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Much ado about nothing

Dave Winer is a funny kind of guy.

First of all, he asks some pretty reasonable questions about TypeKey, the upcoming authenication/sign on system from those cheeky chappies at Six Apart. Fine – although perhaps a trip to the FAQ would have saved him some time (repeat after me: it’s not an API).

All well and good. These are questions that could, and probably should be answered.

Next day – a Sunday – Dave posts the following:

“The questions I asked yesterday are unanswered.”

Wow Dave, that’s a full 20 hours you gave them. Over a weekend. In fact, over Saturday afternoon and evening, when anyone sane is either shopping, watching sport, or fucking. Or preferably some combination of all three, although not necessarily at the same time.

So Dave goes from asking some reasonable questions to sounding like he’s trying to make a political point, in the space of 20 hours. Dave, the system isn’t even in beta yet: you can’t use it, you can’t play with it. So why are these questions so urgent that you need them answered IMMEDIATELY, before the end of a weekend, before you start getting snippy about it?

Next up, Tom C in his “cheeky chappy” persona comes along and smartly posts the same bunch of questions back – but about projects that Dave’s been involved in. I’m not sure how long Dave took to answer – was it the all-too-crucial 20 hours???? – but answer he did.

Except, of course, that he didn’t. Mostly, Dave said “hey, I don’t work at Userland anymore, what do I know?”. Which is a fair answer, but missing the point. While he was at Userland, did Dave push for any of the things that he’s asking or Six Apart now? Or is he simply using questions now to attack Six Apart, because – for whatever reason – he seems not to like them?

Had I simply read his original questions, I’d just think that Dave was, well, asking a few questions. But having seen his shrill “THEY HAVE NOT ANSWERED!!” comment, I’m lead towards believing that he was simply point-scoring. But why? I have no idea. I can’t see that Dave has anything to gain.

Anyway, Tom has seen fit to essentially apologise for asking those questions in the first place – or, as he’d put it, “back down gracefully”. I don’t see that as necessary. If it was legitimate of Dave to ask the questions of Six Apart, it was equally legit of Tom to ask them of Dave. Yes, of course, Dave isn’t responsible for Userland development anymore, but he was, once, and it’s worth asking questions about what exactly he did to promote the values that he’s now insisting on from Six Apart.

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  • http://vjarmy.com/ Dan Dickinson

    I’ve always been confused as to why, despite claiming he doesn’t have anything to do with Userland, he’s listed as the Chairman.


    Oh well, good post, I had much of the same thought process.

  • http://www.mikel.org/ Michael

    Just a point of information – the FAQ was not available when Dave Winer published his questions.