New Radio pref: XML-RPC and SOAP. (Screen shot.)
Metafilter has a friendly thread on Don's Amazing Puzzle.
Bryan's working on a very beautiful new theme. It's like a Japanese garden.
Lance had some problems posting from Davos/NY, but just got through with lots of news items. I'm also looking for amateur photos, either from inside or outside the barricades. Lance says he's going to look for someone with a digital camera. I wonder if Dan Gillmor has one. If you're reading this inside Davos, please send an email.
Mark Woods is at the bleeding edge of SOAP interop.
Read this article on Web Services interop. It's an eye-opener because they include sample code for a web service in .NET. Look at all the overhead. Did they really design an environment for web services? If so what are all those magic incantations about? I've seen Simon and Sam (and Christian) comment on this, their eyes can't see the overhead. But Sjoerd who's a scripting guy, sees it. Sometimes it pays to unlearn the things you take for granted. Make every bit of complexity justify itself, and if it can't, off to the bit bucket. Try Don's Amazing Puzzle for a demo of how hard it can be to see things you take for granted. My untrained eye sees six lines of overhead in the .NET hello world script.
BTW, I hope Microsoft and others see this as a collegial form of competition. It may be something new to them. Unlike Marc Andreessen, who set as his public goal the marginalizing of Microsoft, I have no such goal. I just want to compete. I don't mind if I help them improve their product. In their press statements they say they compete fairly. By being open about it I hope to elevate the level of competition in our industry, by putting the focus on interop, performance, simplicity, user control of data, and freedom of choice.
Guardian: A tale of one man and his blog.
Congrats to Evan for winning the lifetime achievement award in the Bloggies.
Mac Net Journal: The State of OS X Web Browsers.
Leo Laporte has a Radio blog. Wow. Who do I thank for this? I read Leo's reports on getting another blogging tool installed and said to my team -- we gotta get Leo on board with Radio. I'm also hoping to get Jerry Pournelle using Radio.
My next Going Crazy tutorial is about do-it-yourself web services. It's only going to work among full peers. Sorry. But if you're behind a firewall there's good news. You can peer with other people who are behind the same firewall.
Good news, the N2H2 censoring service is no longer blocking ManilaSites.Com.
Two years ago today I got into a public debate with the leaders of Russia. After that the Russian reporters covering Davos, who had been very friendly before, turned a cold shoulder whenever I said hello. Reports of free speech in Russia apparently were overstated. What was funny about it (just human nature I guess) is that the Russian reporters had been bitching to me about how the US abandoned them. So I challenged their leaders on free speech (showing support as best as I could). No good deed goes unpunished? Hey at least I don't have to live in Russia, although the US government seems to want to emulate their political system. No doubt I get away with saying that. That's why the US is still OK.
Later the same day I got into a heated public debate with Jay Walker, patent abuser supreme.
Skipping Dot Net: Open Source Databases Linkfest.
Weblogs.Com crossed the 500-site level today at 3:26PM.
Just got an email from Lance Knobel inside the barricades at the WEF meeting in NY. He's going to start blogging it soon. Lance and Dan Gillmor are our eyes and ears this year.
My project for this evening is called DIY Web Services. No fuss no muss. Leap in front of Microsoft, IBM and all their flacks. Make history. Write your own Web Service. Lose your mind. Actually become a Web Service. You'll see it'll make your mind go crazy.
The music I've chosen for this programming work is Der Kommisar. "Dreh dich nicht um - oh, oh, oh Der Kommissar geht um - oh, oh, oh Er wird dich anschauen, und du weisst warum Die Lebenslust bringt dich um."
David Davies updated his picture gallery script.
Scott Loftesness: "Poor AOL!"
News.Com: "What do you get when you cross a colonoscopy with a cockatiel? The same thing you get when you cross a cartographer with a hairball -- a Googlewhack."
Branscum: "The remarkable thing about journalists is that we don’t have to be paid off in order to ignore, or miss, wrongdoing."
Doc: "I walked around with a cordless phone on my head from 10am to 1pm today. Most of that time all I heard was Music on Hold, interrupted by messages urging me to solve my problems by sending an email to the very same people who weren't answering the phone — over a Net connection that isn't working, or I wouldn't be on hold waiting to talk to somebody about it." Been there.
NewsIsFree: "As of today, all the RSS feeds generated by NewsIsFree will only contain the new elements found the last time the source was scraped."
PowerDNS is a "database backed name server with a nice XML-RPC API on top of it."
Patrick Lioi: "I recently developed a line-locking source control application for an independent study project in Java and XML. After struggling with communication between the client and server, I found out about XML-RPC and fixed all my problems over a weekend."
Ralph Hempel: "Unfortunately, the idea won't work for real software development."
Motley Fool: ".NET will make writing network-aware applications in Visual Basic easier. This makes thousands of corporate VB developers excited. Pretty much no one else who pays attention to the technology instead of the marketing seems to care at all."
Linus Torvalds: "In short, send patches to maintainers that you know I trust," he said. "If you cannot find a person to be a proponent of your patch, you should ask yourself if the patch might have some problem."
A Python script that pings Weblogs.Com.
Dan Gillmor: "The police presence is simply overwhelming."
NY Times editorial: "Davos Men and Women should be able to convene in New York to plan their new world, while ordinary men and women freely and peacefully gather to protest the meeting."
George Scriban: "It's interesting to watch the two different approaches being taken by Sun and Microsoft as they introduce their web services initiatives."
On this day four years ago, Frontier 5 shipped. It was the first cross-platform Frontier, with versions for Windows and Mac. Around that time, Emmanuel Décarie put together the Frontier Newbie Toolbox, which could be a useful resource for today's Radio newbies.
OS Opinion: Apple Doesn't Need Zealots.
Saying goodbye can be a relief sometimes.
Screen shot: The Blogger API in Radio.
Google displays their Scripting News award at the top of their awards page. Nice.
Speaking of Google, I was kind of bored and wanted to see how my investment in John Doerr was doing, so I fired up Google, and lo and behold someone had taken out an ad targeted at me! I clicked on the link, and the guy seems quite friendly. Very nicely done!
BTW, there are no ads on the Google page for Vinod Khosla.
Soundbites from the Dot*Con Frontline show. Quicktime.
I'm liking Garth Kidd more every day. "Some people had sent email saying that UserLand were just a pack of stroppy old bastards who couldn't cope with criticism, which didn't quite resonate for me." Right on. Criticize us, no problemmo, we'll probably agree with you. Remember "it's even worse than it appears," and believe it. Garth may not know that much about Radio, but he's learning fast, and he obviously knows a lot about software.
Scott Girard: "To Dreamweaver, the Radio macros look like ASP tags." Oy!
Doug is trying to figure out if there are any C-accessible APIs in Windows for displaying and/or manipulating GIFs, PNGs and JPEGs.
JY: "Accents are not turned into crap now. Goood!"
I had a long phone talk this morning with Dan Shafer. It was good to catch up. He lives in Monterey now, is a new Mac OS X user. His longtime partner, Lawrence Rozier, who has probably programmed in every scripting environment known to man, is now using Microsoft's .NET. Should be interesting. Dan and I have a common interest in seeing PythonCard adopted by the XML-RPC community. Kevin Altis has done the groundwork, now Dan and I have to get together to smooth it out for people who are scripting in Radio 8. Dan's a good guy to help with this, he has written a lot about Frontier, and Hypercard, and the Web.
Eastside Journal: "Microsoft Corp's top executives were pale and somber as they filed into the company's in-house TV studios last November."
Paul Boutin: "How much disk space would LMS need to handle all Radio logs through 2006?"
David Davies: "I thought we could use a picture gallery."
Steve Ivy has an XML Coffee Mug, in a Conversant site.
According to the Register, Microsoft has a relational database on the front burner for a future version of Windows. Personally, I think they're barking up the wrong tree. If they spent more time building websites they'd know that hierarchical models with very tight scripting connections offer more performance and a higher level application model. Relational databases are good for factories and stores. Object databases map the model of the Web. Just change the slashes to dots and off you go.
This is the long running battle, mostly invisible, between Web developers and C developers. There's so much to say about it, it's come up in so many ways so many times. At Apple, Netscape and Microsoft, the C developers didn't want to bend to the low-tech ways of the Web. The Web kept chugging along as it will, no matter what they do at the Big's. It's about submission. If you program in C you must submit to the Web. It doesn't matter if you're Microsoft or Dave Winer. You can't turn a Web developer into a C developer, even if you change the name to Java. And you can ruin the browser market, and try to stuff it in the trunk, but it won't fit no matter how big the trunk is.
If everything were right in the world we'd be doing an inch by inch strategy with the Web, as an industry, carefully upgrading it, giving it power and features that it begs for like easy vector graphics, beautiful text editing, an include tag. But Microsoft, like Apple and Netscape before them, are in denial on their proper role re the Web. They're bigger and more successful so it's taking them longer to fall, but fall they will, until they stop trying to control where the Web goes. And the W3C is just as clueless as Microsoft and the other Big's. They stomp their feet, hard, about adherence to their edicts, but they have no vision for the future of the Web, or any respect for the people who use it.
I admit to being jealous that Dan Gillmor is going to the World Economic Forum meeting in NY and I'm not. It's a BigCo, BigPub, BigGov thing. A couple of years ago my rabbi snuck me in. I had a white badge and the time of my life. I probably shouldn't have written about Klaus Schwab's agzend. Anyway we'll look forward to Dan and Lance's reports. Maybe I'll go to NY and write about it from the protestor's pov? Heh.
Last night we released a series of changes that address most of the problems that non-English writers have been having using accented characters in their Radio websites.
Manila now supports publish-and-subscribe for RSS feeds.
Our theme website has a new look and lots of new themes. It's dual-purpose, with themes for both Manila and Radio.
On this day in 1998: "I only knew my uncle Sam as a child. He was a distant man, very dark, but when I was a kid, we were friends. He showed me how to cook. He painted for me. I think he liked me."
WinPlanet reviews Radio 8. They say it might be the biggest thing since Pagemaker. "Radio 8 is a jaw-dropping jump forward in accessible online publishing." Yeah!
New tool: Easy Images from the Desktop. Praise Murphy!
Beta: fileSystem Upstream Driver. "It's perfect for people who have a static HTTP server nearby."
Wired: "The architects of the Mono Project, an open-source version of Microsoft's .Net standard, have decided to alter the project's license to make it easier for corporations to contribute code to the initiative."
This is fascinating. I don't get why Garth doesn't just use copy-paste and build exactly the system he wants. I don't care if he does that, any more than Apple cared that Microsoft Word and FullWrite were better than MacWrite, or that Photoshop gave bitmap minded people the tool they totally loved (as opposed to MacPaint). Our code may inspire you, that's the point. But anything that depends on modifying our code is going to break. Also write specs for callbacks, I love adding clever callback hooks to our code.
Seth: "I'm no yes man, but I have to agree with the 'Fascinating' crowd this time."
Watch out world, Jacob Levy has a Radio blog.
Jake: "áéíóú ÁÉÍÓÚ"
Garret: "Had a door-to-door vacuum cleaner salesman stop by today. His product really sucked."
Frontline ran an expose on the excesses of the dotcom boom. I saw it last week. Highly recommended.
Brent: "They are without honor."
Hey I just scratched an itch. I added a new feature to the My Pictures tool. Now I have the option of copying the HTML text to the clipboard. Takes two steps out of the editorial process for me. Every step I get rid of, in a rational way, makes me that much happier. If you want to get the new version, I just released the new bits, follow these instructions to update your copy of the My Pictures tool.
InfoWorld: "Intel and Hewlett-Packard said Monday they will lend support to an effort to create an open-source version of Microsoft's .Net initiative, called Mono."
Jason Levine: "Where will my daily angst come from now?"
On this day in 1998 I was emailing with Sun's Bill Joy on licensing issues for Java.
1995: "What is a platform?"
Garth Kidd: "I've been having such fun hacking away on Radio, I just had to buy it. I look back on my early skepticism about UserTalk and cackle. All it took was a big enough dash of Killer App Sauce to make the platform compelling."
One more thing before signing off for the day. Weblogs.Com will probably grow quite a bit next week because the Blogger Pro users are coming online. All kinds of new sites to explore. Incredible cooperation between two competitors. Every day I feel more and more like we're building a new layer on the Internet.
Economist: Who's afraid of AOL Time Warner?
1995: "I want Undo in the Finder."
Ken Bereskin: "Without much notice, the Undo command in the Finder's Edit menu now works allowing you to undo most operations that the Finder performs."
I've been writing notes about the My Pictures tool on what will become the docs page.
A mind bomb for next week. Kevin Altis has wired up PythonCard to the Blogger API and will release the code to show people how to do easy GUIs for Web Services. Lawrence Lee, who works at UserLand, installed Kevin's code and got it working. Here's a screen shot. I'm going to install the software myself next week and write a How To that shows you how to install all the necessary software and get Kevin's app to run on your machine. I'm hoping to see people use the XML-RPC and SOAP interfaces in Radio to connect to user interfaces running in PythonCard.
Bryan Bell: "Where were you guys before Radio?" Bryan's been getting lots of feedback. I sent Bryan an email saying now he gets to be a leader, not just a hero. BTW, when I said the price was Under $100 we already had decided on $39.95. It's a competitive market, and we wanted our competitors to have a relaxing holiday season.
Xerox PARC: "Sparrow Web makes writing to the web as easy as reading from the web!"
Daily Probe: Rejected iMac Designs.
Adam Curry: "I've crammed all kinds of cool functionality into my setup."
On this day two years ago I did my first day Davos and blogged it. I was excited. It was exciting!
I have three Radio 8 projects in the queue, in various stages of completion. 1. The Blogger API seems to be done. A few bug reports, addressed. If I don't hear anything further, it will be released shortly. 2. A filesystem upstream driver, the simplest so far, it just copies the files to another folder. This is ideal for a system where you have a static HTTP server on your LAN. 3. The My Pictures tool, which I started working on yesterday. Expect a beta-beta release of this later today.
After this queue is cleared, the next thing I want to work on is making XML-RPC and SOAP handlers as easy to write as macros are. That will be the fourth Going Crazy tutorial, Murphy-willing of course.
Last week I had a great dinner with several people from the NY Times. Most of the conversation was off the record. I was surprised to hear that they watch this site. Of course I watch theirs too. We talked about the future of the Web, and the realities of running an electronic version of a newspaper with hundred-plus year traditions. I'm a lifelong user of their product. A lot of the ideas I got about writing came from reading their paper every day as a kid growing up in NY. Protecting some of those traditions is important. In my own small way I try to do that here on Scripting News.
