I started serious work on the first of the two new servers and thought to do something that I had never thought to do before. Instead of scattering my changes in various tables in Frontier.root, I'm creating a Tool, and doing all my customizations there. If I had done this when I started the Harvard server I'd be able to start with a much better hosting setup today. The reason this works is that Tools can hook into almost every nook and cranny of the Frontier runtime environment, and where they can't, I'll install code that comes from the custom Tool. Voila. Instantly clonable installations. Hey the logo changed, but I still bleed cactus juice.
It's at times like this that I love to hate Jeff Jarvis for hating Glenn Reynolds. And why do I hate Jeff? Because it's snowing in NYC. I told the guys at the Thursday Berkman meeting that it was going to snow in Cambridge tomorrow. Mark my words. The smell is in the air. And I say "the guys" with some confidence. Until Jessica showed up, it was an all-male Thursday meeting. I said "I knew there was a reason I felt so relaxed." Ba da boom. We talked about penis enlargers, of course. Michael Feldman had never heard an Ole and Lena joke. And next week I promised to take them on a tour of the object database for their Manila sites. I can't believe I've never done that.
Scoble: "Dave Winer has done more to get me to move away from the Web than a huge international corporation that's supposedly focused on killing the Web." Cool!
Congrats to Paul Boutin who's back at Wired for the next year.
Greenspun: "I'd like to find software that is good for preparing a photo collage."
Paolo: Categories to Topics.
I've got Frontier installed on one of the new servers.
Wesley Clark has a professional camera crew following him around. As an experiment I've linked to a Quicktime video of the candidate in NYC, riding the subway, appearing on a TV show, and eating a bagel, from my RSS feed, as an enclosure. If you're subscribed with an enclosure-aware aggregator it will download the 35MB video tonight, for instant viewing tomorrow.
Whew. Spent the morning fighting for a clean code design and think I got it. The problem: this is an exceptional page, it doesn't fit into the hierarchy. For the last three years I've been building hierarchies and linking them into Scripting, and haven't gotten anyone to care about them. This hierarchy has to contain Scripting, but of course it's at the top level of a domain. How do you get that to work? It took some baling wire to make it fit in. I fought for just one piece of baling wire, not 100. So far so good. Next time I work on the hierarchy I will be able to use the outliner, which was the whole point.
Another bit of philosophy. Weblogs have gotten so jammed full of crap like rolls of blogs, rolls of things I'm subscribed to, old software products, old friends, even dead people, you name it, lots of old stuff. So I decided to see what it would be like if I could have even more old crap, but not put it on my weblog. Make sense? It should be easy to get to, but why should it slow down every page load, and who really cares about all that junk anyway? I want to be able to find it, and I want you to be able to find it too, but it doesn't have to be on the page everyone's reloading all the time.
Another bit. Are you the kind of person who reloads Scripting 18 times a day? If so, why do you have to reload last Tuesday's news too? In the new design you don't. Just today, in reverse-chronology. But if you want to see a whole bunch at once, if you're an every-other-day reader, click on November at the top of the page to see all that's been published this month. This will only fail to work at the beginning and end of the month. At the beginning you might only get a day or two. At the end you might get 30 or 31 days which is a lot of junk you don't need to see. As always, trade-offs. On average this model performs better.
Huge caveat: As the directory starts to work, there's absolutely no chance that any of the links will work tomorrow or the day after. Point into the directory knowing that the link is certain to break. It's the nature of the beast.
In the continuing comment thread, a man named Patrick asks what was wrong with the cactus, anyway, to which I said, nothing, and that's the problem. You gotta break a few eggs to make an omelette. You can't stir the pot in an peaceful, easy way. We're going to build a new city, around the Presidential race of 2004. And you're going to help me do it. You just don't know it yet.
Goddard: "O'Reilly For President?"
Matthew Thomas: Security Snake Oil.
Feedster Builder lets you create an RSS feed for sites that don't have them. It pings weblogs.com too.
Michael Feldman's ten things you don't know about Google.
Reminder, here are the categories of the last week's posts.
When I was coming up to speed on heart medicine last year, I asked my cardiologist how they knew that statins, the kind of drug Lipitor is, worked. He said they were doing a big study, but early results had been so promising, even stunning, that they kind of knew it was a effective drug. Yesterday the Times had the report, now it's fully known, it basically halts heart disease. I've been taking it for over a year.
The power of networking. I'm terrible with names too, but the president of the student body at Simmons College came to one Thursday meeting at Berkman. Really bright.
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