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Agenda, Marimba, DaveNet, URLs, Spotlight

Good morning Frontier-talk!

This is my first warmup project after Agenda. Hope you read the last couple of DaveNets. I learned a lot! Got into a mixup with Larry Ellison of Oracle. That little debate even got written up in the Wall Street Journal. Watch out, I think I'm in Newsweek this week too...

OK -- so I'm getting DaveNet ready for a new experiment in onlineism. Have you been following Marimba Inc? . They're developing a net-based synchronizer called Castanet. It's like Pointcast, but it's open. It's a very interesting bit of software. The first project I want to do is to broadcast DaveNet pieces as a Castanet "channel". They're going to operate a transmitter for me.

It's interesting because it's a hybrid of the web and email. Somewhere inbetween. Like DaveNet is. It has the "push" attributes of email, but it can deliver all media types and Java bits and also I want to use it to distribute bits of Frontier's object database. Their Mac version is coming along, and a major piece of Frontier for Windows is almost ready for release, ODB Engine. Our worlds are intersecting. And they will more so in the future, I believe.

Anyway, back to earth! The first thing I had to do is cleanup the DaveNet website. The last cleanup I did was around the time of Frontier 4.0's release. It was time for new visit.

To make the website readable locally, I needed to convert it to all-relative URLs. This is done by new pageFilter and finalFilter scripts and lots of little tweaks. If you're doing a site that's going to be distributed independent of a web server, this is an essential conversion. I learned this with the Frontier site, it made the transition during the release of 4.1. Now I generalized the methods and am ready to share the techniques.

Other changes -- it loads much faster. A new export script sends out big chunks of the davenet table and the corresponding installer loads in the bigger chunks. You may have to increase Frontier's memory to load the site.

It'll build on your machine with no changes. (Fingers crossed.) The gifs are included, and are installed in a new website folder created by the installer script (it's a sub-folder of the DaveNet Source folder). The #ftpSite table is patched by the installer so its folder field points to the newly created folder, so there should be no confusion this time about where the "Internal" disk is.

I updated the About This Website page and all screen shots so that they're current.

Also included is the DaveNet Mail website, and the scripts that I use to maintain it. It builds on the NetFrontier suite, I do the building on another machine, so I can get back to reading mail quickly. Check out

I also include the releaseEssay script which sends out DaveNet stuff thru Eudora in the group-of-11 configuration. I left out the DaveNet mailing list, sorry that's confidential. This is the script that will evolve to do Castanet distribution.

You can download the new source release for the DaveNet site. It's linked to from this page:

It's important to look at this site, if you want to be in the loop as Frontier moves to Windows and ties into Castanet and perhaps other distribution environments. This is the website we're going to move. Other sites will move with us too of course (hopefully your sites!) but DaveNet will be the first one. Doug and Bob please take note.



PS: Brent Simmons and Worldwide Power are getting ready to announce Spotlight. They deserve our support and they have mine. Spotlight is very rational modern and efficient Frontier code. Right at the leading edge. The best our community has produced. Let's help them win, because we win too. Go get em Brent! To everyone else, let's be creative in thinking of ways to get people to take a look at Spotlight. I believe every Mac sysop should be running it and Filemaker and Frontier.

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