Important note -- the live session in Boston is Tuesday, February 8th from 6 to 7:30PM in Room 304, Hynes Auditorium. Please check your calendar because I had thought it was on *Monday*, not Tuesday. Many apologies.
Today's all-new booth crew is Teri, Suzanne and Sami.
Finally a beautiful sunny day in Davos!
Just got back from a plenary session with Steve Case, Bill Gates, Sumner Redstone and Michael Dertouzous. Gates said they like to do software at Microsoft. Case said they're happy to let Microsoft do that, they are not in the platform business. Redstone said most of the creativity in the world is within 100 miles of Hollywood (huh?) and Dertouzous said that he looks forward to seeing "content" from the rest of the world. Thank you.
I wanted to ask Case if he plans to do anything interesting with Netscape's browser, but I didn't get a chance.
At the media leaders lunch, just before the demonstrations on Saturday, I picked the most interesting table, the members of the Russian press corps attending Davos.
On stage Sunday night, Russian political/economic leaders gave hardass answers to questions of free speech and Internet use in Russia.
Sheldon Laube is one of the founders of US Web, and someone I see often at parties in Silicon Valley. He has a new startup, CenterBeam, that Manila may play a role in. Also pictured is his wife, Cathy, who is a doctor and photographer.
Here's a picture of Steve Case listening to Mr. Son of Softbank, both are waiting to pass thru security to get into the Congress Center.
A panel this morning with Tim Koogle, and Scott Cook and Durk Jager of Yahoo, Intuit and Proctor and Gamble.
Finally, Steve Case at a press conference where I got to ask my question about the Netscape browser, and heard that they'll continue to build on MSIE because of their bundling arrangement with Microsoft, although that had absolutely nothing to do with the question I asked.
Today is Sports Day at Davos, I was going to go skiing, but there's too much snow! So instead I went to a press lunch with Bill Gates. He talked about his new role as chairman and chief software architect, and the projects he's working on. There were some tough questions which he side-stepped. I got to ask the last question. I referred to Bill Clinton's challenge to industry leaders to find a shared vision among competitors, which is very similar to the message I've delivered in various DaveNets, but Gates answered the question as if I had asked him to talk about the value of personal computers, and then talked a bit about SOAP. It was good to hear that he is following SOAP, but I was hoping for something higher level.
5:30PM EC: Just heard King Abdullah of Jordan speak. Fantastic speech. Today is his birthday. "Some people wish for peace for our children and their children. This is not enough. We must insist on peace for ourselves." This is cool. There's nothing wrong with selfishness when it comes to peace. He also called the Israelis his brothers. Yes!
The next plenary session is on Russia. And tomorrow's first session promises to be a real hottie. Bill Gates and Steve Case on the same stage.
One more thing before I go hear from the leaders of Russia. The reason I can update the site in real-time is that I have a workstation about 1 minute from the plenary hall, with a multi-megabit connection thanks to Nortel Networks and the space contributed by WorldLink, the magazine of the World Economic Forum.
Three days into the Davos meeting I am in the flow. I've got the whole thing working, well almost, I still haven't managed to send out yesterday's DaveNet. Next time I travel I'll have the mail-sending script running on one of the California or Seattle servers. Needless to say there's no time to write that script now.
I didn't shoot pics of Bill Gates. No one else was taking pictures, and I wanted to be careful.
BTW, if you haven't seen Clinton's speech at Davos, I highly recommend it. CNN only picked up soundbites. I was cheering while I watched it. As you know, I am not a Clinton fan. I'm going to look for a pointer to the webcast.
Another BTW, guess who was outside the Gates press lunch, shaking hands, both before and after? (Steve Case.)
Yesterday at a lunch for media leaders we went round and introduced ourselves. I sat a table with Russian press people. They were the wildest most interesting bunch. I have some pictures, but they're still in the camera. The lunch was well attended, even though it was sandwiched between the Clinton speech and the demonstrations (which got right to the doorstop of the Hotel Rinaldi where we were dining before the polizei were able to erect an effective barricade). The other people were mostly editors, publishers and CEOs of big big publishing companies. I was the only web publisher present. Each of us were asked to say what our biggest challenges were in the last year, and what our biggest challenges are for the coming year. About 20 people went before me, and for the most part the answers were the Internet and the Internet. When I got up I told them the story of Scripting News and EditThisPage.Com. I said our biggest challenge last year was to make writing for the web easy. Our challenge for this year is to start a million new sites. I told them our new motto (see the tagline at the top of this page) and told them it was open source, they could use it themselves. As long as you align your interests with the Internet, you can't lose. I see this statement as being right in line with what Clinton said. I wasn't kidding about wanting to meet with him. I will try to do that when I get back to the US.
Phil Wolff found a WEF press release on the 10 Websites session on Thursday.
I just had a few minutes to catch up on the DG and wanted to point to Jakob Nielsen's comments about boldening text. He wants to talk about that at PC Forum along with Dan Bricklin, and no doubt we will do that.
DaveNet: Two Days at Davos.
We have pictures of the demonstration in Davos.
Clinton's speech was excellent. I wish he would talk to the American people with the frankness, directness, evangelism he showed this afternoon in Davos. As you know I am not a big Clinton fan. Now I want to talk with him to see if we're talking about the same thing. I just heard he can't get out of town because it snowing so hard. Hmm. Maybe he hasn't got dinner plans??
Unfortunately I can't mail this piece out, there's a technical problem "relay restricted" or something like that. Not sure what it's about, but there's no time to deal with it now. Sorry.
Comfortable shoes with ribbed soles are important in places with lots of snow, like Davos.
Yesterday we met Meds Brugger of Virus magazine which he describes as the Danish Wired. He's a web guy, one of very few at Davos.
Welcome to Day 2 of Davos, where Dave finds the camera card, where it was supposed to be, in the computer. Moral of the story, never trust Dave with hardware.
Carla Power of Newsweek interviewed me yesterday for the DailyDavos site. She's right here right now, and I asked for a quote and she said: "This place is a hall of endlessly reflecting mirrors, um media interviewing other media, it's hard to tell who is zoooooming who." Picture following shortly.
Survey: Should I wear jeans to the gala?
I have more pictures ready to show, but now I want to go hear Tony Blair speak. Back in an hour.
Here's a picture of the artists.
Coming back from lunch there's a great line waiting to go through security. Everyone has to wait in line, no matter how rich, powerful or famouse you are.
Welcome to Davos!
My schedule is filling up with interesting things to do. At lunch I sat down at the only empty seat of a group of Australians that included the CEO of Telstra, the Australian telephone company, I am told. We talked about his broadband strategy, they're already an ISP (the largest in Australia?) and are deciding how much further they should go. I was speaking right after lunch, so I had to rush off, but I'm going to look for him again.
I attended a session on the size of the universe. Even though the presenters were famous astrophysicists, they spoke in newbie terms. I was a math major, and felt my rusty old math muscles get exercised. It was in this session that jetlag finally caught up with me. I was trying to figure out what time it was back home, and fell asleep while doing that simple task. I woke myself up by reminding myself how exciting this place is.
As I write this Esther Dyson is chatting across the room with some people I don't know. I just snapped a picture. Hopefully she'll come over and have something interesting to say.
She did! I got pictures. I asked her what she wants to say to my readers. She asks "Dave, why aren't you wearing jeans?"
It gets better. At Saturday's gala she wants me to wear jeans so she can. Her rationale? The rules say you have to dress formally or show up in national dress. Oh. she says the national dress of the Internet is jeans. I get it! I told her I would think it over. (I want to get invited back.)
The pictures will come later, I have to rush off, and we can't find the card for the Nikon camera. It just appears to have walked off.
Press release: Davos Newbies get help from Manila.
Olga Vetrova from WorldLink, the magazine of the World Economic Forum, is helping me today with this website.
I'm uploading pictures I took this morning, starting with a lovely street scene in Davos.
I just got invited to dinner with the Prime Minister of Turkey. Interesting! And then a guy from Jordan walked up and asked me to blow off the Turkish PM and have dinner with the King of Jordan. Too bad, I can't do either because I'm dining with William Safire of the NY Times.
They thought it would never happen, but here's a picture of me, wearing a suit.
In Switzerland, the word "schmuck" means something different from what it means in the US.
In Switzerland, everyone talks like Andre Radke, the man behind SpicyNoodles.Com.
1:20PM Pacific: I'm outtahere. See you in Davos!
Outline of my presentation for Thursday.
Mike Jamieson has a Flash Generator page that's authored using Manila. Wow. I wish I had time to savor this, I know it would taste very sweet. Thanks Mike!
