Sunday, January 28, 1996 by Dave Winer.
This DaveNet is brought to you by David Bowie.
Ch-ch-ch-changes! To these children that you spit on as they try to change their worlds. They're immune to your consultations. They're quite aware what they're going thru.
Ch-ch-ch-changes! Hmmmm. Time may change me. Strange fascinations! Turn and face the stranger!
What a week!
My mailbox really flowed
DaveNet became a venue this week.
I was cc'd on the fears and ambitions of the top talent, producers and execs in the business. I felt like a reporter. I got absorbed in the drama of it.
Sun seemed to be at the center. Of course. Netscape punts on Java for the Mac in 2.0. Microsoft ships Internet Explorer for the Mac. A new husband for the Mac community? Then a major shift at Sun, the next damned day! We can't have too many weeks like that.
It was fun to be a venue last week. This week I'm off to another venue -- Palm Springs -- for the Demo 96 conference. I'm one of the founders of this conference. It's a good thing. Lots of demos, lots of great schmoozes. Sunshine and dry desert air. Yeah. I need a bit of airing out. Thanks!
But before shipping myself out, I need to talk about a couple of things.
So here goes...
An all nighter!
I got so absorbed in other people's dramas last week that I lost sight of my own dramas! So, on Friday night I pulled an all-nighter and did a much-needed reorganization of my websites.
Pulling an all-nighter at 40 is interesting. It's just like doing an all-nighter when I was in college. Great energy until around 3AM, and then lots of puttering around. Try to go to sleep, but it's impossible. I'm too buzzed to feel tired! So you go all the way. Watch the sun rise. Call a friend and boast. Guess what I just did!
MacBird was ready to take the next step, from being something only for Frontier geeks, to being interesting to geeks who haven't learned Frontier yet. Lots of source code had been released, but it wasn't linked into the web structure hanging off my home page. A new manual for Frontier was on the web, but again, it wasn't linked in. My web structure didn't reflect these ch-ch-ch-anges. Cooool! Now they're linked in and ready to go.
Poke around, you'll find the source code to MacBird Runtime on the website. Frontier SDK. A new Frontier manual. A page of linked cards. A modern HyperCard for the web! You can help. You can run cards, you can design them, or you can help by porting MacBird to other environments. It's all there.
We've got the next foundation built, me and my community of script writers, sysops and site designers. We're ready for more people to get involved.
Can a new web standard come from the Mac community?
A letter to Heidi
Heidi Roizen, firstname.lastname@example.org, is a friend of mine.
We've shared schmoozes at many venues for many years. Both Heidi and I were there at the beginning of the Mac platform. Developers. First buzzed, then pissed that Apple was getting in our way, not being an effective leader, stealing our thunder, and making it impossible for us to have fun.
I had dinner with Heidi a couple of weeks before she took the top developer job at Apple. I encouraged her to take the job. Nothing but upside. You can only make it better. If Apple is willing to let one of *us* on the inside, they must be ready for ch-ch-ch-anges.
No one will think less of her for trying. I certainly won't. I thanked her in DaveNet a few days ago, and I still thank her. But now, she's one of them! Coooool. Heidi, get a life. Apple sucks! Let's fix it.
Take an inventory of software that Apple is actively developing and compare it against the software that the developer community is working on. Where there's a conflict, I encourage you to go with the stuff the developers are doing. The economics are much better for Apple. Competitive markets are where it's at. Stop the hegemony!
Put together strategies for markets that Mac is strong in, even if Apple doesn't have a single product in that market. Scripting is an excellent example. Apple's product isn't competitive. I want a strategy that says how we're going to use the depth of scripting on the Mac platform for a competitive advantage versus other platforms. I want everyone to know that what we're doing is real and important. Air cover from the platform vendor is absolutely essential. We've been starving without it. For years!
Think content. The Mac is the platform of great content and great geek tools. Director, PhotoShop, Quark, PageMaker, Metrowerks. I've said it before. When you see a new content tool show up, focus lots of energy. Sing along with them. Especially if it's a web content tool. Apple's shareholders will thank you.
Teach Apple's internal developers to work with your developers. This means adopting developer's APIs. Sorry guys, the world does not revolve around you. Go with the flow. Teach them how to compete!
Starting point -- get the CyberDog people to adopt menu sharing. What's menu sharing? There it is -- that's the problem! Netscape supports it. I bet Microsoft will support it. If they want to be competitive in the Mac browser business they must support it. While you're at it, encourage the Finder team to support menu sharing too.
Microsoft and Netscape are big enough to work with small developers when it's prudent. It's time for Apple's internal developers to join the real world, as equals, not as gods. Bill and Andy thought they were gods, but that was just an illusion. Today Apple is humbled. That humility can translate into action. Pragmatic development. We can have fun together if they'll come down and work with us instead of preaching to us.
Yesterday I wrote to the leaders at Sun about their developer program. They don't have one, so it's a good time to talk about it. Heidi, neither do you! Start from scratch. For you to be effective, you're going to have to make great changes happen inside Apple. Clear space for us. I think Guy is right, we *are* the marines. You're the air force. We want some clear space to play in. Get Apple out of the way, and then get them to work with us.
The next paradigm shift for Apple isn't CyberDog or Java.
It's discovering that there's a bigger world that you're part of.
We can *all* have fun.
PS: CyberDog should run MacBird cards.