Midnight Plane to Windows
Thursday, September 12, 1996 by Dave Winer.
Hey I just got back from Austin where I attended the WebEdge conference and the first face-to-face meeting of the new Macintosh Internet Developer Association, also known as MIDAS.
We had a fine time, both ways. Lots of hungry accomplished entrepreneurs in the Macintosh web world. Market leading technology. But there isn't a lot of money here; an oversight, I think, of the net investment community.
Many people believe that in order to make it, we're going to have to move our technology to Windows. OK. I think when we show up there, we'll lead. And the maturity of the Mac platform will be visible through our software.
It's frustrating that the world sees Apple Apple Apple, when I wish they'd see Mac Mac Mac. Countless times, people visit Apple thinking they're getting an accurate view of what's going on in MacLand. More and more this is not true. At Seybold and elsewhere, they see the end of the Mac. Dreams can become reality. Powerful people foolishly try to erase the Mac platform. So on we move, Windows here we come!
It's like Gladys Knight's famous song. He's leaving on that midnight train, said he's going back to find a simpler place in time, and when he takes that ride, guess who's going to be right by his side? The Mac will be there, if in spirit only, when the Macintosh net community shows up on Windows. And we'll come back, hopefully our simpler world will still exist. It's too much, the world sees Loser when they see Mac. We see a winner, but it's too hard! So if you can't beat em, beat em! Here we come.
To our friends from the Unix community, it's hard to make love with Apple. Some people think it can't happen. Join MIDAS. We want to help. Take advantage of a non-Microsoft platform with millions of web users and content developers. http://www.biap.com/midas/.
IBM is getting on our midnight plane.
In Austin they announced that they are joining MIDAS.
People ask why? Well, they are licensing the Mac OS to clone vendors. They have an interest in the Mac platform, along with other powerful members of MIDAS which includes Microsoft and Netscape.
MIDAS makes hardware too. Can we specify what makes a great Mac web server? Yes, I think so. Can we license the MIDAS logo to these manufacturers? Why not? As long as they build the hardware that we want and include the software we build on.
Apple Apple Apple is not fair. Equal time. IBM IBM IBM! They show up ready to work with us. It's good business. Software drives hardware. MIDAS is a place where this can happen. Very coool.
Thanks to IBM for believing in us.
Increasingly, macro languages are showing up in HTML content and serving software. At some point in the life of a page, it's converted from a stream of text that contains HTML and macros into HTML. When macros are converted, the page is said to have been rendered.
In real life, several different kinds of macros can appear in one stream, and therein lies the core of the problem we are attempting to address in this proposal.
Soon the most sophisticated web authors will hit a wall -- a macro intended for one processor is erroneously processed by another. Before that happens, authors will be confused by different syntaxes, and worried that conflicts might occur. With some coordination, we can achieve more orderly growth in page rendering software. So we are discussing a new standard.
If you know people who are working on page rendering software, on any computing platform, please pass this pointer to them. It's important.
A final note. I have been asked by Microsoft to participate in the ActiveX organization they are launching. They're having their first meeting in New York on October 1. They want me to take a Midnight Plane to ActiveX.
It's remarkable that Microsoft is transferring an important technology into an open competitive standards body. I wouldn't miss this for the world. So I'll be there. I'll be taking that plane. Should be fun!
PS: I am a member of the interim board of MIDAS, but when I write in DaveNet I am speaking for myself only, not for MIDAS. I wanted to be clear about this.
PPS: Apple is a member of MIDAS too.