Where does trivial stupidity lead to?

As usual, Matthew Thomas is on the money with his concerns about the recent addition of animated rendering of the Marquee tag in Mozilla. Where’s this lunacy stop? I don’t know. The box has been opened. Perhaps it will lead next to ActiveX controls in Mozilla. Support for ActiveX would be both a blessing and a curse. Being able to embed some of the Internet Explorer controls, particularly the HTML editor, would be nice. It might also serve to even out the differences between IE and Mozilla, particularly on intranets. With the growing capabilities of DHTML, ActiveX is becoming less and less necessary, though. Even if Mozilla had ActiveX support it would still lack support for IE’s document.all DOM. But then that could be added, too. Please…

Make the madness stop…

Yes, I promise, this is the last time I’ll use the Marquee tag.

Getting the message

Doc Searls suggests that AOL should open the protocol to AOL Instant Messenger or adopt the Jabber protocol. He writes:

AOL Instant Messenger is a client-only lock-in that will be undermined totally once the Jabber protocol (or some other IM protocol) ubiquitizes into the same grade of Internet infrastructure as SMTP and POP3 provide for mail service and HTTP provides for Web service.

I agree that it is inevitable that instant messaging protocols will eventually be opened. It would be the best for AOL to open up all their protocols as it would give them an immediate advantage and help them become the standard.

Opening just the AOL client protocol is missing the point (and it has already been mostly reverse-engineered as well as licensed twice). Much more interesting and useful is to open the protocol that AOL uses to communicate between servers. To be able to bridge instant messaging systems at the server level opens up a whole world of possibilities. It would allow variation in clients while still supporting interoperability. It would allow differences in protocol that might not be included in the standard, such as different encryption formats or additional features. An extensible protocol could allow some of this, although adding new data encryption techniques after the fact while maintaining interoperability would likely be difficult or impossible. Opening the server protocol would also allow more secure, inside-the-firewall servers that have their own unique features and configurations, such as message logging (a legal requirement in some industries).

Blatant plug for the company: Lotus Sametime already offers many of these “fit for business” requirements as well as AOL Instant Messenger compability.

Building good infrastructure

It looks like Dean Peters of the Heal Your Church Web Site that I mentioned earlier has heard from BibleGateway about XML support. It appears they somewhat missed that providing an API is different than providing XML-based markup for the scriptures. Of course, they already provide a kind of API through the query string interface. See my Bible Gateway bookmarklet.

Dean, who appears to be keeping busy like I am, has also launched Blogs4God, which is building a list of Christian bloggers.