Radio UserLand beta
8:12PM: Radio UserLand 7.0b1/Win is ready to download.
Please use the mail list or the discussion group to comment. Unless you hit a deal-stopper, it works best if you accumulate a list of problems, and report them all in a single post, if possible. We'll review all the lists.
BTW, this was Jake Savin's first project on the UserLand team. He did very well, he's a great guy to work with, doesn't get rattled and he seems to do the right thing, and we already knew he was smart. Good job.
Grateful Dead: Box of Rain. "And it's just a box of rain or a ribbon for your hair; such a long, long time to be gone and a short time to be there."
Today's sad question
Paul Krugman: "The truth is that this story is much bigger than music, or even intellectual property. Something serious, and troubling, is happening -- and I haven't heard any good ideas about what to do about it."
Answer: "Over and over we learn the lesson that we're just little pups with grand visions, waiting to lead a revolution, wanting to be heard by someone, anyone, lest we die in anonymity. In the end we die, and who cares? Probably no one. It happens every day."
Good morning! Come hell or high water we're going to release the first public beta of Radio UserLand today. Thanks for your patience. Things got pretty heavy yesterday, we got a lot of work done, but when it came time to pull the trigger, my eyes were so blurry, even so I was seeing mistakes all over the website. I wanted to get it cleaner and more supportable. I have a feeling a lot of people are going to use this software. First impressions count a lot.
We'd like to iterate over the weekend. The first release will be called 7.0b1 (the version number tracks Frontier's, it's built from the same code base, of course). Radio UserLand also has a Frontier-style updates process, so non-kernel changes can be done painlessly. Now when hundreds of thousands of people are using the software we're going to have to charge for updates, or figure out another way to distribute them. We expect to hit more scaling walls with this product, that's one of the reasons we hosted the mail list at eGroups. Let's offload as much as we can.
Piecing the story together, I added a page about the personal computer, the revolution that routed around the mainframes. "The Apple II was a perfect mix of the personalities of the Apple founders. It had the polish and physical elegance that Jobs is famous for (it felt a bit like a typewriter, but with far fewer moving parts and much lighter) and the programmability and open frontiers that Steve Wozniak loves."
Then I wrote a short piece about Napster, linking it to the stories about mainframes and personal computers.
In the last week we've had two main slogans internally. The first one is Keep It Simple. We've already got the most powerful playlist software. Now how can we make the whole thing come together so it's really simple to use and get started with? We hope to get feedback on this over the weekend.
The second slogan is Let's Win! I've had gusher products, and I love the feeling of hitting the spot so well that everyone says "Wow that's great!" Since this is a community thing, I want you all to have the same idea, we can win, we can create something that's new and fun and very powerful, we can all win. (By winning I don't mean others have to lose, except perhaps insidious bloatware playlist products.)
After all this time, I'm still listening to Bob Dylan's Subterranean Homesick Blues. "Girl by the whirlpool's looking for a new fool." It's addictive.
At about this time, Frontier and Manila users are probably wondering if we're leaving them behind. We are not. How can you tell? The website documenting Radio UserLand is a Manila site. And the server-side is Frontier. It all fits together. Radio UserLand is the deployment of our organizing and writing tool (and HTTP, XML-RPC and SOAP web services platform). Music is a wonderful and timely catalyst. Our vision, the Two-Way Web is still very much what we're doing.
ePrairie: Napster Balks, Users Talk, Court Walks.
June 10 was Jesus Day in Texas. Officially.
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