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Permanent link to archive for Thursday, April 06, 2000. Thursday, April 06, 2000

I installed and tested Navigator 6, Release 1. Here's the story.

With Andrew Wooldridge's help I installed the Sullivan skin from Alphanumerica. I told Andrew they should ship with this skin, it's far more beautiful and economical than the one Netscape ships. Even better, have a contest for the best skin, the winner gets a permanent link in the browser. I bet they'd get a lot of developer energy channeled their way, and they sure could use some developer energy! (So could Microsoft.)

The thing I like about this browser is that it probably will drive Microsoft crazy, so crazy they might start doing many of the same things. Remember what it was like to jump out the plane with no parachute? Could it happen again?

Kevin Drennan shows his site in both browsers on the Mac.

InfoWorld: Netscape 6 beta promises widespread appeal

This is a Siskel-Ebert type survey. Based on what you've heard so far on Netscape 6, thumbs up or thumbs down?

Joel Spolsky: "Programmers are, in their hearts, architects, and the first thing they want to do when they get to a site is to bulldoze the place flat and build something grand. We're not excited by urban renewal: tinkering, improving, planting flower beds."

WebApps 2000: April 19 Meeting Cancelled. "We've had two long conference calls over the last couple of days to work on alternate ways of doing the event, but there isn't enough time to change course."

Josh Jacobs: "Please sign me up as a developer who is very interested in contributing to creating some type of group/forum etc like the one I thought April 19th might be. I would be happy in the future to work with a group of others to prepare sections of an agenda with presentations, proposals, etc" Jacobs is CTO of Bigstep.Com.

Last night at dinner with Bob Atkinson of Microsoft, I said "We know what publishers fear." Of course the next question was "What do publishers fear?" Rafe Needleman answers the question more eloquently than I could..

Rafe Needleman: "I spent years managing product reviews, and I have a strong interest in the new consumer review services. I do confess that my inner editor instinctively mistrusts these sites -- it wonders if end-users can review products as well as experienced writers. But I know that the community of consumers is, in sum, much smarter than any 'professional' reviewer could ever be. In my opinion, community review is one of the most important trends in online content."

Exactly. That's why we call our company UserLand. It's built on the assumption that users know what a product really does and have a clear idea how it can be improved. Professional reviewers have to be superficial, the editorial process tends to remove the most valuable ideas, for a variety of reasons, some having to do with economics, or emotional (not wanting to offend the vendor, see yesterday's exchange with Conxion), but mostly about dumbing-down the writing to appeal to the broadest number of people, and repeating soothing Dilbertesque mantras (mostly untrue) over and over. (E.g. Java is the future, Apple is dead, Microsoft is evil, etc.)

This should now explain the confusion we had with Chris DiBona, in the email exchange a couple of weeks ago. We weren't asking for review units, we were offering to build a community around the future of his server products, with users who really care about the products, and who are proven to be smart and who express themselves well. We should do it anyway.

Talk about synchronicity! Two smart eponymous people, Dan Gillmor and John Gilmore are helping each other. In his eJournal Dan writes up John's excellent solution to the patent mess. "Say Gilmore comes up with a patentable software notion. Under his license, 'Anybody who has no patents is free to use my ideas,' he says. 'Anybody who has patents and licenses them on these terms, or better, can also use them free of charge. Otherwise, come talk to me about a license' -- and bring a checkbook." Excellent, it would make it fun to screw the greedy patent-mongers (and profitable). "What makes Napster so virally compelling is that every downloaded client is also, by default, a server."

Edd Dumbill: The browser wars are back. "With impeccable timing."

XML.Com: Processing XML with Perl.

The AppleScript Weblog keeps on rolling. This is a prototype of what a weblog for a scripting community looks like. As usual, the AppleScript world leads the way. (And while it doesn't get attention elsewhere, it certainly gets it here.)

The Updates page on EditThisPage.Com is working again.

Jake Savin is the newest UserLander. He's still in warming-up mode, getting his wrist slapped every day, at least once, and holding up fine. He's working on macros for Manila, the design of the WorldLink site, and a new template for Doc Searls, and getting ready for the usual UserLand overload. Welcome!

Track-PacBell says at 5:05AM there were 72 outages since 3:17PM Sunday. The line was down 7.0% of the time.


Last update: Thursday, April 06, 2000 at 7:02 PM Eastern.

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