Will on Gruber

Today was money spending day. Don’t let anyone know. Actually, it wasn’t for much, but it was for two items that normally I wouldn’t consider buying. And they’re both related to feeds. (By feeds, I “mean” RSS, but I try and avoid acronyms and marketing terms as much as possible.)

Since NetNewsWire’s creator has joined ranks with NewsGator for new and wonderful things, Rory Prior over there with NewsMac Pro decided to announce a 40% off special for a little while to mark the occassion. Not sure exactly how those two events are linked, but I figured “Hey, I haven’t bought a feed reader yet (still on NNW Lite), and this is cheap (only $20 Australian), and I like the way Rory is experimental with interface design, so…why not?”. While I’m not enamoured at first touch, my thoughts on this app will follow at a later date. I’m reluctant to comment too much now, since I know new versions are around the corner.

And on to my second purchase. In a related way, I was browsing the internet (wasting time, as they say) and I finally got sick of reloading http://daringfireball.net/linked/ manually (Don’t miss that he mentioned my drunkenbatman-spread piece :) , and note that he did point me out for not really knowing anything. Which I confess to because it’s true—this man tells it like it is.) and coughed up $20 for membership to daringfireball. No, I won’t wear one of his t-shirts, no matter how much I like his writing.

The thing about John Gruber is that he’s one of those “perfect” writers with whom I so very rarely disagree. The money also goes in gratitude to Markdown, which I consider a very fine piece of work and which fundamentally made me reconsider how I wanted to write markup. Why indeed bother writing this is <em>empasised</em> text or this is \emph{empasised} text when it’s so much easier (and more natural) to write this is *empasised* text ?

Sure, there is always txt2tags, which is almost identical (it is slightly more powerful than Markdown, albeit with greater complexity), but I heard of Markdown first. It’s the first initial contact with an idea that creates the association.

Not to mention SmartyPants, without which my posts here would be much more tedious to write. And man, how I would hate to see no em-dashes and curly quotes here.

I do have mixed feelings about paying for membership to a single writer, which is why I didn’t sign up in the beginning. But really, everything this man writes is gold and I do want to be able to pay to continue reading that. Additionally, the linked list covers a broad amount of material while being (almost) infallibly interesting to me, and even small snippets of Gruber are better than nothing. Also, imagine if I end up one day (hey, 24 is still young) as clever as him and people pay me to do what I’m doing now? In the reverse situation, it would be kind of nice.