I gave them feedback about their website. My opinion -- they haven't fully embraced the Web (that's an understatement). The home page of the Times barely changes as the day goes by (they say this is not true, but as a reader, I don't see the changes). They used to systematically roll the site at 9PM Pacific every night, that's partially why I have a 10PM deadline here. I used to go there every night at 9PM with a sweaty mouse finger to check out their Technology, Business and the Editorial pages. Those are my big three at the Times, in that order.
But then sometime during the dotcom bust they stopped being so systematic. Stories stayed on each of the pages for days. The reward for looking to see what's new at the Times is usually to find nothing new. Add to that the screaming ads which are ever more difficult to tune out, and the reader experience at their site is going in the wrong direction.
The home page of the site is designed as the electronic equivalent of the front page of a daily newspaper. But the Web doesn't have a daily publication cycle. A Web reader can be enticed to come back many times during the day, I strongly feel that the editorial goal should be to give them a reward for doing that.
I also want to know more about the reporters. I want to know what they read, what influences them, details of the reporting process that the print edition can't carry. I want the home page to be a weblog, a pushdown stack of what's new in the world, perhaps categorized by interest (several home pages). I understand that tradition is in the way of that -- so I'll accept it one hop off the home page (I know how to use bookmarks), or as a series of XML feeds that I can read hourly using my personal news aggregator.
Anyway, as Doc says, the conversation will continue. I'll report here what I can report when I can. I don't often get the opportunity to influence the direction of such an important player and I want to be careful about it. Thanks for understanding.
BTW, a surprise at the meeting. Dave Liddle, who I've known from the computer industry for 20+ years, is now a NY Times board member. Was I impressed? Yes!
Good afternoon sports fans.
Steve Gillmor: "Not only does Radio shield you from the internal workings of the Web services architecture to dynamically generate highly customized Web logs, but it goes beyond authoring as an XML router with a subversive peer-to-peer engine." Subversive.
A reader's guide to the above. Sometimes my evil twin gets a word in there. This time he's talking as Homer Simpson might talk about donuts. An alternate pronunciation could be as Mr. Burns might say "Excellent." If you don't know the Simpson's character set, please feel free to ignore this paragraph.
Phil Ackley: "I work with the devil." Excellent.
Sheila: "It just started snowing in Seattle." Snowing.
Craig Jordan is a lawyer and he wants you to steal his idea. Now that's the kind of lawyer I like!
Progress on the new Easy Images stuff. I just used the tool to upload a screen shot of itself. Heh it works. Nice. Still chuggin along. Ooops I see a mistake. Fixed. More progress. I've got it upstreaming, now I'm writing the code that posts it to your weblog. And for validation afficionados, yes the img's have alt attributes.
New Radio 8 feature this morning. Now the Edit This Page button works correctly and opens the text of a story in a browser editing box.
Kevin Altis: PythonCard 0.6.3.
Congrats to Evan for getting Blogger Pro out.
A candidate for the best blog name of 2002.
Last year on this day, an essay about responsibility, tipjars, and evolution of the Internet.
Here's how the easy images stuff is going to work.
On the desktop of Windows is a folder called My Documents. Inside that folder is a sub-folder called My Pictures. They've tweaked the OS so that graphics programs automatically seek to this folder when users save a picture. So this is the natural place to pick up pics that are destined for your Radio website. (I understand the Mac has a similar feature, and of course we're going to do it fully for both operating systems.)
In the My Pictures folder is a sub-folder called My Web Pictures. We create this folder automatically when Radio starts up. When you save a picture into that folder, it is moved from that folder to the images sub-folder of your www folder, where it is upstreamed to your public folder. (It actually goes into a calendar folder structure in the images folder.)
Now here's where it gets clever. After the upstream happens, a browser window opens with the text of an <img> tag in the edit box on your desktop website home page. Height and width are set. Border, align, hspace and vspace are given values you can change if you want. You can post it, or copy it to the clipboard, or ignore it. There's a prefs page that allows you some control over the <img> tag that's generated.
I have a pretty good idea that this will work, because it's an enhancement of the picture management tool I've been using for my Web work for a couple of years. It takes what used to be a tedious multi-step operation that requires a lot of memorization, to a one-step process -- just save the picture where the OS wants you to save it, and we do the right thing with it.
Now I have some technical questions..
On my system, the My Pictures folder is at this location.
If you use Windows, is that where your pictures folder is?
If your name is Administrator, I guess so. But if you have a different name? What if you use Windows 98? Or XP? In other words, how do I write software that finds this directory?
Next question. What about Mac OS X? And what about 7.5.5 and greater? Where do pictures go on those operating systems, and again, how would a program find these folders?
If you have info, send me an email and I'll share what I learn.
Simon Fell says that on Windows there's an API for this.
Then on a whim I checked if we have an interface for this in Frontier, and we do!
Screen shot. But we're not all the way home. That verb hasn't been updated in a while and there's no way that I can see to ask where the My Pictures folder is. We can't guess that it's called My Pictures because in Freedonia it's probably called Megza Pycterovich. It looks like the verb needs an update, but it seems Windows has a clean way for us to get the path.
Now about the Mac. Thanks for all the great emails. I've gotten a couple of dozen in about fifteen minutes. Here's the deal. There never was a pictures folder on Mac Classic, so there we'll make up a place, as a default (on all platforms, actually, the user can tell us where to look for new pics). On Mac OS X, the pictures folder is apparently called ~/Pictures. Can I fileloop over that folder?
Marcus Mauller volunteered to test file.getSpecialFolderPath on Mac OS X.
New Radio 8 feature. Now you can post to categories without posting to the home page. If you have categories enabled, there's a new checkbox, the first one, called Home Page (it effectively becomes a category). By default it's checked. Now you can easily publish multiple weblogs, going to lots of different locations, from one edit box. Screen shot.
Yesterday I read on one of the blogs about a feature of Google. On a random basis it returns pages with redirects for links. Most of the time they don't do redirects, just once in a while, so they can add data to their ranking database. So as an experiment we programmed Weblogs.Com that way. Approx once an hour, at a random time, it generates a page of redirected links, and tallies up the click-throughs. I have no idea if it will generate useful data, if it does we'll publish it.
One more time. How to tell if your ass is too small.
Adam gets a radio show. And guess what, we're going to integrate his show with our Radio show. This is so cool. The Netherlands is leading the way. They're going to participate in one of the most interesting connections between broadcast radio and the Web.
New Radio 8 feature. Now you can change the file extension for rendered files as they upstream.
John Robb: "Many, if not all companies have knowledge workers. Some, are composed entirely of knowledge workers. These people are domain experts. They keep up to-date (or should) with the evolution of knowledge within their chosen domain. They have thinking skills that have been developed to process data within that domain. Everything they think about within the envelope of that domain has value. Unfortunately, most companies don't capture, package, and distribute that insight. "
Voting tallies for the Scripting News Awards for 2001.
AP: "A former Enron Corp. executive who challenged the company's questionable financial practices and resigned last May was found shot to death in a car Friday, an apparent suicide, authorities said."
Zeldman: "The redirect sometimes works and sometimes times out with a meaningless ODBC Drivers error message, certain to send web users fleeing to Apple, Real, or the liquor cabinet."
Sean Gallagher: "So, with this post, I officially resurrect the dot.communist, my original weblog."
W3C: Current Patent Practice.
Speaking of kids, the Mac was 18 yesterday. I was at the 0th birthday party. It might have been one of the most important events of my life. Probably was. Hey Jim Roepcke's son, born yesterday, has the same birthday as the Mac. Nice. Maybe they should name him Mac?
Big news if you like coffee mugs..
Update to yesterday's mind bomb. Now Radio 8 supports blogger.getUserBlogs, a feature that tool developers need. Makes sense. Also fixed a bug in blogger.getRecentPosts when you requested more items than there are.
Here's a feature that will make designers happy. You know the permalink icons that are all the same on all Radio sites? Well you can change them now. And yes, you can include them in themes. Another change went in a few minutes ago. The News Aggregator page is now much faster. How did we know how to make it so much faster? The profiler.
Radio 8.0.2 is ready. When you get a new version, you only need to copy the new app into the Radio UserLand folder, replacing the old one. On 8.0.1 this wasn't clear, and lots of people did fresh installs, with not-great results. We're learning.
Survey: "It's been almost a couple of weeks since the Scripting News Awards for 2001 were announced. Do you think I should release the vote tallies as some nominees have requested?"
Dan, now that the dotcom crazyness is over we can get back to business, making technology, and offering it for a reasonable price. Very little technology was created by all the VC and public money that was spent in the 90s. It's easier for technology to stand out now that the incredible racket created by all that money is over.
Steve Zellers: "The poor shmuck reading this might actually want to know what's going to happen next "
Eastside Journal: "After selling his own 7-year-old company, DevelopMentor Inc., Box joined Microsoft Jan. 7 as a software architect in the recently created .Net developer and platform evangelism group."
Sam Ruby collates the opinions of Jon Udell, Simon Fell and James Snell on WSDL. We're starting to get somewhere. Sam et al, I ask that you read this writeup of ALIDL, a project I undertook in March of last year, and totally hit a dead end in Frontier. The same will be true, imho, of all dynamic environments (Python, Perl come to mind). The IDL is an exercise in frustration for those languages, for good reason. We like the dynamic features of our environment, and even if you could persuade us that we made a mistake (very doubtful) the train left the station a decade ago. Any network that these environments are part of will not yield to IDLs. Unless you see something I missed.
Steve Ivy: "One way to get around this would be to implement a meta-data header for these environments similar to javadoc. I'll use Frontier as an example."
Evan Williams: "So there you have it. A better description of this weblog I could not give you."
Today's song: "Baby your mind is a radio."
Ole and Lena were laying in bed one night when the phone rang, Ole answered it and Lena heard him yell, "Well, how the hell should I know, that's over 2000 miles away!" and he hung up. Lena says "Who was that Ole?" Ole says "The hell if I know, some weirdo wants to know if the coast is clear."
Two years ago today I was getting ready for Davos. That reminds me, should we put WAP support in Radio 8?
It's a tough economy. I just saw that Jim Roepcke was laid off the day before his son was born.
Lots of new Radio 8 themes coming on line. That is so cool. Driving to SF last night I reminded myself that I have to say something about this. Themes are software. Before installing a new theme, please think twice. Be careful. Installing a theme is like opening an enclosure in an email program. Use the same care. When creating a theme, also be careful. Push the boundaries slowly, one inch at a time. Bootstrap. There's always time for version 2. I'm thinking of starting a new mail list for designers working in Radio to discuss these issues, and to get feedback from designers. We already know we need to allow control of the permalink icons. What other features would designers kill for? We want to know.
Skimming yesterday's Scripting News I see a comment from a law professor saying that AOL must have been quite unhappy with the Microsoft settlement. I wanted to say this. I was quite unhappy with it too. It leaves Web developers at the mercy of Microsoft. Not a great place to be. This medium is the new broadcast system. Imagine if there were one radio receiver manufacturer, not the company that invented radios, not one with any passion or philosophy about what radio is, or what it can be. Assume it's even worse -- radio was a diversion for them. They resent it. "Back to our regularly scheduled program" -- which isn't radio at all. If you were a radio lover would you be happy with a settlement that allowed them to continue to dismantle it?
NY Times: "The sweeping lawsuit filed on Tuesday by AOL Time Warner on behalf of its Netscape subsidiary against Microsoft reflects AOL's fears that Microsoft, if left unchecked, will use its software to control how AOL's media assets are packaged and delivered over the Internet."
The Fairvue award nominations are up. Vote for your faves.
Feature request. Try disagreeing with someone without questioning their integrity. That will get your readers to respect you more because you're showing respect for them. Give them the facts, and your point of view, without making someone else bad. (Or hypocritical, disingenuous, unethical, weak, stupid, or whatever. Save those kinds of allegations for special occasions that warrant such escalation.)
Mind bomb: The Blogger API in Radio.
NY Times article on the AOL-Microsoft lawsuit. "We now have a very clear indication of what AOL thinks of the settlement," said Andrew I. Gavil, a professor at the Howard University law school. "AOL must be incredibly upset with the settlement to file this suit."
Conferenza reviews last week's InfoWorld Web Services conference.
Beowolf is working on Radio themes. Asking for feedback.
What is Googlewhacking?
Joho: "A Googlewhack is a pair of common words that return only one hit when search for in Google."
Evectors: "If you want to change your Radio weblog theme today, you need to know html and understand the basics of Radio macros. With remoteEdit you simply click on a button and edit your theme using Front Page (or any other wysiwyg editor), drag things around, change layout, styles and colors in the familiar visual way of these tools. You click one more button and your blog is updated."
Paolo Valdemarin, the CEO of Evectors, was my gracious host when I visited Trieste and Venice in Y2K.
Macrobyte updated the RadioConversant tool. Thanks guys!
Dylan Tweney: "You can tell this is a weblog because of the calendar on the right."
Paul Boutin recommends Raw Bandwidth as a service provider, if you're in SF.
Doug Baron: "clock.set (tcp.getCurrentTime ())"
Alan Reiter: "Boingo launched with more than 400 hot spots across the country."
Jon Udell: "Is WSDL gum, or grease, or maybe a little of both?"
Simon Fell: "For any non-trivial service, writing the entire WSDL by hand [even with a good xml editor] is painful and error prone."
Planet Replay has an XML-RPC interface.
Chris in Michigan: "RU8 is a platform that comes bundled with a killer app. Once I began thinking of it that way, it made a whole lot more sense to me."
Matthew Trump is working on what he calls the Radio Paradigm.
Another homecoming. Steve Michel wrote the scripting column in MacWEEK in the early 90s. I thought it was amazing that they even had a scripting column. Steve always had interesting scripts, and he loves neat toys, like all scripting people.
Mark Paschal: "A large part of Radio's coolness is from its decentralizedness."
Sean Gallagher: "If they just gave the money to a trust to fund Mozilla, that might make things interesting."
Phil Ackley asks: "Was it the lava, Dave?" Yes.
The Flounder asserts: "I'm sure Dave doesn't really think I blame his software for my own foolishness." That's correct. I used the Flounder as a foil for an early morning bitch-fest, something I'm famous for. They often don't make it through mid-morning. That's why Europeans have an edge in Dave-watching. They get the good stuff. Thanks for being such a good foil and so good-natured about it.
Well the new Dell machine arrived early. It was supposed to get here on February 1. So we get a few extra days to set it up. It's going to be the new community server for Radio 8 users. It's a real honking pile of steel. 1.8 gigahertz. 1 gig of ram. Over 100 gigs of disk. And what am I doing with all that power? Editing its weblog. Heh. Soon it will be doing more.
