Tag Archives: frontier

Me and Brent on The Talk Show

Brent Simmons and I were guests on The Talk Show this week. We talk about JSON Feed, Userland Frontier, Micro.blog, and much more.

Brent also announced Evergreen for the first time on the show. Evergreen is a new open source feed reader for the Mac. I’m really looking forward to where this app could go.

One quick correction as I’m re-listening to the episode. For some reason I said that I became interested in Frontier when it pivoted to be open source software. I meant free, not open source. I worked with Frontier in the mid-90s, around the 4.0 release that Brent mentioned, and as I blogged about back in 2004 when Frontier’s kernel was actually open-sourced.

It was fun to revisit this era of Mac scripting on The Talk Show, and I hope that when we look back on the origin of JSON Feed we have similar good memories. There were a bunch of people who made the format what it is, participating in debates about field names and scope. It all contributes to the traction that JSON Feed is getting now.

Brent’s time at Userland

Brent Simmons has another expanded résumé of sorts, following his post about working at NewsGator. I love this write-up because it mirrors a lot of the work I was doing, so it brings back a lot of memories. I was actively using Frontier for client work and crazy side projects; one of my co-workers for a time was Mason Hale, who built an early CGI framework for Frontier; and I loosely worked with Dave Winer to help run the frontier-talk mailing list and hack on a potential WebSTAR plug-in for Frontier. (Though I was still a pretty poor C programmer back then. Someone else ended up shipping it.)

Back when the job description “webmaster” still meant something, I worked for the WebEdge conference which brought together the best web developers for the Mac OS. WebEdge hosted the first meeting of the Macintosh Internet Developer Association (MIDAS), led in part by Dave Winer. And I was always playing with the tools that came out of Userland, from Manilla to Radio Userland. I used Radio to run this blog until 2004.

Some of the developers from that time have faded away, moved on to other projects away from the public spotlight. But not Brent. He just shipped Vesper 2.0 and it’s some of his best work.

Little Outliner

Yesterday Dave Winer and Kyle Shank launched Little Outliner, an impressive JavaScript outliner that uses HTML5 local storage. It’s also completely hosted on S3:

“Thanks to the W3C and to Werner Vogels (for persisting in getting the ability to access the root of a domain from an S3 bucket). As a result, we get unlimited scaling with zero investment. Consider this an endorsement for both innovations.”

I used Frontier a lot back in the earlier days of the web, so I’m always looking out for what Dave does next. It’ll be fun to see what they build on top of this.