News and commentary from the cross-platform scripting community.
cactus Mail Starting 2/8/98

From: deusx@ls.barrhead.ab.ca (Chris Marston);
Sent at Mon, 9 Feb 1998 19:03:14 +0000 (/etc/localtime);
Bazaar programs with great UIs

The pretentious, arrogant, superior Unix programmer in me would like to say that yes, the free software community gets 'great' programmers working for it, that free software's tech support is 'not that bad' (much better than, say, SOS-APPL), and that UI preference (vi-based text config files versus point-and-click) is purely a matter of personal preference. Don't underestimate the strength of the simple; that which appears most intuitive is also the most heavily wrought.

True, many programmers don't want to work for free. But there also exist a number of really, mindbogglingly excellent **programmers** (PLEASE don't call Torvalds 'another Gates') that work hard simply out of love. I suppose it's a creative control thing; as great as the people who work on Frontier surely are, they don't have the same freedom to modify and twiddle and polish and perfect that some of the Linux community's more obsessive members have. Deadlines don't exist for Linux programmers and - more to the point - their code will be entirely open to criticism and unhidden behind walls of machine code and static binaries.

But that said, I must admit that as a lowly high school student my opinions and (admittedly) narrow observations should be taken with a grain of salt.

You might also want to look at http://dxm.org/fm/cookingpot/ for a quick rundown of the nonmonetary economy of free software.

Don't fear the penguin!

From: jmcmurry@yahoo.com (James McMurry);
Sent at Mon, 9 Feb 1998 09:56:21 -0800 (PST);
Mailing Lists As Learning Environments

Good thoughts in Learning from Newbies.

Mailing lists are bad places to try to learn anything in real time.


1) If you have a simple question, maybe a slight disconnect which prevents you from getting from A to B (though you understand A and B just fine on their own), you'll either be banished to some FAQ or get twenty identical responses. More often than not, from people who just barely understand it themselves and are trying to contribute. It's great that they want to help, but it's not efficient learning.

2) If you have a tough question, and the list is sufficiently populated by able-minded people, you'll all eventually get to the answer. Unfortunately, the resultant noise is unbearable to those who aren't as interested in that specific topic as you are.

3) Mailing lists are as "push" as it gets, and I find I spend more time filtering than learning, ignoring than absorbing.

4) Flames. Why does text seem to make it OK to be an ass? On a related topic, 25K of quoted lines with "I agree" at the end. Bah.

5) Individual vs. digest. Lots of individual messages can be overwhelming, even with filtering and sorting through your mail client. Digests reduce the clutter, but dilute the meaningful bits and associate the junk with the things you want to keep in an inflexible way.

6) I often use mailing lists as a local knowledge base. Subscribe, get hundreds of messages, then just search the folder for keywords. That makes me feel bad, because I'm not contributing anything. But I don't have to keep up with yet another onslaught of information unless I need it. There are lots of mailing list archives on the web in this same format. This approach isn't that good for general education, but can work well to answer specific questions.

I know you're trying to deal with some of these by having multiple lists available. But what if something profound happens on Frontier5-Win? Will the Frontier5-Mac people ever see it? Are web questions out of bounds, belonging instead to Frontier-Webmaster? Another problem of mailing lists.

Mailing lists are great for a lot of reasons, too. Discussion of specific problems, establishing contacts with other users doing things similiar to you, inspiring community. But they're not so good as a primary means of information and education. You realize this: "I want to create a permanent resource, so we can tackle bigger problems on the mailing lists."

A suggestion: The Be Newsletter has a section in every issue called "BeDevTalk Summary." It features only the major grains of wheat from recent traffic on the developer list, leaving all chaff aside. It's wonderful, because major aspects of how the BeOS will work are being decided by these developers, and the average guy can get information without having to parse the (noisy) list.


Moving on...

Thea and others are making what I was looking for a year ago when I started seriously looking at Frontier 4.2.x. I was thinking to myself:

* Where's the index for this thing? The table of contents? (Those are the first two places I look when I want to know something specific.)