John Markoff covers a new Woz startup. It doesn't get any better than that. I'm having dinner with Markoff tonight and Martin Nisenholtz, who runs the NY Times website. We're going to talk about amateur journalism, XML, and what will the Web look like in five years.
News.Com: Netscape Sues Microsoft.
Profiling in Radio. "An incredible viewing port into the performance of the dynamic HTTP server."
Scoble's notes from the Blogger Pro demo this evening.
Survey: "In my third Going Crazy tutorial I showed you how to do a smart coffee cup, one that would make it really easy for a Radio 8 user to subscribe to your XML feed. Now we want to make it a standard feature, so we need to decide on a graphic."
Sylvain Carle has already adopted the popular choice.
Jerry Grote was one of the stars of the 1969 Miracle Mets. Want to blow his mind. Tell all your friends that he wants to be a major league manager. I'm on his mail list. He's a great guy. He'll make a fine manager. Tell him Dave sentya.
Tomorrow's mind-bomblet is the Blogger API running in Radio. Why not. It supports XML-RPC, and people like using tools to write for their weblog, even if it's on their desktop machine. We've got it all running, I want to start fresh with the docs tomorrow morning so if you're into Rube Goldberg software machines, check in early and we'll have a new toy for you to play with.
The Blogger API will be built-in in Frontier 8.
Evectors is building a bridge to Radio.
Jeremiah: "I've been saying 'Oy!' a lot." Kvell.
SXSW award finalists. Nicely designed sites.
Jon Udell dug up the original home page for Radio from July 2000. I like the "Mainframes are Computers Too" story. It has a happy ending. "Somehow we survived." There was another philosophical piece. "Once the power is in the hands of the users, there can be no turning back."
For some writing I want to do I need a definition of the term Full Peer. What do you think, does this explanation make sense to you?
Kevin Altis continues the Python-As-Good-As-C discussion.
Tonight in Mtn View, the second meeting of the Weblogger Interest Group.
Radio 8 users, if you can't update because you're behind a firewall or proxy server, we have a fix. It's a one-time thing to get back in the loop.
Yesterday my computer became so slow as to be virtually unusable. I got a lot of work done anyway, but sometimes I'd just stare at the thing and wait for it to echo a key I typed 15 seconds earlier. This morning I cured the problem. My C drive was full. I got the news from my emailer -- "I have so little room I can't even save an email message," it said to me. Ahhh. So I deleted a huge number of automatic backups of huge databases, and now have several gigabytes free on my C drive. Everything is fast again. Fast is good.
Mark Hershberger has Emacs working with Blogger.
It's gratifying to see this comment from Seth. Radio and his Conversant software should be kissing cousins. Radio runs on the desktop, Conversant is a centralized CMS. Radio's claim is that the desktop is a powerful place to put Web software, more than just a browser. Centralized services are still totally essential to make the Internet work. Both products can and should win. (And yes I am thinking big. Why not? Let's have fun.)
Evan Williams says Blogger Pro will roll out this week. He's going to demo it tonight.
On one of the Radio weblogs someone wrote a complaint that if Radio were open source they'd get all their problems dealt with right away. Of course it's almost certainly not true, we're working as hard as we can, I don't know that if we had no hope of earning back our investment that we'd work any harder (this doesn't even make sense). But there's a bright spot. Two-three years ago a comment like that could have started a jihad. We just came through a period when commercial developers were vilified. I hope we never go back there.
I believe I even know the lesson of all this michegas -- it's about users deciding what they want and proactively getting it. If you start a negotiation with "I won't pay you any money" -- you're certain to not get anything valuable in return.
A new Bryan Bell theme for Radio 8. "Adult Contemporary."
New feature: Language support for main RSS feed.
New feature: Weblogs.Com notification for categories.
The hits keep on coming. We have a new RSS feed for all the updates to Radio.root. You can subscribe to it in the News Aggregator and know within the hour if your favorite bug has been fixed or pet feature has been added. This feed is online now and reflects the latest updates.
Mark Paschal: Stapler 1.7.0 is a Radio 8 tool that "creates web syndication feeds from web sites. These feeds can be used with Radio UserLand's News Aggregator, or other XML syndication software. Flexible scripts for scraping with CSS-like selectors and regular expressions are included as well as several special purpose scrapers, but Stapler is expandable with your own scraping scripts written in Radio's UserTalk language."
We're working on the next feature for Radio 8, a browser page you can go to do get the latest updates. Now I have to write the text on that page. "Click on Update Now, below, to get the latest features and fixes for Radio UserLand." Short and sweet.
O'Reilly: How the Wayback Machine Works.
Paul Boutin has Bill Gates's memo on security.
Fairvue: "The posting of the Bloggie finalists has been delayed by a few days."
Greg Smith is exploring FileMaker and Radio.
Another IBM SOAP guy having fun with a Radio weblog.
Note that we've made a lot of progress in the battle against complexity in Web Services. These days the advocates of WSDL say they are optional, no problem if they're not there, either way is OK, we're easy to please. A few short months ago they were saying "Our way or the highway," basically. Here's a very likely fact. WSDL is a delay tactic to keep the rest of us confused until Microsoft is ready to dominate the market. After reading the transcripts of the antitrust trial would you be surprised if this theory turned out to be correct? After all it is very confusing, even some of the IDL advocates seem to think so. The point I made earlier is that we didn't need them to bootstrap the Blogger API, and none of the developers using the API seem to miss them, so the assertion that they're part of the bootstrap doesn't make it with me. Do you care to know my philosophy? If so, read this piece. "I believe XML formats should be designed as end-user software is designed. Hack at the details, make every feature justify itself, reduce every three-step process to one if you can. Do it over and over, and then work on the top level. Then and only then does it get simple enough for ordinary people to use. I'm like Steve Jobs on this. I think when you lift the hood you should see a beautifully designed machine that invites you to understand and then use it."
InfoWorld: "During its annual gathering of partners and customers at Lotusphere in Orlando, Fla., in a couple of weeks, Lotus Software plans to further its Web services strategy with tighter links between Domino and WebSphere and to move to embed collaboration components in other applications." Support the Blogger API, then Notes will work with Radio 8. Now of course I know they'll never do it, but what a trip if they did.
Kevin Altis: "Many people, especially people using Java and C++, are under the mistaken impression that Python is not good for building real apps. For the most part, I think that is simply wrong." I totally agree. I've written system software in C. These days I write in Frontier. No problem. Today's machines are fast. Scripting environments better leverage my time.
Dan Gillmor: "Sometimes I think the technology industry's attitude toward product quality goes roughly like this: ''If you knew how hard this is to do, you'd be thrilled that it ever works.'"
Michael Jardeen: "MS is all about protecting revenue sources and expanding markets."
Here we go. Some Mozilla guys have it talking the Blogger API. Very interesting. See how mind bombs work. Sometimes they take a few months to reach critical mass. What's cool about this is if people who really work on the core of Mozilla start running weblogs and get into wizzy editing. Then they'll know what tweaks to do to make it really smooth. Someday all our software will link up and then disappear into the infrastructure. Whoosh. What was that? A new layer of the Internet blinking into existence. (And of course it's just like every other layer there ever was, and like none of them too.)
BTW, here's my commitment to interop. We will stop using the <font> tag in our script-generated HTML code. We will use CSS. We will make the news page fast, and the home page. That our HTML doesn't validate is merely some sawdust left on the floor after opening day. Sometimes there's still some construction to do after opening a new ballpark.
Tim Jarrett: Manila Envelope 1.0.1.
Jeffrey Baker sent a screen shot of Mozilla's wizzy editor.
I'm really enjoying Sam Ruby's weblog. It's great to see one of our friends from SOAP-land use this stuff. At some point I'm going to tell Sam that the software he's using is also a SOAP 1.1 client and server. Shhh. Don't spoil the surprise.
Speaking of SOAP, and WSDL, here's something to think about. Look at the Blogger API. No IDL. How did it work? It's very broadly deployed and quite useful. It's gotten a lot of Web people excited about XML-RPC. No one has ever, as far as I know, asked for an IDL. Why?
I forgot to thank Cobalt for the Qube on the 8.0 Credits page.
Last year on this day: "A software guy who puts up gates that keep people out doesn't really understand software, imho. Software is about communication and sharing and working together. At least if you use computers, you'd better hope so."
NY Times: "Now, Amazon.com, once the champion the strategy of 'get big fast,' has learned how to become small."
Jonathon Delacour would like to pay for Radio support. Thanks for the thoughtful comments. We're going to discuss it inside the company.
Scott Loftesness asks about searching on Radio weblogs. He's right, we don't want to run a centralized search engine. These days we use Google to search our own sites. It's a better search engine than ours. We certainly can provide a search page for you to look up stuff on your own site.
We released a set of changes that improve the generation of RSS in Radio 8. Includes support for the
Tomorrow first thing I will read Garth Kidd's analysis of RSS in Radio. It's been a long day. Signing off now.
Chris Gulker checks in. I made this a Story so I could experience the glitches. Got some work to do on Stories. Never should have included them in 8.0. They weren't ready. Live and learn. Again and again. Inch by inch. Sometimes you lose a yard. You still show up for the next play.
I owe Derek Powazek an apology. Sorry I blasted you for what I thought was a not-nice design for your weblog. It was a long time ago. Maybe I was having a bad hair day. Today I enjoy reading your site, I check it out when ever it updates. I like what you write about community and design. Sorry for the harshness. What can I say. We all learn. Keep on truckin.
Jon Udell writes at length about Radio.
My name is Jenny, and I'll be your information maven today..
I really like getting love letters from people who use my software. Keep up the good work Binary Boy!
Zeldman: "Our stupid industry pitifully undervalues good web writing." The Bird flips back at Zeldman. Some days the Web is so damned realtime and 1.0. Then Simon Fell supports my assertion (below) that nothing works and Seth Dillingham wonders how Radio can possibly work, as a business.
Seth, we're going to be working out glitches in Radio for a few weeks at least. We're selling into corporations, government and education through consultants and VARs, they support their installations. Our core users will be like the hobbyists from the early days of personal computing who launched companies like Apple and Microsoft (and Borland, Lotus, Software Publishing, Symantec, etc). Enthusiastic supporters of the technology who want to see us gain traction and keep improving the software. That's how Lotus Notes got going. That's basically how software success works. If we don't get that, you're right, we're toast. Radio is like: Basic, Visicalc, 1-2-3, Hypercard -- but for the Web. Luckily our users have exceptionally good tools for communicating and building off each others' success. And the timing is interesting. It's both the best time and worst time to launch something like Radio. It's the best time because the market is so quiet you can hear the product in the market. But we're in a recession, and money is hard to come by. We're in a tight spot, for sure, and are hoping that the wave keeps building and people keep rooting for our success. Then it will happen, I'm sure of it.
See the Credits page for an idea of how this might work.
Robert Barksdale gets it. It's a bootstrap. A bit of a Hail Mary. It's like Peter Pan. If you believe in it, it happens. If you doubt, it doesn't.
John Robb spills the beans and leaks about our dream of a deal with AOL. John is my friend and COO. I support him. If he wants to do a deal with AOL I'm behind him all the way.
You can watch Bryan Bell put together a new theme for Radio, real-time. Don't tell him I pointed you there.
Lucas Marshall says his weblog never gets any visitors.
A new version of the Manila-Blogger Bridge Tool supports mirroring to non-news-item-oriented Manila sites. It's still considered a beta, there were some glitches reported last night (fixed), and it now flips the home page automatically. It's also a source of good sample code for RPC with Manila, and is a good-tool-making example for Radio 8, full source included, of course.
I got feedback after releasing the Spam-Free MailTo feature that we should give users a way to get their email addresses out of the RSS feeds. So I put it on my to-do list. As I started to scope out the feature, I looked for the natural place in the Prefs system to put such a feature, and lo and behold, found that it's already there. Happy.
On the other hand, when Radio generates the main RSS file for your weblog, it ignores the preference. Fixed.
Editorial note: None of the following should be construed to mean that I don't love users. I do I do. I named my company after them. But..
While I go negative on Microsoft myself in many areas, I can't sing along with JD on this one. Users. Sometimes you just want to shoot them. (Luckily that's illegal.) Computers can't be as simple as toasters and still do all the things users want them to do. Can your car be as simple as a toaster? And do you ever hear nonsense like people who make toasters should give you a toaster for free? (If anyone knows where I can get a free toaster let me know. I need a new coffee grinder too. And by the way the heater in my office is on the fritz and it's cold. I wish my furnace were as easy to use as a toaster. And I wish the furnace company that sold me this piece of crap was still in business.)
Basically nothing works. Software's just like everything else.
I really liked this line in JD's missive. "This is not rocket science, though it must seem to be to the blinders-wearing programmers running the show in Redmond." I translated this in my mind to "the deathmarch-walking programmers in Redmond." JD, it's like Scoop Nisker used to say "If you don't like the software go out make some of your own." You'll find that it's a lot harder than it looks.
Flounder: "I wish Manila had an unlimited undo feature. I'd be able to get back my old design." See what I mean. He doesn't make a backup, and this is the software's fault. Heh.
While we're on the subject of stupid user tricks -- one of my favorite love-to-hate stories goes like this. "My mother could never use this software." There are so many things wrong with that. First, it's sexist and ageist, in one shot. Very compact. But some mothers are smart. Some are adventurous. Some are even geeks. So tell me about your mother. Maybe I'm not making software for your mother. Maybe your mother is really stupid. Or maybe she's a Luddite or a Mennonite, who, for religious reasons can't use software. My grandmother, rest her soul, never learned to drive. Does that mean they shouldn't have made cars?
Matt Goyer: "Dave when you say Mennonite you're really meaning to say the Amish or the Hutterites though as I've pointed out they too on occasion will use technology (but only in the barn)."
New feature: Spam-free MailTo for Radio weblogs.
Another homecoming. Chris Gulker taught me about content management in 1992 when he was the systems manager at the SF Examiner. Upstreaming is based on the workflow system he built using Frontier. He set up a system of folders, editorial people would drop their stories into a folder, and they would pass on to copy editors, then production people. This was before the Web, I believe they were flowing stuff through Quark. I wonder how Chris got his reports then. One of the most satisfying things about Radio 8 is the old friends it's brought back into the loop.
Simon Fell: Radio Extensibility. "Although I've using Manila and Frontier before, this is the first time I've a taken a real look at the scripting facilities of Radio/Frontier. As it took a while to find the right set of incantations, I thought I'd document them here for future Radio scripting newbies." This is wonderful. A dividend. Simon has written a going-crazy style tutorial. Far out.
