Thursday, November 30, 1995 by Dave Winer.
Microsoft stock is falling and Netscape stock continues to soar. People who had trouble believing that Netscape was worth $60 per share must be realllly scratching their heads -- it's at $110 as of Friday's close! Man. What's going on here? Is this OK?
Yes, it's OK. Is Netscape really worth $110 per share? Yes. Of course it is. And if it crashes on Monday to $30 it will really be worth $30 per share. Value is a reflection of how everyone perceives an opportunity. There are no absolutes. Like life, the stock market is a ouija board. The price of Netscape says as much about us and our hopes for the future as it says about a company called Netscape Communications Inc.
Something happened here, a fundamental change, and I have a perspective to offer on this that I haven't heard elsewhere. This might be a scoop. A DaveNet exclusive! Your attention please...
Remember back in the 80s when execs of public companies were complaining that the stock market only rewarded them for quarter-to-quarter results? That longterm value seemed to mean nothing to American investors? That the Japanese were going to kick our butts because their money didn't care so much about what you did last quarter -- it cared more about your strategies and longterm value.
Well, it changed!
Welcome to Japan.
We got the stock market we wanted.
Let's have fun!
In my last Sysops piece I asked for compelling Java applications, and I got lots! Here are three...
Philippe Kahn, firstname.lastname@example.org says:
Java is way cool. Check out the press release on http://www.starfishsoftware.com. We are getting great response. Such as "This is the most compelling application of Java that I've seen..."
Bill St. Clair, bitCraft@taconic.net, says:
I wouldn't call myself a Java proponent, but I do think it will be a useful tool.
The first project I want to do with it is to write a "shopping basket" for my friend's mail-order cassette and CD business. He wants something like CD-NOW and the other big guys have, but I don't want to deal with Unix CGI scripts on his web provider (he's too small to afford his own server). Most web servers also charge extra for CGIs. It makes more sense to use the local machine to frob local data. Java itself isn't important here.
What is important is a standard web scripting language that runs on all platforms and that people can get for free or nearly free. Java appears to be the most likely candidate. It also moves C in a nice direction. Away from munging bits and towards a dynamic garbage-collected uncrashable model. With Guy Steele working on it, it's likely that the language will grow in a good direction. It's interpreted now, but soon we'll have on-the-fly native compilers for the portable byte-code.
Gary Teter, email@example.com says:
You should probably add the question "what is LiveScript good for?" I'm thinking that LiveScript could surpass Java in popularity, simply because you don't need another development platform. There are a lot of great websites being built out there these days with nothing more than Photoshop and BBEdit Lite, and there are a lot of sysops that don't want or can't handle the "serious" software development process that Java requires.
Here's my short list of things Java's probably going to be good for: animations; automatically playing sounds when a document is retrieved or a link activated (note that Microsoft has already added this to Internet Explorer as an HTML tag -- without Java); networked real-time games where the app is local and the only net traffic is broadcasting player position changes and the like; "worlds chat"-type stuff (3d avatars, etc.); tech support applications: realtime remote control (Timbuktu/Telnet-like) with local system querying so a support technician (or sufficiently powerful expert system, I suppose) can diagnose and fix problems with non-net-related software (how do I make a newsletter in Word 72.5?); interaction between browser software and non-net-related software, especially for tech support and interfacing remote databases with local documents (including local databases, accounting systems, production systems, etc.); local browser agents (clipping services, price-hunters, etc.); besides the usual obvious boring dumb stuff like checking input validity locally before forwarding it on to the remote server (a 17-digit zip code? sorry!).
Most of these applications have to do with increasing local control and local functionality, and decreasing back-and-forth net traffic overhead.
An interesting note: if you look at the reserved words in the current beta of LiveScript, you'll see that several of my proposed uses for Java could be duplicated with LiveScript in one form or another. LiveScript will probably be nearly as capable as Java over the long run, and I think we'll see some cool stuff from the fringes of the web written in LiveScript before we'll see it in Java.
Many thanks to Philippe, Bill and Gary for their Java thoughts...
I'm out of here. Zip zip zip. Or should I say zzzzzip? Whew!
I got the next release of Clay Basket uploaded to the net. Check out the Yabbadabba site and the claybasket-talk list for details.
It's raining in California! Cooool. I'm going to break my head of steam, take a chance, and relax and play and have fun with my uncle and his kids in Jamaica. We'll be swimming in the Caribbean on Thanksgiving Day. I'll be back in early December, just in time for Christmas party season in San Francisco and Silicon Valley. Yeah! Get out the Christmas lights! Sooooon it'll be party time.
Thanksgiving is a huge holiday in the United States, appropriately so, because we have so much to be thankful for. Soon it will be time to focus on 1996, but for now let's appreciate all we have in 1995. Friends, family, health, happiness, fun.
Thanksgiving is a time to let go, to forgive and start looking forward. You can thank anyone for anything. Anyone who reaches inside you deserves your thanks. Even perceived negative things like pain and anger are great teachers. They show us more about who we are. The better we know ourselves the more we know what we want, and the more fun we can have!
So please try to thank everyone. Include everyone because by its nature Thanksgiving is a celebration of inclusion. Thanksgiving is also a celebration of healing and acceptance because thanking is forgiveness.
Thanksgiving can also be a way of life. Try to let the spirit of thankfulness stay with you even after you've finished the turkey.
Thanksgiving is such a beautiful holiday.
So, everyone, please, have a very happy and love-filled Thanksgiving.
See you in December.
PS: Please don't forget to thank yourself.