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Heads Up

Thursday, October 9, 1997 by Dave Winer.

First, thanks for the congratulatory emails from people who are happy that DaveNet has had a three-year run. It's great to know that people appreciate what I'm doing. I'd like to be doing this for a long time to come.

In fact I have been doing DaveNet-like things for a lot longer than three years. It started when I was a grad student at UW-Madison in the mid-late 70s. We had Unix and email, and daemons that sent BEL messages to all the terminals connected to the machine. Push technology! (With no security model.)

Late at night we'd write scripts that traveled around the building. You could audibly hear the performance of the PDP-11/45 that was running the script. I loved those days. What a time of discovery! By the way, sometimes we would run those scripts in the middle of the day. Oooops!

The DaveNet Book Permalink to The DaveNet Book

I've been thinking about creating a printed book from the three years of DaveNet.

One possible approach: carefully pick 30 pieces out of the 451 that had impact, or said something unique, or revealed something that turned out to be important.

But I want to be more creative as we move to print. There's an opportunity here, a puzzle. Perhaps the last piece, Three Years of DaveNet, could be the intro for the book? Or perhaps the following story, extended to 1994?


I'm still trawling for ideas. Send me yours, please.

Markman's list Permalink to Markman's list

Michael Markman, markman@batnet.com sent me a list of ten birthday gifts for the three-year anniversary:

1. A bottomless well of well-chilled o's, ready for packaging in your patented cooools!

2. Scripting hooks in every program that remotely catches your fancy.

3. An official IDG-published "Frontier for Dummies." (Maybe I'll finally learn it.)

4. Love and naches, and well, nachos, too.

5. Respect from every arrogant pezzonovante vendor out there. (And they know who they are.)

6. More cover articles in print.

7. A great 5.0 launch.

8. A MORE revival.

9. Continued insight and passion.

10. Three times three more years and counting.

Evan Williams Permalink to Evan Williams

Another funny celebration came from Evan C. Williams, ev@ora.com, a product manager at O'Reilly & Associates.


I laughed out loud many times.

I can't believe I really said some of those things!

Go with the flow Permalink to Go with the flow

Thanks Evan, and thanks Michael, and thanks to all other well-wishers!

We have closure on Year Three.

Year Four is now officially under way...

Frontier 5 for Windows Permalink to Frontier 5 for Windows

After running yesterday's piece I got a bunch of email from people who were looking for the Windows software on www.scripting.com and not finding it.

Sadly, it's not there yet, that's why they couldn't find it!

Why? Our code base on the Mac is more mature, and since all Frontier 4 users are Mac users, we wanted to start out on the right foot by bringing them up to the 5.0 level before starting a new installed base of Windows 95 and Windows NT users.

How do I feel about this? I totally ache to get the Windows software out! It actually hurts... So the first task for my four-person team, from now until its release, is to ship a version that can build automated websites on Windows. That's when the doors open for us.

So what are we waiting for? We want to get the most visible glitches out before releasing. First impressions count a lot. This is a new piece of software. We want to get it right. Still diggin here. Coming sooooon!

Miko Permalink to Miko

Java's chief evangelist, Miko Matsumura, miko@miko.com, sent a response to Microsoft's response to Sun's lawsuit. Miko's message is at:


This is the first time Sun has used Scripting News to communicate with

the industry. I like it!

A heads-up Permalink to A heads-up

Switching gears...

Something to think about if you send email thru your company's mail server. It's easy for your company to install a script on the server that saves a copy of every message that's going to a specific domain such as scripting.com or well.com.

I believe some organizations already have systems like this. A human looks at the folder every day, reads each message, and if it's too revealing, forwards it to the personnel people and the company's lawyer.

So if you send the email thru your employer's mail server, they may hear what you say, if you say it to me.

A word to the wise!

Some philosophy Permalink to Some philosophy

I wear both hats here. I run a website but I also am an employer.

I insist on the right to speak for my company. I must trust my employees, and they must not betray that trust.

On the other hand, some people want outlets for their ideas without having them filtered up a chain of command. I depend on that kind of flow of information. The hearts and brains of the products I'm interested in are in the lower levels of the management structures at most companies.

I get a lot from hearing from CEOs and other execs, but I also get a lot from hearing from the people who write and manage products. Most often, that kind of communication must be protected in order for people to keep their jobs. It seems fair to me.

So I'm right on the fence on this one. I experience both sides of the issue. As an editor I favor stories that are interesting, timely, opinionated and truthful. As an employer I must be able to trust my team.

Dave Winer

PS: UserLand Software, at this time, does not have any way to capture email messages from its employees or contractors.

PPS: Here's a relatively safe way to send sensitive messages. Keep a mail account at a public service provider like aol.com, hotmail.com, best.com or pacbell.net. Send messages from your home computer, using the public mail server.

© Copyright 1994-2004 Dave Winer. Last update: 2/5/07; 10:50:05 AM Pacific. "There's no time like now."