6:55AM Pacific. I am able to get thru to the DavosNewbies site.
Here's a draft of the press release we'll run late tonight Pacific, early morning in Europe. You see it first, a Scripting News exclusive! (Until someone else points to it. And please do, of course. We're very proud of our participation in this site.)
Status report on the WAP commentary channel in Davos.
UserLand.Com: The software behind DavosNewbies.
7:25AM Pacific. Lance is getting through too.
Just got a note from Lance. He can't get thru to the site either and it's driving him crazy. (Me too!) And to make matters worse, Dan Gillmor is already in Davos, and is skiing today! I'm so jealous. I think I'm going to get a job working for the SJ Merc.
I raised the question of doing a live presentation in Europe after Davos and before heading to Boston. Lots of great invites. Thanks! However, with all the speaking and traveling I wanted a few days just for me in Europe, so I decided *not* to do a live session in Europe this trip. I'm coming back in May for WWW9 in Amsterdam, that gives us more time to plan and I'll be more relaxed for sure.
Robot Wisdom is doing something really excellent. He's got a webcam of the hour front and center on his home page. Today's trip is to Montreal. What a great idea. Hat's off to JB.
More excellent links on Qube Quorner.
James Vornov: "People like me just keep buying stocks. This year I've moved my money around a great deal because of volatility. But my money is joining that of many others chasing the best valuations in the market. My money is unlikely to go out of the market."
Zope Newbies has pictures from the Python Conference in Washington DC.
MSNBC: Gore/Bush Win in Iowa. Slick, stiff and dishonest still sell. Money money money. Why did you vote for Bush? "We thought he could win." Oy!
DaveNet: Killer Patents.
Speaking schedule. The 10 Websites panel at Davos is on Thursday, 1/27, 2:45PM (webcast). Seybold keynote in Boston, Monday Feb 2, 9AM. DaveNet Live (you're all invited!) 7PM, 3rd level Hynes Auditorium.
Newsweek is doing the Daily Davos site again this year. Coool!
We're moving DavosNewbies to a server with a lighter load.
ZopeNewbies reports from the Python Conference.
Flutterby: "It's clear that desktop apps that communicate with the web are coming fast and hard." Yes.
Salon: Sledding in Davos. "To be in Davos without skis is like visiting L.A. without a car." That's it, I'm bringing my skis.
News.Com: Web-enabled picture frame.
BBC: Hubble is Better than New. Excellent. It's as if Earth had its own digital camera! We're all newbies. Excellent excellent.
Yesterday and last night it poured and poured. As you might imagine, this fattens the creek.
Here's a picture of one of the three world-famous bee traps containing last summer's catch.
New tagline for Scripting News. "Ask not what the Internet can do for you. Ask what you can do for the Internet."
Why change now? In previous DaveNets I have urged Apple and then Netscape to adopt this principle. It occured to me a few weeks ago that we had grown enough to adopt it ourselves. It's our guideline for growth. It's something I think we can all agree on. And those who can't agree, such as Amazon and Geoworks, should be clearly seen as being on the other side.
Steve Ivy is working on XML-RPC for COM.
John VanDyk: Those Dumb Farmers. "I grew up in a town of roughly 6000 people. We were fortunate to live on the very edge of town, and directly up the road from Mr. Kuhl's farm. Mr. and Mrs. Kuhl had no kids of their own but welcomed us after school to call the cows, help with milking, find eggs."
VanDyk lives in Iowa, where they're holding the caucuses today. This is the first official event of the presidential election process in the US.
Have you ever flown over the midwestern United States? It's an enormous expanse of places that look like this.
Washington Post: "It is not just the power of ideas, or even the prestige of the participants, that determines who prepares the program and who goes onstage to give talks at Davos."
Another data point. UserLand paid no money to the World Economic Forum. We are working with Lance on the DavosNewbies website, but that started after I was invited to present my ideas at Davos.
A simple algorithm that explains how to bolden text for emphasis in web writing. (With my tongue in my cheek.)
The Whining Website is really taking off.
Andre Radke is working on WAP support for Manila. "My WAP phone started to crash every time I accessed the WML rendering of SpicyNoodles."
We have a WAP channel on EditThisPage.Com. I'll be editing it with Manila on my laptop.
Administrative note. We changed EditThisPage.Com so that it runs its overnight tasks at 2AM Pacific instead of 11PM Pacific.
More rainy day digital camera pictures.
Susan's grandpa makes his first appearance.
Paul Krugman: The Magic Mountain. "The scene at Davos -- the superrich and their trophy wives schmoozing with officials elected and appointed, the lavish parties thrown by third-world nations, and so on -- represents a sort of distilled essence of everything that people love to hate about the New World Order. Those on both left and right who view globalization as a sort of conspiracy by rootless cosmopolitans against the rest of us could hardly have asked for a better spectacle."
Standard: Does Geoworks have a license to print money? "The company says a patent filed six years ago gives it rights to demand payments anytime someone uses a cell phone or any device running the emerging Internet standard Wireless Application Protocol, or WAP."
My plane for Zurich leaves at 4PM Tuesday, but I'm experiencing last minute panic now.
Jakob Nielsen: How to Handle Missing Features.
Yesterday I took a walk with my new digital camera.
WebDeveloper: Scalable Vector Graphics. "Web pages will begin to look a lot more like magazine pages, with DTP-inspired typographic effects and pixel-perfect positioning of page elements. Pages will be custom-zoomable, and antialiasing will make every element look crisp at every magnification."
Anthem is Andrew Wooldridge's project to create a new XML-based application for managing Manila sites with Mozilla.
Hey, Manila works with WebTV.
Here's a beautiful design for a Manila site. The links don't go anywhere. But he's got a good thing going with Photoshop and DHTML.
Why Flash and Manila will be a huge win when it happens.
Cameron Smith wants to bridge Quark XPress to Manila.
More cool pictures and stories from Susan Kitchens.
Can you hear the juice being sucked out of WAP? Slurrrp!
DavosNewbies on badge colors.
Dan Bricklin uses bold text to make his writing easier to read. I think boldface is for wimpy writers, no matter what Jakob Nielsen's studies show. I write for readers not skimmers.
Dan Lyke: "It kind of amazed me to see Dan Gillmor speak of bold as "exploring the new medium". John Dvorak used to do this in his paper columns, must've been a decade ago. I found it distracting then, too."
A clever joke whining about Mac developers.
Dru Jay illustrates a tolerable way to whine. On his own page, in his own space, reflecting on no one but himself.
SpicyNoodles: First steps serving WAP from Frontier.
Mike Kuniavsky: "The Open Source movement has no feedback loop to end-users."
One simple way to include users in the loop is for developers to get the open source software from UserLand. The trick is to get tools in place that user interface designers like, not to turn programmers into UI designers.
5/7/97: "Programmers build castles out of theorums. Every program is proof that certain input will produce certain output. We build more complex castles, and look for synergies that allow the generality we like and still be approachable in non-mathematical ways. In movies they call this suspension of disbelief. In programming we call it the user interface."
Kate Adams is back. What a relief!
Reuters: Nixon Watergate Tapes Go on Sale. "For $18 each, the public can now buy two dozen 30-minute cassettes of President Richard Nixon's conversations during the Watergate scandal, which led to his resignation in 1974."
Michael Shrage: "As men age, they lose their brain cells at rates up to three times faster than women. Then again, men typically have more brain cells to lose." I didn't know that!
Today's technical project is a new verb, op.getSubOutline, a necessary component for pikeRenderer, which is a descendent of MORE's Rules feature, but for HTML. And instead of using a fancy dialog to specify rules, we use XML.
Andre Radke has a new Manila weblog called Spicy Noodles. Andre is a UserLander from Germany. Brent and I have been on his case to start a weblog. At last week's onsite meeting we had Chinese food at Jing Jing in Palo Alto. Our favorite dish was Dan Dan noodles, a Chinese noodle dish with a spicy peanut sauce. Everytime I ran into Andre in the hall I'd exclaim Spicy Noodles! Andre laughs. He's normally very quiet. So that's how this site came to be called Spicy Noodles.
For our users it's very good that Andre has a weblog. He does much of the Frontier kernel coding. Experience has shown that the better the kernel is connected to what users are doing the happier the users are (and presumably the kernel too).
I bet there are some spicy noodles in this picture.
More news from Germany. A group of new Frontier developers is working on a chat server. Out of this I hope we get a simple XML-RPC interface for chat. This will connect up with Pike, our web outliner that's in very active development now. Earlier this week we put in a feature that allows scripts to catch the Return key. This is a central feature for turning Pike into a chat client. With a good XML-RPC interface we should be able to make it work with any openly specified chat interface.
