Weblog Archive >  1999 >  October Previous/Next

Scripting News, the weblog started in 1997 that bootstrapped the blogging revolution.

Permanent link to archive for Sunday, October 31, 1999. Sunday, October 31, 1999

Boo!Happy Halloween! "Good to the last drop." 

Let's have fun! Send me links to horrible things. Especially *dead* horrible things. 

Thanks to David Lawrence. This story perfectly fits the above description. 

It is considered very bad manners indeed to shrink another person's head, so don't try this at home. 

Ron Kleinman, the Chief Technical Evangelist for Sun Developer Relations, makes the case for XML-RPC and SOAP. "We have demonstrated how defining an industry XML standard around a platform-neutral wire (XML/HTTP) allows for any two compliant subsystems to interconnect despite the OS and messaging middleware they use." Reading this article makes me think Sun is getting ready to support one or both, or announce their own XML-over-HTTP protocol. (Thanks to John Brewer for this pointer.) 

NY Times: "Clearly, Amazon's numbers don't paint a pretty picture. Customer growth has slowed from 60 percent in the fourth quarter of 1997 to 22 percent in the most recent quarter. Revenues per customer have declined from $40.32 in the third quarter of 1997 to $27.16." 

Another Star Trek story: "I have always thought that Captain Picard would have been better off with a design that informed him right away when somebody stole one of his shuttles, without waiting to be asked first." 

A milestone in the bootstrapping of subhonker1 (a new server). It's now an affiliate, sporting a different interface for the My.UserLand story flow. Some people might prefer this interface, but don't bookmark this page, because it's sure to go away soooon. 

Dan Gillmor: Client-servers teeming with innovation. "Client-server computing is moving away from its roots. It's morphing to be part of the environment that sucks in everything in its vicinity: the Internet. And we're only beginning to gauge the impact." Exactly! 

Edd Dumbill notes a discussion on the Python mail list about the lack of activity in XML development. Edd's been busy! He released a new version of his SiteSummary product for Zope. 

Der Spiegel: Ziemlich hilfreich. "Warum sollte man etwas umsonst tun oder sagen, wenn man damit auch Geld verdienen kann? Mit dieser Frage konfrontiert uns das neue Internet-Angebot Epinions.com. Natürlich entspricht das nicht der Selbstdarstellung des Unternehmens. Nein, Epinions.com nennt sich den 'ultimativen Online-Shopping-Guide'." 

Peter Merholz, who is featured in the Der Spiegel piece, has an English translation on his website. I found it difficult to read Peter's translation, so I wrote a script on our CMS to add paragraph breaks.  

SJ Merc: Surviving the Dot-Com Booom. "For the Silicon Valley entrepreneur, the pressures are greater than ever. Can anyone really run on valleytime forever?" No. Next question. 

LinuxWorld: A REBOL Incursion. "Don't be fooled by people who say that Carl Sassenrath's new project is 'just a scripting language.' In reality, the chief architect of the AmigaOS is after nothing less than your cell phone, your Java-enabled toaster, and your Linux box in his quest to make your operating system irrelevant in the new world of instant messaging." 

Permanent link to archive for Saturday, October 30, 1999. Saturday, October 30, 1999

Gartner: The XML Revolution for Commercial Publishing. They walk the W3C/Vignette party line. No mention of RSS, XML-RPC or SOAP. I plan to rebut this in my Seybold keynote in February. In the meantime, let's scour this report for things we agree with. Gartner influences how investors place their bets. 

Dan Shafer: Solving the next big headache for web builders. "The XML-RPC spec is the soul of brevity, occupying only a few pages when printed. The spec is also comprehensible, even to those whose background isn't in programming." 

I had no idea this article was coming yesterday when I posted the survey about the Builder.Com conference in New Orleans in December. Chalk it up to synchronicity. 

Reading Dan's piece, I want to thank him for the evangelism, but I have to correct some of the statements, because they could lead to misunderstandings. 

9/25/99: Dave's History of SOAP

We're testing a new server running NT 2000. Help us test its performance. Click on this link. You have our eternal gratitude.  

Flutterby: Objects and APIs to What End? Interesting. Dan Lyke is making the case I made to Apple in 1990, when they said all word processors could support a common scripting interface. I said it'll never work because no WP views the world the same way as any other WP. It was a marketing person's dream. What we want is what Dan wants, easy ways to drive other processes, only this time, what's new for us in the GUI world, is that we do it over a worldwide network. 

At some time, it would be great if Lyke tried to look at XML-RPC as a good thing, he might discover that it's fairly well designed and not too object oriented. We don't adopt Microsoft's religion wholesale, or Apple's, or Unix's. Or Tcl, Perl, Java, JavaScript, AppleScript, PHP, Cold Fusion, Frontier or Python. Or Apache, IIS, WebSTAR, or inetd. And if it matures well, you'll be able to drive Quark, DreamWeaver, PhotoShop, Access, Excel, and all KDE apps. That gives writers, designers and photographers the power we want to give them. It's about bridges, not architectures. Roadways not cathedrals. 

BTW, try taking AppleScript away from a Quark user to learn about the dollar value of cross-application scripting. It's a business thing, not a religious thing. (Interestingly, a couple of major Linux magazines are actually Quark apps running on Macs.) If apps aren't scriptable, human beings do more work, or less, depending on how you look at it.  

Today is "Dan Day" on Scripting News! Dan Shafer, Dan Lyke and now here's a picture of Dan Gillmor's class at Hong Kong University.  

Permanent link to archive for Friday, October 29, 1999. Friday, October 29, 1999

DaveNet: The Crazy Bar Scene in Star Wars

Survey: I'm thinking of going to the Builder.Com conference in New Orleans in December. I love the city and I can feel the need for a break coming. Reviewing the schedule I see a bunch of Scripting News readers are speaking there. I was wondering how many people are going to the conference? 

Conference website. (Opens in a separate window. Yuck!) 

Dan Gillmor: "So. It's no decision today in the Microsoft antitrust case. That means I and another zillion journalists, lawyers and tech industry folks will be speculating for at least another week over what Judge Jackson will actually say." 

Wired: IPO Eyes on Cobalt. Buy some of this if you can. A great company with a revolutionary product. 

MSNBC: Akamai Soars on IPO. "In afternoon trading, the new issue is up about 460 percent from its $26 offering price. It shouldnít be a surprise. After all, the company has a mix of positive factors going for it that are as potent as rocket fuel: technology that makes the Internet work more efficiently, the hottest IPO underwriter around and a soaring broader market." (Red Herring has a report too.) 

SalonHerringWiredFool.Com shows Wired beat Red Herring with the Akamai IPO story. 

ZDNet: Who is the Open Source Community? "Jones says he believes that there's 'no great expectation of recognition ... but people give to share.' (Believe it or not, oh children of the Reagan Era.)" 

Michael Swaine: Click and Sniff. "The stench of your email box, filled with multiple spam smells. Musk-enhanced chat rooms. Cool. What a time to be alive." 

Mail Starting 10/29/99

Economist: Nerd World War. "Especially in Asia, computer nerds have nudged their way to the front line this year, arguing that the Internet is a potent weapon. Are they right?" 

Webreview: Why would you use RSS? 

New channel: Webreview. Recursive! 

Andre Radke: "I am tempted to conclude that HTTP Digest Authentication is currently useless for practical purposes." 

Washington Post: "I'm keenly aware every day of the fact that I'm competing with such a competent, paranoid, ruthless company," Gassee said. "But justice will prevail." 

Tony Perkins: "Perhaps somewhere amidst the fad and hype of the Internet, we are all actually doing something that is important." 

Permanent link to archive for Thursday, October 28, 1999. Thursday, October 28, 1999

Webreview: RSS Delivers on the Promise of XML. "My.UserLand started as a simple customizable page where you could display different RSS channels. But it has quickly evolved into a syndication hub that combines, or aggregates, the new stories from over 440 channels into a single flow of new items. Hence, My.UserLand.Com is known as an aggregation site." 

Dan Gillmor has arrived in Hong Kong. With pictures! 

VillageNews is Kern County's First Manila Powered News Site. No doubt there will be many more! 

