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Hack the Planet Archives: September 1998

Tuesday, September 29, 1998

No updates today; I've got a CS project due tomorrow.

Monday, September 28, 1998

There are rumors that Intel and Netscape will announce investments in Red Hat Software tomorrow. Coincidentally, RHAD Labs is hiring. Despite all the talk in the Linux community, Red Hat is the only company that is investing in usability.

Ever-more-reliable rumors are indicating that BeOS will switch to the ELF executable format starting with R4. This will be good because the free GNU development tools can produce ELF executables, lowering the cost of entry for BeOS developers. It will also be bad because now BeOS will be even more like Linux; expect to see more complaints from clueless Linux advocates.

Since neither MacOS Rumors nor Reality have been updating lately, I might as well fill in the gap.

It seems JavaScript just isn't enough for some people; Mozilla is now sporting a built-in Perl interpreter. Personally, I was hoping for Python...

Sunday, September 27, 1998

My family in New Orleans is having a hurricane party. It takes more than a storm full of bad attitude to scare some people.

Saturday, September 26, 1998

Posted on Slashdot.org by an Anonymous Coward: "Linux is mostly about freedom of choice. You are free to reject commercial software. ...But when you deny me the right to commercial software, you have crossed the line. Then Linux becomes about oppression."

Slashdot's backlash against common sense continues, but for the small voice of Nathan Hill: Why easy Linux is a good thing.

Friday, September 25, 1998

Wow! Metrowerks is releasing the source to their Java JIT for PowerPC.

Okyeron has finally gotten his Burning Man 98 pictures act together.

Teligent has hot technology. But if they're offering it in Austin, why haven't I heard of it?

Apparently both Debian and Mandrake are having problems keeping the load on their CVS servers under control. It's too bad that so much Open Source software is so non-manageable and non-scalable.

Wednesday, September 23, 1998

NEWS.COM: Microsoft's Holy War on Java.
Me: Sun's Holy War (on Microsoft).
Hmmmm.... I wish Java could just be a platform and not a religion.

Andy Tai: The battle lines have been drawn...

I just love software with names like DiskWarrior.

This week Logitech announced the new USB-powered QuickCam Pro. But I can't provide a link for it, because they have no mention of it on their Web site. Here's a tip for any company with a Web site: Update your site when you send out a press release! How am I supposed to buy your products if I can't get information about them?

Tuesday, September 22, 1998

Sun has posted a draft of their Jini™ Technology Public License. Unfortunately, it does not meet the Open Source™ Definition; this is likely to limit the usefulness of Jini for many people.

Also today Sun released their XML parser, which is compatible with the SAX and DOM standards for XML parsers.

Sunday, September 20, 1998

For some reason I decided to do a little research today on SLP, the Service Location Protocol, which allows software to automagically locate services that are available over a network. I noticed that many of the specifications are written by people at Sun, and the only implementation that I could find is written in Java. The major feature of Sun's Jini is its discovery protocol. Could Jini really just be SLP in disguise?

Oooh, Swing supports tree-tables. Tree-tables are great for browsing object hierarchies.

I found a binary RPM of Enlightenment and it actually worked, so I've finally been able to find out what all the fuss is about. It's really not any slower than the KDE window manager, and considering the feature difference I think I'll keep it.

Salon: The $10,000 hoop.

Saturday, September 19, 1998

Yesterday Matt Neuburg discovered Frontier's .wsf pages: "All of a sudden things that had seemed impossible seemed possible, and things that had seemed hard seemed easy. A world of easily-developed web-based applications unrolled itself before me."

Seen on Usenet: "You are in a maze of twisty portal sites, all alike." -- taylor@wired.com

Friday, September 18, 1998

Nat Friedman wants to intertwingle his bookmarks. But then, doesn't everybody? One advantage of a unified browser-email-calendar mega-suite would be that it could store all that info in the same database.