Cold Fusion 101 is a newbies site for Allaire's Cold Fusion.
MSNBC: "The Transmeta people were enthusiastic about all of their accomplishments, but were somewhat obnoxious when it came to questions from the press about all the secrecy over the past four years. They appeared to be very proud of the fact that they were able to manipulate reporters trying to gather facts for their readers by telling them lies to throw everyone off track."
Perhaps predictably, some people are taking my comment about Julie McCarthy personally. One writer thinks that I think (oops) that the only thing bad about yesterday's ETP crash is that a note from a celebrity was lost. Nothing could be further from the truth. It was an example to show anyone who's feeling pain that I share it in a personal way. My hope is to attract creative people who are pleased with a free service, and mature enough to know that it's just a computer at the other end of the line, with all the imperfections and frailties that computers have. It must be tempting to conclude that a flaw in the computer is a flaw in Dave. If you want to be friends, take care of that on your own. No need to share that vision with me. Thanks.
A crash on EditThisPage.Com around noon, restored from backup, some lost data, should effect many but not all sites. Now to make matters even worse, all the emails announcing the lost stories are coming thru the server. I just got an email from Julie McCarthy of National Public Radio asking where everyone was staying in Davos. It's gone. No kidding. Oy! Our apologies. These things always happen at the worst possible time.
Fortune: Even the webmaster can be replaced. "If a programmer is indispensable, get rid of him as quickly as possible." Amen.
Another great quote from the Fortune piece: "A century ago worried telephone company executives calculated that everyone in America would have to become a telephone operator if Ma Bell scaled up to reach out and touch the nation. In fact, that is precisely what happened: Instead of operators dialing numbers, we do." I bet Shrage would get Manila.
Is it just me, or is it universally galling to point at Wired now that Lycos has a pseudo-frame at the top of each page? Wired, like Netscape, is one of the emblems of the web. Lycos is an also-ran search engine. I'd prefer if it were the other way around.
SJ Merc: $40 million jet for Jobs.
Here's a wonderful place for people to whine away the hours.
Man, I really hate the background color on that site.
In the Wizard of Oz, the scarecrow wished he only had a brain. "Well what would you do with a brain if you had one?"
Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!
NY Times on Transmeta: "The company said its top-of-the-line chip, the TM5400, would have a clock speed of 700 MHz and would consume, on average, about one watt of power, far lower than today's low-power Intel chips, which can consume 10 watts or more. That chip is intended for subnotebook portable computers that run Microsoft's Windows operating system."
WSJ: "If super-fast fiber-optic connections won't fly in Palo Alto, can they make it anywhere?"
AP: Film star Hedy Lamarr dies at 86. "Any girl can be glamorous," she once said. "All you have to do is stand still and look stupid." She was a beautiful smart gutsy woman. Thanks!
Internet Movie Database: Hedy Lamarr.
Wired: Lamarr had real star power. "At the height of World War II, Lamarr and her close friend, musician George Antheil, basically invented 'spread spectrum' technology, which is widely used today both in military communications security and cellular phones."
Jeremy Bowers has the neatest Manila trick I've seen. You can expand and collapse items on his home page, day by day.
Apparently Jeremy's site crashes Mac browsers. Some Mac users think we should only use features that work on Macs. Someday the Mac will catch up and we'll want to know how to do this stuff. Enough waiting. Buy Macs as web browsing machines with your eyes open. You won't be able to use all the sites on the web, until Apple catches up.
Yesterday we moved Weblog Monitor to Weblogs.Com.
We made it this far without a built-in way to upload files via FTP.
News.Com: TransMeta's new 700Mhz chip.
Linux Newbies: Case Sensitivity. "Let's say user Bob creates a file called penguin in his home directory. He could then create a file called Penguin. He then can, in turn, create a file called PENGUIN. All three of these, though they have the same name, are different files because of the distinction Linux makes between files with the same name but different case."
Who owns SpicyNoodles.Com?
Jakob Nielsen will be at PC Forum.
Mosquitos cracks the iSyndicate-in-a-scrollable-frame puzzle.
NY Times: Alpine Lookout on the World's Economy. "The resort, once a sanitarium for wealthy tuberculosis patients, may seem like an unlikely setting for confrontation over globalization and world trade."
ZDNet: Gassee's Linux-like gamble. "In a way, Linux helped us by opening minds and wallets to the fact that there is a world outside of the Windows OS."
Industry Standard: Markets are Conversations. "By listening, marketing will relearn how to talk."
2/21/95: "All my life I've placed the highest value, derived the most happiness, from simply being heard."
The XML-RPC mail list is being bombarded by a fellow named Phil Montgomery from Novell running some kind of vacation program. It's exponential. His stupid agent is responding to its own messages! Helllp. He's at a strategic conference in Atlanta. Maybe they need a new strategy? His cellphone number is included in the emails. 801-319-3537. I left him a voicemail last night. If anyone from Novell is tuned in, your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to turn the damned vacation program off.
Thanks for listening.™
XML-RPC interface for Manila. "As the functionality of Manila grows, we expect this specification to evolve, much as the scripting interfaces of Macintosh applications grew as new versions of the software were released."
Dan Bricklin: How long does it take to make a website?
Be: "Thanks to innovative new technology from Be, you will be able to download BeOS 5 via a Web browser and store it as a file within Windows. No repartitioning will be necessary, and launching BeOS 5 will be as simple as double-clicking an icon on your desktop." Very nice!
Linux Newbies: Reading Other Disks. "Now, onto the Linux Way: everything is a file. Even processes occurring in memory could theoretically be accessed as a file could, by changing to the proper directory, performing a directory listing on the contents of that directory, and finally manipulating the files with which you want to work."
Another hint. We love newbies here. It would be great to have a site, parallel to Zope Newbies, Davos Newbies, Manila Newbies, Linux Newbies and Qube Quorner, that covered the BeOS for newbies.
I wonder if people see what we're doing? Here's how I see it. We're building a broader and more adult SlashDot.Org. Everyone has their own space. If anyone gets rude, people stop visiting. No need for complex filtering systems. Everyone is being respectful. It's the nature of the web, and EditThisPage.Com takes advantage of that.
Yesterday I met with Kevin Werbach at Release 1.0. In March they're having their annual conference, PC Forum, and this year I will be going, and will be presenting and leading a track on web applications, including Manila. But that's not all. We'll do a weblog for the conference to give the outside world access to news that happens at the show.
Any Scripting News readers going to PC Forum? If so, send me a private email. Thanks!
Dan Bricklin will be there. Excellent!
My friend Lance Knobel takes my hint to heart, but shows that most online booksellers have long and possibly fragile URLs. From this look it seems that Amazon hardly needs a patent to protect itself in the ecommerce space.
Yesterday my attorney, board member and 20-year friend Jack Russo came over for a demo of Pike. Jack and I bonded in the early 80s over outlining software, which we were developing, and attorneys and other thinkers were using. Jack called me from his cellphone after the meeting, somewhat breathless, saying that the killer app for Pike, which is a net-enabled outliner, is chat, of all things. He envisions a chat system running in an outliner to organize the work people do in chat. (He says it's become a preferred tool among attorneys to get clients focused during phone conferences.) I see it as a UI challenge, but the first step is to link the outliner to an existing chat system. And that frames a question. Which protocol should we use for experimentation? Are there any chat systems that have easy open APIs?
More party pictures from my 14-year friend Marquis Decanter. He kicks it off with my favorite room in his house, the server room. I have serious server envy. Those Netfinity's are reallly beautiful. But not as beautiful as the women who come to Marc's parties.
Who owns Weblogs.Com?
NY Times: Online Music Gets a Lift in AOL Deal With Warner. "In combination we think we can help to set the agenda for the industry," said Ted Leonsis, president of the AOL Interactive Properties Group.
AP: "Peters stunned co-workers by resigning as vice president of Microsoft's Office division in 1998 to go bowling."
Steven Ivy figured out how to add my bookmarks to his home page. Excellent! It's not that hard, just view the source code for www.scripting.com to see how we do it. It doesn't matter where you link to it from, it works anywhere on the web.
Simple To Do has "all the features you'd expect in a list manager -- you can prioritize items, sort them, mark them as Done, and it's even hierarchical so you can create sub-items to your main items."
Reminder. TransMeta's announcement is this Wednesday. That's the company that employs Linus of Linux.
Weblogs that contain "Transmeta".
I spent some time this morning writing an engineering document for a patent application for an invention that I believe is as deep and revolutionary as Amazon's 1-Click technique.