New Frontier 6.1 verb: string.hashMD5

Ian Beatty: DocRenderer 3.0 is "an outline renderer which allows you to author reasonably complex, prose-heavy HTML pages in [Frontier's] outliner, with minimal fussing with HTML tags." 

WSJ: Gateway, Compaq, Dell plan PCs w/o Windows.  

"Every PC manufacturer is thinking hard about and working on a lot of these devices in their labs," said Kevin Hause, an analyst who tracks the market for International Data Corp. 

Edd Dumbill is the new Managing Editor at XML.COM. Edd is a friend of UserLand. The developer of XML-RPC for PHP, he's always the first to help us test new interfaces. We like Edd because he makes software; having him as a leader at XML.COM is good news for XML. Congrats to Edd, and congrats to O'Reilly and Seybold, the co-owners of XML.COM. 

Edd says: "Thanks for the welcome Dave, I appreciate it." 

Red Herring: Jeff Hawkins fights feature creep. "Somewhere along the line, somebody has to be the bad guy, somebody has to say no," Mr. Hawkins says. "At Palm, that person was me."  

MetaFilter did a lookup on Network Solutions and found a lot of "cloud" domains reserved by Marc Andreessen. 

Now, knowing this, do you want to recast your vote in the survey on LoudCloud's value at IPO? (It's one of the nice features of our survey system, you can only vote once, but you can change your mind.) 

MetaFilter is a "community weblog". Wow! 

NYU: Responsive Face. "The eventual goal of this research is to give computer/human interfaces the ability to represent the subtleties we take for granted in face to face communication, so that they can function as agents for an emotional point of view." Addictive and fascinating. 

We have a placeholder for ads on SalonHerringWiredFool.Com. I got the ads by taking a couple from each of the four sites (they're actually making money on every hit right now). Of course we want to run our own ads on this page. I'd like to start with charities. If you know a worthy cause that has a standard banner ad available, we'll run it for free for a limited time, and probably will always include charity in our mix. 

Linux.Com only runs free ads for the Linux community. Here are some samples

Kurt Granroth is bringing XML-RPC to KDE. "This effectively means that all KDE apps can be remotely manipulated (scripted) by any language on any platform." Yahoo! 

IBM NIHs XML-RPC. It's called the "Beans Scripting Framework."  

The New Homemaker, a great weblog, is a Frontier site. "Take off your bra in a thunderstorm." I'll have to remember that! 

Jim Gable's startup is called Kerbango. "It's a huge directory for finding, selecting and listening to Internet audio off the web." 

Jim Roepcke: "I loved running my own BBS. That's one of the reasons I was so attracted to running my site with Manila. There's basically a BBS, at least the part of BBS'ing I like, message boards, included in the package!" 

64 days to Y2K. "You now have a plan." 

Permanent link to archive for Wednesday, October 27, 1999. Wednesday, October 27, 1999

DaveNet: SalonHerringWiredFool.Com

Salon: No Love Lost Between Dow Jones and Microsoft. "Last Wednesday, the Dow Jones Newswire ran a story asserting that Microsoft lawyers had been asking for language in recent contracts that would allow the contracts to remain in effect if the company were to be broken up as a result of the ongoing antitrust case." 

Great meeting this afternoon with Dale Dougherty and Peter Wiggin of O'Reilly. Lots to think about! While I was busy schmoozing and demoing there were a few glitches in the aggregator, accounting for doubles and triples on the new site. Fixed a bug! 

News.Com: Does a web zine network make business sense? "Having published its alternative e-zine on the Web for the past five years, [Feed] now wants to join forces with similar sites in a bid to boost traffic and generate stronger ad sales." 

InfoWorld reviews Mac OS 9 and Marimba DocService

SalonHerringWiredFool.Com: "An experiment in Internet content. Four great story flows, one smart website." 

Background: "Red Herring and Motley Fool cover the web from a financial viewpoint; Wired and Salon with a business and cultural view. All four are interesting and eclectic, and all four support the new XML standard for content syndication. Put together, this is the thinking-person's web, circa 2000 -- an interesting market, one that new technology makes even more interesting." 

This new site will surely be controversial. "Basically I want to start a discussion, and see where it goes. And I didn't want it to be a theoretical discussion, I wanted to have a site live, on the air, changing every hour, perhaps even covering itself, in a way, if the various pubs decide to address the question on their sites as well as ours." 

An Open Source Milestone in Aggregation. "The My.UserLand story flow has now made its way to an O'Reilly server, running Linux, with hourly updates. The application is written in Perl and the data is stored in the MySql relational database." 

Paul Everitt: "FTP is not a distributed object system. This makes using a rich object system via FTP into an underwhelming experience." 

Permanent link to archive for Tuesday, October 26, 1999. Tuesday, October 26, 1999

DaveNet: Dan Gillmor's Wee Blog! 

Dan Gillmor: "My weblog will do some of the things other weblogs do so well, such as point you to other Web content I find important or useful or outrageous or whatever." 

A new table-rendering framework is going into Frontier 6.1. "Now, five years into web programming, I think I understand the central role of tables, and how I want to build them from scripts." It's about time!  

Fred Yankowski is maintaining a page with proposed extensions to XML-RPC. 

WSJ: Andreessen to unveil latest venture. "Marc Andreessen will launch his second major Web start-up Tuesday, a company that will offer a range of technology services to get Internet companies up and running quickly." Tell them about XML-RPC. Let's work together this time, Marc. 

Are any of these guys Scripting News readers?? 

Survey: How much will Marc Andreessen's new startup be worth when they IPO? Members. 

Thanks to Flutterby for this link. Now I want to know who the students voted for! (I'm in a survey mode, if you must know.) 

Business Week: David Weatherall, Internet Evangelist

Welcome to my home page. I kiss you!!!! 

News.Com: Study reveals not-too-hot Java. I kiss you!!!! 

XML-Hack: New XML-Server mail list. "Initiated by Eric van der Vlist, the aims of the group are to identify desirable features for an XML-based data/application server, search for these features in existing products and, if necessary, consider the creation of an open-source project to implement the server." 

Dan Gillmor's weblog is a Manila site! 

We're hosting Jim Roepcke's weblog: Have Browser Will Travel. It's a Manila site. I'm a regular at Jim's site, and now I like it even better since he's using Frontier instead of DreamWeaver. Right on Jim, keep on trekin!  

Erin Clerico is a UserLand Support Associate. Last Friday, when we seeded our SAs with the first source release of Manila.Root, Erin was the first to get his Manila site on the air. We're not hosting this one. This is a key component of our business model, we're learning how to do hosting, but we're also enabling our users and customers to do it too.  

As one of the chairs of the WWW9 conference I have been asked to point to this page requesting academic institutes or consortia to volunteer to host conferences in coming years. It would be great if Scripting News could play a role in furthering the WWW. 

Permanent link to archive for Monday, October 25, 1999. Monday, October 25, 1999

Salon interviews the CEO of Knight Ridder New Media. 

Heads-up: Tomorrow we're launching a new site developed in partnership with Knight Ridder. Go UserLand! 

Salon: Pete Rose Steals the Show. "If anybody in this group doesn't think I'm sorry for what happened ... I must tell you this: that I'm sitting here looking at a lot of friends out there, and I can't think of anybody I'm looking at that I hurt."  

Seattle FUG meeting tomorrow, in Seattle, of course. 

Geoff Allen says that an OS that works would be great but it doesn't exist. Shirley Knight, it seems, would agree

Jon Udell: XML-RPC Programming with Zope

Ken Meltsner: "The Pampers research team's patents are interesting to me as the parent of newly toilet-trained toddler, and how can you resist the opportunity to find out about the state of the art in boar semen collection bags?" 

Survey: Link Colors for Scripting News. Members only. 

Ooops! I screwed up. If you were accessing the survey without a UserLand cookie it would redirect to a page on localhost. It's fixed now. Murphy is my best teacher! 

BTW, even though you can only vote once, you can change your vote. We remember your previous choice. When you change, we subtract one from that category and add one to the new one. 

BTW, It should be possible to view the results even if you're not a member. Still diggin! 

Screen shot of the survey outline. It's XML! Of course. 

A greeting card to the CEO of Blue Mountain Arts with congrats on their $780 million acquisition by Excite@Home. 

Speaking of Murphy, it's a good idea to carry an extra chute, just in case. Your humble servant. 

