Flowdelic and Frontier

Mason Hale of frog design started a weblog last week, and already he’s got some great posts and discussion. Mason and I worked together around 1995. You know, back when the Internet was still fun.

At the time, Mason had been building a CGI framework inside Frontier. This coincided with Frontier’s time as a free application and helped jump start Dave Winer’s push to build Internet-related applications around Frontier. I built a number of web applications in Frontier, wrote some cool un-shipped software that used an embedded Frontier database, and even helped host and maintain the Frontier-Talk mailing list for a time. After a few years, Frontier and I went our separate ways. (Bonus in the previous link: The web server plug-in mentioned in the slides from 1996 was called Rendezvous.)

Yesterday Dave Winer announced that the Frontier kernel’s source code will be released for the first time. This is a really interesting move and, like all good ideas, probably could have had more of an impact if done earlier. AppleScript dominates desktop automation now, but a focused set of Frontier tools could still be very useful. I don’t think this effort will fizzle like the MacBird release did, in part because Frontier is already Carbonized (see Brent’s comments about that) and in use by developers.

Mason and I still bump into each other every once in a while, but now it’s more as parents than as geeks. To Dave, Mason, Brent, Wes, and everyone else that contributed to Frontier’s history: congrats.