Kragen Sitaker offers several arguments for filing patents.
I got a call from Bill Gladstone, an agent who represents book authors. He's hot to trot on FatBrain and iUniverse. I suggested we work out an easy path for editors to publish to print directly from their Manila sites. He was very excited by this idea. We'll talk again tomorrow.
WSJ: "Bill Gates may have given up day-to-day operations of the world’s largest software company, but his new task is no less daunting: to dominate the Internet with Windows and Windows-based services." Sounds like SOAP.
Today we released an alpha of Frontier 6.2 that includes the code that enabled the performance boost for EditThisPage.Com on 1/8/00. Also, a new callback that allows Frontier's outliner to be used to browse network resources, and IP-address selection for NT servers. I wish I could point to the page where you can download it, but this release, as with all alphas and betas, is only available to customers. We've also started using the Manila bulletin feature to send development notes to the customers via email. Bit by bit we de-dilbertizing UserLand. You can't hurry love!
NY Times: "This is why Steve Case has really won the war at the end of the day," said John W. Sidgmore, vice chairman of MCI Worldcom, referring to America Online's 41-year-old chairman and chief executive. "Steve knew that most customers really want simple access, user friendliness and a tool that's very easy to use."
Already the flames are starting over the AskTog piece on the Mac OS X user interface. I wonder if the critics have actually read it. Bad news? Attack the messenger. Boring!
Tog points to Amazon. I grow more reluctant to direct flow to Amazon. A gentle hint.
Press release: "To secure eMatter documents, Fatbrain.com has developed new patent-pending secure digital rights technologies to protect the ownership rights of the document."
Oh well. Maybe I should just give it up and start filing my own patents. We generate truly unique and unobvious stuff every week. Maybe I'm being a fool.
Bruce Tognazzini takes a first look at Mac OS X. This is a must-read if you're interested in user interface design, no matter what operating system you use.
Luke Tymowski: "Amazon, having enraged the Webheads after registering and enforcing a half-witted software patent, seems to be disappearing from Webhead Web sites, to be replaced largely by FatBrain and somewhat by Barnes & Noble. Amazon, although having given Cluetrain a rave review, seems to have missed the point of the book." Exactly!
Faisal Jawdat recommends Powell's Books in Seattle.
Last night at Marc's party a longtime friend, Bruce Zweig, congratulated me on EditThisPage.Com. I found this gratifying. In the past at parties I'd wave my hands to a dubious look. Now many of my friends understand what I'm doing. This is good. So Bruce asks if we took out a patent. I said no! I hate patents. I said that the patent madness will end when someone fights back when sued instead of making it a legal issue, make it a customer issue. When users learn of what they're being deprived of because of this sickness, the greedy folk will have to back down. The practice won't stand up to public scrutiny. This is why I and others choose to make an example of Amazon and Cluetrain.
LinuxNewbies: Sunday BrainDrain Quiz.
Kate Adams checks in from Las Vegas.
Marc Canter is on his way to London, but first he checks in with pictures from last night's party.
DavosNewbies: "I read of a coup in Côte d'Ivoire the other week and instead of thinking, 'I hope everything will be all right', my first thought was, 'That means a free hotel room since the prime minister won't be coming.'"
AP: "Organizers choose Davos for the annual forum in part because it is easy to control access over road and rail links up narrow valleys in eastern Switzerland."
I've been asked to present my choices for "10 websites that will change the world" at Davos. At first I was confused. Websites don't change the world, ideas and people do.
I immediately thought of EditThisPage.Com, of course, but have reservations because it's self-serving, and it may be hard for the luminaries at Davos to understand. I assume most of the CEOs and heads of state aren't immersed enough in the web to understand why it's so hard.
Last night I came up with a class of sites that I believe *are* changing the world. If I present them at Davos it might change Davos. (And I might not get invited back.) Thinking more, if it doesn't get that kind of reaction it probably wouldn't really change the world. To change the world you have to go thru peoples' fears. And when people have their fears challenged, they often attack the person who challenges them.
Phil Wolff started a thread on the 10 websites.
Excite news search on "Davos".
Phil Wolff's Visual Pike Thesaurus.
Luke Tymowski: "Why isn't @Home running software to detect crackers instead of trying to catch people running servers? Why aren't they scanning their customers machines, and warning them that their machines have been compromised by a Trojan Horse or other security issue? Why aren't they helping their customers use the Web safely? Why don't they at least make a point of warning their customers about the dangers, and recommend methods to protect their machines?"
EditThisPage.Com is back on the air after a bit of maintenence this morning. Sorry for the outage.
A new macro on EditThisPage.Com makes it easy to link between sites. Also notes on a networked spell-checker service we want to develop.
Another new macro that will help the DavosNewbies site keep track of how long before the meeting starts.
Pet peeve time. Jakob Nielsen has given us some incomplete advice. He says that readers rarely venture beyond the bottom of a page. I think Jakob is talking about pages on e-commerce sites that sell sneakers or record albums. When it comes to writing docs or specs, please don't break them up. It means more navigation for the reader and renders the Find command in the browser useless. The vertical scrollbar in the browser is a good navigation tool too.
Here's an example of a successful spec that's all on one page. It wouldn't have worked as well if it were split across several pages, imho.
In the last few days I've gotten a lot more comfortable with ImageReady. Not sure why it's happening now.
Sometime in the next couple of weeks we're going to have to have a half-day shutdown, or at least a half-day read-only period. One of the databases is getting pretty large. That's good! Keep on writing.
Now I'm getting a sense of what goes on on the other end of an ISP pipe. So far Frontier has been quite well-behaved. Thanks to Murphy, my teacher.
DaveNet: Bill Gates vs The Internet Revisited.
Comments from Microsoft people on today's DaveNet.
Susan Kitchens visits with her 99-year-old grandpa.
Are all sneaker websites horribly complex? Let's start with Nike and New Balance. Sneakers are pretty simple. How about a plain GIF or JPEG of a sneaker as your image on the home page. Fast loading, eloquent, satisfying.
We've been playing with logo ideas for Pike, and for some reason, I think of a sneaker when I think of Pike. It's a little extra work to edit your page, it's like taking a little hike, but it's worth it when the design work is complex or requires more a focused writing tool. I know this is confusing, just what is Pike? If you're a Manila user you'll find out soon, I know I'm a tease, but that's my job. Someone's gotta do it!
On my behalf, Bob Bierman asks about wireless Internet access in Davos. I'd like to be able to post updates thru the web from my seat in the audience. I'd also like the notes to be available to people in Davos who have WAP phones.
I can't help it. I'm focused on sneakers today. Everywhere I go I see them.
DavosNewbies: "Davos is going to be WAP enabled. Those with WAP phones will be able to get CNN, Dow Jones and Reuters headlines, and the entire programme will be available through WAP. The Europeans reckon they're showing the Americans something about technology." It's twue it's twue.
WAP Today, one of the most promising early EditThisPage sites, is once again updating. A note from Dan Garner, the editor of the site: "We've suffered at the hands of the terrible flu epidemic in the UK. Added to the extended New Year holidays, most things WAP have been on the back burner. However, I'm pleased to say that we're now back on track." Glad!
LinuxNewbies on the Linux kernel.
Matthew Rothenberg: Skins vs Suits in Cupertino.
Brad Pettit: "It's *my* Macintosh."
Doc Searls: "The influence of customers and users will be held in even higher contempt."
NY Times: "I think I'd be genetically unable to back away from running my business," said the renowned investor Warren E. Buffett, a friend of Mr. Gates. "But Bill will do it. He is just that sort of a fellow. And Microsoft will get much more value from him. He will spend his time thinking while Steve marshals the troops and charges ahead."
Newsweek: "Today, for the second time in a week, we saw history. AOL owns Time Warner. Bill Gates no longer is CEO of Microsoft. What next?"
Moral Defense of Capitalism: FAQ on the Microsoft Anti-Trust Case. "What would it mean, by contrast, to decree that the buyer has a right to dictate the terms on which he wants to buy a product? To do so would be an assault on the rights of the seller. It would transform the seller into a servant, there to take orders dictated by the buyer."
Cringely: "I saw it as AOL buying an insurance policy against the failure of the so-called Internet century."
News.Com: Gates steps down as Microsoft CEO. "The surprise announcement comes a day after news leaked that the Department of Justice is proposing a breakup of Microsoft to help resolve the antitrust case pending against the company."
I've been interviewed about the change at Microsoft. "Do you think it has any real effect on the company?" Yes.
10/18/94: Bill Gates vs The Internet. Did Bill win?
