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Permanent link to archive for Friday, March 23, 2001. Friday, March 23, 2001

Weblogs.Com on the Desktop is a page in Radio UserLand's desktop website that reads the XML version of Weblogs.Com at 15 minutes past the hour and shows you which of your favorites changed in the last 24 hours. It's functionality is identical to the centralized version, but because it is decentralized, it is much faster.

When reading a Joel Spolsky column, I'm always prepared to be enlightened and entertained. Well his newest is certainly entertaining, but I kept waiting for the explanation of why Excel is 146MB on disk, and he never got there (except to say they ship before optimizing for disk space).

Jmikec: "I now have it running on my home PC all day (and all night), and have opened up my home firewall to my work IP address so I can access it from work to read headlines and post to my blog. It works great, even on my old, old PC (Pentium Pro 200, running Win95). It has been a long time since I have been this happy with a tool - free or paid."

Here's the most interesting Radio Blog I've seen so far, but understand that I've been looking for something like this ever since we released the beta of the decentralized blogging tool in Radio. It's the zig to Blogger's centralized zag. (Or the blig to its blog?) As Blogger has grown, it's climbing a scaling wall, and the performance has suffered, much as the performance of Weblogs.Com has suffered as it has grown. So we built a blogging tool that runs on your desktop. It's more trouble to set up and keep running, for sure, but the bet we've made is that it's worth it, to at least some people who blog, for the reliability and performance it adds. Rob's blog tells the story, start at the bottom and read up. It worked for him.

I like this Radio Blog because of its tag line, which would work for my blog as well. "One Jew's news and views." Try saying that five times fast!!

WebReference: Hiermenus Go Forth XIV.

Burli is a "powerful software package for the broadcast newsroom. It provides the most efficient and easy-to-use editing, organisation and delivery tools of any software in its class."

Hey I was quoted in the Seattle Times coverage of HailStorm. Scroll to the end.

Claude Bullard on Web Philosophy: "Thou shalt not deploy anything that has not been deployed before you deploy except if said deployment shall slow the deployment of the fastest among you."

Sheila has been covering the demise of Mir. Last year at this time she covered the demise of the KingDome.

The day after tomorrow is the anniversary of ManilaPalooza and the day after that is Brent's birthday.

Interesting. Here's a SF dotcom that has a jobs page, but the only openings are in engineering.

Glenn: "There are a lot of plans floating around to control media, and none of them benefit the artists or consumers, and all of them impose ridiculous burdens on manufacturers."

Microsoft: Vectors and You.

From time to time I post what I call Design Challenges. I ask a question that I don't know the answer to, a bit of a puzzle, and see if any of the technical minds that scan this site can figure it out. Today's DC is about Tree Charts. Here's a picture of one, produced by an ancient Mac software product that we wrote a long time ago at Living Videotext. Now here's the question. How close can you get to that using HTML and tables and perhaps a small number of GIFs? I'm not talking about the editing tools, just the rendered tree chart. If we can figure this out I'd like to make it so that Radio's outliner can produce these kind of tree charts in a Web page.

Sebastian Delmont's tree chart in HTML. I've received pointers to hierarchy displayers and sitemaps, but I really just want to see if Tree Charts can be done with nothing more than HTML and a couple of GIFs.

Hint: To get diagonal lines connecting table cells, all you need are these two gifs?

Mike Wilbur has the closest rendering so far.

And here's a super nice rendering from Scott Hunter.

They just keep getting better and better! Here's one created by Sjoerd Visscher that let's you enter your tree as a script. Wow!!

Mark Kennedy accepts the challenge too!

BTW, I know this sounds ridiculous but please don't send me the website as an email attachment. Just a URL please.

From the Being Kind to the Internet Department. People sometimes confuse Having Fun with Making Fun Of. The former is the best part of life, the latter is an ugly part of life. People also sometimes forget to give The Benefit of the Doubt, and to follow The Golden Rule. Or take themselves too seriously, or forget that self-deprecating humor is funny, but humor at other people's expense is mean (unless it's Jakob Nielsen). Kindnesses are essential to forward motion. We have such high hopes for the Internet, its amazing ability to improve communication between humans, but it also has an amazing ability to amplify our fears. As our communication tools improve, let's keep this in mind, find ways to reinforce cooperation, and dissipate fear.

Timothy Wilken sent me a picture that explains how the Web works, when it really works.

Financial Times: "Reuters, the business information group, on Thursday fired a shot across the bows of rival Bloomberg as it announced a tie-up with software giant Microsoft to develop an instant messaging service for the financial services industry."

Craig Burton: "The Internet Services Model calls for a set of services that belong to no vendor. These services belong to the Internet and make up the Internet Operating System. The folks at Microsoft say they know this, but this is not what is happening. What they are trying to figure out is how to 'own' the services business while saying the obligatory 'open' and 'independent' words. Canít be done." Yep.

NY Times: "Someone posing electronically as a [Microsoft] company executive had fooled VeriSign Inc, a provider of digital signatures, into issuing fraudulent electronic certificates in Microsoft's name." Oops.

The Register went to Apple's press conference. "Apple is not even keeping an x86 version of Mac OS X warm in some distant lab somewhere: 'There is no chance!' he intoned gravely, and this is the man, after all, who killed the Mac clone market to save Apple." Ouch.

ICEPick is an "open source peer to peer system designed to enable cross web site authentication and personalization services."

Hey Powazek is updating again and the links don't open in separate windows and the urls aren't obfuscated, and it isn't in an eentsy-weentsy scrolling frame. The design is quite attractive of course. Nice work!

BTW, I talked with Jakob at length at the Buzz conf. I asked him how he feels about being ridiculed at a personal level on the Internet, and his face just beamed as answered that he didn't mind. I asked "It's good for flow, right?" and he nodded his head in the assertive Jakob way. I suggested again that he do a real weblog, even suggesting that Lawrence might be willing to help. I also said that while I don't agree with many of his guidelines, I think it's great that he puts a stake in the ground, something for everyone else to think about. I wish more people did what Jakob does. I also asked if his name was pronounced Yakob or Jay-cobb. Chris Gulker says Yakob. I always pronounced it Jay-cobb. Which do you think is correct?


Last update: Friday, March 23, 2001 at 9:06 PM Eastern.

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