The Science of Journalism

If I Had My Way
One Man's Opinion -- for what it's worth.

To: Dave Winer -

Cc: Doc Searls -

From: Doug Skoglund -

Date: 21 Aug 2015 08:00 am CDT

Subject: 2015026 - Brilliant -- Absolutely Brilliant!!

Dave Winer -- You have made my Day!!

 -- and I quote!!

That got me thinking. What would it take to fully develop Slack as an open platform, even beyond where it is now. The answer came to me right away. If Slack is the IBM PC, what we need is the Compaq. Or if Slack is Netscape, we need MSIE (the early versions of course, not the malware-infested wasteland that MSIE turned into).

Back in the heyday of PCs, the first round of PC competitors were near-clones, they could run PC software that was modified to work on their systems. The differences weren't huge, but they proved to matter. The near-clones eventually fell by the wayside, because if they didn't run PC software out of the box, users didn't want them.

The Compaq PC ran most IBM-compatible software out of the box, unmodified. I was a PC software developer at the time, we totally appreciated not having to create a new version for each PC competitor that came along. Compaq grew like a unicorn, and the IBM PC kept growing along with it. 

I was there too -- and I would modify that last paragraph. Those near-clones joined the Compact running PCDOS (AKA: MSDOS) and they all grew along with the IBM PC. And, as a matter of fact, I am still using Northgate and Gateway keyboards, running my modified Windows NT/2000 application (AKA: PDMSB) on two separate computers running Windows 7.

The point is that the platform that you were so happy about is still there, under that malware-infested wasteland that you refer to. We don't need some other company to provide a platform -- we simply need Microsoft to concentrate some attention to the basic platform it now has.

One thing Microsoft could do would be to acquire my PDMSB and release it as a new "middleware" product -- thus solving all the problems created by the dominance of the "browser" as middleware.

IMHO, the browser is a deeply flawed product -- it is an interpreter that is programming the user's computer (I don't want anybody programming my computer without my permission -- but that is a whole 'nother story). In addition, it is inefficient since the content, in my tests, runs about 20% of the byte count transferred as web pages. If you want a secure, efficient computer -- the browser has to go!!

Obviously, there is a lot more to be discussed -- if you will stop being a "gate-keeper." You may not like that term; however, you are "gate-keeping" if you control another persons access to the web -- whether it be linking or blocking.

To be continued (of course)

Doug Skoglund

I don't provide for comments since that is a system designed to control the communication process -- I do provide an e-mail address!! (Please put a [MYWAY] in your title to get my attention).

BTW, I am working on a replacement system -- and I sure could use some help.

This page posted at

2015 Archive List

2014 Archive List