Cosource.Com is a My.UserLand channel. 

Question: If the web had a command line, what would it look like? 

NY Times: Product reviews from anyone with an opinion. "These sites purport to be more objective than retailers that offer user opinions. But some question whether sites that accept commissions, referral fees or advertising can deliver worthwhile information, even if it is provided by individuals with no vested interest in the products." 

Permanent link to archive for Sunday, October 24, 1999. Sunday, October 24, 1999

Jorn's Mega Content Station: "Integrating email and Web surfing and Web publishing and netnews and word-processing and file-management and image-manipulation and basic (but not BASIC) programming." 

Matt Welsh: "I think it's very important to remind people that Open Source isn't just a Microsoft-killer; it's a way to develop the infrastructure for the next generation of computing." 

SlashDot's advice for lovelorn geeks. "Women who look great aren't necessarily good in bed, and those who have learned how to use their looks as a tool to manipulate men will almost always make your life miserable in the long run." 

No comment on the SlashDot piece. But I bet guys who write about Noam Chomsky attract a certain kind of woman, probably more interesting than the ones that geeks attract? Not sure. 

Coming in Frontier 6.1: thread.callScript, tcp.readStreamBytes, tcp.readStreamUntil, tcp.writeStringToStream, html.neuterMacros, html.neuterTags

5/24/99, on SlashDot: Jon Katz on Weblogs. "They seem to almost all be ideologically opposed to hostility, including essayish commentary and observations. Because the site creator limits and approves membership, they don't need to be defended as intensely as bigger sites, nor do they attract - or permit - posters who abuse others. One obvious payoff is that the flow of ideas is strong, uninterrupted and impressive."  

Katie Hafner: "Nothing should detract from the role Berners-Lee played in taking a relatively obscure computer network and making it into a mass medium." 

MSNBC asks what's the worst idea of the millennium? 

Nicholas Petreley asks if it's time for Internet cops? 

NY Times: Play the Internet, With Apple. "Even with the 80.6 percent run-up in Apple shares this year, to $73.9375 on Friday, they still trade at a discount to those of other personal computer manufacturers like Dell Computer or Gateway, let alone to a pure Internet play like Yahoo." Don't overlook that the Mac is still strong with Internet content developers. 

More comments on the PeterMe website. It turns out he has an issue with one of my comments in the Third Voice debate here a few weeks back. That was a surprise! I sent him an email asking him to reconsider some of his (new) statements about me. 

Unfortunately Peter's comments have already scrolled. Hellllp. I'll leave the link here, with best wishes to Merholz and his readers. 

Washington Post: "'Know thyself' is a highly overrated piece of wisdom. As for knowing the self of others, forget it. Know what they do and judge them by their works." I've tatoo'd this on my forehead, along with a dozen similar reminders. 

Permanent link to archive for Saturday, October 23, 1999. Saturday, October 23, 1999

Brock Meeks: AOL under fire on hate speech. "With AOL having nearly 18 million members, DíAmato said itís not realistically possible to monitor all the content put into the systemís member profiles. However, AOL does employ the use of a 'block list' that contains certain words it automatically blocks from being input into member profiles." 

InfoWorld: Schema Skirmish between IBM and Microsoft. "Since the launch of BizTalk, IBM officials say it has become increasingly apparent that what Microsoft has in mind is a derivative of XML that is not customizable and can be accessed only through The Microsoft Network." 

Look at the link list down the left edge of this page. Isn't that beautiful?? Wow. 

Press release: Mirapoint stops email viruses at the router

Two interesting links from Jorn Barger's Robot Wisdom site. First, he did a survey of people who read his site to find out how popular their weblogs are. Second, he posted a screen shot of his work environment. Nice to see Frontier (5.0.2?) running in the foreground on Jorn's Mac desktop! 

In the same spirit, here's a screen shot of my desktop, as I edit Scripting News this morning and work on a DaveNet piece that will run on Tuesday. 

Eatonweb is following Epinions closely. 

Whim & Vinegar: "If I ran Epinions, here's what I'd do. In addition to the current model, I'd also provide a way to do quick reviews with pull down menus." 

I updated my weblog on Pitas.Com. New look! (New template.) 

One of my favorite sites for not promising too much. A great domain name too! (It's short for Be Nice To Bears.) 

I added some pictures to UserLand's global glossary.  

From Flutterby, 10/12/99: "Dave Winer has discovered why reinventing protocols is a bad idea, he's running into problems with his content distribution system built on top of XML-RPC because his protocols don't take into account a lot of the issues that SMTP and NNTP deal with effectively. This wouldn't be noteworty except that this sort of arrogance pops up fairly frequently, developers slap together something without thinking through the ramifications and it ends up biting them. I'd have thought that Dave's been in the business long enough to know this, but he seems to be remarkably short-sighted." 

Pet peeve: I wish this were on a separate page on the Flutterby site so I could point to it instead of quoting it in full. I want to respond. I will do that over in the UserLand DG

Let's take another look at the web hosting protocol. It's important that people review this. It's not a replacement for FTP, it's a new bit of functionality that reduces the complexity of content management systems, both for the developer and for the editorial team. FTP was invented before the web. A higher level protocol is necessary so that web content management can get easier and more widely deployable. 

Permanent link to archive for Friday, October 22, 1999. Friday, October 22, 1999

InfoWorld: Microsoft Opens Up. "We're saying that the Internet, and the way people build things on the Web, is what's going to win," said John Shewchuk, an architect for Microsoft's developers group. I totally agree, of course. 

New.Com: A Wireless Compaq Laptop

Britannica.Com: "The tremendous response to Britannica.com has created a tidal wave of activity on our site, and we are working hard to make the site available as quickly as possible." 

Ken Metlsner: Patents are the 18th century equivalent of open source. 

Richard Brandt: Sun's War of Trenches

Thanks to Mark Kennedy for the pointer to the W3C FAQ. It could be infuriating if you need help from a human being, but I don't so it's really interesting how they're doing it. Check it out.  

Jeff Bezos: "We spent thousands of hours to develop our 1-Click process, and the reason we have a patent system in this country is to encourage people to take these kinds of risks and make these kinds of investments for customers." Double-talk. If Bezos was pro-customer, he'd avoid using lawsuits to lock customers into using his servers to buy books. 

Fortune: Amazon vs Everybody. "In Bezos' vision, Amazon.com will be the center of the e-commerce universe. Books, pet food, tennis shoes, banjos--whatever e-shoppers want, they can buy it, or locate it, on Amazon.com." 

Wired: Amazon, B&N, Mutual Hissy Fit

York University is doing a major Frontier project, I've seen it, and it's huuuuge. Not surprisingly, they're looking for more Frontier developers. 

Simon Garland runs a Frontier-managed website just down the road from Davos. 

Mark Kennedy is playing hide and seek with the W3C. 

Dan Gillmor: "Y2K -- wow, there's a surprise! I mean, who could have seen it coming?"  

Here's a page that tells you in gory detail how little time is left is before our reality shifts. 

A man piloting a hot air balloon discovers he has wandered off course and is hopelessly lost. He descends to a lower altitude and locates a man down on the ground. He lowers the balloon further and shouts "Excuse me, can you tell me where I am?"  

I have been invited to keynote Seybold/Boston in early February 2000. This is quite an honor. I plan to talk about our Edit this Page vision for website writing, and our work with O'Reilly and Microsoft. 

And there are firmed-up plans for me to go to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, the week before Seybold. This is the conference that Michael Dell, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Rupert Murdoch and John Markoff go to. What's going on? All of a sudden I'm "in". 

And finally there's WWW9 in Amsterdam in May, where I am co-chair of the Distributed Computing track. This should be a great meeting for the melding of different protocols into a web of applications that cross OS, scripting and economic boundaries. Script writers rule the world! (An old slogan, but still a good one.) No more Uber-OSes. (Another good slogan, still working it.) 

Permanent link to archive for Thursday, October 21, 1999. Thursday, October 21, 1999

Washington Post: "'Know thyself' is a highly overrated piece of wisdom. As for knowing the self of others, forget it. Know what they do and judge them by their works." 

Atlantic Unbound: "Epinions could be called a 'productlog' -- a focused, for-profit version of what blogs have been doing for a couple years now." 

