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Permanent link to archive for Monday, September 18, 2000. Monday, September 18, 2000

Here's the Radio UserLand Feature List. Finally!

An errant agent from Inktomi has been pounding one of our servers periodically. It's the reason why EditThisPage.Com has been so slow the last few days. The agent is requesting the same WAP renderings in rapid repetition. If anyone from Inktomi is listening, please fix your bug, it's interfering with our service. We also installed a new responder that quickly tells them to go away.

A survey for Frontier developers. "If UserLand released aggregator.root, the software behind My.UserLand, would you use it to deploy your own aggregator or offer a service to other people to aggregate news channels that My.UserLand doesn't carry?"

If you're not familiar with My.UserLand, check out the FAQ page. There's a related thread on the Backend discussion group started by David Detlefsen.

At 5:30PM there are 45 yes votes. That's enough to justify releasing aggregator.root. Instead of three aggregators, there would be 48. That's a sixteen-fold increase.

OK, we're going to release aggregator.root. I put a few hours in this afternoon on getting it ready for release. I'm going to do it slowly, not only to make sure the install goes smoothly for everyone, but also to let a discussion develop on how we should license it.

PR: Apple Licenses Amazon 1-Click Patent and Trademark.

3/9/00: Amazon CEO Calls for Reform of Patent Policy.

Matthew Rothenberg of ZDNet tells a story about Apple and crackdowns on legitimate journalism. It's not all about leaks, apparently.

Tim Paustian: Display of dialogs working.

Here's a story that must send a chill down every Napster user's spine.

Variety: Now Where Napster?

News.Com: Capitol Hill split on Napster.

Headline Viewer 0.9.4 shipped.

Free-Conversant, a Frontier application from Macrobyte Resources, now has event calendars. This is a much-requested feature for Manila, it would be wonderful to get it as a plug-in for Manila.

Radio UserLand 7.0b21 shipped last night as an upgrade. Current Radio UserLand people please try it out. The major improvement in this release is the kernelization of the outline-xml serializer-deserializer. Radio UserLand now conforms to the OPML spec, and it's much faster at opening and saving outlines, especially large ones.

Excellent WorldLink today.

Jon Udell sings the Radio UserLand anthem. (Even though he's probably not heard of it. I sent him an email.)

Newsbytes: RIAA hires a new CTO.

Adam Curry's Formats piece, in Dutch. "De winter-programmering is na een lange zomer van herhalingen eindelijk van start. Nu meer dan ooit is het overduidelijk hoe verkeerd de oude 'broadcast' wereld in elkaar steekt."

WebWord: Flash Usability Contest. "I am sick and tired of people telling that Flash is great. People tell me it is cool but I think that it ruins the customer experience. I think that it should be thrown out as an e-commerce tool, except in rare cases of promotion and marketing. Maybe it is useful for entertainment, personal web sites, art and game sites, but it isn't any good for e-commerce."

Jack Shedd: "With Aqua, Apple has removed 15 years of progress and started afresh. They've put us 10 years behind, and now, we have to climb that mountain all over again."

Has NetDyslexia lost its impact? It used to be a philosophical hub of carefree Web lifestyle. In its former glory I perceived it (incorrectly perhaps) as the Cuba of our revolution. Now they have rulers and acronyms, and complaints about the quality of free aid they receive from the Soviet Union, a vast and corrupt empire with a crumbling foundation, still and always. The value of a pointer? So bourgeois!

Dictionary.Com: Bourgeois. "In Marxist theory, a member of the property-owning class; a capitalist."

Where to go for Christmas? Europe? Israel? The Carribean? Venezuela? New York? Maybe this year I should go somewhere where Christians don't rule? Cairo? Thailand?

We got some great pictures yesterday. Two Jakes, one Tori, one Sally, one Ginnie, and one Dave. It was a family style thing. Very nice. We went out for Spicy Noodles afterwards. I told Jake that his UserLand initialization had been completed. He's no longer a Spicy Noodles virgin.

The open source discussion and mathematics 

Were you a math major? I was.

In mathematics you prove theorems. If someone proves a theorem that says, for example, that water feels wet when the sun is shining, the next thing a mathematician wants to know is if water feels wet even when the sun isn't shining.

This relates to the ongoing open source discussion. If something is true of open source project, perhaps it's also true of commercial projects? In mathematics a higher statement is "necessary and sufficient." It's worth thinking about, imho.

Tim O'Reilly: Is it Open Source? "I'm not on the OSI board, which controls the 'official' use of the term open source, but I believe that even the most ardent advocates would say that this is open source."

What is a developer? 

There's been a renewed discussion in the Frontier community about what a developer is and isn't. In my mind, it's not a term to be tossed around casually. Some people who say they're developers are more like hobbyists. (Hobbyists are great, a necessary part of a thriving community, and hobbyists can become developers, but there's a difference.)

Part of being a developer is commitment. This isn't a wishy-washy concept. If it hurts your stomach to think of what you would lose if you gave up, you have commitment. In the 90s when I was an Apple developer, we would analyze every crumb of data Apple gave us. There's an art to figuring out the path the platform vendor is on. Look at pricing and distribution policies. When there's a statement from the platform vendor, take it seriously. Read everything you can get your hands on.

And even when your feelings are hurt, don't let that stand in the way of getting your job done. Now, some people are customers, and that's a whole different ballgame. But we have some developers here too. And they have the scars to prove it. And our gratitude for sticking with it. It's not easy being a developer. I know. I know.


Last update: Monday, September 18, 2000 at 9:49 PM Eastern.

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