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Permanent link to archive for Friday, March 01, 2002. Friday, March 01, 2002

InfoWorld names their top innovators for 2002. Check this out. I'm one 'em! Nice. What a day. Thanks! 

BTW, Frontier 8 shipped yesterday.  

A review of Radio 8 on O'Reilly. $0. By Jon Udell. Priceless.  

A personal note of thanks to Jon. We've been talking about this stuff for years. The Radio Community Server project he alludes to at the end of the article is coming along nicely. We're releasing bits for the current centralized community, factoring out specifics that make it centralized. Inch by inch, bootstrapping our way along.  

Masukomi has a new easier to read template, and is kicking butt with OPML. I have an unspoken bet with Edd Dumbill about OPML. I say it's the next big thing. Edd thinks I've lost my mind. Of course I'm right. And (drum roll please) so is he. Ba-ding. 

A picture named dave.gifNew Radio 8 feature released this afternoon. Screen shot. A new link in the Cloud Links section above the status center, links you to your community. Today, for all Radio users, that's Weblogs.Com. After our next corner-turn, it could be your intranet, or ISP or some other interesting place to gather a community of thinkers, writers and fact-gatherers. 

David Brown: "It's not as important to actually BE fast as it is to SEEM fast." So true. 

Adam Curry: "Trust is a funny word." 

Craig Saila states the case for CSS. 

Interesting article explains how the Church of Scientology manages its relationship with Google. 

An opposing view of Scientology. (Following Wes's lead.) 

A year ago today I asked how people visualize Radio's story flow. "One idea was to imagine a river, with lots of tributaries. Logs are floating down the river, and each of us have a little sawmill, where we carve the logs up and turn them into houseboats which then float down the river.." 

Rob Fahrni: "I'm hoping it will prove that a component Visio engine is necessary. That someone out there needs a service, or the means to create their own, based on Visio technology." I support this. 

Brent Simmons 

It's interesting being on one side of a fence, knowing how the sausage factory really works (and doesn't), how creativity turns into shipping software; how servers stay up 24 hours a day, seven days a week; how kind Murphy has been to us for not making everything fall apart so there's actually time to create new stuff.

Reading Shane McChesney's piece yesterday really hit home. When we opened our servers over two years ago to free hosting, we opened a Pandora's Box, not knowing how we would pay for it. We learned that it was through stress that we would pay the price; not through a DotCom success story; and that a transition would be slow, if we want to bring the most creative writers and thinkers with us.

This is a long preamble to a simple thank you to Brent Simmons, for taking so much of the responsibility for keeping UserLand running. I met Brent online during the 24 Hours of Democracy project. He was fascinated with Web scripting, and became one of the best contributors in the Frontier community. Very easy to work with. So I offered him a job and he accepted. We've been working together for five years.

Today is Brent's last day at UserLand. I couldn't let it pass without saying what a champion he is, and how envious I am of his new freedom. He created a lot of the software I use and it's wonderful stuff. He also kept his eyes on our servers, kept them running, did the cleanups, basically anything he was called on to do.

So thanks Brent for all you've done for us, and best wishes and much success and happiness on your new path.

Survey: "I wanted to find a way for Scripting News readers to thank Brent for making the software work so well and keeping the servers running. This is what I came up with.."

Morning coffee notes 

Good morning fellow Netizens. Lots of great stories yesterday. More today? Sure, why not.

The story that stands out from yesterday is Mike Godwin's account of what awaits us in the US Congress. A major technology overhaul to protect the assets of Disney, AOL, and a handful of smelly bean counters with lots of money. It's true they all smell bad. Anyway, I forgive them for that. I don't forgive them for holding all of us accountable, financially and artistically, for a system that was never very good at moving creativity around. The obvious answer imho is to calculate roughly how much money it would take to rewrite every operating system, every TCP stack, every application, so that it won't copy Eisner's TV shows and movies. Then present him with the bill. (And let him do the recruiting.)

Also on the list of interesting posts from yesterday is Steve Zeller's comment about the Mac OS X Apple Event Manager breakage. This is an immature medium, so I have to say that I love Steve, I've worked with him many times, and am grateful for all that he's done to help us. That said, what a loopback. What a hoop to jump through. It's hard to imagine that changing our Apple Event code will generate any more sales. How are we supposed to pay for this work? Yeah, money is that tight in 2002. The quid pro quo on this would be for Apple to do something meaningful to tell people how cool Radio 8 and Frontier are, as Mac apps, so we get more sales, to provide the money it's going to cost to turn this corner with them. We'll probably do this one, our users will help (some have already offered), they're good people -- but geez, I want to focus on work that makes our software more valuable, and it's hard to see how this change does that. Second point, it's a loopback to the old days when every release of the Mac OS would break lots of apps. It worked in the 80s when Apple was the only game in GUIs. It's a hard sell now. What is Apple's commitment to keeping our code running? Serious question. We've been shipping code on Windows since 1998, already long enough to know how it works with MS as a platform vendor. In that time, with lots of new releases of Windows, no breakage. Apple has to match that, imho. Even though MS has never made a commitment about no breakage (as far as I know), their track record speaks for itself. Every subsequent release of Windows makes our software run better. That's what we want from Apple.

BTW, read the paragraph above, and try to imagine that message floating through BigPubLand. What would get lost in the translation? The headline would read Apple Is Dead, No Developers; or something like that. The truth is Apple has developers. We're one of them. Now, how can we help each other to win?

Steve Zellers states his point of view. Some things he says are perfectly valid, and others are shortcuts that don't address my problem as a developer for his platform. Daniel Berlinger, who develops using UserLand stuff and Apple's, says that No Breakage is an implicit commitment between a platform vendor and a developer. The temptation to optimize and fix bugs is real, but we don't always have that freedom, if we want to keep developer momentum.

Three years ago today: "It's very difficult not to be in love this time of year, so let's not even try."


Last update: Friday, March 01, 2002 at 9:37 PM Eastern.

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