* Where are the outline, the syllabus, the chapter titles? (Those are where I look when I want to learn a new concept or skill.)

Essentially, "Where do I click to get 'How to Use Frontier to Manage Your Website'?"

You said, "We get complaints all the time about the organization of the learning materials for Frontier. They're all over the place, spread over four different websites! A lot of the material is obsolete."

Sorry to use the "L" word, but Linux has the highly focused Linux Documentation Project and it's as strong as the developer community, with dozens of mirrors worldwide.


I'll volunteer to work on an organized documentation effort for Frontier. Take what Thea's working on and expand it by brute force. UserLand can help, your development partners can, too. Dump your brains in our direction. We'll make it work for users. The best part is that we all use and love Frontier! We can leverage its power, and use it as a showcase of a webwide content and publication system. Wouldn't you like to demo that?

The buddy system is a good idea. But I think it's best as a followup to The Well-Organized and Essentially Complete Reference Materials and to answer specific problems when things go wrong. What's needed more is a resource on how to make things go right and go further.

James McMurry

PS: Re-read "My Own Server, Again!"


Heavy rain, power outages, and watching server logs...

From: ehall@ehsco.com (Eric A. Hall);
Sent at Mon, 9 Feb 1998 13:42:57 -0800;

As you point out, a "platform without a platform vendor" is the most compelling part of Linux. I'm not referring to the marketing issues per se, but am referring specifically to the technology benefits that this model offers. For example, by being vendor-independent, Linux isn't tied to any one authentication model. You can use Kerberos or whatever you want and simply tell the authentication manager which one you want to use. If the one you want isn't available, you can write one yourself without having to go through a vendor first. This is miles above Microsoft, NetWare, Solaris, and any other platform, and offers real freedom to admins and users.

At the same time, a lack of a single dictator makes Linux difficult to deploy consinstently. RedHat is different from Caldera which is different from Debian, etc. This is a re-run of the noisy UNIX market.

Another good point is the wide availability of robust technologies. I'm able to run very, very good implementations of BIND, DHCP, IMAP, LDAP and other services on my Linux system here, and at absolutely no cost.

What's bad about this is that I can't get decent support for any of these things. I have to go get the source code, compile it, and hope it works. Although I haven't had much trouble here, the times I have were absolutely miserable experiences. The developers of these products don't generally want to support their users (don't blame 'em). This lack of accountability is a big problem, and will keep big-money corporate customers from choosing to implement linux. They will demand that someone be accountabile and willing to support the products they use.

Another issue here is a general lack of commercial-grade software. Oracle, Sybase, Netscape, etc., have no pre-compiled Linux ports of their products. Without these kinds of products, Linux will simply not succeed in those shops mentioned above. It will remain stuck in the technology-enthusiast markets.

Now, having said all this, there is a way to overcome the problems of availability and accountability. Namely, that is for vendors to start porting their products to Linux. This Means You.

Without these ports, the platform will fail. This would not be a "Good Thing." We see that there are benefits to being vendor-indepedent. We see that Linux works. What users need now is support from the mainstream vendor community in order to drive a wider adoption of the technology.

Just like the Mac lives and dies by application availability, so will Linux. It is up to vendors like you to support this effort in order to ensure it's success.


From: webworks@sirius.com (chris tacy);
Sent at Mon, 9 Feb 1998 12:47:24 -0800;

For software that is "deeper, more useful, more tuned" and has a "face":



In particular you could look at CorelDraw 3.5, Netscape Navigator Gold and Communicator 4, StarOffice 3.1 (a complete integrated "productivity suite" a la MS Office), Applixware Office Suite-Professional (another suite, but with development tools of a sort as well), Triteal CDE (a graphical desktop), Synchronize (a groupware system), CFD-VIEW (a scientfic data visualization system), Carnac (a C++ graphics toolkit), MetaCard (a hypercard-like IDE), MKS Source Integrity, CRiSP (graphical text editor and development environment) and Flagship (a graphical IDE).

