartTags
        feature to
        > respond to our criticism. Below is the note I just received. I'll
        reserve
        > the right to look at the final implementation before I announce
        that this
        > feature is totally good, but at least we can go back to discussing
        > Decentralization technologies.
        >
        > Is the Stutz "interview" dead?
        >
        > +++++
        >
        > I'm a developer for IE, not responsible for smart tags, but I know
        what's
        > going on.
        >
        > Because of the -- and there's no better word for it, we're shocked -
        -
        > uproar, the following changes are going to be made:
        > 1. smart tags off by default (they were on by default to exercise
        the code,
        > get Watson crashes)
        > 2. the user-overrides-authored-meta-tag option removed
        > 3. no recognizers shipping in box. So until you do have a recognizer
        > installed, when you click on the smart tag button, you get
        navigated to a
        > gallery from which you can download desired recognizers.
        >
        > Will that make you happy? Probably not. But that's the current
        state of the
        > feature.
        >
        > If you choose to mention this prior to the release in the public
        builds --
        > 2497+ should have the changes -- please don't identify me other
        than "a
        > source".
      • allenjs@hotmail.com
        ... This is the big one for you, right, Robert (as long as it s implemented properly)? The fact that publishers did not have the power to disable user s smart
        Message 3 of 15 , Jun 17, 2001
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          > 2. the user-overrides-authored-meta-tag option removed

          This is the big one for you, right, Robert (as long as it's
          implemented properly)? The fact that publishers did not have the
          power to disable user's smart tags seemed to be a major concern for
          many people, and I'm glad that came out, since I (and certainly
          others) had no clue that this would bug people. Yours and other
          comments here do a good job of explaining why this is a concern.
          Speaking on behalf of myself only, and as a long-time rabid (and card-
          carrying) fan of things like wikiweb, comet cursor, third voice, I
          hope you believe me when I say that I was coming from a surprisingly
          different POV which I *thought* was shared by practically everyone
          else in the world (and certainly on this group).
        • Dave Winer
          Josh I think you d better talk to these people too. http://public.wsj.com/sn/y/SB991862595554629527.html
          Message 4 of 15 , Jun 17, 2001
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            Josh I think you'd better talk to these people too.

            http://public.wsj.com/sn/y/SB991862595554629527.html

            http://www.zdnet.com/intweek/stories/columns/0,4164,2772297,00.html

            And this one that hasn't gotten much play yet (I'll quote it after the
            link):

            http://www.fool.com/news/2001/msft010608.htm

            "A Microsoft spokesperson said the company is still considering whether to
            include the feature in the final release of Windows XP, but investors can be
            assured that issues like this will only prolong Microsoft's attempts to
            settle its anti-trust problems. Usually, I'm behind Microsoft initiatives to
            enhance the user experience, but because I'm a writer and publish content on
            the Internet, this one hits too close to home. Occasionally I'll throw a few
            links into an article that provide related news or more in-depth details
            about a topic I'm covering. I have control over that. If Microsoft were able
            to control -- and presumably charge for inserting these Smart Tags -- my
            shares of Microsoft might go up, but my goodwill feeling toward the company
            would go right out the window."

            Dave
          • allenjs@hotmail.com
            I had seen the WSJ one; thanks for the links. These are some interesting issues that I think society will continue to debate; hopefully without me or any
            Message 5 of 15 , Jun 17, 2001
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              I had seen the WSJ one; thanks for the links. These are some
              interesting issues that I think society will continue to debate;
              hopefully without me or any BigCos in the middle of it again. Not
              that I am <a
              href="http://members.nbci.com/koolaid/ohyeaman.GIF">biased</a> or
              anything..


              --- In decentralization@y..., "Dave Winer" <dave@u...> wrote:
              > Josh I think you'd better talk to these people too.
              >
              > http://public.wsj.com/sn/y/SB991862595554629527.html
              > http://www.zdnet.com/intweek/stories/columns/0,4164,2772297,00.html
              > http://www.fool.com/news/2001/msft010608.htm
            • kiyoumars@yahoo.com
              Please tell your Microsoft source to not cave in to baseless criticism. Simply open the protocol and allow users to specify the Server providing the meta-info
              Message 6 of 15 , Jun 17, 2001
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                Please tell your Microsoft source to not cave in to baseless
                criticism.

