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Permanent link to archive for Tuesday, May 30, 2000. Tuesday, May 30, 2000

How do you review?

Angus Glashier created a Homestead site and compares it to his Manila site. We need more reviews and comparisons between the various browser-based content systems.

NetDyslexia compares their Manila site to an Indian website they created some weeks ago.

We're also looking for reviewers of Frontier 6.2 as we get closer to finalizing it. The software is getting easier to install and maintain, I want to open it to more people.

In the old days we'd send a review copy of the software to each of the magazines. Where do we send them now?

I have a feeling the answer is among the more technical members of EditThisPage.Com and Weblogs.Com.


Starting tomorrow you'll be able to control the display of calendars and discussion groups using CSS in all UserLand-hosted Manila sites.


Garret has striking pictures of the new fire in New Mexico.

Doc Searls salutes Jakob Nielsen.

John Klassa is looking for a Unix security knowledgeable person.

Survey: Going to the O'Reilly Open Source Convention?

Guido van Rossum: Python Development Team Moves to

Dale Dougherty: One-Click Craziness.

Rohit Khare, Adam Rifkin: Active Proxies to Extend the Web. I had lunch today with Rohit and Adam. I had met with Rohit in Amsterdam. Another very interesting meeting. There's a lot in common in our visions of where the Web is going, and interestingly, not much overlap. The things we're doing are things they are not, and the things they're doing are things we want to job out. The discussion will continue for sure.

News.Com: Struggling Novell counts on strategy shift.

WSJ: Linguists leap to the Net.

Kim's first website, with pictures.

Lawrence Lee sent a picture of some cheesy noodles taken with a Nikon Coolpix. Don't look at this if your stomach is full.

Don't read this on a full stomach either.

This picture is safe to look at whether or not you have a full stomach.

Working on the XML-RPC validator

Making good progress on the XML-RPC validator web app.

I posted a spec last night, hopefully some implementors or users of XML-RPC are getting ready to write servers to test against the validator.

I'll be posting the Frontier source for a server shortly. The server is by far the easier part of the pair.

Hierarchic browser-based pulldown menus

We're getting close on DHTML menus running in Web browsers. Now we have hierarchic menus working. The goal is to have more menu commands in Web apps and to use a paradigm that's familiar to desktop software users (the rest of us, remember?)

Anyway, we're getting close, they're for Manila after the 6.2 release, but we're looking for a cool Web app to deploy them in before then. They'll be part of Frontier 6.2, so we'll be sharing the code with all other Frontier developers.

BTW, I talked with Dave Massy, one of the MSIE program managers, in Amsterdam, about the need to get support for this directly in the browser. Same message to Netscape. We're out of user interface room for Web apps. This is the way the bottleneck is relieved.

I sincerely hope that our code is just for bootstrapping and proof of concept. Something as fundamental as pull-down menus should be in the platform, not something each group of developers should have to create for itself.

Australian Davosers in SF

Tomorrow should be a relatively painless day. Drive up to SF in the early morning for a 7AM breakfast (not a problem since I'm still on European time, to me that's 3PM).

Then at 9AM I'm on a panel that will discuss "The Importance of Differentiation". I'm not exactly an expert on this, I have to speak for 8-10 minutes, I'd rather explain how the Web works from my point of view and let differentiation take care of itself (my view of the Web is likely to be different from others). I guess that's differentiation, eh??

Originally I was going to have to dash off to the airport after speaking to go to Microsoft's NGWS announcement (the Australians are spending today at Microsoft), but now that's not a problem.

When I was in Davos, on the first day lunch, I sat at a table of Australian CEOs, including the CEO of the Australian telecom monopoly. He asked good questions, and I enjoyed their company. They reminded me of the Americans I met in Silicon Valley 20 years ago when I was fresh off the boat. Maybe they'll invite me to come visit and set up EditThisPage.Au? That would be fun! (More jetlag, I actually like jetlag, feeling really good.)

Why I feel so good

I wrote a DaveNet piece once, I can't remember which one, where I gave some advice for how to overcome the blues. It goes like this.

When you're feeling really good, make a list of things that make you feel good. No problem doing that. Put it in a safe place. Then when you have the blues, take out the list and no matter how silly it seems, do one of those things. It works.