Mike Krus did a bookmarklet that allows you to post to a Radio weblog without going to the desktop website.
Glenn Fleishman is blogging once again.
Another priority for this weekend is getting the bridge working for non-news-item-oriented Manila sites. I'm looking for some guinea pigs who are up early to try out the new version. (So far so good. Adam Curry and Dody Gunawinata report that it works. It also works here.)
Dan Gillmor is blogging Jerry Michalski's retreat in NY. I wonder if any Radio users are there?
David Davies is leading us in mobile blogging.
It's been just over one week since Radio 8 shipped. So much has happened. It's like being the pins at the end of a bowling alley. Everything changes. Whee! And with the InfoWorld keynote looming (I get nervous about big speeches) I haven't been able to get to a sense of normalcy until this morning. I got an email from my Jon Udell last night saying he was checking out Radio, and he got to the two big issues. Configuring extensions for upstreamed files, and the performance of upstreaming. We had some connectivity issues early in the week, but as the number of users has gone up, we've also had scaling issues. Last night I did a code review of the server-side of upstreaming, and found a vestigial feature that was still turned on. Turning it off made a big difference. This morning the performance monitor on the server looks fantastic. But it's Saturday morning. This weekend I'm going to review all the code running on the community server and look for things that are turned on that shouldn't be. We also have a new 1.8 gigahertz machine coming on 2/1 (Dell-willing) -- the current server is only 800 megahertz. So then we'll have two machines in the cloud for Radio 8 users. Room for more growth.
Steven Vore clears up some confusion over upstreaming and working offline. The big thing to do when working off line is to turn off upstreaming. Then when you get back on line, turn it on. Then all your changes will percolate up to the public server.
Three years ago today XML-RPC started to gain traction. In one day Python and Perl came online.
A fascinating article on XML.Com, which I'm sure Don Box would find interesting. The authors and I are at extreme positions, but are actually a lot closer than it might appear. We agree that WSDL isn't going to work.
A new version of the Manila-Blogger Bridge Tool is coming. The next step is to make it work with non-news-item-oriented Manila sites, like the site I used to test Manila in 1999. It's still running and still useful. I read that Mark Pilgrim wants to use this. I wonder how many others do. Love Manila Month continues. (Postscript: I'll wait till tomorrow to release this. Lost a lot of time to the security fix.)
Sam Ruby believes that WSDL is one of the cables of the bootstrap of Web Services. I don't. How will this get resolved? We'll try both ways. If he wants to support services that don't have WSDLs, he'll have to bend. If I want to connect my software to services that require WSDLs, I'll have to. The wild card is other developers. I may drag my heels on WSDL only to find that a developer working in Radio or Frontier solves the problem for us, and same with Sam's environment.
Back to Dan Bricklin, who eloquently explains the software ethic that we share what we learn. Radio is a lab for man like Dan to pick up some new art. This is how software development really works, but unfortunately it's not how the USPTO views it. In their view I should put obstacles in his way that penalize him from learning from my work. I once wrote a clone of Lotus 1-2-3 in C, keystroke for keystroke a clone, so I could learn the issues of spreadsheets. Mine was better than VisiCalc, because I used the sparse array trick that Lotus pioneered. I never published the software, but I wrote it so that I could have. Again, there's no shortcut for learning, you have to dive in up to your shoulders and take a chance at drowning. Luckily in software if you have good backups you don't actually die when you drown.
Dann Sheridan: "There was a lot of bad news coming out of IDG today about web services. The diamond in the rough was Dave. I can tell you coming out of the bowels of a large consulting company, there are many proposals on the street beginning to be accepted that are not being talked about on the wire. I'm not talking about small consulting projects. I'm talking about huge proposals to revamp entire product lines of large companies. It's not coming -- it's here."
Dann cites the InfoWorld article about my keynote yesterday, which I had not seen. Reading it I cheered. Finally the story I've been trying to tell, the coming-together of Unix and the desktop, is getting through. The Web was not, as some said, the invention of the Unix people, it was a merging of the art of user interface, with the gutsy depth and simplicity of Unix. To make all this work, without ceding our future to the Big's, we must work to help each other.
I was glad to see that my old compadre from Visi-Days, Dan Bricklin, is exploring the development environment in Radio 8. That's so cool. I sent Dan pointers to Matt Neuburg's work, documenting the programmer's view of our world. There are at least two docs people should add to their collection of links. The first is the full text of the book Matt wrote for O'Reilly that Tim has graciously allowed to be archived on the Web. It describes Frontier 4.2.3, which was a very long-lived version, Mac only. The second is the collection of Matt's The Doctor Is In! articles that describe many of the new things that came online after 4.2.3. BTW, for the curious, our animal was the bison. Very good choice.
Washington Post: "AOL Time Warner Inc. is in talks to buy Red Hat Inc., a prominent distributor of a computer operating system, an acquisition that would position the media giant to challenge arch rival Microsoft Corp., according to sources familiar with the matter."
Put an outliner on people's desks, hide as much as you want, but if they're smart, they'll find it anyway.
Lance Knobel started a Radio weblog which he thinks of as a commonplace book. "Commonplace books arose in the renaissance as a means for learned men to record quotations or observations that seemed important to them. I came across the idea when reading about the architect Leon Battista Alberti, who kept an apparently extraordinary commonplace book." Sounds like a weblog to me!
Microsoft is giving a presentation at Xerox PARC about Web Services. Here's an interesting quote that reveals a lot about the MS pov: "Customers will demand a seamless experience even if the overall service consists of multiple web component services each built and administered by different organizations across multiple security domains."
Now the UserLand pov is even broader. We include the possibility that customers will be running components from different vendors, perhaps even Microsoft, and want to be sure everything interops. In 2002, after countless wars between technology companies with the customers caught in the middle, choice is the first right of users.
Sun's James Gosling on .NET: "You find stuff in it that has essentially loopholes for everything. They had this problem in their design rules that they had to support C and C++, which means you have to have a memory model where you can access everything at all times. It's the existence of those loopholes that is the source of security, reliability and productivity problems for developers. So on the one hand, they copied Java, and on the other hand, they added gratuitous things and other things that are outright stupid. That's amusing." Doesn't Solaris run C code?
A roadmap for Radio appeared on this site four years ago today. "A picture that assembles on the client side of the net connection can be higher level than just a set of files in folders. We want to push around data, not just plain text. Numbers, dates, schedules, lists, outlines, scripts, wp docs and spreadsheets."
JY Stervinou is blogging Jean-Louis Gassee, our friend and spiritual uncle, and former UserLand board member.
This site could win the prize for best named blog next year if it sticks around.
Daypop has a form to submit a weblog or news site.
Scoble: "I'm just your typical marketing slimeball who can't program his way out of a paper bag."
I listened to a panel of open source leaders talking about web services this morning and all they could talk about was Microsoft, Microsoft, Microsoft. I raised my hand a few times, but didn't get called on. What I would have said is this. Forget about Microsoft. Even the DOJ can't stop them. Make beautiful software anyway. Apache is great. Make it better. Ask Microsoft how you could make .NET better. Do it. Ask UserLand how you can make Radio 8 better. Etc. Etc. You get the idea. Just do what you would have done if there was no Microsoft and work with others, and life will be good.
It was nice to see Dan Ruby, Rohit Khare, David Eyes, Rick Ross and Adam Bosworth. We also met some cool people from Intel (they liked Radio a lot -- heh -- it justifies all those gigahertz CPUs they want to sell to users), and gave out 20 CDs with Radio 8.0.1 on it. I apologized for being such a huckster, but no one seemed to mind.
Even so I said that Microsoft was smart to use SOAP because they're looking out 20 years and want to be able to easily add new features to all kinds of devices without having to ship a new OS. SOAP lets them do that. What really bores me about Microsoft is all the attention people pay to them, out of proportion to the opportunities for us to do cool stuff. When they look to Microsoft it's a chance to express their fear. I wouldn't mind as much if they used Microsoft as a screen to project their creativity on.
Brent Sleeper: "Dave Winer gave one of the keynote talks this morning. I liked the story he told—it was thoughtful and sincere, as I expected it would be, but also in sync with some of the fundamental things I believe about why web services are important; namely, they can be simple and seductive in the way a quietly revolutionary technology should be."
Dori: "No, we weren't that drunk, but yes, we are that fat."
Burning Bird: "Sneak in a little test of Radio 8.0 while Dave's at InfoWorld. Trying out the Windows-based version first, Mac OS X later." Gotcha!
Before I head up to San Francisco to speak to IT managers at InfoWorld's Web Services conference, now's a good time to link to the Credits page for Radio 8, which I just started working on yesterday.
Frontier site: Credits. Preliminary.
That page goes all the way back to 1992, with the first release of Frontier. It tells a bit of a story about how the software came together. One thing has remained constant in all that time. We have the best testers on the planet. They kick butt for the product. And we totally appreciate that. Inch by inch.
Radio 8.0.1 is out. Smoothes out most of the install issues. Lots of little fixes. More coming.
Welcome to the third installment of Going Crazy with Macros, the only tutorial service on the Internet that helps you lose your mind. Today we are going to invent a new Web Service called The XML Coffee Cup. Now if that isn't sheer lunacy, tell me what is!
An early beta of my slides for tomorrow morning.
Mike Jamieson did a bookmarklet that does what the Crazy Coffee Cup does.
Dan Gillmor on Web Services: "If I can be absolutely assured - with performance guarantees that mean something in the real world - that my data will be safe and secure, maybe I'll trust Web Services. But I think I'll wait a while, maybe a long while, before I take the risk."
Dan says he has lots of questions that were unanswered by today's talks. I sent him an email asking what they are, and Dan kindly sent them. Now I know what to address in my speech tomorrow. Cool.
Kevin Altis: PythonCardPrototype release 0.6.2.
Adam Curry: "Its time to re-invent broadcast radio."
Proof that a Radio weblog can look beautiful, and thanks for the kind words.
Bob Frankston: The Tragedy of the .Coms.
Julian Bond: "It worked first time!" (Excellent. XML-RPC apps often do, no kidding.)
BTW, to browser vendors -- if you want to differentiate your product and make a lot of people happy, focus on improvements to text editing in the browser. The first browser that really makes a point of giving great user experience for simple text editing will become a cult product in our world, a defacto standard. Be the best browser for people writing for the Web and we'll sing your praises far and wide.
Another BTW to browser vendors -- I'm sure the W3C will hate me for saying this -- but keep the interface to your text-editing widget very simple for the HTML coder. Invent a new tag called
One more BTW, Microsoft's wizzy text editor on Windows is pretty good but it could be better and the feature is not available in the Mac version of IE.
I'm getting flooded with great news. An announcement of support from Drupal, and from Macrobyte for Conversant, both supporting the Blogger API, and tested compatible with Radio 8. I can't believe how fast all this stuff is coming online. Great energy guys!
What is OperaShow?
8:33AM: We just went through a 30+ minute glitchy period on the Radio 8 community server but it seems to have cleared.
Robb and Scoble: Radio UserLand for Webloggers.
Tomorrow morning at this time I will be giving the keynote at InfoWorld's Web Services conference. I'm going to tell them all about community and publishing. Here's my theme. "The Internet is 25 percent cash register and 75 percent writing environment. If you adopt the writing environment view as we do, it's easy to see how Web services make a difference, they allow desktop apps to connect to the cloud." I'm toying with the idea of geeking out again this morning and doing a presentation tool for Radio 8. I'd call it RadioPoint, of course. It softens your hands while you do the dishes.
Duncan Smeed got the Manila-Blogger Bridge to connect to Conversant. Bing. (BTW, sometimes six methods are better than hundreds.) The Bridge is like the Triborough Bridge in NY. It's a weird bridge. Usually bridges just go from one place to another. In NY the Triboro goes betw Queens, Manhattan and the Bronx. The Manila-Blogger Bridge goes from Radio to Manila, Blogger, Movable Type and now Conversant. Who's next? Drupal? *Yes* Slash? Just gotta implement three methods (we don't use all six).
Dann Sheridan: "Can Microsoft deliver 24x7 services?"
Chris Pirillo: Top Ten Reasons You Need Radio Userland.
Matthew Trump: "It's always good practice to take a tour of the preferences of any user application."
Protocol 7 is an "XML-RPC client written to be used from Adobe SVG Viewer."
Michael Fraase: "The ability to mirror dynamic content immediately to at least three independent sites is, quite frankly, the most important Internet development since the web itself."
Tav: "Dan Gillmor and Bob Frankston - two very smart people that I'm glad to have discovered. Thank you blogging community."
We ran a press release last night. Help us evangelize. Send a link to your friends. We especially want coverage for the Mac OS X version because there's so much buzz around Apple's new OS. The Mac sites haven't tuned into Radio yet. Help spread the love.
Oy the Web. I put a Script of the Day on SN on Monday and it had a huge URL in it and that made the boxes stretch for some people with big fonts (I sympathize, my eyes are weakening too). So I put it on my Handsome Radio Blog, so if you're looking for a way to do a RSS box on your Radio site, this is where to look.
Beta: Manila-Blogger Bridge Tool. In a nutshell, it lets you mirror your Radio 8 weblog to any centralized CMS that supports the Blogger API. Today we tested with Manila, Blogger, and by surprise, found out that Movable Type already supports the API, and MBBT works with it too! Now there's something to stand up and cheer about. It's still a beta, I expect there will be updates, but if you've been waiting for this, please give it a try. Praise Murphy!
Rob Fahrni: "Did you guys really expect it to take of like this?" No, not really. We had lots of talks about how big it was going to be, but I don't think, anyone at UserLand really expected the response we've gotten. In December it basically became usable. The big hurdles were the user interface, and getting upstreaming solid and fast. If you want to see some nice code, look at radio.upstream.uploadChangedFiles. But the UI was the hardest. The Web browser is not a very rich environment. But it has some advantages over GUIs. Instead of saying "Choose the Foo command from the Bar menu", I can just send you the URL -- no matter how many steps it took me to get there, it just takes you one. The status center on the home page, and the Radio menu were the two biggest UI bottlenecks. If I had to do it over again I would have held Stories back in the 8.0 release. I'm glad we held back the Glossary features. A lot of the functionality is straight from Radio 7.0, content routing, enclosures, publish-subscribe. At the heart of R8 there are two new core bits -- upstreaming got a lot more powerful, and the file system based CMS is totally new code. There's also a lightweight identity system running behind it with a lot of untapped power. We have another app in the pipe that uses that, and I'm trying not to overhype, but it's heavier than Radio 8, but also I believe will appeal to a smaller group of people. We're holding back on that stuff until the UI is as clean as Radio's is. Sorry to be such a tease Rob, you asked such a simple question, and I'm rambling.