In that above list (and there are others, I just listed the first ones that came to mind) there are numerous "commercial-quality apps" and examples of "GPL software." There are obviously other examples that are "commercial-quality" that are non-graphical (the strength of any robust UNIX OS). These include Netscape Server software, Solid (SQL92 compliant, high-end relational database), AdabaseD (another relational Database), Stronghold, WatchGuard Security Management System and (of course) Apache.

Apache is actually not a Linux-related project. The vast majority of the development on Apache occurs on either BSD or Solaris. Linux is probably the third most common platform followed closely by IRIX.

Buy a copy of the newest distribution of RedHat Linux (it's the easiest to install and configure). buy a copy of the O'Reilly "Running Linux" book. Read the docs in the RedHat Linux distribution and skim the installation section of the book. Check out the RedHat site to get an idea of what software you're going to want to install, what options you're going to desire, etc. Install RedHat Linux (for best performance I would suggest setting it up on a decent PentiumPro or P2 machine, though I run it on an old P90 and it's great there. For *best* performance of course you want to install it on a fast SCSI based machine, PCI of course. It runs okay on 16megs of RAM but I'd suggest at least 32 if you're going to run a lot of stuff on it). You can do this on a Windows machine by re-partioning your drive (with partionMagic you don't even need to re-install Windows) -- that way you've got a dual-boot machine.

You're going to have to accept that it's going to be another learning curve. That's just the reality, it's a new OS and not one that tries to copy another OS for UI. I'd suggest you use either fvwm95 or CDE for your desktop as they're going to be the most recognizable.

This will get you to the point where you can learn about the OS. As a developer and programmer, I'd suggest you start by installing the GNU tools (gcc, glibc, gdb, Xemacs and bash at the least) and the Linux JDK from blackdown.org (and maybe kaffe). as you're into the web I'd then suggest playing around with Apache and the Apache modules (a good one to start with is PHP - but there is a full list at www.apache.org).

If you want to get really into it and do some Database stuff (especially DB->Web stuff) I'd suggest getting mysql (requires the full gcc C++ install and g++ libs along with LinuxThreads -- see the mysql site). this integrates very well with PHP and with Apache. or you could go the Perl route and get mod_perl and the various DBI modules. or, of course, you could go the Java route and get the JSDK and the JDBC drivers for whatever database you want -- basically there are a lot of options.

Regardless of which (or all) of the options you check out it's a good place to start. you could also download one of the many graphical development environments if you wanted to take that route (there are especially good ones for C++, Java and Smalltalk).

From: davmil@tenet.edu (David Miller);
Sent at 9 Feb 98 13:17:33 -0600;
Male Anger pieces

You (and Allen Ballew) might get a something out of Warren Farrell's books "The Myth of Male Power" and "Why Men Are The Way They Are." They were helpful to me during my early 20's identity struggles and left me with a perspective that seems to be always fresh and well received. John Lee's "Facing The Fire" I've heard is a good book on anger too. I haven't read it, but my housemate quoted it often and seemed to find the ideas useful in her life practice. "Fire In The Belly" by Sam Keen was also insightful to me figuring out what it means to be a man.

I just thought I'd pass these along to keep the education happening.

Dave Miller

PS Frontier was a great tool for me in my last job as an elementary school computer teacher. The web based library circulation was built and served up by none other than Frontier 4.2 and uBase! Thanks!

From: esr@snark.thyrsus.com (Eric S. Raymond);
Sent at Mon, 9 Feb 1998 12:30:37 -0500;

Everything you say under "No panacea" is true. Ouch! Been there, done that. Still...I find the experience of open-source collaboration, with all its problems, vastly more satisfying and productive than the normal commercial environment. Apparently so do a lot of other people.

Buying reliability...sometimes money works best, sometimes egoboo, sometimes the pure joy of accomplishment. There's no one answer, despite what zealots on any side of the argument might claim.

