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Permanent link to archive for Saturday, January 12, 2002. Saturday, January 12, 2002

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. 

Yes Larry, that is a Radio blog created by Apple Director of Mac OS Product Marketing Ken Bereskin and of course it would be totally cool if Apple used Radio to keep Mac users up to date. 

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! 

Garret's thinking about doing some themes. Yes! 

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.  

Script of the day: <%params={random (1, 50)};xml.rpc ("", 80, "examples.getStateName", @params, rpcPath:"/RPC2")%> 

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. 


Last update: Saturday, January 12, 2002 at 10:49 PM Eastern.

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