Rael Dornfest: "Upstreaming is boss!" Thanks Rael, I'm glad you're trying Radio.
Jeremiah: "UserLand is like Ulysses S. Grant, they attack from all fronts at the same time." Yes, we learned how to do that from Microsoft. I think they call it swarming. I'm having too much fun tonight. Almost fourteen fairly productive years of coding.
Balazs Fejes: "I'm using Natara Bonsai as my Outliner to organize my thoughts, and basically manage everything in my life including enterpise software development projects and grocery shopping list."
Garret flashes on the Radio category router. This has been one of John Robb's holy grails. As a Forrester analyst he wanted to be able to create feeds for each of his clients, they paid $10's of K's per month for the information he provided them with. Garret arrives at the same place from a different angle. I want one desktop for creating Web content, but be able to flow it out in multiple directions by just checking a box. That's how Radio 8 works. The categories pref defaults off so they don't confuse the newbie. But if you've been using Radio for a few days, go ahead and turn them on. I promise you won't be disappointed.
New verb: thread.getStackDump. Released.
New callback, when a weblog item is deleted, all scripts in user.radio.callbacks.deleteItem are called.
Looks like I'm going to have to put another kind of spam filter on Weblogs.Com soon. Even though it's funny what people will call their sites to get some flow.
Powazek: "Oyvey, do we have your money?"
Number one Radio 8 FAQ goes like this. "I try to launch the app but I get a Folder "" Not Found dialog. I give up. I don't know how to get this feshtunken app to open." Explanation. It's a really really stupid dialog, we apologize for that. What it really should say: Radio is running. To open the desktop website home page, double-click on the Radio icon in the system tray. It appears to only happen on Windows. We have a simple fix, and it will be in the next release, of course.
Gary Secondino narrates his experience with publish-subscribe and RSS.
Oy life in the fast lane. Our community server appears to be the honoree of a DoS attack this morning. It's been going on for about an hour. Still checking it out. (Postscript, the flood stopped on its own. I know where they were coming from, and we'll keep an eye out for more requests from this location. Sorry for the interruption of service for Weblogs.Com and Radio 8.)
Lance makes a good but subtle point. The WTC was perhaps the first battlefield in a war betw the rich countries and the poor. He says we're fiddling while Rome burns. Interesting. BTW, later this month Lance will participate in the World Economic Forum annual meeting, in NY this year, not Davos. I hope he blogs it. And I hope the people "on the ground" blog it too. Lance is our insider this year. (I blogged Davos in Y2K.)
8/13/01: Connecting With Blogger.
The Head Lemur gives Radio 8 a spin. Colin Faulkingham is playing with RSS enclosures, and has my Michegas feed displayed in a box in his template. Nice. It's not Scripting News. It's just looney toons notes from my so-called life. One of the Jabber guys, DizzyD has a new Radio blog.
Happy Birthday to Daniel Berlinger, 38. "I'm not certain I can wrap my head around that," he says. It's the old I'll be 40 soon thing. I did that in 1993. It gets even worse if you can believe that. My uncle who is 55, says time keeps accelerating. Not fair! But what can you do. Keep diggin Daniel, you're doing great.
Thanks to Bryan Bell for coming through on the badge for Scripting News award winners for 2001. You can see it to the right. If you have a site that won an award for 2001, you have the right to place this badge on your home page, or on a page just for awards, or nowhere at all. Please link to the speech I gave announcing your award. It's a total opt-in thing. We also have a small version of the badge.
Survey: "Do you feel the Scripting News Awards for 2001 were a valuable process?"
Well ladies and gentlemen, it was another day sipping from the firehose. I got a lot of work done, between phone calls and reviewing buglists. I got the Radio-Manila and Radio-Blogger connection working on my machine. Murphy-willing it will be released tomorrow. I decided to do it the clean way and added a callback that hooks into the publishing event, this is more efficient and more immediate and opens up opportunities for developers to hook other neat gadgets into the content flow. We also added a callback so developers can hook into Post events as well. I've never been so exhausted from work, but still am very excited about what's happening in our little corner of the galaxy. Thanks to everyone for the good vibes. Still diggin!
Hey it works with Blogger now too. Heh that was fast. The power of open interfaces.
OK, I've got the user interface done for the Manila-Blogger bridge tool for Radio 8. It works with Manila, now I have to test it with Blogger.
Steven Vore transcribed Al Pacino's Inch By Inch speech.
Microsoft: "The Microsoft Office XP Web Services Toolkit brings the power of XML Web services to Office XP by enabling developers to use the Universal Description, Discovery, and Integration (UDDI) Business Registry or the URL to a Web Services Description Language (WSDL) file to reference XML Web services in Office XP solutions directly from within the Visual Basic Editor."
Cause for hope that Radio runs on Unix under WINE.
NY Times: "Signs of a rebound appear in the high-tech heartland."
Steve Zellers: "The thing I've always liked about Dave's software is that it has good defaults."
JY to the rescue! He found the stuff about XML-RPC from this year in 1998 on archive.org. Nice. Nice. Nice. I like the part where I say "We don't have a DTD yet, we will soon." Heh heh. It's even worse than it appears.
Google has already scanned radio.weblogs.com.
OK, what's the number one glaring hole in Radio 8 (aside from the bugs and glitches, which we're working on after spending much of the weekend overloading on excitement and sleeping)? It doesn't connect to Manila. It will. I'm working on a Tool that mirrors your posts to Manila sites. I have it working here. Now here's a heads-up to developers of other centralized blogging tools like Manila. We're using the Blogger API. That means it will also work with Blogger, naturally, and any other centralized blogging tool that supports the API.
I wish my scanner worked so I could draw a picture. On left would be Radio in a circle. In the middle would be a circle for the Blogger API. On the right side would be a series of circles for Blogger, Manila, Greymatter, MovableType, Drupal, Slash, whatever -- centralized blogging tools that support the Blogger API. There would be an arrow connecting the Blogger API circle to each of centralized tools. The arrow would be in gray for each tool that doesn't currently support the Blogger API. They all will eventually, of course.
venndiagram.com runs on a Mac, with Filemaker, Clip2Gif and Frontier 4.2.3.
On this day in 1998 we broke through on XML-RPC. Unfortunately most of the pages got redirected to this page, and I haven't been able to find the source for the original site. I wrote a DaveNet piece on the event, but it doesn't say a lot. What I think happened is that we got Frontier on Windows and Mac to communicate using XML as the encoding and HTTP as the transport. As this matured it caught Bob Atkinson's eye at Microsoft, we worked together, added two things that turned out to be very important (structs and arrays), and later in 1998, on April 4, XML-RPC was hatched, and two years later SOAP.
I'm experiencing some kind of outage. Can't get through to MSBC, NY Times, can get through to Google, but it's very slow. Can't get through to my own sites. Mail is working perfectly. Conclusion, some router somewhere is fried, not on our LAN. The outage appears to be clearing now, slowly. I am able to get through to some sites but they're very slow. And as you can see I can update SN, but it's hit or miss, usually miss.
I've read some complaints that SN is focused on Radio 8 right now. What can I do? This is what's going on in my life. It could be that our world changed permanently on Friday night. It could be that yours did too. I've been working since 1976 (no typo) to create a product like Radio 8. And it's not just the product that I'm covering, it's the times too. A few years ago if we had shipped this product hardly anyone one would have noticed. Too much other stuff going on. Now a product like Radio 8 can stand out, lots of people are looking for the next thing to do. For some, this is it.
VersionTracker picks up Radio 8. Thanks!
ICANN Weblog: "I'm not ready to put 'find me on Google' on my business card in place of my e-mail address and domain name."
Ray Ozzie: "This is a test of the emergency broadcast system."
Reminder to users of MSIE/Mac, there's a shareware INIT that works around the performance problem that MSIE has when accessing a server on the same machine (ie Radio 8).
You'll see white-on-orange XML buttons on almost all Radio weblogs, and on other sites around the Internet that support a really simple syndication format called RSS. This is the main format that Radio understands and produces. Another Mobius Strip thing. We invented this format in collaboration with Netscape. Our work started in 1997. Anyway they're there for a reason. When you see a white-on-orange XML button it means "this site can be a feed for Radio's news aggregator." Here's how you access it.
1. Click on the button to open the XML file in your browser.
2. In the browser's address bar, select the URL, copy it to the clipboard.
3. In Radio 8, go to this page. (Radio 8 must be running for that URL to work.)
4. Click in the text box near the top of the page. Paste the URL you copied in step 2.
5. Click on the Add button.
If all goes well you'll see the source appear in the list of channels that you're subscribed to, and now every hour when it does its scan it will show you the new items in that feed on your News Aggregator page. (Another link that only works if Radio 8 is running.)
Here's a page that's updated every hour with 100 white-on-orange XML buttons.
Here's another app that does wonderful things with RSS.
Here's a mail list that focuses on curating and evangelizing RSS.
Note to Lawrence: Please make this a Howto on the Radio site.
Kimro Staken: "I'm also thinking about writing a more full featured app called BlogFront that would replace most of the Radio web interface. I know it kind of violates the philosophy behind Radio but I really prefer a native interface and the Cocoa environment is a great way to build one."
Comment: It does not violate the philosophy behind Radio. Emphatically. Radio supports XML-RPC and SOAP precisely so that you can use other apps to interface to it (and vice versa). That's why it was such a boon for us and our users when Apple baked-in support for SOAP and XML-RPC into Mac OS X. Choice is the result of open interfaces, and also the reason for open interfaces.
No locked trunks. Use Radio 8 because it's the best choice. Your choice.
Ray Ozzie, CEO, Groove Networks: "From one developer to another, my sincere congratulations. I finally had a chance to use Radio today. Simiplicity is very difficult, and from my perspective you seem to have hit the mark. Nice product, nice user experience. Its great to see innovation coming back to client-side development; architecture matters, software matters. Best wishes from the team at Groove to those at Userland." Thanks Ray!
David Davies has SMS posting to Radio 8. He's taking a plane trip today and testing out the feature. No kidding.
NewsIsFree supports publish-subscribe. "Now the excellent NewsIsFree network, spearheaded by Mike Krus, a gutsy Frenchman who's always up for something new, includes a
Here's a list of NewsIsFree feeds that support the
Garth Kidd says our pub-sub model won't scale.
Life is good. Aaron Swartz has discovered Jeremiah Rogers. Two prodigies, both in their teens. Both off-the-scale smart. The Bill Gates of 2010 meets his Paul Allen. (Or maybe Jobs meets Woz. Or Bricklin meets Frankston.)
Dan Bricklin's Radio blog.
Wes: "Can't sleep, must hack Radio." This is totally cool. Wes used to work at UserLand. Some of his code is running on every request that Radio processes.
Dan Burns: "By the way, my usernum is 100000. Very Cool!"
On this day last year Maynard G Krebs made a cameo appearance on Scripting News. Hey here he is again. Yo! Maybe this will be an annual tradition? Is January 13 Maynard G Krebs day on Scripting News? Surely you jest!
Dan Gillmor: Google effect reduces need for many domains.
Via Delacour: "All women should assume they'll get pregnant and all men should assume the woman will want to keep the baby."
In the NY Times, Steve Lohr writes about a setback for Microsoft in its antitrust travails. "To put it bluntly," Judge Motz wrote, "in the words of the opponents of the proposed settlement, the donation of free software could be viewed as constituting 'court-approved predatory pricing.'" Amen. However it seems like it's not such a big setback for the software giant. Us Windows users still live in a gravity well, our freedom being pulled into a giant swirling drain while we cling to the edge of the bowl desperately trying to keep from getting sucked into the sewage system of the Internet. As Dom Delouise (remember him?) used to say "Lotsa luck!"
On this day two years ago, Bill Gates stepped down as Microsoft CEO.
Two techies I respect have remarkably different experiences with Radio 8. For one, it works. For the other, it's a constant failure. (He keeps trying, I want it to work for him.) What's the difference? The cool thing about this rollout is that I, the program's author, can see immediately how the program is being put to use. I wish some of the good experience that Sjoerd is having could rub off on Kimbro.
Most of you probably aren't old enough to remember Madge. She was a manicurist. She's almost certainly dead by now, like my cat Nurse and Burl Ives. Anyway, the camera would zoom in on Madge working on a customer's finger nails while the customer's other hand was soaking. This was the 60's and of course then women didn't talk about weighty issues like the nuclear arms race, or global warming. Nope they were talking about dishwashing liquid. Madge is saying "Tsk tsk you must be using a harsh dishwashing liquid. Look at these hands, they're so rough and dry." Then the customer asks "Madge, what do you recommend?" And we all knew the answer that was coming (it was a commercial after all.) "I recommend Palmolive." Big pause. "You're soaking in it!" The customer looks shocked and pulls her hand out of the liquid quickly, and then comes to her senses and puts it back. Everyone laughs and life goes on. "It softens hands while you do the dishes." You'll see that message pop up on SN in the future, and now you will know what it means.
According to TV Acres Madge is still alive and living in Connecticut.
OK OK, Dubya did some of the coding. Mostly UI.
Our theme song for Radio 8 was Al Pacino's speech to the team in Any Given Sunday. "You find out life's this game of inches, so is football. Because in either game -- life or football -- the margin for error is so small. I mean, one half a step too late or too early and you don't quite make it. One half second too slow, too fast and you don't quite catch it. The inches we need are everywhere around us. They're in every break of the game, every minute, every second. On this team, we fight for that inch. On this team, we tear ourselves and everyone else around us to pieces for that inch. We claw with our fingernails for that inch. Because we know when add up all those inches, that's gonna make the fucking difference between winning and losing! Between living and dying!"
So when I say "inch by inch" -- that's what I mean. To create a usable piece of software, you have to fight for every fix, every feature, every little accomodation that will get one more person up the curve. There are no shortcuts. Luck is involved, but you don't win by being lucky, it happens because you fought for every inch.
Radio is #5 on Daypop, and again is blowing away Scripting News, until now UserLand's #1 flow site.
David Hoskin asks if it's OK for people to design their own Radio badges. Yes yes yes. Please. Bryan is working on a couple for me (which you will be able to use) but I love it when the graphic artists help out the poor graphic-impaired geek (me). So go get em. Let's have fun!
Now so the geeks don't think we don't care (double negative oops) here's a guided tour that scratches the surface of the content management engine. And here's a tutorial about macros and another. If you're wondering what #template.txt and #upstream.xml are about you gotta RTFM. They're written to be fun, with examples.
