My Own Server, Again!
Tuesday, December 12, 1995 by Dave Winer.
A couple of weeks ago, on returning from my Thanksgiving trip to Jamaica, I decided to take the plunge, again, and open up my own web server.
It's at http://ws2.scripting.com.
I had a server in June when I was working on my bulletin-board software, which I called my Interactive Website. I wrote about the bulletin-board in Don & Marie Packard, 6/27/95.
Well it's back! And it's bigger and better. And it solves another problem. Now it's a web-based object distribution server. Huh. What's that?
It's a spooky thing. You crawl around inside the object database that implements the server. If you know where to look, you can actually watch it serving you! It's like having dinner with the chef in the kitchen. Very revealing. Fun!
When you see something you like, click on the Download link to download it into a local database. This makes scripting.com cloneable and it defines the replication mechanism. At least the manual replication mechanics. Worms will do a better job.
Every cell in the database has a web URL. There's a magic incantation that gets your web browser to come look at any bit of text code or graphics in the database. Scripts are addressable via the web. Everything is.
This is the way of the future. Everyone's been talking about this stuff.
It's not a demo. It's new technology.
Please have a look.
For the first time I can monitor hits in real time. I'm learning a lot. The feedback loop is much shorter. I'm learning about the relative enthusiasm of various groups that I belong to. I'm learning about the staying power of messages. I'm forming theories about where links are appearing to my stories.
I've watched messages roll thru organizations. For example, on Friday, the http://ws2.scripting.com/billgates.html piece was read by 20 people at "General Magic". I wondered how the news had spread thru that company. How did they all find out about the piece? Maybe the URL was forwarded around on their LAN? Why were they all so curious about what Bill says about the Internet? I never knew that my DaveNets run thru that company. Maybe just this one? Interesting. Why this one? We'll see how this piece goes.
As others have reported, Microsoft people seem to be very active web readers. Maybe they were attracted by a mention of their boss?
A mystery man, scooter.pa-x."dec".com, seems to *always* be on the server. He seems to be reading every cell in the server database. I thought Scooter must be a worm script of some kind, but it's too slow. I think there's a human being at the other end of the pipe who's fascinated with the richness of my server. I think Scooter is a man, but some women are nicknamed Scooter too. I imagine that he's working on an object server for his employer, Digital Equipment Corp, and is getting ideas from my server. That's OK with me. If you're out there, Scooter, please send me email or leave a message on the BBS.
I look forward more people from Apple's Advanced Technology Group coming thru my server. I did a talk at ATG a few weeks back and got to know and like the people there. I think they will realllly like "scripting.com". I'll imagine them saying things like "This is coool!" or "Man I'm glad I use a Macintosh for my web server because I'll be able to run this stuff." I feel that way too.
I pointed a couple of web worms at my site.
One of them, spidey.webcrawler.com, came for a visit. But I didn't see it doing any crawling. Maybe it was just verifying that someone would answer the call when it gets around to doing a real search of my site. I also registered with LYCOS.
I learned that my most powerful voice is DaveNet. I guess this isn't much of a surprise! When a DaveNet piece goes out, the response is almost instantaneous. Hits start happening within minutes. And they continue to pull long after the piece has gone out via email.
The more info I get, the more I want! Yes. This piece has a lot of web references in it. I expect to learn a lot more after this piece runs.
Watching a server can be a social thing.
I had a friend over and we gabbed while watching the server do its thing.
It's as good for conversation as a fireplace, maybe better.
It's a very stormy day in California. Lots of wind and rain. I'll be indoors, sipping my coffee, reading my email and watching my server. When you sign on, think of me. I'll be smiling and watching and wondering, as you surf and roll and weave thru my server.
And I'll hope you're having fun too!
PS: The "ws2" in "ws2.scripting.com" stands for Work Station 2. My service provider is a Unix shop, they think in terms workstations. It's OK with me. I now understand that I could change this, but it's too late, it's out there. I can live with it. What about workstation 3 and 4? Lots of possibilities! Coool.
PPS: I started a DaveNet section in the BBS at "scripting.com". If you have any comments or questions, check it out. There's a link to the BBS right at the top of the page. Comments are welcome!
PPPS: Due to the wild weather in California, the system will be on-and-off the air frequently. Power outages are common, especially during early winter storms here. Lots of California servers are flickering on and off this morning, not just mine.