Manila Express for Mac
Manila Express makes it easy to add links to the home page of a Manila site without going there. When it was released in February, it only worked for MSIE5/Windows. Earlier today Brent released Manila Express for the Macintosh, which is cool because a lot of people who maintain Manila sites use a Mac. Instructions for installation are on the Manila Express home page.
I asked Brent to write a How I Did It piece, so that other weblog tools can be made to work with the Mac as well as Manila now does. This is part of our Ask Not philosophy, we believe users of all tools should have the most powerful and easy interfaces possible, not just our tools.
This morning I'm working on a warmup project, my fingers are so rusty, they barely know where the keys are anymore (and the shift key works on this computer, which really weirds me out). The project is something I think we're ready for, a validator for XML-RPC implementations.
Andre and I talked about this in Amsterdam, with Edd Dumbill and Martijn Pieters, we need a systematic way to be sure we're all talking the same language, to be sure the various implementations of XML-RPC interoperate.
I want to do this carefully, before the day is out I'm going to post a document describing a proposed "validator1" suite, a set of calls implemented as a Web App, that can test any XML-RPC server and report back if it is returning correct responses. It's a total Turing test, some of the structures it passes are fairly large and complex, but the code you have to write is not too hairy, hopefully.
Early evening: Here's the first draft of the docs for the suite. Comments are welcome.
Web Patents: O'Reilly and the PTO.
David Singer's pictures from Amsterdam.
Just before I left for Europe Marc Canter sent me an email listing a bunch of Manila sites that he thought were well-designed.
Marc said: "Let someone change the overall template of their ETP site, without having to write any HTML at all, or modify any content whatsoever."
I left Brent with the job of giving the user a choice of designs when first creating a new Manila site. I spent some time with Brent on the phone (he's running on Australian time) early this morning, and he described the feature, which is now working, and you can change the theme of your website, changing all the templates, with a single command, as Marc spec'd it.
Brent is totally awesome.
Thanks to Marc
When I was meeting with Paolo, in our closing dinner in Trieste, we closed a lot of loose ends. Why did both of us have such a great head start on the idea of a browser-based content management system? My answer, to Paolo, was that we shared a source of inspiration, Marc Canter.
Both Paolo and I agreed that Marc can at times be hard to listen to, this is something he's gotten a reputation for, and it's reasonable and deserved, because sometimes his advice comes with harsh criticism. I told Paolo that I've learned to tune that out and laugh, and Marc, being the sweet guy that he is, doesn't run away when you say "Oh that's just the way Marc expresses himself."
When you tune out the noise, the man is incredibly brilliant, he tends to figure things a few years before everyone else. That's the kinds of person I like to have as a friend.
Far from rocket science
Dan Gillmor called to say I was quoted in an amicus brief filed on 5/19/00 in United States v Microsoft, by the Computer & Communications Industry Association.
They were actually quoting Dan quoting me. Dan's article is here. Basically the point is that HTML rendering could be separated from the operating system through an API.
I wrote up the story on April 29, in more detail, calling for Microsoft and the DOJ to settle on creating a new company with the browser, and otherwise leave Microsoft intact. I still think it's the best compromise. Microsoft isn't wrecked, and from the ashes of Netscape can rise another browser, with all our help.
I also asked Microsoft to volunteer to embrace WINE. Are they willing to consider a Hail Mary play? The developers, Bill think about the developers. They wanted was WORA. Now that means Windows.
European time pointers
My clock is still on European time even though I'm in California. Oh the jetlag! Here are some pointers I culled in the early morning hours in the Pacific time zone.
NY Times: The Challenge to Windows is in Middleware.
Newsweek: The Noisy War Over Napster.
Yahoo has National Geographic articles on Firenze, Venezio and Amsterdam.
Today I'm listening to Keep It Together by Madonna.
The Dogma 2000 manifesto is now available in Italian.
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