User interfaces. You're certainly right that, in a lot of software UI design is the major complexity and cost driver. I must say, however, that I view this fact as not as something that ought to control the shape of software development, but rather a sign of failure -- failure to engineer the knowledge of UI designers into a toolkit and policies that provide assistance at an appropriately high level. It's more than ten years after the Mac showed us how; there's no excuse for this.

If you want to see bazaar-model software with a really good UI, go look at the KDE betas. As good as I've seen on the Mac, IMO...and a hell of a lot better than Windows.

What "total philosophy" do you fear being pressured to adopt? I don't think the Linux world *has* a "total philosophy" -- and that bothers me, BTW. I wish there were more gut-level awareness of some of the classic Unix lessons out there.

Cooperation with WINE would be an excellent idea for all parties.

From: cameron@michweb.net (Cameron Barrett);
Sent at Mon, 9 Feb 1998 11:54:22 -0500;
Apache for Win95/WinNT

Apache, the popular HTTP server for Unix is now available for Windows 95 and WindowsNT.

This is GOOD news!


From: DAILSALL@Mattel.com (Dail, Sally);
Sent at Mon, 9 Feb 1998 08:43:58 -0800;
Karla Faye Tucker

Thanks for the write up on Karla Faye Tucker's execution. I have been struggling to get my words out to explain to people how it doesn't help to kill her, how we are not the one to make that decision and two wrongs have never made a right. Now I don't have to struggle. You put it so perfectly, thank you. I have printed your article and when the subject comes up again, and it will, I will hand it to them and tell them to read it.

Thanks so much for following up on it, as you said, as soon as the deed was done, there was not more news or information. Where have all the do-gooders gone? Where has all the passion gone that we all felt so deeply to stamp out capital punishment? Was it all really because she was a woman? I don't think so, but... I guess they have better things to do now.

From: dustinb@ispn.com (Dustin);
Sent at Mon, 9 Feb 1998 10:13:03 -0600 (CST);
pointers to bazaar-model software

I've been a faithful reader of scripting.com for a few months now. I don't do any work with Frontier yet, but plan to soon. I'm a Macintosh and Linux user who's beginning to dabble in the programming and scripting side of the computer world. Thus, the Cathedral and Bazaar article and your response to it were intriguing.

You asked for "pointers to bazaar-model software with complex, highly effective user interfaces." I wanted to point you to KDE:


I'm probably not the first person to drop you this note. KDE, or the "K Desktop Environment," appears to be a Linux-model development effort to put a useful, fairly intuitive user-interface on top of Unix/Linux.

I don't claim to be an expert on the KDE project. But I've installed it and used it. User interface is one of my big interests and concerns (I've worked on helpdesks for several years, so poor user interfaces were the bane of my existence), along with putting the power of computers into the hands of as many people as possible.

The KDE project appears to be successfully using a community of unpaid developers to create a stable, beautiful, innovative user interface that extends not just to applications but to the OS itself.

I'm not sending this email to debate commercial versus free software; I just wanted to respond to your request to point out an example of good, free user interface design.

From: cameron@michweb.net (Cameron Barrett);
Sent at Mon, 9 Feb 1998 11:11:34 -0500;
Male Anger Response

Allen Ballew says:

It is well known in anthroplogy that primates grin when nervous or frightened. It has nothing to do with good humor, but mimics it to minimize the challenge shown to the threat. In the same way, we laugh at what isn't funny because we fear to confront the unfunniness and lose social approval."

This reminds me of something an old wise professor of mine once said, "Isn't it odd that the human being is the only animal that bares it's teeth to communicate pleasure?" What does this tell us about ourselves when compared to the rest of the living organisms on this planet?

When I was in the national media last month because of my employment situation, I received hundreds of emails from men and women. The majority of the men were angry that something like that could have been done to me legally, and the majority of the women agreed. Only a handful of the emails were from the ultra-feminists, telling me that my employment termination was the right thing to do.