Thomas Creedon's weblog has all the features a weblog needs. A news page with an easy to remember URL, a calendar interface for back-issues (no linkrot when you point to his site), a discussion group, a search engine and an XML back-end.  

Peter Merholz runs the PeterMe website. He's a good designer, in fact he just landed a job at Epinions, as their creative director. I bet he gets some good stock options. Here's a picture of Peter playing some kind of board game with Carl Steadman, Justin Hall and Taylor, all of whom I know from Wired. Peter will certainly do well at Epinions, he has no problem clearly expressing his own opinion!  

BeNews: Scripting in BeOS

Eva Torrington on Sash: "Have you actually downloaded and tried Sash? I did and it is very cool." 

Dennis Chao: Doom as a tool for system administration. "People frequently talk about 'blowing processes away', and the Unix command to destroy a process is Kill. This suggests a metaphor for process management. Each process can be a monster, and the machines can be represented by a series of rooms."  

Listening to NPR, an interview with some man, I'm thinking "This guy is pretty smart!" and guess what, it turns out to be Dan Quayle! 

Wired interviews Tim Berners-Lee. "People keep asking me what I think of it now that it's done. Hence my protest: The Web is not done!" Yes! But.. 

6/23/99: "Who would ever use two programs, one to read and one to write? Why isn't the web browser a writing environment *and* a reading environment? Because none of the engineers on MSIE at Microsoft use Hotmail for email. I can only infer that, because if they did, it would be usable as a writing environment, even in a rudimentary way." 

WSJ: WhereDoYouDrawTheLine.Com? "With the surge in day trading, is it OK for employees to log on to make a quick stock deal? How about sending out e-mail messages from work supporting a politician? Or using office computers to hunt for a new job? And if any of this is permissible occasionally, just when does it cross into excess?" 

NY Times: "The born-again iMacs are, dollar for dollar, the best computers Apple has produced in many years. Other PC makers will be racing to match the iMac's blend of high-tech features and simplicity." 

MacWEEK: "Can Apple be simultaneously revolutionary and maintain the status quo?"  

Permanent link to archive for Wednesday, October 20, 1999. Wednesday, October 20, 1999

DaveNet: Winning isn't everything! 

XML.COM: Responses to 'Open Sources, Open Standards'

Here's the article that we were responding to. 

CNN: Encyclopedia Brittanica Site Jammed. "The retooled site received millions of hits Tuesday after the Chicago-based publisher said it was putting all 32 volumes and 44 million words on the Internet, gratis." 

MacWEEK: Viewing the Web in Black and White

David Carter-Tod: WinPoke captures keyboard combination presses in Windows and executes Frontier scripts. 

IBM: "Sash enables web developers to rapidly create network based applications that integrate seamlessly into the common desktop environment using standard web development tools such as JavaScript, XML, and HTML."  

Wayne Steele on Sash: "It doesn't sound any different than what Microsoft already has with Scriptlets, COM, and the Windows Scripting Host." 

Regular Expressions: CVS in Scripting

Are tomatoes are the "deadliest fruit in the world?" 

10/11/96: Marcia Marcia Marcia. "There was this guy, a sign-maker with a great sense of humor, he came to every Mets game and sat in the front row of Shea Stadium. He had signs that had something funny to say. On opening day, just after the first pitch, he holds up a sign. A hopeful one. It says Wait Till Next Year!" 

Permanent link to archive for Tuesday, October 19, 1999. Tuesday, October 19, 1999

DaveNet: You Gotta Believe! 

MSNBC: Atlanta beats NY, 10-9 in 11. Wait till next year! 

Epinions embraces RSS with 8 new channels: Automotive, Computer, Electronics, Literary, Movie, Music, Outdoors, Sports and Travel

SJ Merc interview with Tim Berners-Lee. "We should keep the design very clean so we can build anything on top of the Web." 

Salon: "Selling older products for higher prices to customers who thought they were getting something else is a plan that many large corporations would love to pursue. Even Jobs couldn't pull that one off, and this week Apple retreated from the ill-starred plan amid copious apologies." 

Fastball.Com narrates the 1986 World Series. "On the 10th pitch Wilson grounds it down the first base line. Buckner shuffles over, bends over and it ticks off his glove and rolls into the right field. Knight dances home to his exhuberant teammates." 

Harry Nilsson's "I Guess the Lord Must Be in New York City" is on his greatest hits album. It was one of the tunes in 1969's Midnight Cowboy starring Dustin Hoffman and Jon Voight. 

XML-HACK: A free English dictionary in XML. "Michael Dyck has announced the availability of an XML version of the GCIDE dictionary, derived from Webster's dictionary. The full download totals about 13MB of zip files." 

NY Times: Yankees Beat Red Sox, Win ALCS. Meanwhile the Mets are just two games away from pushing aside the Braves, moving towards the first 'Subway Series' in several generations. You gotta believe! 

Bob Klapisch in the Bergen Record believed, back in April of this year when he said: "So, maybe it is a faraway dream. Maybe the baseball experts are right, that the Mets should consider themselves blessed even to sneak in the back door as the wild card and be content merely to look good in the NL Division Series. Maybe the wait for a Subway Series will linger a few more summers." Only two more games. 

Permanent link to archive for Monday, October 18, 1999. Monday, October 18, 1999

AP: Starr Quits

CNN: Starr will be Larry King's guest, 6PM Pacific. 

Breaking news from AP. The Ten Worst Websites. Holy cow! Hamster Dance is one of them!  

One more time!  

Fortune's Brent Schlender interviews Microsoft's Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer. "Windows is a very different computing platform than we started with. But people can use the same development tools they've always used and run the same code, and they don't have to write all their programs in some religious new language." Thanks! 

Salon interviews Exodus's Ellen Hancock. "It's really fun to walk through a data center and see all of the different site setups. Even if you've seen a hundred sites, each one gives you a different feel. You'll go by one with DEC Alphas and Cisco routers; the next one has an NT front end and Solaris back end. Everyone sets up their site differently. They are all different in structure, and we have to be ready for that. If a customer has Linux we can support them, if they have NT we can support them, if they have Mac we can support them." 

Dan Gillmor: Subversive Software. "More thoughtful critics worry that Microsoft might decide that this kind of software is a natural part of the operating system, thereby inviting the entire world to mess up Internet content that content providers have spent years creating."  

The table of contents for the November issue of Linux Magazine. Don't bother clicking on the links, the stories are only for readers of the print magazine. What is it about the Linux magazines that struggles so with the worldwide web? What is it that they fear?? What's so great about dead trees and the Postal Service? 

NY Times: "Graying nerds who recall the Balkanization of Unix into a slew of incompatible operating systems may be reliving history with the proliferation of Linux brands." 

Fredrik Lundh: Guide to the Standard Python Library. "256 pages, 320 scripts." 

Press release: Iona iPortal Suite. "IONA's support for SOAP in IONA iPortal Suite will help organizations integrate the Web and the enterprise." 

Sendmail.Net is launching this week with interviews with Open Source luminaries. 

Permanent link to archive for Sunday, October 17, 1999. Sunday, October 17, 1999

MSNBC: Mets Beat Braves on Grand Slam in 15th. Believe! 

CatchTheWeb is a Windows program for collecting and sharing what you find on the Web. 

Brian Carnell: "Does an organization have the right to maintain web pages and serve those up even if the [original] web site doesn't want this?" 

Jakob Nielsen: Prioritize: Good Content Bubbles to the Top. "On today's Web, the most common mistake is to make everything too prominent: over-use of colors, animation, blinking, and graphics. Every element of the page sceams 'look at me' (while all the other design elements scream 'no, look at me'). When everything is emphasized, nothing is emphasized." 

NY Times: Mets Stay Alive. "With two Olerud at-bats and a gutsy two-out double steal in the eighth inning, the Mets shoved the hammer away for at least a day, coming from behind for a thrilling 3-2 victory that kept their gasping season breathing." 

Permanent link to archive for Saturday, October 16, 1999. Saturday, October 16, 1999

Performance Computing: "BeOS is not a server OS. It is a fast and stable client with a great head for graphics and digital media. It speaks the language of C++ coders." 