Brent's tips for using Radio 8.
Inspired by Aaron Cope. I hadn't thought of putting a SOAP or XML-RPC call into a Radio macro. It worked!
Scoble writes about the earthquake in his life on his Radio blog. Last year he was in a horrible car crash. And that leads to more change. I know what it feels like to sit in your living room with no furniture and no framework for your future. Been there. There's so much to say about it. You know that's a turning point in your life. No two ways about it. What comes next will not be like what came before. That can be very uncomfortable, but it's survivable.
For 10 points, what will this coffee cup do when you click on it? (I know the graphic sucks, if I get it working I'll ask Bryan to do it for real.)
Jim Roepcke: "Here are the 'old school' Frontier users I've noticed set up Radio sites."
Scott Loftesness: "Radio 8.0 is my secret weapon!"
Sjoerd: "I've been checking out Radio Userland since I woke up. I was planning to go to my parents today, but that'll have to wait."
Kimbro Staken reports trouble with Radio 8. I'm going to get right on it. One of the things on my post-ship list is to write a file-system upstream driver. Anyone who does WebDAV uploads is going to need this. If I get the time I'll try to write it today. Also Kimbro talks about modifying scripts. Now would be a good time to give this speech. As long as you don't modify anything in Radio.root you should be OK. The root.user table is yours to do with as you please. But everything else is subject to being updated by us (bug fixes, features, the normal stuff). Of course you can modify our code, but you'll be sorry when you lose your changes when we update the script you modified. It's better to work with us to get callbacks in place for customization. Callbacks are future-safe.
I see the footprints of the Wiener Boys. They don't get anywhere by sending me hate mail, so they send it to people who like my products, or people who work for me. Email isn't that powerful. OK, we know you know how to whine. If you don't like the news, start your own weblog, and put your name on it and your picture so we can form opinions about you.
OK I've had some coffee -- trying to find my center again. Gotta go trawling for news. But first here's an article I wrote a little over a year ago that explains the idea of Desktop Websites. "In the centralized model for the Internet, your browser makes requests of a server that could be very far away, or slow for other reasons. Now imagine that the server is very close and you don't have to share it with anyone, it's yours and yours alone. It would be fast!" That's Radio 8. The commercialization of the Desktop Websites vision.
Wow. What was that. Some kind of truck drove through our little world last night. You should have seen Weblogs.Com. Man. It was like a drunken party with crazy girls and lots of booze and hard drugs. A new high-water mark -- on a Friday night! I've never had a product ship like this. What a trip. I hope it never returns to normal. We turned a corner. A big one. We spent a lot of long days and nights preparing for it. There were times when I thought we wouldn't make it. But in the end I think we met our goal. 80 percent of the people get to first-post in five minutes or less. Yes, of course there were problems, and we still have a lot more we want to do with this software, there are lots of tools and tutorials to write, lots more bugs to fix. It's a big piece of software, almost fourteen years of code under the browser interface. Yes it mostly works. Inch by inch. Thank you Murphy. I'm not worthy I'm not worthy.
As I review the posts on the Radio UserLand discussion group, we've seen some of these problems before and have addressed them in the software. Don't jump to the conclusion that the feature isn't there. It may be, just tucked away in a Pref. Poke around in the Prefs system, it's worth looking at. We put a lot of work into that. We had over 100 beta testers starting in October. They told us what they wanted. Sometimes we were able to make it work the way they wanted. Don't assume the feature isn't there. It may be. Time for some coffee!
BTW, lest I forget -- we have another killer app in the pipe. Sometimes toward the middle of this year, again, with the help of Murphy. We're not done yet. Takes a lickin, keeps on tickin. Totally 1.0. In this lifetime. Etc. Etc.
Still on track for 6:30PM. Next thing on my todo list. Spin up some Dead tunes. Blues for Allah. Franklin's Tower. Crazy Fingers. Touch of Grey. It's even worse than you know what. US Blues. Oh yeah. Next, hot-up the links on the Download page. You might want to save the source of Scripting News. It's going bye-bye. To be replaced by a big crazy eight. Any minute now. Summertime come and gone my oh my. Ooops. It's 6:27. We might slip a little.
A little bit of history is made. For the first time since we've been tracking hits at UserLand, something other than Scripting News is #1 today. Radio UserLand just pulled ahead a few minutes ago. That's why we're in such a rush to ship. Is this a bubble or will it last? I want to make sure we get some software out there while the traffic is so high.
Dan Shafer: My First Review of Radio 8.
Yay. This is what it looks like when the lights come back on. Welcome back Steve. We missed you! No shit.
Berlinger: "Today's thought on the Radio 8 beta process. I don't think I've ever participated in a somewhat public test where the group was so upbeat and positive; Where the testers tried so hard to be helpful in exactly the way UserLand needed." It was a magic group of people and a tough test. We fought for the inches, together.
Garret: "Dump anything in Radio's www folder, and it's been filed, uploaded, backed up, statically rendered, content managed, diced, chopped, ground, and served on a platter."
Lawrence: "Being part of the development of Radio 8.0, it's awesome to see there are going to be lots of people who are going to be playing around with a CMS (at under $40 US) and with an entire weblogging system already in place."
Scoble: "Here's a quick visual look at Radio UserLand 8.0's Desktop Website Home Page. This page is the heart of Radio 8.0 and is where you'll spend most of your time. It's easy to use, just follow the numbers!"
Humorous note. My number one referer this morning, by far, is the Google search for poor Joseph Crosby. I wonder if he's going to send a cease-and-desist note to Google next.
A designer's perspective on content management, expressed concisely in A List Apart article: "An organization using CM may decide that paying a full-time designer is more expensive than hiring an outside party to redesign templates every couple of months. So your survival may indeed be at stake." True, but you could look at it another way. If CM becomes more mainstream, there will be more websites, and more demand for designers, to balance the new efficiency and lower cost of publishing that CM provides. Yet another way of looking at it -- did Desktop Publishing cause designers to go away? No. Quite the opposite. Once publishing could be automated, designers became even more relevant. And then a few years later -- The Web, created all kinds of opportunity for designers. You can't hold back technology, it marches forward inexorably. Better to go with the flow, than put your finger in the dyke and hope to hold back the flood.
I updated the page explaining how to get adequate performance using Radio 8 on Macintosh OS Classic with Microsoft Internet Explorer. It's a common configuration, and due to a feature in MSIE (some might call it a bug) the performance is just awful. Dan Shafer got caught in this last night. It's one of our major support issues. We have alerted MS to the problem. We don't like recommending that people use a different browser or install a shareware INIT to work around a problem that we could solve by working together. We all look bad when we put users in this kind of situation. MSIE/Mac is an excellent browser, but it doesn't play well with server software running on the same machine.
Saltire: "Perhaps this was just a fluke (I doubt it), but I was on Yahoo! yesterday and noticed that they are now dropping in links to ads with the rest of their news stories."
So, as we get ready to open up a new community, one has to wonder, who will be the next Joel Spolsky -- who will use the tool, and the medium, as well as he did with Manila in Y2K?
Last year on this day: Payloads for RSS. "What if, in the middle of the night, while I'm not using my computer, it downloads huge video and audio stuff to my local hard drive. Then when I arrive in the morning there are fresh bits, news clips, a song of the day, whatever, provided by all kinds of content providers, from big TV networks like CNN and MSNBC, to a Dutch school where kids are taking a film class using inexpensive video recorders and iMacs."
Our winner was also an EditThisPage.Com Pioneer. One day I started reading this site, and thought wow, this guy can write. I had never heard of him. So I read his pieces and pointed to them. It was a total "sweaty mouse finger" thing. When he wrote a new essay, it was time to stop everything and clear 20 minutes and read it from top to bottom, savoring every idea, every paragraph, every anecdote.
He involves you in his writing, he has something to say, and even when you don't agree, he teaches you something, shows you a different point of view, a different way of doing things, he gets you thinking -- and that's what makes the difference between an average blogger, and the Scripting News Blogger of the Year for 2001 -- Joel Spolsky.
Mazel tov Joel, thanks for all the great writing, from all of us at Scripting News.
One more item of business in the awards for 2001 -- rolling out the badge. That'll happen on Monday. I also want to run a survey asking if the participants felt that the awards were a valuable process.
OK, I'm outta here for the night. Tomorrow is going to be a double-whammy. I think you're all going to be surprised who the Blogger Of The Year is. Well, I guess not everyone. Heh. It was a race to the finish. Something to behold. But, as with the other honorees, you guys made the right choice. Hack The Planet, Black Hole Brain, Suck, Mark Pilgrim, Google and.. tune in tomorrow, about 7AM Pacific to find out who you all chose for BOTY.
One more thing before I go. I own Joseph Crosby (remember him?) on Google. And I'm getting lots of hits for it. Yow. Who'd a thunk?
Burning Bird says that Radio 8 isn't the second coming. She's right about that. It's the eighth.
Glenn Fleishman on Microsoft's Mira: "Other companies have offered and withdrawn similar products already."
Dan Shafer just showed up with his Radio 8.0 beta. Dan wrote the docs for 1.0, back in 1991. Nice to see you again Dan!
Tonight fifteen fresh guinea pigs are trying out what may be Radio 8.0. If there are no deal-stoppers we're going to go with it. It's certainly not bug free. But it seems to work. FWIW. Murphy-willing. I am not a lawyer. In this lifetime. Etc. etc.
Survey: "Has Joel Spolsky ever pointed to your site?"
Heehe. ROTFL. As I said on Joel's DG, he's from NY, I had dinner with him at Katz's. The wiener boys were worried that I hurt his feelings. Nahhh.
NY Times: "There are no vans with Internet Inc. logos at the roadside, no workers in Cyberspace hard hats hovering over manholes."
Two years ago today AOL merged with Time-Warner.
Larry Staton: "On the left, underneath the XML button is the temperature in Orlando at the time of this post. How did I do it? I wrote an AppleScript that executes a SOAP call to a server, and the server returns the current temperature." Try that with .NET.
Dear Rob: The number of people who have submitted .NET solutions to the problem Larry solved -- 0. Aside from that, I heard that .NET won't run on the Mac, so how could Larry use .NET to display the temperature via SOAP on his Mac-based website? Another thing to consider, many Web developers hate Microsoft, for good reason. Consider that as another appreciable barrier to ease of use. The sick feeling that comes from hearing the trunk slam and your air supply being cut off. I could launch into a speech about how much damage that pesky antitrust suit cost your company with developers, but I have to rush off to a meeting, and you've heard it before anyway. One more thing before I run, last time I heard, .NET doesn't have a CMS. Microsoft of course does offer a CMS, it costs almost $50,000 per CPU, which is probably out of Larry's price range.
NY Times: "Amid a general surge in patent activity, IBM was granted 3,411 patents by the USPTO last year, the first time any company collected more than 3,000 in a single year."
WSJ: "Everyone was afraid when the Internet was introduced that people would stop coming to the library, but that hasn’t happened."
Brent wrote up a description of how Radio 8.0 is a Mac OS X app. Not being a X user myself, I found it quite illuminating. He says "OS X's Services menu allows applications to work together. At this writing, very few shipping Carbon apps support the Services menu. Radio is one of those few." Nice!
I started updating the real Radio UserLand home page yesterday. One thing that's now revealed is the price. $39.95. That's less than a lot of people thought it would be. We want to sell quite a few of these puppies. BTW, looks like there's a good chance we'll ship tomorrow. The store probably won't be up yet and there will be a few loose ends, but people will be able to download the software, and start blogging over the weekend. Every copy starts out as a Trial Version. You pay the money to turn it into a real version. There's nothing the Trial Version can't do -- but it stops working after thirty days.
We're also going to open the archives of the support mail list for beta testers. What a fantastic group of people who helped us wrestle this monster piece of software into the land of ease-of-use. There are a lot of lessons in the archives, and by opening it up, we'll eventually get them in the search engines (see below) so whatever isn't covered on the website will be available to people who are exploring the product.
And we've lifted the embargo on the testers. They are now free to talk about Radio 8 on their blogs. To kick things off, an essay by Michael Fraase, entitled Sound Salvation, after the Elvis Costello song, Radio Radio. "But like old-time radio, the interesting stuff on the web happens at the edges." Yes.
More from the Fraase essay: "Radio has given moderately sophisticated computer users the power to publish syndicated dynamic content on the web with little to no knowledge of the underlying technology (although that’s open and accessible for our nerd buddies; Radio is built upon open formats and protocols). What that means is that the net is becoming less and less like television and a whole lot more like something much more powerful of which we’ve only begun to scratch the surface."
Here's a good morning teaser question. If you knew you were going to be stranded on a deserted island and could only take one website with you, which would it be?
The correct answer is also the winner of the award for Best Weblog Utility/Distraction for 2001, as chosen by the readers of Scripting News. The envelope please.
It's Google, of course. The relationship between Google and Weblogs has become symbiotic in the last year, as Google transformed itself a Just-In-Time search engine. Weblogs, which flip their home pages every day, provide a constant source of new stories and perspectives for Google's fantastic robot and ranking engine.
Google wasn't the Web's first search engine, but they're the best, hands-down, by far. It's fast, timely, remarkably intelligent, and easy to use. How did they get that way? They kept it simple and focused on user experience.
As they were starting up in 1998, one portal CEO told them, "As long as we're 80 percent as good as our competitors, that's good enough. Our users don't really care about search."
Oh how wrong that poor CEO was.
We really do care about search. One of the few VC-funded companies to survive the dotcom bust, Google is profitable and growing. It's one of the cornerstones of the Web's revival, focused on giving good service, and staying easy to use, and having the courage to point offsite, trusting users to come back again and again, and we do, in ever-increasing numbers.
In so many ways Google embodies what's great about the Web, and it's with a hearty "I totally agree" that we give Google our award for Web utility in 2001. Thanks Google, and keep up the great work.
Tomorrow, the final award for 2001, BOTY.
As the awards roll out it's interesting to look back at who I voted for and see how they fared. Hmmm. Would I reveal too much if I told you how many winners I voted for? Okay. I'm up for a tease if you are. Here's the answer.
Brent: "Everyone should live with predators."
The xml-dist-app list is focusing on fatness of XML-based protocols.
Kevin Kelly: The Web Runs on Love, Not Greed.
Skipping Dot Net: SOAP Linkfest.
Masukomi: "There are 8 anonymous people watching me out there." I'm one of them.
The Register captures some of the excitement behind Microsoft's CES announcements.
On this day last year: What is Integrity?
Garret is one of the rare 40-something's who can read 3-point type. My poor eyes!
Now for the next award!
