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Permanent link to archive for Friday, March 31, 2000. Friday, March 31, 2000

Announce: UserLand will join W3C. $5000.

Further: I will speak at WWW9 on XML-RPC. Priceless.

ZDNet: Dave Winer doesn't believe in software patents. "What if software developers called a daylong moratorium on coding to protest patents?"

David Carter-Tod: CHI-WEB has been discussing web apps and are having a meeting about them April 1-6 in the Hague, Netherlands.

Klaus Schwab: "To conclude, you have in front of you the 1,000 most influential business leaders. What would be your single, most important wish towards them, at this moment?"

array: "kevin drennan of the santa fe institute and i are arranging the first annual meeting of frontier users here in santa fe."

The Webapps mail list is starting to get interesting.

Bill Machrone: "If Amazon wants to fight, let it fight on a thousand fronts. Let it be nibbled to death by ducks."

Jeff Cheney has lots of great links on editorial integrity.

Can you find the black dot? Warning, it may drive your eyes crazy.

On the W3C xml-dist-apps mail list, Jeremy Allaire gives a status report on WDDX.

46 sites on Weblogs.Com. I really like the look of this one.

Making Zope Zoooom. "Frontier has that wide-open wild-ass thing too, but focusing the functionality for writers was the single best thing that ever happened to Frontier. I suggest the same can and should be done for Zope. In other words, if there were a Manila-compatible mode for Zope that might be the secret sauce that makes Zope zooom."

Real world: Two Way Web White Board.

Wow. Photos of whiteboards are in my space now. As I was posting the picture above, Marc Canter sent me this picture of him in a virtual sea of whiteboards.

Since Andre is returning to Germany tomorrow, I wanted to take some pictures of his workplace, also known as Spicy Noodles West. Andre's been working pretty much round the clock. But all you have to do to get Andre to wake up is say Wiener Schnitzel! I tried to sneak up and take a picture of the Frontier source code but Andre says "Not Open Source!" Ironically Andre uses his Mac and BBEdit to review Dr Watson error logs. "For some reasons it's the only editor that works," he said.

What is Constructor?

WSJ: Microsoft enters uncertain era. "Is the company as aggressive as it was two years ago? When asked, Mr. Silverberg, a former Microsoft senior vice president who oversaw Explorer and two versions of Windows, just smiles and asks: 'Have you ever met Steve?'"

Joel Spolsky: Painless Software Schedules.

ZDNet: "Patents are not just being used as another revenue stream, but as a way to block rivals from competing in the market."

Mike Donnelan, the editor of blackholebrain is a sign designer. That explains a lot (I think) about the colors and style he uses on his sites.

Yesterday on a follow-up mail list to the patent meeting at Esther's earlier this month, Tim O'Reilly told us that he's going to Washington next week with Jeff Bezos to meet with legislators about web patents. Esther responded saying she was going to be at the White House the same day for an event that she would tell us about later. I asked the group if any inventors were in the loop here. Not much of a response. I thought to myself, would they pass legislation revolutionizing medicine without involving doctors? Wouldn't that be considered an obvious question? I concluded later that software designers and inventors don't get much respect. They'll find out later how dependent they are on us when the systems *really* stop working. Lawyers controlling software? I'd rather not be their beta testers.

BTW, as far as I know Jeff Bezos is not a software designer. Before starting Amazon he managed a hedge fund. He's an investment banker, not one who sweats pixels.

I also talked on the phone at length yesterday with Gordon Eubanks of Oblix. You may recall that Gordon was my partner in Symantec in the late 80s. We talked about many things, including the Microsoft antitrust situation. Gordon testified in Microsoft's defense in the current trial. My position has shifted, I now favor some action by the DOJ. Not because I dislike Microsoft or are "against" them, but because a one-browser market is not workable. I asked Gordon if the industry could do anything to overcome this situation without help from the government. I asked the same question of Steve Ballmer earlier this month. He said it's not his problem. I guess so, but in a larger sense, I think it actually is his problem.

One of books which I'm reading very slowly and in pieces is Fire in the Valley by Michael Swaine and Paul Freiberger. I'm finishing the part on MITS and Ed Roberts, Bill Gates and Paul Allen; and starting the part about Gary Kildall and Gordon Eubanks. I sometimes forget that Gordon was one of the very first personal computer software developers. Being in the US Navy and being in Monterey were the common denominators. CP/M was their operating system, in many ways it was the Linux of its day. (In culture, not economics.)

I went poking around the companion website to Fire in the Valley, and was really disappointed. This is one book that should be on the Web in its entirety, indexed by search engines. It would be easy to do with current technology, and damn, you gotta buy the book if it keeps turning up in my search queries, which it would, probably within a few months. There are so many people-connections in this book. I'd love to get that in XML and browse the network. That would make an interesting BBS. I keep pitching book authors and publishers on this simple idea, and you'd be amazed at how scared they get. But we know, Mr and Ms Web Reader, that the computer screen is no substitute for a reference book and the prices of books these days pale in comparison with the price of our time. Think about it. People are so expensive. Why not buy the book? (Esp if Jeff Bezos would let us 1-Click to buy it, and I'm still boycotting Amazon, so don't even think about me pointing to your stupid friggin site.)

Lance Knobel: Put the book on the Web. "Dave, there are a few publishers that have seen the light."

Anyway here's my current problem. Yesterday, the store coughed up at least a few hairballs on registrations for WebApps 2000. If you tried to register yesterday and the system failed, first many apologies, and please try again, and if it doesn't work, send me an email with a phone number and we'll take the registration the old fashioned way. This suggests one topic for discussion. How to test e-commerce web apps. Arrrggh!

In an email to Ric Ford at MacInTouch, cc'd to me, Chuck Shotton says there's a flaw in MSIE5/Mac. It doesn't like to talk to servers running on the same machine as the browser. Chuck says: "The connection can take up to 10 times as long to complete as when using IE4.5 or any version of Netscape."

I agree with Chuck that this is a serious concern. We just shipped Pike last Saturday. It's a Fractional Horsepower HTTP Server, among its many other talents. Without a clean fast connection to the local browser, that functionality is pretty useless.

Speaking of Pike, last night I was talking with Andre and asked if he thought people were doing wildass development with Pike yet. (It's got a scripting language and object database and website framework and HTTP server.) Andre said he didn't think so. I asked why. He said that I haven't told people that it was OK. Oh. OK, it's OK. Go go go.

Andre also taught me how to count to ten in Cherman. Eins, svei, drei, fir, fumph, etc.


Last update: Friday, March 31, 2000 at 8:20 PM Eastern.

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