Loss of social contact with stupid hatred filled people turned out not to be a price, but another reward in and of itself. I cannot stop people, and I will not always change their minds or behavior, but I can hold up a mirror to show them their own hideous faces, and throw that face out of my life. THAT is the secret to male power. WE make the choice. We act.

I acted upon my anger in my situation. I was angry that my female co-workers and male employer legally discriminated against me. I wanted to expose them for the small-minded people they are. I believe that I did the right thing by going to the media with my story, regardless of how many times since I've had to interview with companies and then be shot down because I was branded a "live wire" or a "possible liability."

I'm afraid that the majority of people in my situation would just let it go and try to put it behind them. Even so, I'm a self-described non-conformist and usually do not bend under peer pressure. Did I "hold up a mirror" to my former employer and coworkers so that they could see how ludicrous and unfair their actions were? I certainly hope so.

Frontier is not your ordinary software. It doesn't follow all the rules of other software, by simply "cloning" another piece of successful software. An example of this would be PhotoPaint or PaintShop Pro trying deperately to gain ground on Adobe Photoshop, but failing miserably because all they are is cheap "clones" of the real killer app.

Frontier seems to be a whole new paradigm of site management software, plus a whole lot more. These are my first impressions of it and I'm slogging through the tutorial like the rest of the Newbies.

What makes the Frontier learning environment so unique is the quick-growing support groups being formed. The email buddy systems and the planning of on-site tutorials are great first steps.


From: ssl@prefab.com (Scott S. Lawton);
Sent at Sun, 8 Feb 1998 21:08:42 -0800;
Re:Learning from Newbies

I have two questions from here: How do we organize this stuff? And how can I encourage other people to do the same?

If you solve the first problem, I think the second will follow. i.e. if people know that what they write will be easily/widely available, that will be incentive enough.

A few thoughts on organization:

- Sub-site. While it's great that scripting.com is searchable, I usually get far too many results. I'd like to restrict my search to a topic, e.g. DaveNet, Scripting News, Frontier5, etc. An example: I wanted to revisit Matt's "typical" site. Searching for Matt obviously gives me a huge number of hits, whereas a Scripting News site would have given me the result on the first page. Brent's SpotLight is like Alta-Vista; we need a Yahoo. (The myHoo site outline is nice but not comprehensive.)

- Sorting. Could the results of a search be sorted by date, most recent first?

- Keywords. Searching on the full-text of a document can be useful but searching on keywords that a person put together should yield a smaller more focussed result. An old example: I have the verbs cross-referenced by keywords, e.g. control yields kb.controlKey () & launch.controlPanel (name). A new example: wouldn't it be nice to see everything written about prev/next links or imageRef or ...

- Index. How do I use software manuals? When I'm stuck on something, I go to the index, lookup a keyword (ok, so this is related to the previous thought) and go to the appropriate pages. (It's nice when the same content is filed under multiple keywords since different people approach the topic from a different angle.)

- See Also. An excellent part of DocServer; is there a way to use it in a broader collection of docs?

Implementation ideas:

- Email to Web. Setup an e-mail address (and a web form for people who prefer that) where people can send either things they write or (at the risk of redundant submission) things they see on a mailing list that they find particularly useful. The subject line will be the document title. Request that people include keywords in some format that is easy to parse. Put these on a "tidbits" or "tips" website with its own search engine, ideally with the choice of title (the most focussed search), keywords (somewhat broader) or full text (very broad). The keywords can also be used to generate a "static" index for the downloadable version of the site.

- Living documents. It would be nice if the community could participate in making any page better. I often add new index entries in the back of manuals; wouldn't it be nice if I could add a keyword or two to a tip that someone else authored? Or, append a few comments of clarification, correction or additional information? Minor issue: Should "anyone" be allowed to append info? Would it be better to restrict it to the original author and a list of approved "experts" (including "expert newbies")? Should the suggestions be queued up for an editor to approve?

- Editor. If possible, an editor could periodically clean up individual docs, often splitting the contents of one into several smaller pieces, and combining related threads into a single comprehensive treatment. (The docs would still allow others to add additional comments, keywords, etc.)

