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web scripting

New Feature Areas in 5.0

We're getting closer to the first alpha release of Frontier 5.0.

There are four main new feature areas in 5.0, in no special order.

Scripts in files

First, scripts can be stored in files and edited in totally standard ways. We learned this lesson with earlier versions. Our object database is very powerful. Some people get confused by it. Now you can get a lot done with Frontier 5 without ever looking at the object database. A win-win. A scalable interface. When you want more power, it's there. If you never need it, it's still there but you don't have to see it.

Website management

Second, we've extended our website management software to support workflow and custody management. We patterned this software after publishing system software for print produced by Quark and others. The difference is we're managing websites.

Serious web presences, our market, are inherently multi-user operations. Frontier 5.0 comes with a powerful framework for editorial workflow, easily customized to fit the needs of editorial organizations.

Because Frontier is free, it's the most sensible way for education and non-profits (or startups!) to do their sites. Business and education happen on the web now.

Note: Some people have assumed that I'm talking about web server software or CGI scripting in the above paragraphs. That's not what's going on. Frontier is about site management. Other software can do the page serving. Yes, Frontier does CGIs, but for cross-platform CGIs, PERL offers more platforms (Frontier has an object database which gives it advantages over PERL as a CGI environment, but that's not the issue either, we're not leaning heavy on CGIs in Frontier 5.)

For more ideas on how Frontier works as a web scripting tool see Matt Neuburg's web tutorial, and my DaveNet piece from May 1996, Watch This!

Object db outline browser

Third, even though we're moving the object database interface out of the way for beginners, we've also invested in making it more powerful. In 5.0, the database browser is an outliner. I wish it had been this way since 1.0, it's here now.

Windows and Mac

The fourth major feature is the Windows version. Frontier now runs on Macintosh (68K and PowerPC native) and Windows 95 and NT.

I'll be writing more about Frontier 5. Stay tuned...

Dave Winer
Fri, Aug 8, 1997 at 8:17:12 AM

PS: The last essay I wrote about Frontier 5 was Moving into the Future, 7/18/97.

This page was originally posted on 8/8/97; 8:14:36 AM. It was last built on 9/29/97; 1:18:01 PM with Frontier. Internet service provided by Conxion.