7/3/97: Bill Gates's Money. "How big does Gates think?"
Today is Marc Canter's 43rd birthday. Happy!
Steve Zellers downloaded the MacBird source and "carbonized" it, and got it running on Mac OS X. He's going to check his changes into SourceForge so the community project can get going. Thanks Steve! Steve works at Apple, on AppleScript.
Now get this, both Brad and Steve used to work at Living Videotext and did various parts of MORE years and years and years ago. We're all still diggin, in The Year 2000. Ain't that amazing??
Voices from Fire in the Valley, a book about the early history of Silicon Valley, written by Mike Swaine and Paul Freiberger.
Washington Post: DOJ demands Microsoft breakup. "Which company would get Bill Gates? How would the programmers be split up? And what would prevent employees assigned to the non-Gates firms from quitting and joining Gates's company?"
DanDot: MSIE Design Mode Example. Excellent! See what happens when you get a designer involved in technology? It becomes understandable, and exciting.
A prediction. The designers are going to revolutionize our world. Finally web technology is getting easy enough so the designers can take over. They've been very patient. Now they're going to rule. Whew! (I hope.)
Final postscript to my post MSIE 5.5 woes. Everything's back to normal. After uninstalling 5.5 I was left with IE4 and didn't know it. It was like a time warp. Some of it was familiar. There were huge selection bugs in IE4 that were fixed in IE5. That's good, glad I wasn't imagining it. And I wasn't an Outlook Express user in the IE4 days (I used Eudora) so its weirdness was totally unfamiliar. When we noticed that I was using IE4 (it could be easier to find this out) I immediately upgraded and everything went back to normal, and the feeling of unease transitioned to a feeling of well-being. All is right with the world this morning. Welcome to The Year 2000.
Reviewing the pictures from the Davos site one thing became clear. I need to get a haircut and some new suits. Even the people in the press room are wearing white shirts and ties. No problem. As usual at UserLand this project has a codename. First it was My Fair Dave, but to make it more rhythmic, now we're calling it My Fair Davey. Harumph.
Robert Hess: The Bloodiest Mary. "I took along a collection of Bloody Mary mixes with expectations of doing taste testings in order to find out what people prefer."
Mike Cohen thinks Apple's new UI is a big mistake.
Robust Systems has a picture of Mesa Verde cliff-dwellings, one of my favorite places in the world!
I was going to send this link just to Doc Searls, a Mac and Manila user who is also an editor at Linux Journal (and a Cluetrain guy, and a cool human being).
Elliotte Harold: Quotes about XML in 1999. Fascinating reading, focuses on the politics of XML, overlooks the accomplishments. Typical focus of the XML-DEV list. No mention of RSS or XML-RPC, both of which blossomed in 1999.
In the meantime, the W3C has started a mail list for discussion of distributed computing protocols, and they even acknowledge XML-RPC! Yeah-ha.
Salon: Execution, Texas-style. "George W. Bush, the presidential candidate campaigning as a compassionate conservative, does not appear ready to stop the execution of a teenaged murderer."
Today we rollout the makeover of the DavosNewbies site, designed by Garret Vreeland and showcasing the writing of Lance Knobel. This site comes from the heart, it's very beautiful. We also know the site is a little slow, we're going to do some optimizing (or "optimising" as Lance says). This shows what you can do with a Manila if you pull out all the stops and if you have great writing and photography to present.
Sidebar to Microsoft, whose CEO will be at Davos, Lance's site runs on a single $2K Dell box running Windows 2000, along with over 1600 other sites. To people who say that W2K isn't a great server OS, let's show them what people can do, without a degree in rocket science.
Sidebar to Frontier users, Garret is working on a site that explains how the makeover of DavosNewbies happened. From that site, we're going to release a snapshot of the site source code, so everyone who has Frontier can peek behind the scenes and see how he did it.
Good news for palmtop users. The Avantgo version of Scripting News is updating once again. And for people who have been having trouble getting through to the new Exodus server, this gives you a way to tap into the flow thru Conxion. Still looking for hosting nirvana, one that's fast for everyone.
XML.Com: Zope and XML-RPC. "Since XML-RPC is built into Zope, all your Zope objects are XML-RPC-enabled."
Postscript to my post IE 5.5 woes. Apparently, when I uninstalled IE 5.5, it reverted to IE4. IE4. IE4. Yahh. So I upgraded to the current IE5. And now things are working *much* better! Stay toooned!
Proof that Manila is a viral app.
Salon: No sex please, we're geeks.
This old VAX at UW-Madison retired at the end of 1999. I never programmed this machine, it was arriving as I was leaving. I did program on PDP-11s, and loved them almost as much as my 19-year-old girlfriend. (I was 21.)
Brad Pettit: "Browsing the binary for the iTools plug-in, it's obviously capable of gathering and sending all sorts of machine-specific data to Apple, such as hardware ethernet addresses!"
LinuxNewbies: Directory Creation and Removal.
Red Hat: Introduction to C Development on Linux.
Skinz.Org: "Apple has contacted us and wants all the Mac skins removed, which means we obviously can't accept new ones either."
TechWeb: Joy sees many Webs. "It has been clear to us since '95 that there wasn't just one Web," Joy said. "Many people still think there is just one Web. There isn't. There are six Webs, and they come from the modality in which the information is used. They are all interconnected."
Red Herring: AOL/Time Warner marriage causes M&A shakeup. "The AOL/Time Warner merger suddenly gives the Internet world new power. The experts certainly seem surprised at the reversal of roles, in which the new Internet generation, with its lack of large numbers but sky-high stock valuations, can make the rules."
On the Robot Wisdom weblog, Jorn Barger asks if AOL has legs. Jorn uses Phil Greenspun's discussion group software, which allows people to post without having registered. A cross between a guestbook and a discussion group. Neil Bornstein gets the first comment and it's a good one. Time Warner has a wealth of creative content. AOL could play music while you surf. Familiar music, golden oldies. I'd love to see a list of music that AOL/Time Warner owns.
How long before they drop the "Time Warner" part?
Last night we had dinner with Matt Neuburg. It was fun! I had only met Matt face to face once before, and had forgotten how he talks. We had a great time. We took Matt on a tour of the Frontier source code, showed him how Frontier's compiler, interpreter, object database and outliner work.
DaveNet Live/Boston is scheduled for February 8 at the Hynes Auditorium, 3rd level, 7PM-9PM. It's open to all Scripting News and DaveNet readers. Thanks to the Seybold people for providing the space.
I'm still looking for a place to do a live session in Europe. Thursday February 4 looks like the ideal day. London, Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, Rome? I'm pretty open.
BTW, I thought I'd share this here, I just saw a demo of a Manila site hosted on Linux! I find this quite exciting, as if I didn't already have enough stuff to be excited about.
Andre says: "I actually signed up and posted a test message. I even received the confirmation email. Very cool!"
Jon Katz in Never-Never Land™: "The significance of IBM's move was that the next generation of e-business will expect increasingly open standards for inter-operability across a wide variety of computer platforms." See the News.Com article below about IBM's patents.
MacWEEK: Macromedia's stealth bombshell. "We're no longer talking about linking the Web page to legacy documents (by far the most frequent use for PDF files on the Web) but about providing a complement to the online user experience -- one that's designed from the ground up with printing in mind."
Dan Gillmor's passion is evoked by the AOL-Time Warner merger. "AOL's huge market capitalization, spurred by a stock market that abandoned sanity long ago, left the world's most powerful traditional media company in the dust."
Dan, when do you think UserLand will buy Knight-Ridder? Will asking that question, in public, even in jest, make Knight-Ridder stock go up? (Or down?)
Brent Simmons is trying to figure out how to get WINE running on a system without Windows installed.
LinuxPlanet reviews Zope.
We're getting pretty heavily pounded on EditThisPage.Com this morning. Looking at the logs it's not clear if it's any single site getting most of the traffic. Still investigating.
Something to remember when we think of IBM as a possible partner, last year they filed an astonishing 2756 new patents, many of which relate to the Internet.
DavosNewbies: "As much as we try, many of the panelists in Davos ignore our injunction against preparing speeches. There are a few speeches at the Annual Meeting: this year, Blair, Clinton, Summers, Albright and the King of Jordan will have a chance to make a 'special message.'"
I'll be attending Davos as a Media Leader. I interpret this to mean that my primary role at Davos is to cover it, which I intend to do, fully. Of course I will be using Manila.
How an Anatomy and Physiology professor uses Manila.
John Thompson went to Bronx Science a couple of years after I did. Now he's doing an EditThisPage.Com site devoted to Macromedia's Lingo programming language.