SlashDot discovers SOAP. "Is MS actually doing the market a favour by removing vendors' lock-in strategies to properietary solutions?" Yes, in a sense they are, although from the MS viewpoint they are probably undermining the Java-everywhere wire protocol, RMI. Sun got caught with their hands in the cookie jar. Ooops! Why is RMI Java-only? Who does *that* serve? 

9/12/99: An End to the Uber-Operating System. "While Sun, IBM and others wanted to turn Java into the über-operating system, UserLand and Microsoft worked to flatten the differences between operating systems. The latter approach is based on an appreciation for diversity, the former, was an attempt to suck the whole world into Java." 

Smart Reseller: The world isn't revolving around Redmond anymore. "'They're not going to be the force in the next 10 years that they were in the past 10 years,' an official with a major Windows OEM told me this week." 

Web Hosting XML-RPC Spec. "This spec describes the server side of a web hosting service, like GeoCities or Tripod, but open to content managed in environments that support XML-RPC." 

We updated the XML-RPC spec to include a new copyright and disclaimer, derived from the standard IETF statement. It allows complete freedom to build on XML-RPC while maintaining the integrity of the spec. 

Michael Swaine: "Third Voice goes to a lot of trouble to make the annotations look like a hack on the target machine." 

Silly little sample: agents.y2k

Red Herring: Softnet joins Pacific Century in Asia broadband. "Mr. Li wanted Softnet's experience in delivering broadband service to cable operators to help build the largest Internet-link distribution system in Asia." 

MSNBC: Living with ADSL, Revisited. "I received three distinct categories of e-mail. The 'You Donít Know What Youíre Talking About!' mail; the 'Itís A Lot Cheaper Here!' messages and the 'You Think You Had Problems!' stories." 

Reuters: 7.0 Earthquake Rocks Southern California. "No serious injuries were immediately reported and damage appeared to be limited by the fact that the epicenter of the earthquake was located just north of the California desert community of Joshua Tree, a sparsely populated region in the Mojave Desert." 

Permanent link to archive for Friday, October 15, 1999. Friday, October 15, 1999

Welcome to LinuxGrrls.Org. "We prefer to use the right tools for the job, and where the right tools don't yet exist for Linux or is not yet in an open-sourced form, we're not too proud to use them on other platforms." Yeah! 

MacInTouch report on Mac OS 9. "It is now possible to control another Macintosh via AppleScript over the Internet." 

Matt Neuburg: Running Frontier behind a Web server. (Mac.) 

There aren't enough ads like this on the Internet. 

News.Com: SOAP Could Slip Up Microsoft Rivals. "SOAP is not the only answer, but it's the right approach. The world wants more interoperability," Smith said. "We've never solved it. And we haven't heard from any other vendors what the alternative is." Well, there is XML-RPC. I guess the key word there is "heard". 

Another quote: "SOAP doesn't require any Microsoft software. Instead, Microsoft sees it as effectively leveling the playing field between Windows and development strategies based on Java. Instead of being forced to chose one model, companies will be free to select whichever is best suited to solving the problem at hand, Microsoft reasons." Key point. 

One more thing, Developmentor is pretty far along with a Java implementation of SOAP. Stay tuned. 

SF Chronicle: Ten Years After. "The country thought it was tuning into a baseball game. What it got was history's first prime-time, on-the-air disaster movie." 

AP: Mets lose to Braves, down 3-0 in NL title series

Gartner Group: Will Linux Be Viable Competition for Windows Desktops? "To displace Windows, Linux would have to offer some compelling feature or 'killer application' that is so overwhelming that it justifies a migration. The problem is that any application that can be created under Linux can easily be ported to Windows, thus obviating any advantage." Old old thinking. 

My Opinion Only: Linux changes the economic model for OSes as well as for developers of killer apps. Microsoft hasn't offered me, a developer, the chance to bake my software into their operating system. Linux, the OS without the OS vendor, has no opinion about whether I do a bake-off or not. 

Question for Gartner: How would you do a Cobalt Qube with NT? How much would it cost? 

7/7/99: Linux Don't Blink. "If Microsoft won't give us the server platform we need, it's sitting right here on Linux, ready to go, for a very reasonable price, without any lock-in. (None of the analysts include that in their reasoning, how many dollars is the lack of lock-in worth?)" 

Talk about XML-RPC on the Jabber developer mail list

Reuters: 'Snortal' proves the Net stinks. "Think this has the slight reek of a hoax about it? Well, guess again. Smith and his partner, Joel Bellenson, are proven high-tech entrepreneurs, having founded Pangea Systems Inc., an industry leader in providing software and technology to biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies." 

BTW, the DigiScents site is done with Frontier. Marc Canter is leading the creative team, with "Seth Dillingham" leading on the technical side. I haven't used the product myself, so I don't know if it's real or not, but Marc says it is, and while Marc is nutty and creative, he's also quite astute. We'll certainly find out soon if it's real or not, for the time being, why *not* believe? (I signed up for their beta program.) 

Unrelated to anything, we mothballed a site we did with Apple in March 1997. Our ISP is retiring the server, so we gave this old site a permanent home on UserLand.Com. 

Permanent link to archive for Thursday, October 14, 1999. Thursday, October 14, 1999

DigiScents site is live. "Bringing Scent into the Digital Age." 

Tim Berners-Lee: A Vision for the Future. "The new Web must allow me to learn by crossing boundaries. It has to help me reorganize the links in my own brain so I can understand those in another personís. It has to enable me to keep the frameworks I already have, and relate them to new ones." 

XML-RPC Spec for Email: "You can use the information in this document to RPC a message to a UserLand.Com server and have it sent as an email message." 

In a true community spirit, Eric Soroos posted his initial thoughts for an XML-RPC interface for mail storage. 

Here's the Frontier source code for the Mail-RPC server. 

Edd Dumbill is the first to support the new email spec, in PHP, both client and server. Schwinnng! 

Draft of a new copyright and disclaimer page for the XML-RPC specification. It's derived from the copyright and disclaimer statement for IETF RFCs. Comments are welcome. 

Salon: Surf and Sniff. "Smell-enhanced surfing: It's a concept so bizarre it just has to be a hoax. Imagine stink-bomb-scented e-mail from angry ex-lovers. Online used-car salesman who perfume their Web sites with authentic "new leather." Video games that blast you with the hot stench of alien guts. What a hoot!" 

Salon asks if fart-enhanced email is coming next! I *thought* of it, but I didn't dare say it. 

Just when you thought it was safe to read Scripting News, here's the farts.com joke page. (Suggestion: go to the bathroom first.) 

I totally want an XML-RPC interface to this server at Ars Digita. That would be so useful, to have an always-up authority on the connection capabilities of a given server, esp if they maintained a historic database and rated servers on a scale of 1 to 10. 

Brock Meeks: Web Site Holders Surrender Privacy. "When Robert Cohen set up an Internet site to sell unpopular political films he was looking for customers; now heís afraid of the crackpots." 

ZDNet UK: "For a month or so earlier this year, DoubleClick, an Internet advertising firm based in New York, furtively put up three different editions of its home page. Most visitors saw one version, highlighting the firm's accomplishments. Employees of a rival firm could see only another version, with a special press release touting DoubleClick's capture of one of the rival's customers. Clients being wooed saw only a third version." 

Witness.Org advances human rights through the use of video and related communications technologies. 

When I got a demo of Windows 98 from Yusuf Mehdi, a few months before it shipped, I saw that they had a command at the top of the Start menu that said "Update Windows". 

Wired: When Death Goes Live. "Two great people are now in a higher place," said expedition member Kristoffer Erickson, "Their souls have entered a greater existence."  

Permanent link to archive for Wednesday, October 13, 1999. Wednesday, October 13, 1999

XML.COM: The Importance of Interapplication Protocols. "An example of openness in action with XML is at Userland Software. The people at Userland were heavily involved in XML-RPC and have since been making their servers open for developers to use to construct services. The result has been a growing community of people who help test Userland's ideas and software, contribute to it and provide complementary functionality. Userland has thus got a high profile as a company that knows about connecting applications together, despite its small size." Cooool! 

TechWeb: Get Ready for a SOAP Opera. "Services off the Internet is something we want."  