Bringing joy to Mac programmers everywhere, CodeWarrior Pro 4 has been released. Even better, it will soon have CVS support, so hopefully I'll be able to hack on those Open Source™ projects without leaving the comfort of the IDE.

There's a discussion on Slashdot.org today about programmers vs. engineers. My favorite comment: "Groupies. I want groupies. Lots of them, and young, too." The problem seems to be that hackers get the groupies and engineers get the money.

Thursday, September 17, 1998

Rafe Colburn is Outraged about the response to Netscape's name game.

Oooh, WinAmp 2.0. And since Windows doesn't run everywhere (yet), there's the Diamond Rio. If only there were any free MP3 encoders...

Mozilla has had compression support for a while, but Web servers didn't. So Mozilla.org added it to Apache. Compression gives a speedup of about 35% on modem connections.

Wednesday, September 16, 1998

There's a lot of debate in the Mac world over whether Claris Emailer is dead. You never get a straight answer out of Apple, so I tracked down Jud Spencer, the lead developer of Emailer. He now works for Microsoft on the MacOS version of Outlook Express. So long Emailer; you served me well...

Today Mozilla is getting CORBA-based remote JavaScript debugging. It slices! It dices! It breathes fire!

Intel rips off iMac. The point of the iMac is not the blue translucent case, but that it's easy to set up. A Wintel PC can't be as easy to use as Apple hardware because it still thinks it's a 1981 IBM PC.

Intel shows off their Katami processor, soon to be crushed by AltiVec.

When I went to Real's home page to check out the Intel deal, I noticed that they're now promoting software called CD Streamer that makes copyright infringement as easy as clicking. It's so nice to see giant software companies sticking up for the user. :-)

Tuesday, September 15, 1998

I took another crack at compiling GNOME today. I figured out how to get fnlib to build so I thought I'd try Enlightenment, but freetype won't compile. I also discovered that the problem building gnome-libs is due to having an outdated version of automake. That's really curious considering that I just installed LinuxPPC about a week ago; why didn't it include the latest version?

Later I found out that there's no use in trying to compile GNOME, because GTK 1.1 doesn't even work on PowerPCs. You'd think that someone would have bothered to mention that on some Web page somewhere.

Monday, September 14, 1998

Jakob Nielsen was right: 200-dpi displays are coming. I want one, I want one, I want one.

Mozilla is now being ported to ARM/Linux for all those NetWinder users out there.

Sunday, September 13, 1998

John Brockman talks with Stewart Brand about the Long Now. When Danny Hillis and Brian Eno get together, there'll be some funky music.

Oooh, I'm listening to the new Soul Coughing stuff on the radio. I don't need to walk around in circles, walk around in circles, walk around in circles...

Saturday, September 12, 1998

From those wacky Open Source™ freedom fighters in Dallas, it's NoVaGotcHi!

Not much news today; I've been compiling GNOME all evening. Apparently I have bad karma, because following the instructions didn't work.

Friday, September 11, 1998

Anarchie turns Pro with version 3.0. The interface that we all know and love is the same, but now there are a bunch of new features lurking in the menubar.

It rained all day today. (And if you don't want to read about the weather in Austin, remember that nobody made you visit this site! ;-) )

Thursday, September 10, 1998

It wasn't hot today!

Some people are petitioning to save Claris Emailer and complaining that it doesn't work with MacOS 8.5. It seems to work much better under 8.5 than under 8.0 as far as I can tell.

I see that the folks at Be are working the kinks out of NetPositive's SSL support; hopefully that will make it into R4.

The Liquid Music Network sells music by the song over the Net. Good concept, but it's pointless because they don't have every song ever recorded. (Living up to Amazon's example is pretty tough these days!)

Wednesday, September 09, 1998

Rant of the day: Sun's Holy War.

The first pictures from Burning Man are showing up. Let me know if you find any more.

Akkana reports that Mozilla's XFE can now compose mail; hopefully this will show up on Win32 and MacOS soon. I also noticed more RDF/NavCenter fixes.

Java development environment NetBeans Developer 2.0b3 has been released.