I don't usually push the Top100 list on EditThisPage.Com, I want people to focus on quality not quantity, but it's worth noting that Array, Garret Vreeland's website, is now number one on the list, displacing the Builder Live site, which has always (till now!) held the top position. Garret is also working with us on the makeover of the DavosNewbies site.
BTW, EditThisPage.Com is now hosting 1685 sites!
I made the mistake of installing MSIE 5.5 on my desktop machine yesterday. I had to see what the fuss was about. According to some, any object can be edited in 5.5. Unfortunately, there is also major breakage in this version. The Copy command no longer works for pictures! Hellllp. This added another step to my routine for working on sites. As my doctor says when I gain weight (and shrug it off) "This is going in the wrong direction."
MSIE 5.5 has too many bugs to be used in everyday production. Forms don't work properly (the Submit button does nothing, not in all forms, but the important ones). The text editor goes deaf. The new version is too aggressive at caching pages.
How do I go back to the old version? The Microsoft site refuses to install 5.01 on top of 5.5. I need help here Microsoft, you have to do better at serving web developers. We're very busy people, overcommitted, and with no time to waste on this. Thanks.
Update. I uninstalled 5.5, and nothing is working right. Selection in the web browser is badly broken, so I delete text that I was planning on keeping. I am having a lot of trouble editing my sites. The browser scrolls vertically at random times. And even worse, Outlook Express has gone totally dysfunctional. When I reply to a message I get a really funky window that looks like it's trying to be HTML (I have HTML turned off) and the buttons are in the wrong place, and I'm pretty sure it's lost some important email. I'm not amused.
We're having an all-week on-site meeting at UserLand while we crunch on long-term projects. Updates will be more sporadic, but the benefit will be progress on projects that require a lot of coordination among team members. Still diggin!
CNN: AOL to merge with Time-Warner. AOL to get more than 50 percent of the stock in the combined companies, a premium for Time Warner shareholders. The new company will be called AOL Time Warner, and will trade using the AOL symbol. Steve Case will be chairman.
People are having fun with this story. CNN says "That's AOL Folks!" and News.Com says "You have Time Warner."
AOL is generating a lot of talk in the Weblog world.
O'Reilly has an interesting application that builds off the My.UserLand story flow.
Zope.Org: XML-RPC Client for MSIE5. A dividend!
SlashDot is giving away $100,000 to deserving developers. Another dividend!
PC WEEK toasts my mother's cousin, Hedy Lamarr. "The story of how a young actress came up with such an innovative idea is interesting in itself. Lamarr, when married to Fritz Mandl, an Austrian armament manufacturer, listened attentively to the conversations her husband had with arms developers. Later, divorced and living in the U.S., she translated that knowledge into something that would change the way we communicate."
DavosNewbies: "One of the reasons Davos works is its isolation." BTW, it's confirmed, Clinton is coming. I believe Steve Case will be there too. I've known Steve for many years. "He's a nice man." Once at Esther Dyson's conference I stood up and explained how AppleLink is scriptable. Later, Case cornered me and complained that we weren't supporting the AOL Mac client. I guess I'll have to apologize when I see him later this month!
One more thing. I think MacBird could be strategic for AOL. As far as I know they still don't have a designer's tool for creating AOL content.
New Manila Site: McCain's Navy.
John Marden, one of two mathematicians with ETP sites, claims he can prove that the new millenium did in fact start on January 1, proving Arthur C Clark (who is not an idiot) wrong. I am grateful for this, because I don't want to go through the whole cathartic experience again eleven months from now. I see!
NY Times: IBM to bet heavy on Linux. "For IBM, the move is an effort to rejuvenate demand for its servers -- larger machines that run computer networks -- and to undermine key rivals, notably Sun Microsystems and Microsoft, whose proprietary software is increasingly used in the Internet commerce market." Oh yah!
To the IBMers who have to learn Linux now -- check out LinuxNewbies, a recent addition to the calvacade of ingenious newbie sites hosted by UserLand. Oh geez!
WSJ: Microsoft a big name in acquisition game. "Its past deals seemed more focused on acquiring software technology that was needed to fill holes. The company’s recent deals appear to be designed to position the company to enter new markets, such as communications." Darned tootin!
Jakob Nielsen: Is Navigation Useful?
David Theige: "My favorite feature of EditThisPage.Com is people." Look in the links section down the left edge of David's site. He's pointing to the sites he reads. So does Brent. I've been doing it too. So do a lot of other people.
Faisal Jawdat's quote file has lots of cool quotes.
One of my favorite FAQ pages. No kidding!
Press release: Wal-Mart and Accel partner. "The combination of the trusted Wal-Mart brand and retail expertise with the company-building and technology savvy of Accel Partners is an exciting development for our customers, Wal-Mart.com and the Internet."
Susan Kitchens is grappling with zealotry. Here's a wish that Ms. Kitchens tells her story about MetaCreations, without paying attention to people with an axe to grind.
Yes, like Sally Field we do really like Auntie Alias. How could we not? After all, her home page (the real one) plays the Dancing Hamsters theme song!
Brent Simmons rents movies, gets food and groceries, via the web. "I've probably had groceries delivered 30 times by now. My wife wondered if they'd let their most regular customers in on their IPO. Okay, so we're dreaming. But I think they're going to make a million trillion dollars."
Josh Neal, a former Cobalt support engineer, joins the discussion at Qube Quorner.
A brief history of Microsoft on the Web. "Mark Ingalls recalls that when he first typed www.microsoft.com into a Web browser to ensure it hadn't already been claimed, he was surprised to find a site already there. He traced the site to pioneering Microsoft developer J Allard, who had claimed the server name to test out his new TCP/IP networking stack."
Clues about our next steps with Manila and how it relates to the differences in HTML support in Windows and Mac.
Manila users may find it interesting to review the slide show that announced the product two months ago.
MacBird is a piece of the puzzle. "In the ironic world of the Internet, if MacBird should be ported universally, to Windows, BeOS and Linux, as examples, you'll find that developers will be more likely to take advantage of the powerful user interface capabilities of the Macintosh."
***For people running their own Frontier 6.1 servers
A little-known fact, Frontier 6.1's Control Panel allows for plug-ins, you link them in thru XML. Jason Levine wrote one that expands greatly on our simple but limited HTTP log browser.
In this sample, Brent shows you how to add modular components to a template using a macro, and building off the DG that's part of every Manila site.
Last night we ran a second test to see how EditThisPage.Com is doing. The result is awesome. It's 3.6 times faster at serving pages than the one we were running a couple of days ago. The test factors out Internet performance since it was running on our LAN, but otherwise it simulates a user visiting a random home page, once a minute.
suites.miniServerMonitor launches a thread in the background that reads a web page once a minute. This is the suite we used to measure the performance improvement described above.
Another cool EditThisPage.Com site: Montana News Daily, with links to stories about retired Microsoft execs and Ted Turner and Jane Fonda, both of whom were at Davos last year. Small world!
BTW, a reader from Switzerland says that Bill Clinton is going to be at Davos this year. Luckily I already have my hotel room. He says the Clinton entourage is going to snarf up 1200 rooms!
Is it just me, or does it seem weird that Clinton is still president when it's already The Year 2000?
Array: Is Manila the VisiCalc of the Web?
New Manila feature: You can use pictures as navigation links, just by uploading pictures and editing your XML.
One week into the new year, it turns out, in retrospect, our Y2K Watcher page was exactly right. What else was there to watch? Nothing. It's been a great year so far!
From Dave Polaschek's email signature, a quote from Frank Sinatra. "I feel sorry for people who don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day." I know what he means. Last night I had two big margueritas. And my brain, no matter how much coffee I drink, refuses to get started.
Lawrence Lee reports that Amazon has been issued another patent. Oy, another net outage to route around. We have to find a net bookseller that will swear off patents.
One from the "Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words" dept.
I just noticed that EditThisPage.Com gets more hits than Scripting News. Something's working!
SlashDot's interview with Steve Wozniak.
One way to see that your ass is too small.
Survey: EditThisPage.Com performance.
We installed a test version of Frontier on EditThisPage.Com in the middle of last night. We're doing this really carefully. We're also scientifically measuring performance, and measuring what matters. How does it perform at doing the things people do a lot? Amazingly, our tool, which we will release in source, says there is a greater than 400 percent boost in performance. What used to take a second, now takes a quarter of a second. If you have a good net connection to our network, you should be able to feel this improvement as you work on your EditThisPage.Com site. We can see it on our end.