- Categories. An editor should create a set of hierarchical categories. As time allows, each document will be assigned to one (or possibly more) categories. These will be used to create an outline/table of contents.

For example:












That's all for now!

From: feoh@norman-bates.dayroom.org;
Sent at 09 Feb 1998 00:07:53 -0500;
Frontier 5 for Windows - some praise and a bug-let.

*yay* I'm really psyched to see this out for Windows - it's great to show some dyed in the wool windows users what I'd been ranting about for years on the Mac side of things...

Just one little natively-windows-ish buglet to report:

(I'm using Version 5.0 release on a PPro 150 running Windows 95)

Hitting Alt+F5 (the MDI Close action) should first close all the child windows of the app in question, and only when all are closed offer to exit the app.

I occasionally catch myself by surprise by hitting Alt+F5 to close an editing window and have the entire app go with it :)

Just a minor nit, on the whole it's beautiful!

From: vpd2@cornell.edu (vpd2);
Sent at Sun, 08 Feb 1998 22:43:31 -0500;

I have just found Frontier. Its pretty great but a bit difficult on the front end. Amazing coincidence that a grant proposal on distance learning and new technologies just showed up on my desk. Basic gist of the proposal is that web documents are one-way delivery systems and passive for students. So if we can figure out a way to design/develop extensible and flexible "templates" for playing around with new web content and reacting to existing content that would make the web a better place for learning. I have seen your past articles on XML and Frontier and was wondering if you knew of any resources or people working on XML. I think Frontier and XML would be a great system for playing on the web, but was wondering if you knew of anyone working on front end/GUI type stuff, to make it a little easier.

From: jakob@useit.com (Jakob Nielsen);
Sent at Sun, 8 Feb 1998 16:09:50 -0800;
Re:Learning from Newbies

Simple threaded discussion groups are too primitive since they don't distinguish between good and bad answers. Reading through archives of old discussions is a waste of time unless some systematic approach is taken to organize the info, delete flames, and point users to the most relevant information first.

Instead, you want something like Mark Ackerman's AnswerGarden.

From: mstracke@inx.net (Mark Stracke);
Sent at Sun, 8 Feb 98 14:12:30 -0500;

How's this for a newbie? I am a photography teacher at a private high school in NYC. I've used Macs since 87, last three years for Photoshop, Quark and the like. No programing background, no HTML, no math. The closeset I've gotten to programming was to set up Filemaker to track purchase orders for my department and compare prices as written with those as delivered.

So, my employers and I are talking about our website, built by a consultant, but we'd like to work it in-house. I've started learning HTML, downloading pages to peek at the coding etc. I can see quite clearly what Frontier could offer us in terms of automating and running our site. But the nuts and bolts are really hard to grasp. My current plan of action is to finish the HTML tutorial and then turn to Frontier (I have peeked at Matt's tutorial-myfirstPage). But what a hill to climb!

It really is imperative to have an archive or updated faq somewhere. Questions that are being answered today on the Frontier-Newbies list will make sense to me in a few weeks, but how can I keep and catalogue all this, and still work at learning? And you folks will soon lose the excitement of a new product and tire of answering the same questions over and over.

Perhaps someone at your end could put together an outline (wpText) in Frontier that could be downloaded to read offline? New questions and answers could be put into the proper place in the outline and the updated version downloaded again?

I'd love to get on board here, but the work is daunting indeed.

From: scott@loftesness.com (Scott Loftesness);
Sent at Sun, 8 Feb 1998 11:01:58 -0800;
Facilitating Learning...

A while back I sent you an email about a wasting UserLand resource: the UserLand Forum on CompuServe.

Threading messaging, like outlining, is a powerful mental assist to folks wanting to learn about something new. It also facilitates participation from the 'experts' much more effectively than mailing lists do. Threaded messaging is built-in to the CompuServe Forum software. For the 'experts' who don't want to wait for web reading of the content, the many offline readers available for blitzing through CompuServe forums are available to automate participation. It's the best of both the old CompuServe and new web world.