Mark Pilgrim's DiveIntoMark weblog first appeared on my radar when he released a suite called PyManila, which connects Python to Manila via XML-RPC. Believe it or not this led to Mark getting fired (which is good for flow, it turns out) and that got him a new job. So this is a weblog with a business model. And they say you can't make money on the Internet.
He also is the author of Dive Into Python, a free Python book for experienced programmers. He's informative, generous, notorious, opinionated, pushy -- he shoots first and asks questions later -- a natural-born scripter and blogger.
He's also the choice of Scripting News readers as the Best Scripting Weblog for 2001.
Emailing with Cory Doctorow yesterday, he pointed me to Watson, which is a new GUI framework for Web Services for Mac OS X. Then I found a post on HTP from Robb Beal with more info. It's a puzzle, at first I was quite confused -- what is it -- and then I got a few clues, and then I'm confused again. It looks like a Parc-style browser for scripts that connect via HTTP with websites. Does it have some kind of scraper built in? It's not browser-based, so it could complement Radio on Mac OS X, if I understood what it does. What does it do?
Greg Brown: "I've only played with it briefly, but it doesn't seem to be anything more (technically) complicated than a screen-scraper that provides a native Mac UI to things like Yahoo, etc."
News from Radio UserLand. The new version will be 8.0, not 7.1 as previously reported. I've been here before. Working on a project that was supposed to be a quick refinement, and it blossoms and then drags on, and thirteen months later, it has developed into something much more. The next release of Radio has a new content management system, it's file-system-based, and lots of new features around that, and lots more possibilities for people who are new to CMS's and scripting. We asked the betas last night if they agreed, and they do (with one exception, noted). So the release formerly known as 7.1, will henceforth be known as 8.0. Friday is the ship date, we may slip to Monday. (We probably will.)
Some have asked why we don't do a public beta. Well, that was what we did in the nineties. In the 21st Century we want to get the first impression right. Yesterday Duncan Smeed posted an item on his new Radio blog that told me we're getting close. "Time from install to post: about 5 minutes!" That was the design goal, I don't know how Duncan knew, or if he did, but that was what we were aiming for, 80 percent of the people get from install to post in five minutes.
PS: Radio 8.0 also includes the Prefs system that I talked about in November in the Hypercard and the Web thread. There are verbs (not documented yet) that allow developers to create stack-like user interfaces in an outline. It's a totally rational way to develop Prefs systems for Web apps, imho, if I do say so myself, I am not a lawyer, for what it's worth, etc.
Dave Jacobs on the phone. "Oh no not again," he says. He watched the Gates video, they did 802.11a detachable screen thing, and a second product, a wireless remote control, which is running Windows XP, which is kind of a mindfuck. Microsoft promises the vision we outlined in the Apple piece. The screen is also running XP. 802.11a is fast enough for video. Key point. He calls the new iMac a Cube with a haircut. "I want one," he says. "It's a beautiful design."
Washington Post: "Believe me," she says, "the last thing I ever wanted to do was make a big deal about being a woman.. As an officer, you need to shut up and follow when an order is lawful. You need to step out when it's unlawful."
Curry: "Blog II the Future is more than I expected. Sure it functions perfectly as a calendar, but the RSS capabilty enables you to schedule a blog post for a future date." True.
I like sites that make me laugh.
Dan Gillmor: "Steve Jobs and Apple Computer got most of the attention yesterday with their new-version iMac launch in San Francisco, but Microsoft's Bill Gates showed more interesting technology in his Consumer Electronics Show keynote in Las Vegas."
John Robb: Desktop Data Silos.
AP: "Embarrassed CNN executives have yanked an on-air promotion that referred to anchorwoman Paula Zahn as 'sexy' and was accompanied by the sound effect of a zipper."
8/23/96: "I learned a long time ago, when Deborah Norville did the early morning news on NBC, there's nothing sexier than a smart female with a clever smile surrounded by old corny males who are in love with her."
BradLands: A dry crack is a happy crack.
Steven Vaughan-Nichols: Fat protocols slow Web services. To form an opinion on this you'd have to have an application in mind and then do some performance comparisons under realistic loads. My intuition says it doesn't matter much how fat XML is for protocols -- the Internet and LANs have scaled to push around lots of images and MP3s, which are huge compared to a SOAP or XML-RPC message.
I pulled the bit about Joseph Crosby of DoubleTree because the story appeared in USA Today on the 4th. Read it and decide for yourself if he's gotten the message. Burning Bird has picked up the cause. You can call him too if you think he needs a clue. Linux.Com has the phone number, believe it or not.
Another indicator of Apple's influence in the blogging world. I couldn't make my window wide enough to show the huge number of weblogs pointing to the iMac rollout. I've never seen any story get that kind of rating from Daypop. Microsoft doesn't even appear on the chart.
Poor Chris Locke. His new book, Gonzo Marketing, is getting great reviews, but few if any are on the Web.
To show how clueless I am, the Microsoft announcement at CES was last night. Kind of proves the point though. Where is the buzz? Why no pre-announce briefing? Why no email on the announcement? Seriously, what the heck is Microsoft PR doing? (Postscript: After reading the Wired article I have a theory on why MS PR didn't push it. They probably didn't understand WTF they're talking about. As usual. MS can't spin a not-confusing story about new technology. What a pulpit they have. If only they knew how to use it.)
Fred Davis, David Bunnell and Michael Tchong team up on something called Consumertronics Media. "It's still hush-hush," the website says, "but check back from time to time if you're the curious type or just kick back and wait." Okay.
Register: Xanadu project lifts open source kimono.
An interesting A-B comparison. Today at CES Microsoft will make a big announcement about home computing. On stage, Bill Gates, the richest man in the world. A single division at MS is bigger than all of Apple Computer. Yet as far as I can see, there are no fan sites speculating about the temperature of Gates's drivel, or what kind of clothes he wears, or taking tours of his wife's garden. After the announcement, I think we'll see that MS's offering is more interesting, from a technology and market standpoint, perhaps even historic, but will anyone care? And of course, some think Apple has more to announce. I would like that. Go Apple. Go get Uncle Bill.
NY Times: "PlanetFeedback.com, BizRate and Epinions have stayed in business by spending carefully and continuing to tweak their revenue models. Even so, analysts are mixed on the prospects of these survivors in 2002."
Like cholesterol, there's good sarcasm and bad sarcasm. Suck was very bad sarcasm, and when they were good they really sucked. They went after all the moguls of the early days of the dotcom boom. No one was spared. It got ugly at times. It felt good. Until they took you apart. Then it made you zooooooom. Coooool.
Where ever you are Suck, stay there, in peace.
Tomorrow: The Best Scripting Weblog.
Survey: "Based on today's announcements from Apple, will you buy one of the new Macs?"
Name withheld: "I watched the Steve Jobs show today at my local Apple dealer's showroom. The buyer noticed three new SKUs in Distributors' catalog without descriptions. Only pricing. We think there is more to come at CES."
Wired News: Vaporware 2001.
Steven Levy: A Couch Potato's Digital Dream.
MacInTouch report on the Apple keynote.
One of the most unique looking weblogs I've seen.
Tim Jarrett is blogging the Apple keynote from Apple's store in Tyson's Corner, Virginia. I've written a script that mirrors Tim's blog to a static file, so lots of people (including myself) can refresh the page often.
Jakob Nielsen: "Waiting for Microsoft is not for the impatient. If you wait long enough, you might become King of Sweden."
BTW, picture a blogger watching the keynote in the living room, making notes on a wireless laptop. The integration of all that blogging with the TV show is the vision of the future. It's what computers add to the mix -- community. In a sense we're already doing that, but I'm working at my desktop not watching the event in person or on TV. That's the flip side. I can actually tell, somewhat, what's going on just by reading the sites when they update.
John Robb: "The problem with all the Mac tools announced by Jobs at the show is that the publishing functionality is weak. What's needed? A CMS for a robust personal Website or Weblog. That is the flaw in Apple's hub strategy - weak publishing tools. All this great content but nothing that helps you publish anything more complex than a simple home page." Totally agree. I've been offering to help with this since 1996. I gave up. They're not looking for it.
Staton: "John should be jumping for joy that Apple did not release a CMS."
News.Com picks up the Time Canada story and adds a bit of speculation and comments from analysts and competitors. Thanks for not picking up the nauseating gushes about Steve's clothes from Time's story. News.Com mentions nothing earth-shaking. Some people think Time didn't get the whole story. I hope they're right. An Apple-branded TiVO would be nice, with a wireless connection to a laptop so you can program it in your browser. Just a place to start. That's where Microsoft is going. If today's announcement is somehow relevant to Microsoft's announcement tomorrow, they'll have to combine wireless, desktops and entertainment for the home in some new way.
A preview of my second Going Crazy tutorial for macros in Radio 7.1. This one isn't as crazy as the first, but what can you do, some days you feel crazy, some days not so crazy.
We had a few really gorgeous days last week, sunshine during the day, fog at night. The ground is soaked from all the rain. The streams are running. There's one spot on my daily walk where the perfume smell of flowers in early bloom is intoxicating. I just stop there and breathe and take it in, it's so sweet. Then I look at my garden, full of weeds that are digging the rain and I wonder if there's anything I can plant now that will survive a frost, because we're sure to get a few more of those before spring comes. Then I wondered why isn't there (or is there) a gardening weblog? We really need a bunch of them, for different climates. I'm in northern California. What could I be planting now? I'd love to have a place I can go to find out.
Aaron Cope sends a pointer to You Grow Girl, which is a gardening website.
I got an email from another friend I took to Parkside Grille. She says she threw up after a dinner there too. I guess that along with the change in ownership they're cutting back on refrigeration costs, or using old fish or whatever. The place is empty. I attributed that to the post Sept 11 recession (other local restaurants are empty too) -- and I felt sorry for them. I must have a strong stomach, capable of dealing with the toxins. It's too bad, the restaurant is in a gorgeous location, and used to have great food. The plates still look good, but it's dangerous stuff. Caveat emptor.
Tomorrow's award will be for the Gone But Not Forgotten category. How to introduce the winner? The "best" GBNF website? Most missed? The award-winning not-forgotten site? And what if one of the nominees started updating again? Heh. What about that?
Good morning sports fans!
I fell asleep at the keyboard last night. What an experience. I dreamed about animated evil aliens, cattle mutation, devilish plots by Al Gore, Mike Tyson, and Michael Jackson. I woke up and realized I hadn't been sleeping at all.
I had been reading Black Hole Brain -- chosen by the readers of Scripting News as the EditThisPage.Com Pioneer for 2001.
It's The Void of Knowledge but behind the screen is a very generous big-hearted man, Mike Donellan, an award-winning guy for an award-winning site. Thanks Mike for all the entertainment. And the fans appreciate you too!
From Japan comes proof that aliens have invaded our planet.
That's a picture of Al Gore inventing the Internet.
Joel Spolsky: "Sometimes I just can't get anything done."
Same here. All programmers go through this. It often happens just after you ship a product. You've been pushing yourself to the max, and your body needs a rest. It's not uncommon to get physically ill at these times. You can't fight it, you have to let it be. We're not machines, or put another way, we don't understand how our machines work.
There's another way stagnation happens. "A programmer languishes for months, chipping at the edges of a problem. Then all of a sudden, a breakthrough happens, the pieces start fitting together. A few months later the software works, and you go forward."
BTW, Joel is one of my nominees for Blogger Of The Year. He's consistently thought-provoking, a natural teacher, generous with what he knows. Total BOTY material.
Time Canada got the scoop on Apple's new product. "It should look like a sunflower," said Steve. Net-net it's a flat panel desktop computer, with a DVD burner and bundled software for movie making, playing MP3s and processing digital images (in other words no new software). Did I miss anything? Seems to be no wireless innovation here, no capitalizing on their pioneering role in 802.11b. Oy a week of teasing for an expensive high-design but otherwise ordinary desktop PC.
Cringely hasn't heard --> patents are screwing up XML.
NY Times: "The definitive place for following Segway developments is Paul Nakada's Segway News."
Mazel tov to Paul. It doesn't get much better than that.
Awards update. Early this morning I announced the Best Technology Weblog for 2001. Tomorrow is "EditThisPage.Com Pioneers" day. The nominess are 2020 Hindsight, Andrea Frick, Black Hole Brain, BookNotes, Garret Vreeland, Jeff Cheney, View From The Heart and WebSeitz. Tune in tomorrow to find out!
Slashdot: Apache XMLRPC 1.0 Released.
Adam Curry and Marcus Mauller have a group calendar running in Frontier.
Burning Bird: "I may be a bitch, but I'm not rude." Quotable.
file.synchTableWithFolder gets a new callback parameter.
Hey I'm working on another total lunatic tour through Macro-Land in Radio. And for the betas, a new feature is on the way. You-all are going to love it. Make a reservation at the local looney bin. More bunny-slope tutorials. The people like em.
BTW, the writing style of these going-crazy pieces is derived from Life Is Beautiful, a very sweet movie about Jews in Italy during WW II. Not the usual Hollywood crap. I adopted the pov of the hero of the movie, that everything is so crazy you might as well make it a game, nothing is sacred, everything is easy if you decide it should be that way. Let's be honest. Everyone who learned how to program had to stare at the code at some point thinking "I have no idea what it's doing." But if you relax about it and give in to the lunacy of spending huge amounts of time learning simple things, then you're prepared for a life of programming, which has huge rewards, none of which are easy to come by. "Inch by inch." I wish I could release the doc, but our updates server is refusing connections. See what I mean?
AP: MIT, EFI Sue over Image Patent. EFI might not care about its reputation with technologists, but I bet MIT does. It might make sense to make an example of MIT. And I'm sure they're conflicted internally on this issue. The W3C is somehow related to MIT. (Where's the Semantic Web when you need it?)
New sample script shares the secret of turning OPML into a left-link navbar. Source included. No patents.
Good morning one and all!
Rise and shine. It's very early here, 3AM in NY, 9AM in Amsterdam.
Why is everyone up so early?
Of course, they want to know which site is the Best Technology Weblog of 2001.
Some excellent sites were nominated.
But there's only one winner.
A truly fantastic site.
Congratulations to Wes Felter, for Hack the Planet, chosen by the readers of Scripting News as the Best Technology Weblog for 2001.
A great soundbite from HTP.
Joshua Allen: "Too much testosterone. Why not just use the stuff? Oh wait, it's from Microsoft so it must be evil." Heh.
Today is the last day of voting for the Scripting News Awards for 2001. Tomorrow I wll announce the winner in the Best Technology Weblog category, and then I will announce a winner in another category every day, culminating with Blogger Of The Year on Friday.