I could link to it individually, but why don't you just check out today's cool stuff at CamWorld?

Tuesday, September 08, 1998

Mozilla.org has released some parts of Grendel, a Java mail client. I know what I'll be doing tomorrow night...

GNOME developers should take a look at Transit; it's what software should look like.

I installed Visual Studio 6.0 today. After many reboots, I discovered that J++ was nowhere to be found. Did I forget to read a disclaimer somewhere? Some contents may have disappeared in shipping?

Monday, September 07, 1998

No holidays on this Web site. No sir. Of course, that's just because I can't get out to Nevada to burn the man.

Cygnus announces a Java native compiler based on gcc.

Tish has been messing with Steve Jobs again. Tish, Tish...

XWindows.org wants to be all things X to all people. Unfortunately I want less X, not more. :-)

Sunday, September 06, 1998

"Microsoft making contracts with educational institutions is like Satan selling poisoned candy to children." --Shawn T. Amundson

FreeDOM is the most confusingly named piece of software I've ever seen. In case you were wondering, it has nothing to do with the W3C's DOM (which is also free).

I noticed that could-have-been Mac game developer Antennahead Industries has finally rebooted. Bummer.

Today's snapshot of Mozilla works on MacOS, but there are some problems with preferences and Aurora.

Liz Phair is back with her third album, whitechocolatespaceegg; I don't understand most of the songs, but they sound great, especially "White Chocolate Space Egg", "Polyester Bride", and "Go on Ahead". The scratchiness and uneven guitars give the album a very personal feel. She also has most of R.E.M. as her backup band.

"It's nice to be liked / But better by far to get paid / I know that most of the friends that I have don't really see it / That way"

Saturday, September 05, 1998

Have you finished Riven, but you still have that nagging feeling that there must be more somewhere? There is. Since the Spyder is notoriously obtuse, hints are available.

NEWS.COM: U.S. DigiCash trial ends. The lack of demand for digital cash doesn't surprise me. Almost no one wants digital cash; what they really want are digital checks.

Tom's Hardware Guide is now a book.

Dia is a Visio-like drawing application for GNOME.

The 98-09-04 MacOS build of Mozilla still crashes for me.

Friday, September 04, 1998

You've probably already heard about this, but mozilla.org is now distributing precompiled binaries. So far they're only available for Win32, MacOS, and x86 GNU/Linux. Today's Windows build is pretty stable but the MacOS build crashes in some RDF code.

I added Dublin Core metadata to the site today. Now we just need a search engine that indexes it.

Today I picked up Better Than Ezra's new album How Does Your Garden Grow?. I really like track 8, "Happy Day MaMa".

Thursday, September 03, 1998

UT makes $6.3 million deal with Microsoft. Any University of Texas student can get most MS software for $5, including Office and Visual Studio.

MacOS 8.5's new Sherlock feature shows that portals don't pay. The business model of today's portals (much like television) is an insult to users.

Stanford's Google search engine has a new Burning Man look. What does Burning Man have to do with search engines?

LEGO Mindstorms has been released, complete with reverse-engineered technical information. I never knew there was so much LEGO stuff on the Web. They even have auctions and a user group network. Meanwhile, the next-generation robotic LEGO system is called CyberMaster.

OpenLDAP is a suite of Open Source™ LDAP utilities.

Wednesday, September 02, 1998

mozillaZine is a new Web site that tracks Mozilla.

It's not new, but if you care about not having messy networking hacks in MacOS X, you should read Sustainable Softworks' analysis of Apple's networking strategy.

I installed LinuxPPC today. I'm not sure what to think about KDE; X is pretty hard to use on a 72 dpi 640x640 monitor.

Tuesday, September 01, 1998

Ladies and gentlemen, Mozilla has DOM. Their DOM demos don't work in MSIE 4.0; I sense problems...

I'm watching Steve Jobs's Seybold presentation on ZD TV; the MacOS X demo is very impressive. I want it now!


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