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Permanent link to archive for Saturday, May 19, 2001. Saturday, May 19, 2001

A new Frontier beta for all platforms, as we head down the last few yards on what has been a long road to Frontier 7.

Stapler is a "tool for Radio UserLand that creates RSS feeds from sources you select, scraped hourly (or every N hours, variable for each source) from HTML web sites."

NY Times: "Nearly all its rivals have vanished or are just limping along, conserving their last drops of cash. And Amazon, with its head start and foresight to raise $2.1 billion, is one of the few dot-coms left that will ever find out whether that that crucial second phase can work."

Washington Post: "For the past year, Apple founder Steve Jobs has been preoccupied with a clandestine warehouse in Cupertino, Calif."

MacCentral: "William Crawford drove down from Santa Cruz, California, to see the Apple Store's unveiling. The reward for his 357-mile trek? Crawford was first in line when the store opened."

Craig Jensen: "I know, I know. I'm on hiatus."

Geeknews: "Several days after posting the interview I was requested by Nullsoft to remove the interview because they had not cleared it with certain public relations people."

Oliver Wrede is writing an article about weblogs in education, looking for experiences from others.

Scott Hanson on the Amsterdam dinner: "Andrea won't be the only girl. Frauke is coming as well, along with Christopher and myself. I don't know how long Christopher wil be staying, since he's just 16 months old. He won't be talking any geek stuff."

Thanks to MacCentral for the link to Manila.

BTW, a heads-up, you'll see us bring the Manila and Radio names into the foreground, with Frontier being the common language, tools and runtime behind the products. Manila is the server, Radio is the desktop. When I chose the Frontier name in 1989 the idea was that Frontier represented raw technology and we didn't know where the towns would be built or what powerlines would look like. Now, twelve years later, that's settled. There are two branches. Manila, which manages central resources; and Radio, which is for people. The towns are called websites. And the powerlines are SOAP, XML-RPC, RSS and OPML.

ThingMachines has a commercial XML-RPC implementation for Java.

The ZopeZen guy changed his mind, he likes XML-RPC now. He likes it because it moves native data types transparently between two Zopes. But there's more -- it does the same thing with Perl, Java, C and Frontier. And you can even mix them. That's where the choice thing comes in.

SandStorm is an "XML-RPC framework for writing middleware modular, distributed web applications."

Xmlhack notes the start of the "OpenRPC" project. It's a fork from XML-RPC, which thankfully, has taken a new name.

A postcard from the beach in Jamaica with my mom and uncle. They look younger than they are. My mom will be 70 next year. Hope I look that good when I'm her age.

Susan Kitchens: "My Dad just called me to tell me of a story in the OC Register that explains the three popping sounds we heard yesterday when stopped at a filling station right near a Jack In The Box in Costa Mesa."

It's journalism Permanent link to 'It's journalism' in archives.

Another question that's come up recently in press interviews..

"Is what you do journalism?" I used to be confused about this, but now I'm not. What I do is journalism, it's Amateur Journalism, and I'm proud of what I do.

The profession, which I don't practice, desperately needs competition. They are subject to such huge pressures. The Geeknews link above illustrates that. Please don't give in to AOL's pressure.

This is not journalism Permanent link to 'This is not journalism' in archives.

I was recently cc'd on a response by a professional journalist to an article of his that enflamed a politically difficult technology that was showing signs of getting back on track.

He said "Let them duke it out." I wrote back saying that I don't want to fight, I'm tired of fighting, I just want to make software and enjoy my life.

Attacks? Permanent link to 'Attacks?' in archives.

The casting of Craig Mundie's remarks at NYU as "attacks" offended me. The speech he gave was reasonable, however in his second remarks I think he took the bait and went way off-topic.

But if someone says something that you find threatening, is that an attack? I can certainly understand why someone would feel that way. Is it an act of violence? Only to your beliefs. Is it legal? In the US it is, it's one of our most cherished rights, enjoying a prominent place in the Constitution. Our founders felt this was a good reason to fork off a new country. I'm glad they did.

As a citizen of California Permanent link to 'As a citizen of California' in archives.

I have to ask why the local professional journalists didn't give us a heads-up on the energy cliff we were driving off? Can we trust them if they let such a crisis build up without telling us it's happening? (To Lance, with all due respect, in California it definitely is a crisis.)

On This Day In's Permanent link to 'On This Day In's' in archives.

It's nice having the new On This Day In feature, I get to look back easily, and I'm starting to follow the stories of previous years. It's easy to follow the 2000 story (I was in Amsterdam), and the 1998 one is interesting (I was writing from Maine, Frank Sinatra had just died, and the Microsoft antitrust case was just getting started). And here's a link to a DaveNet that I wrote on this day in 1998. It's still a good read, imho.

5/19/98: "Web browsers are not leading edge in 1998. If history is any guide, they are not going to change from this point on, any more than spreadsheets have changed since the first one shipped in 1980. I'll eat my hat if web browsers work substantially differently in ten years."

Being a code editor Permanent link to 'Being a code editor' in archives.

Smurf Turf started off as a very simple project, and I'm hell-bent to keep it simple, even though it must do all the things Radio does now, and more, and the organization of the code in Radio is not very simple.

We had a creative year in 2000, now organizing all that creativity is a big job. This means creating new basic building blocks. And having centralized functions to manage the disparate data that used to live in myUserLandData.root. It's complicated work, and very slow-going. I'm like a researcher trying to piece together a sequence of historic events. I often have to stop and dive deep into something to find a hard-coded folder path, or an assumption made that is not valid anymore. It's good work to do, because we couldn't have built much further on the foundation that we had. It's also a loop back to some ideas we started exploring in 1997 but didn't pursue as the cross-platform work consumed so much of our bandwidth.

Why do all this work? Because our model is changing to combine centralization with decentralization. Yesterday I talked about the big changes that Microsoft must deal with, I used the word "our" with regard to the challenge, because we face those changes too. Taken as a given: There's less financial support for centralization since the dotcom bust. Microsoft is hell-bent to make centralization pay. That's cool. UserLand is too small to hope to be able to do that, so we go the other way, accept the reality (as we see it) and re-tool accordingly. But still give the users all that they want. That makes it challenging, but that's why software is an interesting art.

We think we see something very valuable that few others do. The desktop computers of 2001 have a lot of untapped power. Couple that with the comfort level that people have with Web browsers, and that leads to a single point, that no one else seems to be aiming at.


Last update: Saturday, May 19, 2001 at 7:12 PM Eastern.

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