In Mike Schinkel‘s artfully crafted rant, Avi Bryant is “Seeing things the way in which one wants them to be (not the way they are)” — especially with regard to the need for clean URL’s. I can see the merit of both sides of this argument, and I think it speaks to the larger divide between page-oriented frameworks like Rails, and more flexible, but arguably less web-centric frameworks like Wicket.
Of course, for every Wikipedia, or other site that effectively uses clean URL’s, I could give you an Amazon — as Avi cited — or an iTunes music store, or a GMail, where URL’s are completely unimportant, and those applications do not ‘subvert the web’ or leave their users deprived. It is a design decision, whether the interface that the system presents through URL’s is important or not.
As to the wider question of whether Avi Bryant suffers from “confirmation bias,” or otherwise fails to embrace views that challenge his suppositions — well, I think we should refrain from psychoanalyzing each other through our blogs, eh? When I spoke with Avi, he actually agreed with me that learning Haskell or Erlang would be a great thing to embark on, challenging many of our pre-conceptions of what software should look like. He is an open-minded guy.
Finally, I should mention that clean URL’s in Seaside, as Ramon Leon pointed out, are quite possible. They are just not the default behavior.