Friday, August 23, 1996 by Dave Winer.
I heard this song on the radio a couple of days ago and it's been haunting me since. It's kind of an old corny song, but it's sexy too. Very sexy! It seemed to be about a girl, Magdalena or something like that. I forgot the name but I remembered the sexiness. The song made me giddy!
I learned a long time ago, when Deborah Norville did the early morning news on NBC, there's nothing sexier than a smart female with a clever smile surrounded by old corny males that are in love with her. That's what this song was about. The old guys become coool because they love such a wonderful woman. What *was* her name? Hmmm.
Well, happy ending -- I found the song! I was just browsing the CNN website, they had a story entitled "U.S. hears the beat of macarena dance craze." I checked it out. The picture is of a couple of corny looking Spanish guys clapping their hands and some 60s looking go-go like dancers. It looked promising. They have music. Here's the URL:
That's it! Macarena macarena macarena. Ohhhh macarena. Now I just have to find the CD. I know what song I'll be listening to next week. Over and over and over.
According to CNN, Diana Patricia, the Venezuelan flamenco dancer who inspired the song, says "They asked me to dance and when I went on the stage, they began to sing, 'Give your body happiness, macarena.'"
I can't wait.
Hey my neck is tight. I must be shipping software. Or is it something else?
Last week was Browser Wars week in the business press. Microsoft is asking people to look at Internet Explorer as everything Netscape is and more. Well, on the PC perhaps, but not yet on the Mac. There's still only one way to get Java on web pages on a Mac -- Netscape.
But we're learning that clean design counts. Microsoft's browser has a cleaner look than Netscape. They both crash a lot. I don't know about the PC versions.
I want Netscape to win. I remember what it was like before the web happened. I don't want to go back to the world where everything must wait for Microsoft. Where no company dares grow large enough to show up in their sights. Where no investor will buy into a business plan that could be competitive with Microsoft.
So that's why the new Java Fund, capitalized at $100 million and managed by venture capitalist Kleiner Perkins, is good news. I've learned a lot and grown a lot since I wrote Bill Gates vs The Internet, back in 1994, where they weren't just VCs, they were greedy VCs. They didn't like that. OK. I've become more comfortable with the role these people can play in moving technology forward. Cooool.
Java may be a dream-come-true for venture capitalists. They want to create a new wave of IPOs, maybe next summer, for companies that build on Java as their platform.
Java's strategy is to create a community that builds software that doesn't care if it's running on a Windows machine or a Mac or something else. Just like the web; it worked once, Java is saying, why can't it work again? So you aren't an Apple developer, or a Microsoft developer, you're a Java developer and you go where ever Java takes you.
The mother ship is Kleiner Perkins and the association of companies they created. They're supported by IBM, Sun and Netscape and others. They create warmth, developers create software, Microsoft doesn't run the show; Apple doesn't run it into the ground, and the world is safe for startups.
But there's a problem! (Of course.)
Right now, the Java operating environment is very spartan. People may be fixing that, but if so, they're doing it for Windows not Mac. Uh oh. You can't make commercial quality Java code that runs cross-platform. What? I thought that was the advantage Java was supposed to offer. Wait. I'd expect by now that Kleiner, if they're really serious about Java, they would have funded a new company to do a really great implementation of Java for the Macintosh. Maybe I missed something? But I don't think so...
Java is an end-run around Microsoft. But it's missing the piece that makes the end-run possible. Oooops. Should we fix it or wait?
I've been on everyone's case, Microsoft, Metrowerks, Natural Intelligence, Sun, Apple, to hurry up and ship a great Java implementation on the Mac. It's not enough that Java runs inside a web browser. It has to run from other environments. We have five implementations to choose from, but so far, none of them have given us a pitch that makes sense.
And no one, except Sun, has even shipped a Java implementation that can run apps outside of a web browser. I can't do a lot of building on Sun's stuff, there aren't enough hooks to do it. We have a very simple connection working, but it's nothing to get excited about.
I know that Java is in my future. I'm ready to bet big on it. I want Netscape to win. I want to win too. I've got an environment that would be nirvana for Java developers, if only we could get started. Wait wait wait. I hate to wait! It isn't my nature. Let's go! Come on gals and guys, you'll see we'll have fun.
I can't wait, so we're doing a new release of Frontier, digging into email the same way we dug into web content development. Cleaning up the APIs for our database. Creating new open architectures in anticipation of the arrival of our cousins, the Java apps, the ones created by the Java Fund companies.
I can't wait so I'm doing something that may shock some DaveNet readers.
We'll ship a new version of Frontier sometime next month. This will be the last version that only runs on the Mac OS.
The next version, 5.0, will ship on both the Mac and for Windows.
You can expect a different tune from me in the future. I'm energized by being able to think in terms of both platforms. I was a PC developer once. I'm going there again. Hey a lot has changed, but a lot hasn't!
Soon it may be my primary computer. I'm open to the idea. I want to run a Windows-based server. Do content on Windows. I want to experience this world, so I will. Gotta have my tools. It'll make these DaveNets more interesting. I'm not saying goodbye to the Mac, but I am saying hello to Windows. I'm looking forward to it.
Bob Bierman, email@example.com, is working on our Windows software. He and I and Doug Baron worked together at Living Videotext in the mid-80s. Bob went on to work at Symantec as the chief architect on Bedrock, so he has deep cross-platform background and has experience working with Apple.
PS: From Will Cate, firstname.lastname@example.org, a new slogan for the New York Times... "All the news that's bits, not print." I like it!
PPS: We're building for the Win32 APIs, so our software will require either Windows 95 or Windows NT. It won't run on Windows 3.1.