SlashDot: Multiplatform Distributed Systems. "The way things are shaping up I am thinking hard about rolling my own, because right now I have a need that I cannot fulfill from outside sources. Yes, not Invented Here strikes again, but I can't find a solution. Am I alone in this? What do you think? Do you have any solutions?" Somebody, please tell them about XML-RPC. 

Hey XML-RPC is getting rave reviews on SlashDot. Let's go Mets! 

Oooops! The Mets are Down 2-0. 

AP: Maine Gets Taste of Y2K Glitch. "State government got its first Y2K surprise months early when owners of 2000 model cars and trucks received titles identifying their new vehicles as 'horseless carriages.'" 

News.Com: Gateway to Sell Cobalt. Good move! 

Wired: Ooooh, That URL Is Ugly! "Shouldn't an URL -- uniform resource locator -- look clean and be easy to remember, giving you some clue as to where you are and what you're looking at?" 

Frontier users: I released the source for redirect.root, the guest database that implements redirect.userland.com. 

MSN: 10 Dumb Things NT Users Do. "People make the mistake of letting Windows NT suggest the default Pagefile size for your system. This is the amount of memory in your system plus 12 megabytes. This just isn't sufficient for today's applications. As a result, your system will perform rather poorly in just about all cases." 

Breakage on the Wired channel. "If anyone from Wired is tuned in, let's work together to get this back online. Thanks!" 

Here's some synchronicity. The Wired channel broke because their redirector can't handle commas in the URLs, and they just switched over to Vignette, which of course puts commas in the URLs. Murphy lives at Wired tooo! 

Microsoft Microsoft Microsoft. "It's just as senseless as Java Java Java was. We've got to find some way to wean the Open Source people off their dependence on Microsoft." 

4/5/97: "The press only knows three stories, Apple is dead, Microsoft is evil, and Java is the future. And they only ask two questions -- Is Apple still dead? Is Microsoft still evil? Let's ask the third question." Replace all Java with Linux. 

Another quote: "This Java stuff is an interesting distraction, but the future is still the web." Still true. 

A directory of ancient Mac apps. Including MacDraw, which I miss. Are there any simple draw programs on Windows? 

Gripe: There's too much "branding" on the LinuxPlanet site. A tutorial shouldn't have so much advertising! Hellllp. 

Perl News is a My.UserLand channel. 

Red Herring: "It's been said so many times, we're starting to accept it as fact: entrepreneurs who strike it rich at dot-com companies take the money and run. But there's one teensy problem with that assertion -- no proof." 

XML-Hack: Conference Report on XML ONE Europe

Permanent link to archive for Tuesday, October 12, 1999. Tuesday, October 12, 1999

Zope.Org: How To Use XML-RPC with Zope

Chris McDonough: Zope vs SiteServer Comparison

Ari Davidow, on XML editors: Allegations of Functionality in search of reality. "I have encountered none of the enthusiasm for specific tools that foreshadowed the transition from editors to word processors (dig that Wordstar!), or that accompanied the rise in HTML (HomeSite! No, PageMill!). I have found no comparative reviews or links to favorite XML editors on the XML interest websites." 

My personal preference, Frontier's outliner, makes a fine XML editor. I really don't need or want anything more than this, at this time. 

Salon: Wilt Chamberlain Dead at 63

Learning about Aggregation: "The XML-RPC connection we specified between affiliates and the aggregator works great if the connection between the aggregator and all the affiliates is 7-by-24 and high performance.." 

Cameron Barrett: Why Epinions Might be the Next Amazon. "Not only is Epinions providing a valuable service to consumers, it will likely become the first place companies and manufacturers will go when attempting to gauge consumer opinion about their products and services." 

Juancarlo Anez: Start the Revolution without me. "Like many programmers, I have used and written open-source software for a long time. I'm glad that we now have a phrase -- open source -- to describe what we've been doing. But I object to narrow definitions that exclude workable, time-honored, and popular practices. Now that we have a buzzword, people are trying to cram political and economic agendas into the term." Excellent! 

Frontier: Suites in Guest Databases. A big feature request! 

Useful Inc: XSL Stylesheet for ScriptingNews

Wired: eBay Aggregation Dispute Escalates. "Our company position is we believe we're complying with all applicable laws," said Kamini Ramani, AuctionWatch's vice president of corporate communications. "We believe this is public domain information."  

Salon: Microsoft's Annual Report, Made on Macintosh

Joe Brancatelli: Apple's Driven Me To Wintel. "I gritted my teeth when Apple ran Mac cloners out of business and made us prisoners of one company that controlled pricing, distribution, operating system, and hardware. Yeah, I told friends, it's a monopoly, but.." 

Jeff Lewis: New iMacs and Mac OS 9.  

MacWEEK: Megahertz Matters

AP: Boston Beats Cleveland. It's Boston vs NY and Atlanta vs NY. Interesting baseball year! 

Permanent link to archive for Monday, October 11, 1999. Monday, October 11, 1999

Happy Thanksgiving to our friends in Canada!  

What is DigiScents? "Advances in understanding the human genome and computational biochemistry combined with Java and the Internet now place us in an unprecedented situation." 

Zac: "One of the best hoaxes to be propogated on the net population at large."  

New commands in Frontier's HTML Menu. 

Jon Udell: What's Hard About Group Messaging

redirect.userland.com: "Let's find out what the value of a link on Scripting News is today, and this will give me a way to measure the effect of things we do to increase the value of such a link." 

Luke Tymkowski is exploring Squishdot and RDF. 

Lou Gerstner: "Any customer or nation who gets trapped by a closed architecture runs the very real risk of being left behind." 

Time: Steve's Two Jobs. "Apple uses art to create technology. Pixar uses technology to create art." 

NY Times: "Jim Clark is not so much an Internet entrepreneur as the embodiment of a new kind of economic man. The founder of Silicon Graphics, Netscape and now Healtheon built his fortune and his legend on nothing more than his next wildy simple notion." 

Postscript to the Compaq DOA piece (the most popular DaveNet since we started tracking reads on individual pieces) -- even though I returned the defective machine, they failed to credit me, so the charge is still on my credit card account. More hassles. Watch out for these people, they hate customers. "A withering experience." 

"If the box could shrink further, and become nicer to look at, and more closed, I would be quite happy. When they said I had to open the box I said 'This is unfair!'" I don't like computers, I like what I can do with them. 

MSNBC on DSL. "Red Connect offers inexpensive 56K modem dial-up, 128K ISDN and 1MB DSL service. Throughout New York, their signs proclaim: 'Red Means Go.' Now that it's up and running in my house, I know they ain't kidding." 

Kurt Granroth: KDE Developer Conference Report. "The distributed nature of CORBA presented a few problems related to concurrency, reliability, and performance. It was decided that for application/GUI embedding, it made much more sense to use local components. This embedding approach is similar to how ActiveX and COM components are implemented in the Windows world and is likewise as seamless to the user." 

Dan Gillmor: "When you put up a public Web site, be prepared for the public -- including rivals and third-party intermediaries seeking to make some money off of your work -- to use your site in ways you never, ever anticipated." 

MacWEEK: Developers debate Filemaker pricing, policies. "One hot topic for developers is that under the licensing terms for FileMaker Pro 5.0, use of third-party software -- such as Lasso -- is prohibited, as is the use of AppleScript-based CGI scripts." 

Permanent link to archive for Sunday, October 10, 1999. Sunday, October 10, 1999

Webtechniques: Scripting XML with Tcl. "To initiate an XML-RPC request, the Tcl-RPC package creates an XML document containing the method name to invoke and its parameters, and then sends it to the server via an HTTP request." 

Webtechniques: Distributed Software Development. "To work on a file, one needs to check it out, just like taking a book out of a library. Once changes are complete, the file is checked back in, accompanied with brief comments describing the changes. A checked-in file is immutable, and can't be changed again without checking it out." 

SJ Merc: Buying a Mac no longer a risky investment. "By sheer force of personality, and undoubtedly a lot of screaming behind the scenes, Jobs has completely turned around Apple since re-taking control of the company two years ago." 

Edd Dumbill: XML-RPC for PHP v1b5

Brent Simmons: New UserLand Search Engine Feature

Seattle Times: Site aims to deflate Linux hype

I added a static rendering that's updated every time our aggregator completes a scan, that is the HTMLization of the last 12 links from Salon, Red Herring, Wired and Motley Fool. 