CompuServe recently launched C from CompuServe which makes the CompuServe forum threaded messaging capability, along with the file libraries and online, realtime conferencing, available from the web. See the Amateur Radio Forum I operate on CompuServe for an example. CompuServe is also making available a special membership at no charge providing access to one, just one, forum on C.

UserLand should:

1. Take control (again) of the UserLand Forum on CompuServe before it's shut down completely.

2. Make the UserLand Forum available on the web as part of C.

3. Encourage 'newbies' to use the forum as their best place to learn.

I'd be happy to help in this effort.


Here's the problem -- why does it have to be UserLand taking control? If we really have a community, why do we have to do the work? We already have so much work to do! DW

From: thea@scripting.com (Thea);
Sent at Sun, 8 Feb 1998 10:23:50 -0800;
Re:Learning from Newbies

The buddy system is great! For the teacher even more than the student. Most of last summer I had a buddy system with a pal in Austraila. I was a few days/weeks further on the learning curve and would coach her as best I could. This solidified my understanding of Frontier, as it is one thing to be able to *do* something and a whole other thing to be able to explain it to someone else.

From this interaction came the idea for setting up my Techbabes Frontier notes and on to this wonderful adventure of working for UserLand.

The buddy system doesn't have to be only teacher/student. Two people brain storming a problem have more fun and get places faster than one alone. On a larger scale that's what the lists do.

With this buddy idea comes something that the Webgrrls groups of Aliza Sherman do so well. They get together locally and support each other with meetings as well as a rich list culture. I'm not suggesting setting up these clubs, but face-to-face interaction really helps.

Perhaps set up a seminar system around North America, this would be cool as you are nearer the commercial release. Gives people a chance to meet the team, put faces to names on an e-mail list. Have workshops at various levels (of course people would have to pay for them!!) and of course GREAT promotion for the commercial product.

Way back in '91 I spent 3 days at a StrataVision workshop in St. George, Utah. It was wonderful, all the prog. developers were part of the workshop staff and I got to meet the other users and get into trouble-shooting sessions on a smaller scale, over dinner or by the pool. I ended up feeling I was part of StratVision, part of the team, and I cheerfully *paid* them to feel that way.

From: tsa_east@thesportsalliance.com (Jay Wasack);
Sent at Sun, 08 Feb 1998 12:41:02 -0500;
Give me a shovel, I'd like to help

I quickly went through your Learning from Newbies doc. You made reference to the fact that sometimes the original thought gets lost in the thread. I agree.

I have a tool I use on my sites called Webboard. No doubt you have heard of it. It creates threaded discussion groups which make it very easy to follow whos saying what about whatever. Perhaps we can use this for one or two of the "mailing lists?"

For a robust example, you should check out http://webboard.ora.com/. I've got a license for it, so we can somehow make use of it if you see fit.

From: bkelly@cloud9.net (Brian Kelly);
Sent at Sun, 8 Feb 1998 13:10:46 -0500;
Re:Learning from Newbies

I think it might be cool to have people write little manuals about how they used a specific piece of Frontier to make their site better, or easier to manage. We should be sharing our ideas and code with each other, either by putting it on our own web site, on somewhere on scripting.com.

One simple example I can think of is how I use a custom directive in the new version of our company's Internet site I am working on. I've made a template which at the bottom has {disclaimer}, and through out the various tables in the site the disclaimer changes. So in the "services" table there is information about which credit cards we accept, and how you are billed, and then in the "support" table there is information regarding the software we can set you up with. It's a very simple example but it's mades maintaining the site a bit easier.

We need to focus the efforts of user designed script/tools/ideas into one place on the web.

This page was last built on Tuesday, April 7, 1998 at 6:10:33 PM, with Frontier version 5.0.1. Mail to: dave@scripting.com. © copyright 1997-98 UserLand Software.