It's even worse than it appears.
Saturday April 3, 2021; 9:30 AM EDT
  • I wear a lot of hats. One of them is as a developer of scripting systems. I did a big one, Frontier, developed mostly in the late 80s and 90s. People seem to refer to it in the past tense, but I use Frontier as do others. it does things no other product can. It works. #
  • As you may know, Drummer is my new outliner-based scripting system for the web. It's still at least a few months from shipping, maybe more. But I'm making big decisions about how it works right now. #
  • The same way Frontier was designed around an object database and the Mac filesystem (and later Windows), Drummer works with public and private files on a server.#
  • Frontier is a very broad and deep product, but it wasn't originally designed to be so big. The initial idea was to integrate it with the Finder, add a Scripts menu, and have it do things with the file system, and provide a way to program and connect scriptable apps. That was it. Simple. I offered it to Apple. At the time, the early 90s, I knew all the decision-makers there, but I asked for too much money, they thought they could do it for less. So now I had tipped my hand, showed them my product, I figured to be competitive I'd have to add more stuff, which I did have available to me, since I always try out ideas that don't make it into the final product. The product got deeper, but it also got more complicated.#
  • I always wondered if it would have worked better if we had started with the small product. We could have shipped sooner. It would have been more approachable, more immediately useful. I think there is a good chance it would have worked better, but it didn't go that way. #
  • This time, I'm trying to keep Drummer small, focus on a few innovations, and make a lot of the parts replaceable. #
  • I am creating a product, but as with Radio UserLand, I also want to try to create a new use for our computers. With Radio it was blogging and RSS. This time it's a richer, better connected working environment on the net for power users and devs. #
  • PS: Power users is a concept that has fallen into disuse, but they still exist, and you can design for them. Some users are very skilled with the technology.#
  • PPS: The key innovation in Drummer is JavaScript without the callbacks.#
  • PPPS: I posted something about Drummer on Twitter. #

© copyright 1994-2021 Dave Winer.

Last update: Saturday April 3, 2021; 5:00 PM EDT.

You know those obnoxious sites that pop up dialogs when they think you're about to leave, asking you to subscribe to their email newsletter? Well that won't do for Scripting News readers who are a discerning lot, very loyal, but that wouldn't last long if I did rude stuff like that. So here I am at the bottom of the page quietly encouraging you to sign up for the nightly email. It's got everything from the previous day on Scripting, plus the contents of the linkblog and who knows what else we'll get in there. People really love it. I wish I had done it sooner. And every email has an unsub link so if you want to get out, you can, easily -- no questions asked, and no follow-ups. Go ahead and do it, you won't be sorry! :-)