Doc: "Today's $1 newspaper is tomorrow's birdcage liner."
Doc is a nominee for Blogger of the Year. Watching the votes come in on BOTY has been sheer torture. It's a race to the finish between two top bloggers. Quite close. Only 25 minutes remain to vote for your favorite. The future of the world hangs in balance. (Sorry for the sarcasm.)
Survey: Which version of Windows do you use?
I'm watching my Apple piece climb the chart at Daypop. I always wondered why people don't discuss what I write unless it upsets someone. I wrote some (I think) interesting articles about weblogs, but the weblog community seemed to not care. Anyway, I just wanted to acknowledge this. I like it when people pass on pointers to things I write. Thanks!
Diane Reese is waiting for her back to come back. I just went through this. My back is working again. "Life is a game of inches."
The Register registers some good flamage about Mac OS X's user interface.
Survey: "After reading the letters to the Register after Orlowski trashed the user interface of Mac OS X, I wondered what you think of its UI?"
IBM: "The present invention is an apparatus, system, and method for providing reservations for restroom use."
John Robb has pics of Microsoft's tablet PC and home station. "Goodbye Dell and Gateway," he says.
I'm likin Dann Sheridan's weblog. Him and Jrobb are good together. Like cream and coffee.
Looks like my very good friend Adam is up to his elbows in wiener boys. It's not a trial by fire exactly, more of a trial by whine.
Paul Boutin: "After surviving the switch to Mac OS X, I decided to risk upgrading my PC, too."
The NY Times is running an excerpt from Lessig's Future of Ideas.
Yesterday I added a new page to the DaveNet site called 2002. I looked at the list of years. 1994. 1995. 1996. 1997. 1998. 1999. 2000. 2001, 2002. In two years it will be the tenth anniversary of DaveNet. Where did the time go?
A friend with a one-year-old son writes: "A few days ago I was playing with Larry. We were both sitting on the floor. I let a big fart loose. He looked at me thoughtfully and then squeezed out a little fart in response. I was in heaven."
DaveNet: Bet on the iDock.
MacWorld Expo: "Unfortunately, personal Web site writers, editors or creators cannot be registered as media."
Rick Adams on a patent for a "multi-threaded name server."
Dan Lyke: "Quite often the original inventor is excluded from the use of their own invention."
Andrew Orlowski: "Apple is laying down quite a cynical challenge to its most loyal users: either trust us and go with us, or beetle off."
Stewart Alsop on 802.11b and 802.11a: "They are not compatible, but there are plenty of vendors developing dual chip sets that can talk to either kind of access point. As always there's a mixed story: 802.11b is longer range but slower; 802.11a is shorter range and faster. A is also in a different frequency (5GHz), also unregulated but less well developed than where B is (2.4GHz) so it's hard to tell exactly what the configuration issues will be for the new standard. Just to complicate things, the official standards body just announced 802.11g which is faster and compatible with 802.11b, but won't be available for a while."
Glenn Fleishman: "Stewart's completely right in his analysis and the market space, but 802.11a is a longer-term bet."
I've heard that people are having trouble subscribing to the public DaveNet mail list server. So I started a Yahoo group that will receive DaveNet emails. It should be pretty solid. I'll keep sending through the original list server as well.
MIME-RPC: "Because sending simple stuff should be easy and sending complex stuff should be easy too."
Fairvue Central: "Welcome to the 2002 Weblog Awards. I'm Nikolai Nolan, and I'll be your host, again."
I filed my nominations in the Fairvue award contest. I was able to nominate Scoble and John Robb as Rookie of the Year (they call it something different), and for Weblogs.Com as the best weblog utility, since UserLand is not running this process. I would really like to see our worlds connect up, so be sure to nominate your favorite sites, and thanks if you choose to nominate one of my sites. I like winning awards.
And if you haven't voted in the Scripting News Awards for 2001, it's time to do it. Any day now I'm going to close the voting and start announcing the winners.
Today's song: "Either we heal now, as a team, or we will die as individuals."
Jake's quotes from Any Given Sunday.
Tumbleweed gets Hallmark to pay. "The agreement will enable Hallmark.com, a subsidiary of Hallmark Cards, Incorporated, to license Tumbleweed's patented personalized URL (PURL) technology for delivery of greeting cards over the Internet."
Disclosure: I feel it's necessary to disclose that UserLand has received a letter from the same lawfirm that has written to the others about RDF and patents, as reported yesterday on News.Com. It appears to be the same letter that the others received. We're not sure what to do about it, so we're going to go ahead with business as usual while we ponder our legal response.
Patent Enforcement and Royalties, Ltd: "It is believed that the patent is being infringed by the many companies building products based on an emerging metadata standard known as the Resource Description Framework (RDF)."
That we would be a target of this "enforcement" is the ultimate irony. We are, emphatically, not supporters of RDF. However, we do support the power of developers to create open formats and protocols and make their software compatible, even if we choose to not support a specific technology, as we have done with RDF. That's capitalism with ethics. If you want to read more about it, my latest DaveNet essay, written before the madness with RDF started, explains it well.
InfoWorld: "During his keynote at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next week, Microsoft's Bill Gates will demonstrate the AirPanel 150, a flat-panel wireless monitor from Viewsonic that allows users to carry it from room to room."
Survey: Which version of Mac OS do you use?
The second new verb of 2002 encapsulates logic that appears in the thread scripts in Radio 7.1.
On this day last year I told a story of Bill Gates from 1987. The problem with MSIE-Mac that I describe there still hasn't been addressed. Using their browser to access a server on the local machine is still horribly slow, I'm told, on Mac OS 9. It works well on Mac OS X.
Brian Hughes: "The MSIE problem is actually worse that it appears. Not only does it refuse to release the processor in any kind of cooperative manner, you can actually run into a situation where it will lock up your whole machine."
Brent Simmons has a Bill Gates story this morning.
Mark Bernstein:. "In software, we made a blunder in spreading the canard that everything should (or can) be easy, friendly, idiot-proof. Software should be as simple as possible -- and no simpler."
News.Com: File-sharing programs carry Trojan horse.
An OPML file Stan Krute uses to torture-test his outliner.
DJ Adams explains how he got into XML. He's one of the lead developers of Jabber. Scripting News played a role. I'm proud of that.
Another phone talk with Dave Jacobs. He's pretty sure that Apple is going to get into the PDA business next week with the iWalk, as reported on the SpyMac site. He says you gotta see the video, it's beautifully designed. Unlike the Pilot where you have to write in a little box, on the iWalk you can write anywhere, and it uses the jog-wheel control as the iPod. Can the iPod be upgraded to be an iWalk? "I don't think so," says Dave. Beautiful color screen. What about connectivity and multimedia? What's the OS? What apps will it run? "Can it do the telephony stuff that you really need, because nowadays its about wireless, connectivity and mobility."
AppleTurns: "Sorry to burst your bubbles, folks, but the official AtAT stance is that the iWalk is still just a hoax-- although now it's a much better hoax than it used to be."
Paul Palinkas: "2 days to Macworld San Francisco. The only significant thing that will occur during your pathetic lifetime."
How unfair is it for Apple to play hardball with the rumor sites, but then use them in their marketing. Sorry I didn't take a screen shot of yesterday's apple.com home page. The rumor sites for the Mac are a dead zone. Of course they don't have the story -- they don't exist. Poor taste.
News.Com: Doubt cast over Web standard's ownership.
According to News.Com, PEARL is behind the claims.
Dale Dougherty reports that O'Reilly got one of the letters.
Mark Pilgrim has been geeking around with Manila and RSS.
DaveNet: When to give away the technology.
Survey: "Should I submit a proposal to speak at the O'Reilly Open Source Convention this summer?"
I started a new mail page because I'm getting interesting email that's worth sharing.
Matt Neuburg: AppleScript's Studly Studio. "AppleScript Studio isn't a mere scripting tool; it isn't just AppleScript with some interface widgets wrapped around it. AppleScript Studio is Cocoa."
Talking on the phone with Dave Jacobs, I asked if he has a clue what Apple's going to announce on the 7th. "I don't really know," he says, "but I've heard about the iDock, which is a flat-screen on an 802.11a network that moves your desktop anywhere you want to work in the home." A very thin computer, just a keyboard and screen (maybe just a screen and a pen) and relatively inexpensive. Sweet!
Daniel Berlinger on AOL's spam filters. "I'd bet AOL knows why this happened but doesn't want to discuss it and provide information possibly to help the spammers."
Adam Curry chronicles the Rolling Stones.
Burning Bird: "I got into the Beetle, and we set out to drive from the south end of Seattle near SeaTac to the University district along I5 on a sunny, Saturday afternoon."
Edd Dumbill: Patent threat to W3C's RDF technology.
A decent measure of how back-to-work people are may be the current level of Weblogs.Com. Over the holidays it got quite low, as low as 48 at 4:16AM on 12/25. Now it's starting to rise towards the high of 231. It seems the lights are coming back on for another year of work on the Internet. (Postscript, it hit the high of 231 at 2:59PM and went no higher.)
Doc discovered how insightful Google can be. Not!
The first new verb for 2002, file.synchTableWithFolder, is a dandy. We couldn't do it earlier because the CPUs weren't fast enough. Now we can do callbacks, macros, renderers, etc that live in the file system, not the object database; and make upgrades easier. Should be fun. (Discuss on the Frontier-server list.)
Adam Curry: "Wow, Dave launched a Mind Bomb today."
News.Com speculates on Apple's Expo announcement.
Mike Peterson is writing a Web journal from Durham County jail in NC.
Opine Bovine: "Someone hit my dog. He's dead. My dog is dead. What do I do?"
Apple has a new home page promising something new at the Expo on the 7th. "Beyond the rumor sites, way beyond." OK. I don't read the rumor sites. So what is it?
Apparently the Register got a copy of a Microsoft internal email about competing with Linux.
Today's song: "Why don't we turn the clock to zero honey?"
Happy 30th birthday to Megnut, a New Years Baby of 1972.
NY Times profile of Terry Gross of NPR's Fresh Air. A very interesting story told by one of her subjects.
Greg Knauss: "On December 27, 2000, over the course of four hours, my father-in-law became a quadriplegic."
We got themes working in Radio 7.1 over the New Year. Here's Dann Sheridan's blog rendered in the first new theme. I think it looks pretty nice. Created by Bryan Bell, of course. Possibly the most leveraged Web designer on the planet.
I used to really like the Parkside Grille in Portola Valley. On Sunday night I went to dinner there with a friend and she got a bad piece of salmon. "I was just glad I could throw up," she says "so it didn't poison my whole body." The (new) owner was unsympathetic, and charged us for the salmon anyway.
Andre Radke, reporting from Germany, reviews the new euro currency, with pics. "So far, I have no complaints."
John Van Dyk writes a sweet remembrance of a childhood friend from his neighborhood named Mr Kuhl.
Camworld: "Must... not... break... New... Year's... resolution... Must... not... read... certain... Web... sites... Must... stay... away..." It's the old itchy mouse finger thing. Hehehe.
Aaron Cope: "Everything has a tradeoff."
A Google search for "Intelligent Weblogs" gets you to a weird place.
SF Chronicle: "VCs are guaranteed cushy six- or seven-figure annual salaries for each fund they manage, even if their portfolios don't make a penny of profit."
My first programming task for the new year was to fix the On This Day In links to the right. But gloriosky, they handled the year-flip without any help from me. At first I thought there was a bug -- why no 1997? But then I looked at the code and it was correct. Scripting News didn't start until April 1, 1997. So the 1997 link should re-appear on April 1, Murphy-willing.
Two years ago today we survived Y2K.
Note to Mark Pilgrim -- No need to apologize. I like you and I like your site. Obviously. I nominated you for Best Scripting Weblog. Keep on truckin. We're all learning. One year at a time. It's even worse than it appears.
To Stan Krute -- thanks for the kind words. That's just the spirit of the Web.
To Joel Spolsky -- Read Stan's piece. How about a pointer to one of my articles about programming? Share the flow, Joel. I helped you get started. Let your readers know that there are other people creating low cost easy to use CMSes for the Web, and writing about software development. You could start by linking to this essay, I'm sure you must have something to say about it.
Ship Radio 7.1. (He said somewhat ironically.)
Bootstrap a new Web based on outlining.
Take a real vacation. Two weeks. Let UserLand take care of itself.
I want to do radio interviews of famous people who do technology and draw them out and get the real story behind the hype. If you have the hardware or systems expertise to set this up -- I'm good at this -- let's work together.
Get everyone at UserLand to watch Any Given Sunday and explain over and over that software is like football in that you fight for every inch. As Mark Pilgrim so wisely says "A lot of effort went into making this effortless."
Spend more time working with friends, spend less time on wiener boys and bitchy girls. (Or is it bitchy boys and wiener girls?)
I want to elaborate on Stan's joyous celebration of the power of flow on the Web and to add something to our group memebag. After seven-plus years of using the Web, I know where the juice is. It wasn't really a mystery to begin with -- it's linking -- but the power of linking is so taken for granted that it's become invisible.
(And precarious. The dominant browser vendor played an incredibly greedy game with the art of linking in 2001. Killing the golden goose, as if they invented the Web. Evil greedy dangerous company.)
Linking. In 1996, I called it holding hands in cyberspace and predicted a billion websites, instead of three, which is what the VCs and the press were predicting. (The Web is not a centralized medium, it's a two-way medium, like email or the telephone. Excite and Infoseek are gone. Yahoo has lost its luster.)
You can't really be on the Web, and respect your readers, without being generous. So you might as well make the words that go with the links generous too. My teacher on this is a very wise man named Daniel Berlinger. I always get a cheerful word and link from Daniel. Is there anything wrong with this? No, in fact, it's a lesson. Link with a negative vibe if you have to, but why not find something positive, and let the irritation be, and not necessarily share it? That's something I can do better in 2002.
A challenge to my fellow web-writers for 2002. Respect your readers' right to hear other points of view. If you want to grow your flow and your business through the Web, you have to adopt its generous spirit. Just like the locked trunks of the software industry, it's been proven over and over that sites that withholds links are dead-ends, and people sniff it out quickly, and go to the places that distribute flow in more interesting ways.
From What Is Scripting News? "A link on Scripting News means that I thought that the story was interesting, and felt that an informed person would want to consider the point of view expressed in the piece."
It's just that simple and almost paradoxical. Point to more interesting people and more interesting people come to you.
It's a fascinating story, made more so by knowing Eric quite well, and really appreciating all the good work he's done to help us, and members of the Frontier community.
© Copyright 1997-2006 Dave Winer.