Don & Marie Packard
Tuesday, June 27, 1995 by Dave Winer.
The trial run of my interactive website was a true success. Thanks to the 259 different people who logged on yesterday. There were 226 new messages. Over 10,000 hits. Yes, the critical test case, more than one message being created at the same moment, happened several times. The synchronization semaphores worked perfectly. Some bugs were uncovered, of course -- and we hit some limits, but the workarounds are clear. There will be bugfixes and new features. Dig we must!
I learned a lot about the user interface issues, and why the work I've been doing with the Netscape guys is going to pay off big time when they ship their next Macintosh release. We need more control of the user interface of the browser, specifically we need to be able to add commands to the browser's menu bar. Luckily, with the next release of Netscape we will be able to do exactly that. The various commands that now appear on each website page will be in the menu bar of the browser, where they always belonged.
So I'm taking the bbs at 188.8.131.52 off the air now. I learned what I needed to learn. We shared some excitement. This is cool!
I'm releasing the source code for the bbs. Yo! Anyone with a Macintosh running Webstar 1.1 can have an interactive website! This should be fun.
I just made a pass over the initial setup and in the process invented a fictional young couple, Don & Marie Packard, who live in Telluride, Colorado. Don works for a major telecommunications company. Marie manages all the restaurants at the Telluride Ski Resort. They have an interactive website that they use to share news with their families, to discuss river rafting, and to help organize events for the local PTA.
After you install the BBS software, and connect to bbs.welcome.fcgi, you'll be greeted by Don & Marie. Log onto their bbs, you'll see the three main discussion areas, and a "Scratchpad" section. Every BBS should have one, it's the place where all things that don't have a place belong. It's going to be the most active discussion section on every Home Page, I'm sure of it.
Then you should go in and change the topics and welcome text, using the text editor, outliner and table editor in Frontier. Set it all up for your stated purposes. Tell us who you are! Be a leader. By running a BBS that's what you're signing up for.
You'll need to download two things to get this setup working. First, you need the Aretha release of Frontier. That's at http://www.hotwired.com/userland/aretha/
Then you'll need the UserLand BBS package. It's at ftp://ftp.hotwired.com/outgoing/aretha/UserLand_BBS_2.sit.hqx
Launch the Frontier app, Double-click on the BBS Installer script. You now have a BBS. That part is really easy.
Then find a friend who knows Frontier and explore the new stuff in Frontier.root. A log is created by the installer script. Cmd-2click each name to jump to the newly installed tables and scripts. This is not for the faint of heart! Please put on your propellor helmet (and your coal miner's hat) before wandering thru this stuff... ;->
If you're going to operate a BBS, please send email to email@example.com. Aretha is my agent. I'd like to keep track of what happens with my newest baby as the Macintosh scripting community takes over. I *will* have new versions in the future, so be careful with any mods you make. Be prepared for the suites.bbs table to change.
But it's OK if you want to completely diverge from my release. If you get an idea of how to do it much better, go for it! I look forward to being able to kick back and watch you all improve on the foundation I've built.
If you have questions, let's discuss this stuff on the MacHTTP list server. To join, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org with subscribe machttp-talk in the body of the message.
I'll have more to say in a future DaveNet. For now, I have alot of uploading to do, and then I'm going to switch in a different direction for a few days.
I'll let you know how it goes!