One of the things on my list is swimming. I have a beautiful pool, and it's been really hot here. So in the afternoons I've been sitting out by the pool reading, and swimming every fifteen minutes. It makes my bones feel giddy!

KFOG makes me happy

Another thing that makes me happy: KFOG.

(An aside, what's the difference between listening to a radio station over the Internet and Napster? This may be the disconnect of the music industry. Instead of fighting the users, try to understand. I'd love to run a radio station. I've always wanted to do that, since I was a kid. Can you make it easy for me to do that, and at the same time preserve key elements of your business model? You're going to have to make peace with your users someday, right?)

KFOG is playing one of my favorite Talking Heads songs now! Oh, ho ho!

Now they're playing The Kinks' Come Dancing. "He'd end up blowing all his wages for the week, all for a cuddle and a peck on the cheek." Another beautiful song.

Next song, Riviera Paradise by Stevie Ray Vaughn.

Scott Hanson likes the idea of a Scripting News radio station.

Wes Felter found the RIAA terms for webcasting music.

The thing I hate about KFOG are all the incredibly stupid dotcom commercials.

Gary Teter recommends Live365.Com.

Programmer's commune

In Amsterdam I had a series of lunches and dinners with really interesting people doing cool stuff in related areas. Emailing with Sally Khudairi, we both agreed that we want a bar that's open 24-by-7 so we can always get together with people we want to work with. The XML-DEV list doesn't cut it. (They're debating patents now, they're where we were a year ago, angry, but not sure what to do about it, flailing unproductively.)

In Trieste, I talked with Paolo about a programmer's commune. A place where any programmer with a reputation for creating code that lots of people use can check in for one or two weeks. Probably a hotel in a resort area. Near a beach, good food, great net connection, places to hike and think and talk. Meeting rooms with whiteboards. Wireless Ethernet. Come here when you have a conceptual problem you want to solve and can use help from your peers that work at different companies or who don't work at companies at all. The commune would have a strong Web presence, and would be located in a country with no software patents. You pay nothing for your room, meals and net connections. Come create and share what you create. That's the idea.

I've wanted this for many years. I talked about it in the 80s. I used to go on programming retreats, sometimes alone, sometimes with others, to get away from the 9-5 pulse of the marketing and support company I was running.

I realized again that we need it at the close of the Web Publishing track at WWW9 when the room erupted in creativity around RSS and weblogs. We've set up systems that push our words around the net, but most of the time there's little or no movement. Having a programmers commune would give us a mechanism for movement.

I also talked with friends about doing this in conjunction with a massage commune I was part of in the mid-90s. Adding bodywork to the mix is a good idea. As much as programmers like to believe that they create outside their bodies, I think this is not true. A happy programmer would be getting a couple of shiatsus a week, imho. (At least this programmer would.)

Friendly VCs?

Maybe now that the shakeout is starting in e-commerce, maybe some of the VCs have new respect for technology and are ready to do something that goes beyond the incubators they're starting to invest in new technology?

Our industry runs in cycles, if a bust is coming another boom can't be far behind. Want to be ready? Make an investment in technology now.

Marc is meeting with Miles Gilburne, one of the VCs that started Macromedia. Now Miles is a director at AOL, and worth a billion dollars. An amazing thing. Miles thinks this way. Hey Miles, buy us a hotel. Let's go!

Of course it didn't escape me that a country could decide to open a free coding zone to attract the best programmers in the world. What leverage your economy could have, for so little money.

One thing's for sure, it ain't going to happen in the USA. Our patent laws are too fucked up.

We need better search engines

The search engines all suck.

None of them are CMS-aware.

They need to be better integrated with hierarchies.

This will be as big a boom as GUIs were in the 80s.

To the money people we totally know how to do it.

Not just VCs, maybe IBM wants to throw some money at this idea, or maybe Italy?

Talk about differentiation.

Send me an email if you want to have a dinner about this.

Music and the programmer's commune

There would be great music at the PC.

Outdoor music, guitars and flute-players.

Full-moon drummer's circles.

Evening music, symphonies and operas.

Dancing music, and long-hair dirty hippie stuff.

Musicians that love the Internet, only, however.

There would also be designers at the PC.


Last update: Tuesday, May 30, 2000 at 7:33 PM Eastern.

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