                Simply open the protocol and allow users to specify the Server
                providing the meta-info for smart tags.

                Smart Tags are a very good idea and should Microsoft follow the
                advice given, there is great potential benefit for _everyone_
                involved (with the exception of the reactionary elements.)

                joubin@... [using a friend's account]



                --- In decentralization@y..., Robert Scoble <rscoble@f...> wrote:
                > Microsoft has just told me that they are changing the SmartTags
                feature to
                > respond to our criticism. Below is the note I just received. I'll
                reserve
                > the right to look at the final implementation before I announce
                that this
                > feature is totally good, but at least we can go back to discussing
                > Decentralization technologies.
                >
                > Is the Stutz "interview" dead?
                >
                > +++++
                >
                > I'm a developer for IE, not responsible for smart tags, but I know
                what's
                > going on.
                >
                > Because of the -- and there's no better word for it, we're shocked -
                -
                > uproar, the following changes are going to be made:
                > 1. smart tags off by default (they were on by default to exercise
                the code,
                > get Watson crashes)
                > 2. the user-overrides-authored-meta-tag option removed
                > 3. no recognizers shipping in box. So until you do have a recognizer
                > installed, when you click on the smart tag button, you get
                navigated to a
                > gallery from which you can download desired recognizers.
                >
                > Will that make you happy? Probably not. But that's the current
                state of the
                > feature.
                >
                > If you choose to mention this prior to the release in the public
                builds --
                > 2497+ should have the changes -- please don't identify me other
                than "a
                > source".
              • beno@xs4all.nl
                ... Both you and mr Scoble s source at MS deemed it necessary to point out that you have been clueless (and wrong) about the reception of this feature. That is
                Message 7 of 15 , Jun 18, 2001
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                  --- In decentralization@y..., allenjs@h... wrote:
                  > The fact that publishers did not have the
                  > power to disable user's smart tags seemed to be a major concern for
                  > many people, and I'm glad that came out, since I (and certainly
                  > others) had no clue that this would bug people.

                  Both you and mr Scoble's source at MS deemed it necessary to point out that
                  you have been clueless (and wrong) about the reception of this feature. That
                  is pretty scary, because you are MS and supposed to know what your
                  customers want (yes, those pesky content providers are your customers too)

                  But my biggest question regarding Smart Tags is however: what kind of
                  revolutionary AI have you invented that will make this work? How does the
                  computer distinguish coke (drink) from coke (drug)? I predict that the
                  widespread implementation of ST will lead to as many laughable and
                  annoying results as the spell checker in MS Word does. That's what always
                  happens when we want the computer to do our thinking for us.

                  By the way, I am pretty sure ST (although i haven't actually seen them) could
                  be implemented cross-platform and cross-browser with some well written
                  JavaScript and DHTML.
                • Dave Winer
                  ... could ... Agreed. It could have been implemented as a web application using a proxy server, or (more simply) framing. A few more thoughts.. I would have
                  Message 8 of 15 , Jun 18, 2001
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                    > By the way, I am pretty sure ST (although i haven't actually seen them)
                    could
                    > be implemented cross-platform and cross-browser with some well written
                    > JavaScript and DHTML.

                    Agreed. It could have been implemented as a web application using a proxy
                    server, or (more simply) framing.

                    A few more thoughts..

                    I would have been much more interested in this feature if:

                    1. It had been implemented as a right-click menu command in the browser.

                    2. If there had been an endorsement by dictionary.com, google.com,
                    britannica.com, yahoo.com., even msnbc.com.

                    3. Even better would have been a W3C working group with all the above
                    participating. I wish more app developers were part of the standardization
                    process, it would help add a dose of reality to the discussions there, some
                    real chance of user-oriented features.

                    4. Microsoft's lack of participation in the web development community has
                    never been more evident in their out-from-left-field smart tags feature.
                    Their surprise at the response should be seen as a GOOD THING. Perhaps
                    they'll get out more often, the Web is not a captive developer community.
                    There's no reason we can't have win-wins, but working with us isn't like
                    working with members of the VB community or DOT-NET.

                    5. I found when I pushed back in the SOAP work on this basis, we were able
                    to get into agreement, there were some flames at first, but calmer heads
                    prevailed and we were able to get a fair open kind of interop in place.