A note of gratitude is due to Bob Bierman, who single-handedly engineered this new performance. Not only is a major bottleneck out of the kernel, but it runs flawlessly. Thanks Bob!
Lynn Kavanagh is looking for an acting job. She could play the part of Kim Polese in "Java, The Movie."
Manila-Newbies: How Syndication Works. "Syndication is a way of packaging Home Page news items into a standard format so they can be read by automated news collectors such as My.UserLand."
Thanks to Swiss-Image I now have a huge number of journalist-quality Davos photos, with captions.
Here's a beautiful picture of Davos, nestled in the Swiss Alps.
All the pictures are now on the Davos site. It's given me lots of ideas on how to improve this part of Manila. (That's part of the reason I'm doing it.)
The Swiss-Image site is in German! Now I know how you guys feel when you read our English stufff. They also have instructions in English. And different instructions if you're on a Mac or PC. How many ways can we divide??
Fezbox is "the first (and only!) web site that will allow you to configure and install an operating system onto a computer. It is currently geared towards Red Hat Linux, although we hope to support other flavours of Linux in the near future."
More baby pictures on Scott Hanson's site, including a German birth certificate, that looks more like a prescription, according to Scott.
Apparently it is possible to sign up for Apple's iTools site even if you aren't a Mac OS 9 user. Is this a bug or a feature?
BeNews: Flash Player to go Open Source.
This afternoon I received a clarification from Macromedia PR saying that while they were distributing the source for Flash Player, it would not be an Open Source release.
Wired: "Jobs said the company had looked at the fact that it owned proprietary software on both ends of a Web visit to the site. 'We realized we could take unfair advantage of the fact.'"
Doc Searls compares iTools to eWorld. "eWorld caught the back slope of the fast-fading online service wave, right while the Net was taking off."
Apple press release, 6/20/94, announcing eWorld.
Yesterday's rant continues. "There were a lot of very high IQ, highly educated professional people who had never used a computer. The Apple II/Visicalc combo accomplished a lot, but it took the Mac Plus to burst the rest of the bubble. That was when our non-technical relatives and friends got into using computers."
I usually don't go for black backgrounds but I'll make an exception for Jake's Brainpan.
Array is a very cool EditThisPage.Com site. "All my members live in Alabama." It's so true!
Brent Simmons reviews Apple's announcements. It's so cool that Brent has his own place to comment now.
Problems with the registration page for My.UserLand have been resolved and once again you can register channels.
I've just been asked to participate in a panel at Davos. Ten Websites that Will Change the World. Happy!
Matt Neuburg on WebEdit. "Think of WebEdit as being like FTP: you upload a new version of a Frontier database object across the Internet, and it ends up slotted into the correct place in the remote Frontier's database."
Wes Felter on Aqua. "Translucent menus? OK. Jellybean-colored buttons? Cute. Apple menu in the center of the screen? Well... The dock? Uhhhh... Buttons that are identical except the color? No thanks." We missed you Wes!
Larry Wall on Perl: "Humans do not come from the womb with the ability to drive a stick shift. Neither did Perl. This was intentional. I've always been smart enough to realize how stupid I am, and one of the things I'm stupid about is predicting how my programs will develop over time. So Perl was equipped to learn, and have a long childhood."
Lance Knobel on Davos: "For all of our efforts to encourage an informal atmosphere in Davos, it takes time for people to decompress from their normal existence. After a few days in Davos, most people begin to loosen up, wear more informal clothes and generally smile a lot more than they usually do."
A request for help with the Davos site. I'm looking for some GIFs or JPEGs we can use on the site to give me and others a feel for what Davos looks like. I'm having trouble visualizing it. A map would be great. And some candid photos that show the scenery and the people would also help. I've been looking over Swiss websites, and they don't usually have a lot of photos! I wonder why??
DaveNet: Fly MacBird Fly.
Reviewing the feature requests for Manila, consistently near the top are requests for improvement of the discussion group user interface. We get lots of comments about what people don't like, but it would also be helpful to get pointers to interfaces people *do* like.
"I built my first website in the late 1900's." Huh?
Milo Hansen: "Pokemons are real animals but in some of them they changed their names." Milo is 7.
Late Night Software, makers of fine AppleScript tools, has an implementation of XML-RPC for AppleScript. Yahoo!
Dan Gillmor: "MacBird is a tool that lets programmers customize the user interface -- the screen and the various gadgets that populate it. It's a Macintosh tool now, but the potential for this product seems to me to be in its application to Linux, the poster child for the open source world, and other operating systems. Hey, Jean-Louis, how about Be?"
MacWEEK: "Jobs unveiled Aqua, the new system's user interface. Aqua will make extensive use of color and transparency; for example, red, green and yellow buttons at the top left of each window will close, minimize or open the window."
MacWEEK has an annotated Aqua screen shot.
<rant>Why don't they just make a deal with MS and embed the HTML renderer in the OS. Mac OS is slipping further and further behind. How will you feel when EditThisPage.Com has important features that only work on Windows? Think about all the other net services that are better with Windows. It's not a conspiracy, it's lack of competitive follow-through by Apple.</rant>
Industry Standard: Tool Time. "Desktop Web-construction systems like NetObjects Fusion and Macromedia Dreamweaver treat Web site construction as a different kind of traditional desktop publishing – with all their efforts dedicated to precise object placement and seemingly zero attention devoted to building a site that will flourish in the hypertext-rich, two-way environment of the Web."
Sam Yates: Dreamweaver != Netobjects Fusion. Agreed.
I have already sent an email to Mr. Guterman offering him a Manila site to play with, and offering to meet with him in Boston in February. Please don't send him email, it'll look like we're spamming him. Yes yes, he is describing Manila. I love it!
Looping back to the BeachShack comparison of Pitas, Blogger and Manila, I'm beginning to figure out where the confusion is about "disappearing stories". The stories that appear to disappear were ones that were "made the home page". If you click on the Stories link in the Editors Only menu you will see the stories. Further if you link to /1999 on your site, you'll see all the 1999 stories, and the same for 2000. That's how we do it on the DaveNet site, which was the first to use the feature. Probably the best thing to do is to read the docs. As the BeachShack reviewer notes, Manila is pretty deep. If you want to use advanced features like this one (our fault for making it so easy to discover) you have to read the docs.
BTW, there are now 1573 sites on ETP, here's a list of the top 100 most visited sites.
New searching features this morning on Weblog Monitor.
Brent Simmons has a personal weblog. It's another view of UserLand.Com.
Quark FAQ on XML. "You can also put XML to work by using a system such as Vignette StoryServer to automatically convert it to HTML. Web publication systems that work with XML content are also available from UserLand Software, Inc.; Arbortext, Inc.; and Inso Corporation."
LinuxNewbies: Your wish is the command. "In today's world of point-and-click operating systems, Linux is a bit of a challenge. Most people just now getting into computing are going to find the concept of a command-line a very daunting one. The command line, however, is the heart of Linux, and that is where its greatest powers lie."
Lance Knobel: "Only in Davos will you be able to chat with Umberto Eco, Elie Wiesel, Shimon Peres, a South African labour leader, a Filipino indigenous peoples' activist and more CEOs than you could shake all the trees in Davos at."
MacWorld: 1999 Editor's Choice Awards. MP3, Dreamweaver, QuickTime, Jonathan Ive.
MacWEEK: UserLand Sets MacBird Free. "Open-source efforts took a step forward this week with UserLand Software Inc.'s decision to release the source code for MacBird, the company's venerable software for creating pop-up menus, radio buttons and other user-interface elements within scripts." Venerable!
Dictionary.Com defines venerable: "Commanding respect by virtue of age, dignity, character, or position." Perfecto!
DaveNet: Davos Newbies. "It seems that in one way or another, all the really cool Manila sites are for newbies."
Frontier 6.1.1. "Most of the changes are features/fixes for Manila, including support for multiple news days on the home page, enhanced appearance customization, and the ability to download Manila sites."
In 6.1.1 when Frontier saves all the open databases every minute, it actually saves *all* the open databases.
LinuxNewbies at EditThisPage.Com. Wow!
NY Times: "You must sleep sometime between lunch and dinner, and no halfway measures. Take off your clothes and get into bed. That's what I always do." Amen!
I sent an email to Steve Wozniak asking for his support for MacBird. Woz is being interviewed by SlashDot on Friday.
Scoop! Tomorrow Microsoft will announce that they will have Mac OS X versions of MSIE, Outlook Express and Office. What did Apple give them in return?
I registered MacBird with SourceForge. Interesting that they didn't have a category for user interface design tools. It's a very Unix-centered world over there. Let's change that!
Sprezzatura explains how to kiss a lady's hand.