Ken MacLeod explains how the IETF process works and outlines his plan for standardizing "Lightweight Distributed Objects." 

XML-Hack: New print magazine coming

I'm looking for pointers to disclaimers of intellectual property rights for public specifications. 

Fredrik Lundh found excellent prior art for disclaimers. 

On the IETF site, a list of claims by companies who appear to be saying that an IETF activity is venturing into areas where they believe they have a patent.  

http://aaronland.net/ is a really nice site! 

Permanent link to archive for Saturday, October 09, 1999. Saturday, October 09, 1999

DaveNet: A Pitch from O'Reilly

A quick deal. The most recent 12 links from Tomalak's Realm are on Scripting News, just above the SalonHerringWiredFool box. 

Akilesh Rajan asks how he can hook into the story flow in a specific way without a 7-by-24 net connection. Excellent! 

An update to agents.StatusMessage displays the number of HTTP requests processed if Frontier is running as a web server, and also allows callbacks to add to the status display. 

We want to change the interface on a pair of XML-RPC handlers that allow access to UserLand's discussion group software. It's unlikely that any apps are using these handlers. But the question has to be asked publicly, not just in the Frontier community, because XML-RPC is not just a Frontier thing. 

Permanent link to archive for Friday, October 08, 1999. Friday, October 08, 1999

Happy Belated First Birthday to Discuss.UserLand.Com! 

This evening we released a new version of builtins.scheduler that makes it easy to manage script threads that run concurrently. The new scheduler will be part of Frontier 6.1. 

O'Reilly's Frank Willison interviews Python's Guido Van Rossum. 

MacWEEK: Macromedia CEO Copes with Success. "When things are working really well I'm not as interested." 

Tim O'Reilly: Where the Web Leads Us. "Dave Winer's XML-RPC is a sign of things to come. It's a bad sign that Microsoft knows more about this than the leaders of the Linux community. They've already incorporated it into a new protocol that they are calling SOAP." Let's go Linux! 

I sent an email to Tim, with some ideas. 

WebWord interviews the Human Behind Robot Wisdom

A message I posted on the XML-DEV list this morning. 

Jesse Berst: In Defense of Cookies

Richard Brandt: Sun, AOL Repeat History. "Red Hat is one of the few software companies developing an innovative business model, exploiting both the open source movement and the Internet." 

ZDNet: Startup Promises Portable Portal. "The big portals are communities in the same way destination resorts are communities. We want you to create your own neighborhood and be able to carry it with you."  

Permanent link to archive for Thursday, October 07, 1999. Thursday, October 07, 1999

DaveNet: Five Years of DaveNet

Matt Neuburg's Membership tutorial. 

Danny Goodman: Getting Ready for the W3C DOM

Lawrence Lee on eBay's Blockade Strategy

On the XML-DEV list, Kent Sievers is disillusioned about interoperability. 

Andrew Wooldridge started a thread on MacroMedia's WhirlWind project, their template for content management, asking me to ask them to support XML-RPC interfaces. Of course I think they should, we'll pitch them on it when we ship Manila, at that point the value of a connection should be totally apparent.  

Faisal Jawdat: Using Frontier with DreamWeaver

InfoWorld: Informix and XML. "Internet Foundation.2000 will soon support hierarchical XML data storage, allowing the import, export, storage, and querying of XML structures in their native hierarchical format." 

Philip Greenspun: Introduction to AOLServer, Part 4. 

In the rush to get the affiliate interface out, I overlooked that we have a new public interface for people to test their XML-RPC clients against. 

9/3/99: "In our system, each story has a *single* location, the site where it originated. We think this is the way the web was meant to work. Stories can live and grow while new information is obtained. Comments from readers can add new facts and ideas and link to other related stories." 

The first DaveNet, five years ago today. Churn! 

10/7/97: Three Years of DaveNet. "I'd like my legacy to be that I helped people be kinder to each other, to find more fun in other people, not to be so threatened by the differences between people." 

Press release: Macromedia merges with Andromedia. "The merger will result in the industry's first closed loop eMarketing solution that combines personalization and analysis with Macromedia's family of Web publishing software." Closed? 

MSNBC: Geek Peak Erodes into Brand Canyon. "This is a place for solutions. But with all the solutions, I only want to know one thing: What's the problem?" 

Red Herring: Interwoven Swinging for the Bleachers. "After all is said and done, when it comes to today's IPO market, it isn't a company's business model that's important, nor is its profit and loss statement. Each IPO is chum in the water for the day traders' feeding frenzy." Chum. 

Permanent link to archive for Wednesday, October 06, 1999. Wednesday, October 06, 1999

Through the magic of syndication, now on the Scripting News home page there's a box down the right edge containing the most recent dozen stories from Salon, Red Herring, Wired and Motley Fool. This is the first time that syndicated content is being displayed off the My.UserLand home page.  

Here's the script that generates the box. 

InfoWorld: "People think just because it is open-source, the result is going to be automatically better. Not true. You have to lead it in the right directions to succeed. Open source is not the answer to world hunger," Torvalds said.  

[[Web/Standards/XML-RPC/Email]]XML-RPC Interface for Email. "If you had our goal -- high-volume scriptable email thru XML-RPC, what platform choices would you make and what email source code base would you build on?" 

Wes Felter says that postfix is faster than sendmail. Wes did the first dynamic server framework in Frontier, also known as Betty

Eric Soroos says that the hard part is the API. Eric maintains a full mail server in Frontier. Looks like we're going to need to buy another NT machine soooon.  

Bob Atkinson expresses approval. Bob is one of two MS guys I worked with on XML-RPC. Along with Tony Williams, Bob was the co-architect of COM. His support means a lot to me! 

[[UserLand/Frontier/Community]]Last call for Support Associates for 2000. If you've checked off that you want to be considered, please be sure that your Frontier Developer prefs panel has been filled out. Thanks! 

Marc Canter offers a pretty good hint about his secretive project. Now I guess it's OK to point you to the JLG story that's my hint.  

10/7/95: Welcome Back Jean-Louis. "Extend your right arm. Pull your pinky to your palm. Same with the fourth finger and your thumb. Extend your index and middle fingers and pull them together. Move your arm so that these two fingers are directly under your nose. Sniff shortly three times." Smells good! 


Jorn Barger's Weblog Resources FAQ credits NCSA's What's New page as being the first weblog. I think Tim Berners-Lee actually ran the first weblog, which was also the first WWW site, info.cern.ch. 

BTW, Scripting News was not my first weblog. The first was the News page for 24 Hours of Democracy, February 1996. After that I did the Frontier News & Updates page, and then on 4/1/97, switched to Scripting News. 

There's an egroups mail list on weblogs. I just subscribed. 

NY Times: Google Keeps Search Simple. "Rather than viewing portals like Yahoo! and Lycos as competitors, Brin sees those companies as potential customers. The plan for Google, he says, is to build a better search engine and generate revenue by licensing its technology to other companies." 

Permanent link to archive for Tuesday, October 05, 1999. Tuesday, October 05, 1999

Syndicated Story Flow in XML-RPC: "If you implement an affiliate, you'll get all the stories that flow thru My.UserLand flowing thru your server. You can use the flow to implement a search engine, to include stories from sites like Wired, Red Herring, Salon or Motley Fool on your home page, or you could mail links to stories to people who subscribe to your service. There's already a rich flow of stories coming thru this channel." 

The next step is to release the Frontier 6 affiliate app. With luck Zope and Perl versions should be available at the same time. 

The My.UserLand XML archives are back on-line after the aggregator-affiliate split. Hard work! 

MacWEEK: New iMac, OS 9 Released

Frontier security alert, for sites using the Safe Macros feature. There aren't many of these sites yet. 

Microsoft: Linux Myths

What is Everything

What is CobolScript

Press release: Management changes at DataChannel. Departing CEO starts "XML Fund". 

An interesting thread on Zope, RSS and XML-RPC on Jon Udell's discussion group. 

Dan Shafer: Standards Support a Little Late. "Browsers are becoming less important for two principal reasons: a blurring of distinction between the browser and other pieces of software, and the emergence of new form factors that make the classic idea of a browser seem quaint." 