                    6. The web browser space is NOT competitive. That must be factored into all
                    considerations of evolution in user-level "services". When MS moves it is
                    not in a space where content publishers have choice. Most of our readers use
                    their browser. This is a fact. It's terrible. It's why MS should never have
                    acted so aggressively in the browser space.

                    7. If we want a decentralized Internet we must make an investment in
                    non-Microsoft browsers.

                    8. I'd like to see some features in the browser that bring more powerful
                    writing tools into the user interface.

                    Dave
                  • kiyoumars@yahoo.com
                    ... You underestimate the power of your opponents in shaping people s opinions. I can not believe the naivate of your company. You re all supposed to be so
                    Message 9 of 15 , Jun 18, 2001
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                      > This is the big one for you, right, Robert (as long as it's
                      > implemented properly)? The fact that publishers did not have the
                      > power to disable user's smart tags seemed to be a major concern for
                      > many people, and I'm glad that came out, since I (and certainly
                      > others) had no clue that this would bug people.

                      You underestimate the power of your opponents in shaping people's
                      opinions. I can not believe the naivate of your company. You're all
                      supposed to be so smart, not clueless.

                      Clearly, **you DON'T want to give this power to the publisher**.

                      Why in God's Name would you want to do something as foolish as that?

                      Peace.

                      joubin@... [using a friend's account]
                    • kiyoumars@yahoo.com
                      ... clueless because they disagree with you. And I agree with you, and I quote Mr. Allen who himself wrote that [they] had no clue . That s clueless, right?
                      Message 10 of 15 , Jun 18, 2001
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                        > I completely agree, but I wouldn't go around calling people
                        clueless because they disagree with you.

                        And I agree with you, and I quote Mr. Allen who himself wrote
                        that "[they] had no clue".

                        That's clueless, right?

                        Peace.
                      • Erik Moore
                        ... I completely agree, but I wouldn t go around calling people clueless because they disagree with you.
                        Message 11 of 15 , Jun 18, 2001
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                          > You underestimate the power of your opponents in shaping people's
                          > opinions. I can not believe the naivate of your company. You're all
                          > supposed to be so smart, not clueless.
                          >
                          > Clearly, **you DON'T want to give this power to the publisher**.

                          I completely agree, but I wouldn't go around calling people clueless because they disagree with you.
                        • Adrian Harvey
                          Howdy. It s SmartTag Time! And the X-link devil is out of the bag. What a show!!! I can t keep up. But there is one question I d like to ask before I venture
                          Message 12 of 15 , Jun 21, 2001
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                            Howdy. It's SmartTag Time! And the X-link devil is out of the bag.

                            What a show!!! I can't keep up.

                            But there is one question I'd like to ask before I venture any further into
                            the vortex:

                            Aren't Microsoft's 'Smart Tags' simply an implementation of XML linking
                            languages such as X-Link, X-Pointer and X-Path, and possibly other X-linking
                            stuff?

                            If so, we're all in for a REALLY BIG SHOCK.

                            Let me try to explain briefly: I'm an interactive marketing/communications
                            type but I'm cramming on XML, P2P, Decent, etc., because I believe that
                            there's an alternative environment to the Web coming down the pike fast and
                            I have to scope it out. And it looks like an alternative that will avoid the
                            unholy wars that are going to escalate as soon as the Web industry realizes
                            that what Microsoft has done with X-link stuff in IE (smartly trademarked as
                            SmartTags) is what ANYBODY can do with the advent of XML-compliant browsers.
                            (In their case it goes out to applications too.)

                            For instance, using X-link languages, anyone can place a 'tag' w/multiple
                            links on this: . Yes a dot.

                            Not only on a web page but on ANY document, anywhere, no permission asked.
                            And this without even touching the document or page. This is the power of
                            X-linking in the extreme. (It's not only placing a link TO, it's remotely
                            placing a link(s) FROM - as I understand it to date.) And you know what? I
                            believe there's nothing we can do to stop it. XML is standardizing the very
                            nature of information. And everyone wants standards. Don't we.

