Archive of UserLand's first discussion group, started October 5, 1998.

scriptingNews outline for 9/30/2000

Author:Dave Winer
Posted:9/30/2000; 6:28:04 AM
Topic:scriptingNews outline for 9/30/2000
Msg #:21857
Prev/Next:21856 / 21858

Qube Quorner is back. "Everyone and his cousin Mabel now know that Sun has bought Cobalt. What does that mean for us?"

I spoke with the product manager for the Qube yesterday. He read my eulogy for the Qube. There's another Qube in the pipe. I'll keep an open mind, but remember that they're now part of Sun. Scripting News is still served on a Qube, and it's still a lovable computer.

Dan Gillmor on the upcoming ICANN board election.

Jakob Nielsen, in his newest Alertbox, doesn't mention weblogs; it seems pretty obvious that they belong in the story. I know he knows about Manila. Weird.

New feature: Threads in Radio UserLand discussion groups.

Coming shortly: The Tools menu/folder.

Spent some time this morning with the Manila XML-RPC interface. This is how Radio UserLand, a desktop application, connects with Manila, a Web application.

Nitfix. When we added the Weblogs feature in Radio UserLand, we set it up so that it would send an XML-RPC message to UserLand.Com whenever the site was updated, so it could be on the Updates page. However when we first released the feature we screwed up, and sent the time of the last update in the local timezone, not in GMT. Some people haven't updated, so we're still getting notifications of updates that happened in the future, and the sites stay at the top of the list for hours. I finally got fed up and fixed it so that updates that happened in the future are excluded.

On the Decentralization list we're talking about whether or not computers on a decentralized Internet are called "peers" or "nodes" or something else. I remembered that eGroups has a polling feature, I had never used it, and it's nice.

Blogs as explained by Carl Malamud and Rebecca Hargrave. "Revolution? Solution? Blogs let everybody get their Warholian 15 nanoseconds of fame, but to call this a revolution takes attention away from the real revolution: reaching out to build sites that matter." Really, it's about making the Web a writing environment that's easy to use.

Sites pointing to

Tomorrow I'm going to write my Private Passions piece for WorldLink. Hey wait a minute, how private can they be? Yesterday's piece was kind of a warmup. On Monday I have to go for a photo shoot in SF for Fortune. It's a full body shot. Before Monday I have to lose about 30 pounds and get new pants and a shirt, and a haircut and try not to look nervous. I haven't been to a professional photo studio since the early days at Wired. I was much better rested then. I hope I don't end up looking like this. I hope I look more like this.

The Economist: "After e-commerce, get ready for e-government, says Matthew Symonds." wants me to become a member.

On the CMS list, confirmation that Vignette makes their customers sign non-disclosure agreements.

Wired: "Many lawyers believe that Napster's case hinges on how the appeals court interprets the 1984 Sony Betamax case. In that case, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that as long as a new technology had substantial, non-infringing uses, it could not be held accountable for illicit uses."

FindLaw has the transcript of the decision in Sony vs Universal, aka the Betamax case. Northwestern University has the audio.

Rich Santalesa grew up in the house next to the house I grew up in, in Flushing NY. They moved in after I had gone away to college, so I only know Rich in his role as a computer journalist. He and my father worked together on computer stuff while he was growing up. Now he has a site on my server.

Warm fuzzies 

Yesterday I switched the DG over to read-only mode. This may not be permanent, or we may bring it back as an invitation-based thing. I do want discussion of what I say here. But it's been too much work for me, I need a break, badly. So we're going to take a rest, and perhaps develop new paths for discourse.

Looping back to Apple.  

Apple Apple Apple. I can't believe what happened to their stock in the last couple of days. I've never seen anything like it. When I see a company that I produce software for hit such a snag, I look for opportunity. As a developer I've never cared about things like stock prices, and if the company ships a product that customers don't buy enough of, so what? Clearly there's a discernable process going on at Apple. I don't know the insider view of it, but I see a stream of products, that tells me that there are more coming, for sure.

Now the stock market has its reasons to panic, but for a developer this is a clear buy signal. It's also a puzzle. What could we give Apple that would allow them to sell their hardware in new ways? We are doing software for their platform that gives it new uses as a Web server. Any week we should have the beta of the Mac OS X version. Is this a good time to announce a new use for their platform? That would be the lemonade approach.

In early 1996 I wrote a piece for Upside where I pretended I was the CEO of Apple (this was before Jobs came back) and outlined my plan. There are some elements of my plan that Jobs et al have been executing fantastically.They didn't buy a song, but they did produce the machine I described, it's the iMac. They nuked CyberDog and OpenDoc as I would have, and cleared up the positioning, they make computers now, not system software, or anything else.

Apple's developer story is "Microsoft, Adobe, Macromedia." Little air cover for others. And most important, in light of the stock collapse, they didn't smooth out the distribution problems, and they're tough, when you hit a bump, it shows up in the profits, quickly.

I think the market doesn't understand this. Apple just hit a glitch. It'll be easy to get back on track. If I played the stock market (I don't) I would buy AAPL now. If I were a developer (I am) I'd probe Apple to see if there's some new opportunity to invest in each other, based on support for each others' products. I've said it many times, my relationship with Apple only works when I'm selling their hardware and they're selling my software.

Another question. There are always outages, and doesn't hurt to ask why. Is there an independent developer mail list for the Macintosh? There used to be a few. Are they still there? Or should we start a new one at eGroups? I'd be willing to invest a few cycles in such a list.

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