Frontier 6.0 Ships
Friday, April 2, 1999 by Dave Winer.
This morning we shipped Frontier 6.0 for Windows and Macintosh OS.
Our first step is to upgrade Frontier 5 users. Then, in about a week, we'll start offering 6.0 to new customers through our e-commerce site.
New server-side features include membership, preferences, per-user storage, discussion groups, improvements to the search engine, calendars, news sites, subscriptions.
In 6.0, Frontier's outliner allows headlines of unlimited length that wrap to the width of the window.
In subsequent releases we will build Frontier out as a workstation web writing environment and add enhancements and fixes to the server-side environment.
Is one of the things that comes with Open Source is Open Resignations? It seems so. Early this week Eric S. Raymond, perhaps the most visible open source advocate, publicly resigned, and then a day later, changed his mind. I understand, I go thru those kinds of loops, sometimes several times a day!
Then today, Jamie Zawinski, the leader of Mozilla.Org, the open source group managing the former Netscape browser, resigned, with a public statement that revealed problems with the development process for the only browser that's (currently) taken seriously as an alternative to Microsoft Internet Explorer.
Zawinski exposes problems that were obvious to the informed outsider. For many reasons, the open source project, now a year old, didn't gain traction. Now with Zawinski leaving, the doubts are publicly visible to anyone, such as myself, who cares about having an alternative to the Microsoft browser. If you've got an investment in the web, it's time to think. What's the future of the web if Microsoft has no serious competition? Think think think.
It would be great to get a clear statement from Netscape/AOL on where they're going with their browser. The rest of us, I think, have a clear interest in an alternative to Microsoft. I've had doubts about that being the Netscape browser for quite some time.
It's kind of like Hillary Clinton getting in the way of New York Democrats. Until she decides one way or the other if she's serious about running for the Senate, no other candidate can gain enough support.
If AOL wants to be in the browser business, now is the time to say in a clear decisive way that they do, or if they don't or are not sure, they should get out of the way and let the vaccuum be filled by other worthy candidates.