MSNBC: Microsoft, MIT in Technology Alliance. "Among the planned I-campus projects are an expansion of the MIT Shakespeare electronic archive of electronic text and facsimiles of the playwrightís work, and the design of a global education system in conjunction with the National University of Singapore." 

MIT: Project I-Campus

Wired: College Students Talk about College Portals. "I didn't find them particularly useful," said Loren Clive, a UC-Berkeley sophomore.  

Last night I read the first couple of chapters in Tim Berners-Lee's autobiography. First observation, I wish, when he was looking for a hypertext company to work with in the late 80s, he had talked to me! We missed each other by inches, it seems. Second, before he developed the worldwide web, he worked on RPC over the Internet. Wow. I'd like to meet him someday and show him how our outliners work. His writing makes me want to deeply integrate outlining and the web. I highly recommend this book to anyone who takes the web professionally. It's opening my eyes in a new way. 

http://info.cern.ch/ was the first website. 

BTW, TBL is a professor at MIT. Synchronicity! 

Winductor is "an exciting new scripting language benefiting anybody who works with Windows; including HTML developers and programmers. This incredibly versatile tool seamlessly streamlines common tasks, allowing you to work more quickly and efficiently." 

Permanent link to archive for Monday, October 04, 1999. Monday, October 04, 1999

DaveNet: Sun is OK. "Linux advocates are in a hurry to rip up the pavement, the way the Java zealots were a few years ago, but there are already good roads and bridges in existing operating systems and applications. Our plan is to use those connections to lift the net to the next level, to add an architecture that includes all that has been accomplished by Sun, Microsoft, Apple, et al." 

MSNBC: Mets beat Reds 5-0, make playoffs. 

MacWEEK: Scramble over OS 9 Conflicts. "Sources said that Adobe, as well as other developers, have been relying on access the Mac OS's File Control Block (FCB) -- the system's method for tracking all open files -- and that Apple had made clear to developers its intent to change the structure of the FCB. In fact, sources said, Mac OS System Error 119 was created to flag this incursion." Uh oh. 

MacWEEK editorial: "MacWEEK also received a cease-and-desist order from Apple's legal department." 

Jon Udell: Internet Time ain't what it used to be. "Remember all that great stuff that was right around the corner in 1996? It's still right around the corner." 

Jakob Nielsen: Ten Good Deeds in Web Design

TechWeb: Solaris Source Release not Aimed at Linux

Press release: Scriptics Unveils BizConnect. They use XML but they don't say that it's open. Hmmm. Let's check this out. Opportunity knocks! 

Steve Ball has an implementation of XML-RPC for Tcl. 

Gary Teter guesses at Marc Canter's next project.  

WebReference.Com: Universal Related Popup Menus

John Dvorak: The Linux Myth. "On a $199 machine, the OS can't cost more than a few bucks. Microsoft will have to shoot the OS cash cow if it wants to play. Microsoft won't be able to bundle its suites down there either, and it won't give Win CE away. So Microsoft's out of the picture. This new market has Linux written all over it. Get ready." Exactly. 

Zope.Org: LDAP Roadmap

PC: Getting Started with XML. "Although strictly speaking, XML is a data-markup specification, the term has come to include a variety of related technologies, such as XML DOM, XSL, XLL, XML namespaces, and VML." 

This morning I got a lecture from The Stuffed Dog. Today such immaturity can only appear on my website by invitation. Imagine if you *had* to read his comments to read my web page. 

NY Times: "A wild pitch with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth inning has allowed the Mets to go on and play the Reds for the N.L. wild-card spot." You gotta believe! 

Permanent link to archive for Sunday, October 03, 1999. Sunday, October 03, 1999

NY Times: Akio Morita dies at 78. "More than anyone else, it was Morita and his Sony colleagues who changed the world's image of the term 'Made in Japan' from one of paper parasols and shoddy imitations to one of high technology and high reliability in miniature packages." 

Matt Neuburg: Shortening URLs

I did some work today on mainResponder.menu and along the way wrote docs for user.menus

xmlhack is doing an excellent job of covering developments of the XML world. I'm not going to replicate their links here, but if you're interesting in XML, I highly recommend bookmarking this site. 

BradLands: Why I Weblog

A new feature for channel developers forces an XML file to be read immediately, it's compiled, the html rendering is recalculated and any new stories are sent to the affiliates. 

A visible debugging process for the new My.UserLand software, including links to debugging pages that will help us track down problems in the future. 

New channel: Developer Nation

MacWEEK: New iMacs to debut next week

Permanent link to archive for Saturday, October 02, 1999. Saturday, October 02, 1999

Yesterday I had a four-hour meeting with Dale Dougherty at O'Reilly. We talked about everything. Open source, the web, communities, the new technologies we're developing. We are already working with O'Reilly on important projects, and plan to expand that significantly. We have so much in common with O'Reilly, yet our areas of expertise are so complementary.  

Exchanging email with Dale this morning, I asked him to post some of his thoughts about open source and the Solaris release. He said "open Source should be a spectrum, not the extreme end of the spectrum. Community licensing fits nicely on the spectrum and shows that Sun is moving in a useful direction." 

An example of how broad our discussions were, we talked about turning Scripting.Com into a joint venture between O'Reilly and UserLand. Wouldn't that be interesting! But that was just one idea. 

Matt Neuburg: Exploring MainResponder. "The most important thing to grasp about MainResponder is how it decides what object to serve and how to serve it. Is it a file on disk? Is it an object in the main database? Is it an object in a guest database? If it's a script, should it be shown or run? If it's a wptext, should it be handed back as is, or should it be rendered as a web page object through the Web page rendering framework?" 

Red Herring: Sun Flips to Open Source Trend. "Sun's critics suspect Sun's plans are smoke and mirrors. 'It's interesting, but it's not open source,' says Melissa London, spokeswoman for Red Hat Software, the leading Linux distributor. 'It still makes the developers beholden to Sun.'" 

Wait a minute. Isn't Red Hat smoke and mirrors? Their market cap is $5.844 billion. What is their product? Hello. 

Where have we seen this before? In the early days of the PC industry, Softsel controlled the flow of software. They were the gods. Didn't last long. When you sell a commodity you're very open to price competition. Distribution is a thin business model. In the shakeout that followed one of the CEOs of one of the leading distributers likened it to flying at a thousand miles an hour two feet off the ground. You feel the bumps. 

Eric Raymond says no: "'Sun has tried this scam before with Java and Jini and we are not going to buy it,' said Eric Raymond, president of the Open Source Initiative and one of the leaders of open source community. 'They are trying to use us as free labor, without making us a partner. Sun retains all the rights. These terms are therefore unacceptable.'"  

How do Solaris users view this? I suspect Sun was not too concerned about Eric Raymond. (Thanks!) Instead it's likely that the move was a response to requests from Solaris users. As a software developer with a growing customer base I am very curious to know how Solaris users view this development.  

Sun's market cap is $71.811 billion. Because there's something really there. 

Thursday is the fifth anniversary of DaveNet.Big wheel keeps on turning. 

Permanent link to archive for Friday, October 01, 1999. Friday, October 01, 1999

[[Web/Technology/Syndication]]A progress report on categorization for syndication. 

Red Herring: Internet bubble popping American business ethics? "I think it's really important for all you entrepreneurs out there to remember this: This will ultimately come crashing down because companies will go public too soon, they will miss their earnings and the whole thing will just cascade down." 

[[Operating Systems/Solaris]]WSJ: Sun makes code for Solaris publicly available. "Sun Microsystems Inc., in a major shift, plans to begin making the source code of its Solaris operating system freely available to the public in an attempt to parallel the success of the popular Linux operating system." 

[[Operating Systems/Solaris]]Motley Fool: Sun to Pull Back Shade on Solaris. "Under the plan, Solaris source code would become openly available, but users would still have to pay Sun licensing fees to use it in any commercial environment, the Journal reported." 

[[Web/Culture]]Wired: The Delisting of Craig's List. "One of the world's most successful online neighborhood bulletin boards is ensnarled in an un-neighborly tiff over domains, branding, and links." 

[[UserLand/Frontier/Community]]David Carter-Tod did his own interface for the DocServer website. Excellent! 


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