Friday, May 16, 1997 by Dave Winer.
It's quiet and hot in California and on scripting.com. We're working on new editorial workflow software, and the Win32 implementation of our scripting system is coming along nicely.
This week was Apple's worldwide developer conference, no surprises -- they're promoting Rhapsody to developers, the demos went well, but we're still wondering if other developers will build software for Rhapsody.
Next week should also be interesting since Netscape is shipping the public beta of Netcaster. I met with people from Netscape this week, and learned that it's more than scheduled bookmarks -- it's a scheduled crawler. This will be controversial, already some sysops are concerned about the extra load on their servers as people download whole websites just to access a single page.
We'll support all the formats in our content framework, you'll be able to get DaveNet and scripting.com software thru CDF or Pointcast or Marimba. Even so, I'm concerned that this push stuff is a solution to a problem no one has. Still waiting to get excited.
No matter what, expect another wave of hype about push.
Wired implemented an idea I asked for, a just-in-time search engine, in an earlier DaveNet, Floating Ideas, 9/7/96.
Wired calls theirs NewBot; it indexes over one hundred news oriented websites several times a day. You keep an app open, or resting in your taskbar, and several times each day the app runs your query against Wired's database and shows you if any new stories have appeared. It's a Pointcast-like search engine.
It's an important idea, if it catches on, it'll change the way news is written for the web. But it requires Microsoft Internet Explorer, a Windows machine and ActiveX.
What's interesting about this service is the timeliness of the database, not the delivery mechanism. I'd prefer to visit a plain old web page. Technically there's no reason it couldn't work this way.
PS: And by the way, NewBot doesn't index Scripting News, and that hurts -- I thought they liked me at Wired!