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Permanent link to archive for Friday, March 09, 2001. Friday, March 09, 2001

Once upon a time, a very long time ago I said that one day I would ask you to run a Web server on your desktop. I promised it would it be interesting and fun and simple. Well, today is that day.

Radio is shipping. It's not beta anymore. When you boot it up it'll read a set of default channels and present you with a rush of news. A nice toolbar at the top. Leave it running. Every hour on the hour it'll do another scan. Read the news, route it to your blog. Check out the hotlist, see what everyone else is reading. Click a checkbox to subscribe to any channel. When you see a white-on-orange XML button on the Web, get the URL it links to and add it to your subscription list (only if it's RSS of course).

Radio is also a blogging tool, it's got all the easy-to use-features a blogger would want and the data is on your computer. Create your own RSS channels. Route stories by category so people in your organization can follow the news that you point them to. The publishing tools are in your hands so you can get the news where it needs to go. There's so much more to say. And you can be sure I'll say it.

You can put the Radio coffee mug on your UserLand-hosted Manila site with "radioCoffeeMug". (Include the quotes.)

Tip for Radio newbies. If you want your channel choices to be reflected in the Top 100, you must turn on upstreaming.

Another nice Radio feature I use all the time is Weblogs.Com on the Desktop. It's linked into the Tools page. Every hour at 15 after the hour it gets the changes from Weblogs.Com (in XML of course) and presents them (in HTML of course). Why is this better than just using Weblogs.Com? Well, it's a lot faster, for one thing. Maybe that's the only thing. Well, that's a good one. You can grow old waiting for our server to render the list through your favorites (and everyone else's). Radio is fast. Because you're the only person it's serving. This is one of the key advantages of decentralization.

Now, perhaps the best feature for the geeks is that you get the source code for the desktop website in Radio. And there are lots of places you can customize, or if you want, do you own desktop website in Radio and teach us how this stuff really works. There's XML-RPC, SOAP, HTTP, SMTP, POP, FTP, OPML, RSS, you name it we got it, all in an easy scripting enviornment with an outliner-based script editor. The other guys are years behind. Radio is a developer's friend, geeks can have fun and please do. (Did I mention it's got a content management system too? It does.)

And who ever heard of a Web server with a built-in text editor and object database? We did.

Now business details. This release of Radio is free. It works. When we come out with 7.0.1 we'll have a for-pay version. It will also be able to be a workgroup server. The Radio we're shipping now is limited to 5 simultaneous net connections. This works really well for a personal server. However if you want others to use your copy of Radio we'll make a version that can do that, and that version will be for-pay-only -- still haven't decided on the price. This will be our long-term sustainable business model. If you like Radio and want us to hire more programmers to implement the features you want, faster, dig in and find the money, but not yet. Let's build a big base of users first.

Some have asked What About Frontier? Oh yes, we have major new stuff in Frontier 7, that's next on the plate. No change in price. Frontier is the server for huge numbers of Manila sites. Radio is a desktop tool. We've been talking about the "workstation product" for a few years. That's Radio. It's for people. Frontier is for big groups of people. They work together well, by design.

And I'd like to extend a big hearty Welcome Back to people who are using free versions of Frontier on Mac OS from 1998 or earlier. We've been working really hard, adding features and fixing bugs, it's worth moving up to Radio. It's a real 7.0. (Isn't that confusing!)

Meanwhile Permanent link to 'Meanwhile' in archives.

Meanwhile, the rest of the world goes on.

News.Com: Open-source firm dips into services SOUP.

I just discovered that Joshua Allen has been updating through RSS. I missed his pithy comments. Now I'm a subscriber. Cooool. It's even more interesting, now that Radio is a community, and I'm in the top 10 most-subscribed-to channels, presumably a lot of people will figure out how to subscribe to Josh too. This is where the viral-ness comes in. I wonder if it's going to work? (Some of the techniques of the busted dotcom philosophy survive.)

OffShoreMp3s.Com: "Our goal is to establish a Napster server (OpenNap running on a server provided by HavenCo) in a jurisdiction (the Principality of Sealand) beyond the reach of the major governments of the world (and of course the RIAA)."

Wired: Lessons learned from Loudcloud.

I like thoughtful criticism: "Here. Is that a wound? Let me rub a little salt into it. But dangit! After writing hundreds and hundreds of pages and a few books, I must confess that I'm pretty comfortable with the way that Word's outliner works."

AP: "A reporter for Wired News has been subpoenaed to testify in the trial of a tax protester charged with stalking and threatening two federal agents."

Important but small changes in the ManilaRPC interface, remove the requirement for base64 encoding and decoding in client apps.

Hey Paul Andrews is back. Yippee! (Not oy.)

Paul asks for a definition of Oy. It's not in OK let me give it a try. "An exclamation of frustration and annoyance." That's not too bad. It's short for Oy vey iz mir.

Bob Atkinson sent a link to the Alternate Yiddish Dictionary. It says Oy means "anything you want, generally expressing a negative emotion Can express anything from tiredness to sadness to martyrdom to anger to annoyance and so on."

I'd like to buy a hard drive that has all this music. It'll never happen. Oy.

Earthquake art. Very nice!

As always, the flame-level goes up when we ship. Some say we rushed the Final Candidate process, a scheme to soak users for money we don't deserve. We actually spent 60 days debugging. Ask anyone on the Radio mail list. BTW, when we say something is a FC we really mean it. Some software companies don't. We do. (Not that any of this matters. We'll probably fix more bugs next week than we did this week. That's how it works. You know, Murphy and all that.)

Benjamin Franklin: "If you would not be forgotten, as soon as you are dead and rotten, either write things worthy reading, or do things worth the writing."


Last update: Friday, March 09, 2001 at 6:28 PM Eastern.

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