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Permanent link to archive for Tuesday, June 06, 2000. Tuesday, June 06, 2000

O'Reilly's Frontier book

Did you know that O'Reilly Associates has a Frontier book? Well, they sure do and it's a great book. Matt Neuburg, the author, crawls into the mind of Frontier, and reveals all the secrets. Hey, I wrote the software, and I learned stuff about Frontier reading Matt's book.

Anyway, we asked O'Reilly if it would be OK to post the full text of the book on the Web, this is something I'd like to see done with all reference books, and they said yes. Therefore..

Matt Neuburg: Frontier: The Definitive Guide.

Necessary caveats. The book describes Frontier 4.2.3/Mac. Today's Frontier is 6.1.1. Frontier is available for Windows and Macintosh now. But the core of the product is still there, the heart is still beating, and Matt gets right in there.

One more thing, if you like the book, and want to encourage O'Reilly to update it, one way to show support is to buy a copy. UserLand would also be happy to contribute money towards a new version, but real users buying real books is most important.

RSS 0.92

For the last three days I've been slowly reading and taking notes on the RSS 0.91 spec and its precedents, creating a document that I'm currently calling RSS 0.92. The purpose of the document is to explain the current practice of RSS.

This work came out of a discussion at WWW9 about the future of RSS. I felt that we couldn't have an informed discussion on the future of RSS until we had a good handle on current practice.

As I'm writing the document I wonder if I should send the URL to certain people, and then I think of other people who should be in the loop, so I'm going to do one more pass on it later today or tomorrow morning and then point to it from Scripting News.

Like the XML-RPC spec, it is embedded in a discussion group, and there's an active mail list hosted on eGroups for mail-based discussion.

Also like the XML-RPC spec, it will have an IETF-like copyright, allowing it to be forked by anyone without need for permission.

The goal is to lay a foundation, and have it serve as a platform for discussion and movement in the RSS world.

Working on the docs

I'm getting pretty close with the docs for RSS 0.92. There's a timeline section at the beginning of the document. I want to get a list of all the public aggregators linked to from the list.

I've already got links to My.Netscape, My.UserLand and Meerkat. Then it occurred to me that Headline Viewer is also an aggregator. Then it occurred to me that I should ask if there are any others before I overlook any.

So if you have a Web or desktop app that reads RSS 0.91 files over the Internet, please send me the following info via email: The name of your app, a web URL, and the date it was first published or deployed.

15 items per channel? Surprisingly, yes

Among developers, I've heard it said many times that the 15 items per channel max in RSS 0.91 is widely ignored, so I wrote a script to see how bad it was, and guess what, the vast majority of RSS 0.91 channels respect the limit.

A screen shot of the table. I find this really interesting. If people have any other stats they'd be interested in let me know, it's pretty easy to look at other attributes.

WR Hambrecht

News.Com: WR Hambrecht raises $83 million. "The 200-employee firm, headquartered in a former warehouse near San Francisco's new Pacific Bell Park, is the first to use an auction-based model for initial public offerings. Investors submit bids to WR Hambrecht, and the firm sets the clearing price--or the lowest price that will result in the sale of shares."

Hey I had lunch there today. I even got to shake Bill Hambrecht's hand. An interesting company, the Web's investment banker.

Wiener schnitzel

Sounds like Andre and Andrea are going to have some Wiener Schnitzel sooon. Save me some!


Surprise: "A more aesthetic aspect of the cobblestones is the fact that one can create beautiful designs with them: Especially the Italians are masters of this art! If you ever have a chance just go and see their piazzas. They managed to create harmony and a real feeling for the space by arranging the cobblestones in ways which fit perfectly to the specific square."

Interesting! I spent a lot of time in Piazza della Republica in Firenze, what a place, so complex, and yet so open. But I never looked down at the cobblestones. Next time I will. And Mira gets it right, the cobblestones turned me into a total klutz. And she's also right that things in Europe are built to last, unlike in America. Especially in the technology industry. I wonder if moving to Europe would change that for technology.

What did you have for lunch?

Lunch: "I went home and put a Lean Cuisine Meatloaf with Mashed Potatoes in my own personal Chernobyl ($99.95 at Target), ate it, and then collapsed in a pile on my unmade bed. I was only going to sleep for 45 minutes, but wound up sleeping so deep that my clock radio was unable to wake me for more than a half hour past the time it went off."

Coughing up Sun's hairballs

Chris Kelly: Why 100% Pure Java is a Crock.

Great letters to the editor on InfoWorld today. "I've seen a lot of idiotic pontification in InfoWorld in the last 14 or so years (and some good stuff too, don't get me wrong), but I'll be damned if I can remember anything so ludicrous as Sun Chief Scientist Bill Joy's inane words in the May 22 issue." It gets better from there.


The AppleScript Weblog has a report on scripting support in Adobe Illustrator/Mac.

Last night I posted an overview of how Themes will work when they're available, hopefully by the end of the week.

Matthew Barger notes Adobe's revamped SVG site, and the need for a SVG-focused weblog. I agree. We should be covering and studying SVG as deeply as we're covering SOAP, for example.

News.Com: Virus bombards mobile phones. "The worm is propagated by computer and not via the telephone system. They also said the attack is relatively benign, as it does not destroy computer files but merely delivers a message disparaging the Spanish telephone company Telefonica."

Press release: Collab.Net Completes $35 Million Funding.

Jeff Walsh runs an online magazine called Oasis. "The site is now monthly, gets over 60,000 readers, and is the oldest and longest running site for queer and questioning youth online." They want to use Manila, and want to work with a hosting service that's low cost, and won't have a problem with their content. Jeff is a former InfoWorld reporter, he now does PR at Macromedia.

What are Endeavors?

WSJ: "Walker Digital’s dealings with the Senate Judiciary Committee have continued into this year. The company, apprehensive about further attacks on its patents, is setting up a Washington office and recently sought to hire one of Sen. Hatch’s top Judiciary aides. Mr. Walker is expected to meet with committee members and their staffs today during a visit to Washington."

Jake has a question for Mozilla gurus.

Wes Felter's site continues to rise on the charts.

Dilbert on Amazon: "I'm sure some whiners will say it's an obvious idea." Yes.

Jim Roepcke has lost 22 pounds! Go get em.


Last update: Tuesday, June 06, 2000 at 9:48 PM Eastern.

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