About Adult is a weblog about the online adult industry.
Jason Levine's Manila site now reports referers so he (and we) can quickly find out who's pointing to his site. Jason has his own copy of Frontier running his site, so he can add features like this one.
Just for fun I added a page to Weblog Monitor that shows me a list of weblogs that point to userland.com.
Another site that's pushing the envelope on Manila site design. Brent, let's study this site. He's asking good questions. Check out how he does the membership box.
Brad Pettit posted a Zip version of the MacBird source.
Robert Woodhead: "I often do weird little fun projects over the new year's holiday. This year I decided to ask the question 'what short and or cool domain names are still available?' To answer it, I wrote a silly little robot and set it to work."
Detroit News: Mac OS 9 has plenty of flaws, readers say.
DaveNet 1999 in Review. "Thanks to Luke Tymowski, Jeff Shelton, Sam Devore, Eric Soroos and Karl Martino for contributing to the review site."
More new stuff on Davos Newbies. "If you wear a suit (and most do, except for the Silicon Valley crowd), you annoyingly have to carry shoes in a bag and then change in the Congress Centre."
Tom Briscoe's Y2K cartoon expresses a sentiment similar to last night's DaveNet.
MacBird Open Source Release: "There are other UI runtimes, some are even open source. MacBird is different because it's built for the designer. You create and edit MacBird 'cards' using a draw program with grouping and alignment."
DaveNet: A Batman New Year.
Doing the final pass on the 1999 DaveNet-in-Review site, came across this soundbite. "It's like fighting City Hall, swimming upstream, or competing with Microsoft. Longterm you end up in jail, being eaten, or testifying in Washington." 9/03/99
LinuxToday is running the MacBird open source release story.
Gavin Eadie has already built the project. Now that's fasssst!
Of course MacBird has its own song. "All your life you were only waiting for this moment to be free."
Synchronicity time. The top item on MacWEEK.Com is a review of Apple's performance in the open source world in 1999. "Here's hoping that 2000 will result in more tangible open-source output from Apple and concerted collaboration with the open-source community at large."
***Did your cookie expire?
If you've had your UserLand.Com cookie for more than a few months, it probably expired on 12/31/99. My.UserLand, for example, may appear to be broken, with all your excluded channels showing up and no Exclude button visible. Simple solution -- re-login. The new cookie won't expire until 2030.
Steve Fuchs: "The getYear() function returns 100, not 2000."
CNN: Y2K Billions May Pay Dividends. "When many Scandinavian firms prepared for Y2K, they found that they had installed software that was getting little if any use."
Kate Adams: "There's probably someone at Vignette and Documentum crying 'Wolf!' for the very first time about Manila/Frontier, too."
I'd like to do a DaveNet Live in San Francisco later this week if anyone can find a ballroom that can hold around 200 people. It's long overdue. Sorry for the last-minute request. Raines, who should I talk to?
I would also like to certify that Frontier runs on Windows 2000.
Lots of good stuff on Curmudgeon today. Will no one speak for software? I will. Software is an art too. Every choice yields a different effect.
Kwikware has screen shots of websites that had Y2K glitches.
MSNBC: Smooth sailing as markets reopen. "Untouched by the Y2K bug, financial markets strode confidently into 2000."
QubeQuorner got a link on LinuxToday too. Excellent!
Marc Canter is interested in HTML email. Me too!
Kevin Werbach turns 30 today. Mazel tov!
Today is the final day for the Peanuts comic strip. Great job!
I didn't know that LinuxToday was picking up DaveNet stories. That explains the extra reads for DaveNets about Linux.
Wow! This might be the best EditThisPage.Com website yet. Think about it this way. I am going to Davos this year. I have a laptop. This is going to be a fascinating conference to cover. And flip it around, I will be elbow-to-elbow with the most influential journalists in the world. What a chance to do some evangelizing for our community! I'm so psyched.
BTW, on my way back from Davos I will stop in Boston to keynote Seybold. An excellent opportunity to report on what I learned in Davos.
Tomorrow UserLand will enter the world of Open Source. We beat our plan to have the MacBird source release ready by the opening of MacWorld Expo. It was an honest mistake. I thought the show opened on Monday. We're ready!
Qube Quorner gets a new look. Spring cleaning comes early in ManilaLand. And Kate Adams does a tour, though she calls it a Troll. Here's proof that a Manila site doesn't have to look like a Manila site. And Scott Hanson has new pictures of his infant son Christopher.
Howard Hansen's review of EditThisPage.Com. "The first truly-compelling platformless web application I've seen."
Survey: Do you like the "whitesmoke" background color on Scripting News?
We're almost finished with the MacBird open source release. I passed the code to Brad Pettit who's got a current Mac development system, and he got it building over the weekend in CodeWarrior Pro 4. I've been writing the website, getting the source listings available in HTML, the license agreement, screen shots, various miscellaneous stuff. I've been looking for the logos people did for MacBird in early 1996 when we released the source for MacBird Runtime. There were some really good ones. Let me know if you have a copy and I'll keep looking.
Who should be interested? Designers. Mac people. People who are interested in open source. And Linux developers who are interested in user interface design and technology.
Steve Martin: The Third Millennium, So Far So Good. "You ask, so how will we refer to the first millennium, the one that begins with all the zeros? Easy. We will not refer to it."
Brett Glass: "Today, reminiscing about the past and planning for the future, I opened an old ThinkTank outline in which I'd stored previous years' resolutions. Well, you might be amused to know that the program which made you your fortune -- ThinkTank -- is non-Y2K-compliant in a rather amusing way. When you run it on any Windows system, it cannot fathom the notion that the year is 2000, and so sets things straight by unconditionally resetting your system's calendar to a date in 1989. Oops."
Dale Dougherty: The Human Scale of Serendipity. "RSS is intended not so much as a means of describing a site but rather as a way to let others know about the stream of new items on a site."
Jeff Cheney runs a survey that offers some insight into my personality. I'm not going to say how I voted.
If you created a Manila site today when you tried to log in it said: "Can't get the first day in the calendar because adrcalendar doesn't point to a valid non-empty calendar structure." Brent says it's not Y2K breakage, Manila wasn't handling the year-rollover properly when displaying the Flip Home Page button. The problem is fixed, and sites created today are once again accessible.
Jacob Savin has turn-of-the-century pictures on his ETP site.
BTW, last century's closing song was As Time Goes By. So far, the song of the new millennium is Zippety Do Dah. Or maybe Hunting Tigers Out in India by the Bonzo Dog Band?
A comparative review of Pitas, Blogger and Manila. Sounds like we have some work to do. I'd like to understand the "disappearing stories" problem. I'm sure the story didn't actually disappear. I've never seen it happen. It's probably an expectation thing. The author expected something to happen, but something else happened.
I checked, the stories are there, in the story list. If I had it to do all over, I would nuke the "Make this story the home page" command. I use it for DaveNet, which is a Manila site too, but it's a very special kind of site, not one that most people want to do.
BTW, re performance on EditThisPage.Com, with almost 1500 sites, it pushes Frontier in ways it has never been pushed before. This is good! We found some algorithms that made sense in the early 90s, that no longer make sense. We're making some core changes to the way Frontier manages memory. This will make the Frontier search engine perform better too. These changes come slowly because we have to test extensively before deploying. We hope to have the new software running on EditThisPage.Com by the end of next week. Thanks for your help, all 1500 webmasters.
Last century (or last night, depending how you look at it), before going to a New Year's dinner and then to a meditation, I saw something I had never seen before. A Manila newbie, Sonja Scharrer, who also has Frontier, is using Manila to learn how Frontier works. She'd do something in Manila in the web browser, then switch over to Frontier and see what it did. You can poke around using the outliner, all Manila's secrets are revealed. Makes total sense, and it's a brilliant insight that had never occurred to me.
***Happy New Year one and all!
InfoWorld: Easy Y2K in USA. "We have been unable to find any significant Y2K incidents," said Koskinen. "I was pleasantly surprised."
News.Com: US Averts Y2K Disaster. "The West Coast greets the new century without disruption, the world's last frontier to escape the dreaded millennium bug."
NY Times: Y2K Computer Glitches Are Mostly a No-Show. "As clocks passed midnight around the world, there were a flurry of reports of apparently minor problems: a timing device at a electric plant in Wisconsin jumped ahead 35 days, but it was quickly reset; a monitoring system at a Japanese nuclear plant malfunctioned, but it did not affect the operation of the reactor; in Australia, ticketing machines on some buses jammed."
"A new beginning."
© Copyright 1997-2006 Dave Winer.