                            I may be wrong, but whether it be the best thing to happen to information,
                            or the smartest thing Microsoft could do to give us a way to HARNESS/CONTROL
                            this fantastic power to annotate, interject on, hijack, or, more positively,
                            share our property for good uses, I see one thing for certain: TOTAL BEDLAM
                            in the Web industry and on the Web in the coming years. If the Web is a bit
                            of a mess now (it's still primordial and the online ad industry is pissing
                            in the soup), we ain't seen nuthin' yet....

                            As someone as passionate about serving consumers as Dave Winer is about
                            preserving intellectual property rights, I see X-linking as the biggest
                            disruptive development of the Web since it's inception. Why? Because IT WILL
                            BE ABUSED. Only this time, instead of consumers complaining about their loss
                            of privacy, it will be corporations going ballistic over their loss of
                            control. Maybe it's taste-your-own-medicine time.

                            This situation can only be offset by a logical, viable and needed
                            alternative to the Web. An environment where things are a lot more personal,
                            private and secure.

                            And we all know what that is. Don't we?

                            Regards, Adrian




                            ********************************************************
                            Adrian Harvey>eBusiness Consultant/Project Manager/Writer/Trainer
                            Specializing in P2P/XML/CRM
                            Adrian helps marketing and communications executives understand and
                            integrate P2P strategies and solutions into everyday business.
                            P2P Executive Advisories/Seminars/Workshops/Projects
                            aharvey@... 416.533.9211
                            ********************************************************
                          • Erik Moore
                            ... I don t see how you could accurately say that. A SmartTagged document does not have to be marked up in XHTML, and the choice to implement static smart tags
                            Message 13 of 15 , Jun 21, 2001
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                              > Howdy. It's SmartTag Time! And the X-link devil is out of the bag.
                              >
                              > What a show!!! I can't keep up.
                              >
                              > But there is one question I'd like to ask before I venture any further into
                              > the vortex:
                              >
                              > Aren't Microsoft's 'Smart Tags' simply an implementation of XML linking
                              > languages such as X-Link, X-Pointer and X-Path, and possibly other X-linking
                              > stuff?

                              I don't see how you could accurately say that. A SmartTagged document does not have to be marked up
                              in XHTML, and the choice to implement static smart tags as XML documents is only incidental (but a
                              wise choice, IMO). Dynamic handlers (dlls) have absolutely nothing to do with XML, XPATH, XPOINTER,
                              etc.

                              But perhaps I've missed your point.
                            • allenjs@hotmail.com
                              ... Well, suppose you wanted a recognizer to recognize based on text selections that your friends had marked. It is true that recognizers based off of words
                              Message 14 of 15 , Jun 21, 2001
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                                > wise choice, IMO). Dynamic handlers (dlls) have absolutely nothing
                                > to do with XML, XPATH, XPOINTER,

                                Well, suppose you wanted a recognizer to recognize based on text
                                selections that your friends had marked. It is true that recognizers
                                based off of words or grammar do not need an XPointer, but if you
                                wanted to share metadata with friends, XPointer would be a very
                                natural way to describe the portions of the page you were talking
                                about. Then the recognizer could use the shared list of XPointers to
                                select appropriate ranges in the page. This could be implemented in
                                a recognizer using the current architecture.
                              • Erik Moore
                                ... This is a news message But that doesn t mean NNTP is an implementation of XML I didn t mean to imply
                                Message 15 of 15 , Jun 21, 2001
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                                  > > wise choice, IMO). Dynamic handlers (dlls) have absolutely nothing
                                  > > to do with XML, XPATH, XPOINTER,
                                  >
                                  > Well, suppose you wanted a recognizer to recognize based on text
                                  > selections that your friends had marked. It is true that recognizers
                                  > based off of words or grammar do not need an XPointer, but if you
                                  > wanted to share metadata with friends, XPointer would be a very
                                  > natural way to describe the portions of the page you were talking
                                  > about. Then the recognizer could use the shared list of XPointers to
                                  > select appropriate ranges in the page. This could be implemented in
                                  > a recognizer using the current architecture.

                                  <root>
                                  <subject>This is a news message</subject>
                                  <message>But that doesn't mean NNTP is an implementation of XML</message>
                                  </root>

                                  I didn't mean to imply that SmartTags _couldnt_ somehow use X* linking technologies, just that they
                                  don't necessarily by nature, which is what Adrian implied.
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