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Permanent link to archive for Thursday, February 28, 2002. Thursday, February 28, 2002

Good morning everyone. How's it going? Last day of February. Payroll day. Not a leap year. Springtime in California. What else to say? Only time will tell. 

Pause and take a moment out of your busy day to read this story by Shane McChesney.  

Mike Godwin: "A central goal of Hollywood's lobbying effort is to prevent unencrypted and unwatermarked content from being circulated on the Net." 

Ominous words from Steve Zellers for developers who use AppleEvents (like us). "A future release of the AppleEvent Manager in OS X may break some applications." Oy. 

Rob Fahrni, one of the Visio developers at Microsoft, is rendering OPML as a tree chart. It's a good idea, we did something like that with MORE in 1986. Since then I think it's been a lost art. It's cool that Rob is reviving it. The next step is to get PowerPoint to render and emit OPML. 

Hey Frank, I have a better idea, ignore the Big's and make software and sell it to users, and stick to the principles of no lock-in and user choice, and you'll win.  

A picture named enderle.gifYesterday one of my favorite columnists, Cydney Gillis of the Eastside Journal ran a column about the departure of Linda Stone from Microsoft, using quotes from Rob Enderle of Giga Group, someone I think of as a quote mill, happy to give you a line about anything, including things he knows nothing about. Gillis seemed to be different, not just a fill of space, she seemed to have sources at Microsoft, and had the guts to write stories that weren't as cleansed and vacuous as most of the crap written by the Big's. Enderle's presence is a warning sign. I see a quote from him I get the message. The reporter is out of ideas and has decided to cut corners. 

Special Report: What they're saying about Rob Enderle

I was hoping that Dvorak+Enderle would be a Googlewhack, but alas, they intersect at quite a few points. 

A picture named schmidt.gifI love Google, but I don't like where it's going. When it started it had a minimalist approach. The home page was stark and fast, in contrast to the jumbles that the early search engines were turning into. That made a strong statement. I liked it. When they hired a CEO, an exec who had presided over the demise of Novell, I started watching for what I feared was coming -- that Google would become just another diluted and inanely-run Silicon Valley company. Maybe Google-the-Company was never that good, it's hard to know, but Google-the-Search-Engine was and is perfect. As long as they don't screw with that I'm happy, I guess. But truth be told, I wanted them to be more like the Web, not less. I feel the same way about Google Compute as I did when Amazon went from being the Earth's Largest Bookstore, to being Earth's Largest Everything, and then (of course) Nothing Interesting At All. 

Ciam Sawyer sends this pointer to a simple version of Google, very lightweight. Thanks! 

Mike Gray found an even lighter Google. Excellent! 

Chris Locke one of the Cluetrain guys explains what the Manifesto actually says, as opposed to what people who didn't read it think it says. 

Sam Ruby: "One of the more interesting personalities at the interop event is Keith Ballinger." 

Dan Gillmor: "Does the technology industry need Hollywood's permission to innovate?" 

Annalee Newitz: "Blogs have turned me into a nervous person." 

Russ Lipton explains how to update Radio. Reading this piece will give you a peek at how software subscriptions work. 

Today we started linking Russ's tutorials into the directory on the Radio site. 

Wired: "A software upgrade that shut down the Morpheus file-trading network -- a network supposedly immune from such troubles -- could be bad news for people who like to download free music." 

Dvorak redux 

According to Chris Pirillo, via Evhead, the main issue for Dvorak is whether blogging is new or not.

This is an old story, imho, settled long ago.

The weblog idea is as old as the Web itself, which is to say it's pretty new. Why is this concept getting so much press now? The question goes back to Dvorak. Why did you focus so much attention on the browser wars, the Java wars, etc, and not focus on what people were doing with the Web? The story was available starting in 1992. It developed through the early years of the commercialization of the Web.

All we're doing is lowering the barrier to entry, giving more power to users, and at the same time they're learning more, getting comfortable with the technology that was so new just a few years ago. Nothing changed, except 15 years of progress, Moore's Law and the addition easy to use networking.

Basically he's got some catching up to do. Nothing more, apparently, and that's fine.

But I don't like that he entered our world with incorrect and irrelevant accusations about thoughtful people who share their ideas so generously. There's some air to clear here. I'll feel awkward pointing to Dvorak's blog, when it appears, knowing that he's treated these good people in such a shabby way.

It's been quiet here 

Sorry this week I've been heads-down on a big project. We're working with some new partners on new ways to use and sell Radio. Some great ideas flowing in all directions. Not everyone knows everyone else, but if any of it comes to fruition there are going to be a lot more Radio users soon. "A nice problem to have," you might think, and I agree, but -- to turn the next corner, we have to package the cloud-side of Radio, so that other organizations can run their own communities. To do that we have to bootstrap a new community, so we can test the software. Corner-turns and bootstraps are the hardest things about what we do. But that's my job now, and it has been for the last three weeks, and probably will be my job for the next couple of months.

But pretty soon my other flows, the other places I'm writing will be visible, and the flow of ideas through Scripting News will get back to its normal sipping-from-the-firehose mode.

As someone said once, Still Diggin!

Frontier 8 

A necessary foundation for the "community server" product is Frontier 8.0. Doug and Brent are working on that, and have a final-final candidate will be on the support site by 11AM Pacific (if you're a licensee you know where that is). At one point I thought we'd do an overhaul of the configuration system for Frontier 8, based on what we know now about browser-based content management. But we couldn't muster the effort, given all that's on our plate, so Frontier 8 will ship tomorrow, Murphy-willing, to be quickly followed by the software described above.

What's the difference? 

A frequently asked question is What's the difference between Frontier and Radio?

Radio is our desktop product, it includes weblogging software, a news aggregator, and features that put a friendly face on XML-based services over the Internet. Radio is designed for people, the same way personal computers took the essential capabilities of a mainframe computer and made it easy to use, for people.

A picture named mainframe.gifFrontier is our mainframe. It's centralized. It includes Manila, a deep and powerful browser-based content management system. Where Radio is designed for individuals, Frontier is designed for communities and organizations, workgroups -- groups of people. Like Radio it's a programming environment, the two products are very compatible. Scripts written for one environment usually run well in the other. The knowledge you gain scripting Radio can be applied in bigger ways on the mainframe.

The difference are what apps ship with each product. Frontier is configured to serve lots of users. Radio is configured to serve one user. Frontier is $899. Radio is $39.95.


Last update: Thursday, February 28, 2002 at 7:11 PM Eastern.

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