inessential by Brent Simmons


Isn't Jazz the official music of over-privileged, over-educated, straight white boys?

Oh, wait, I'm one of those.

Organizine closes after one week. "But I just don't want to be responsible for hundreds of users' content, and supporting and maintaining a web application. It's too much responsibility that I don't want."

No schadenfreude here -- I can totally relate. Were I a 20 year old in school there's no way I'd want the responsibility either. It's not to be underestimated.

One of the worst things to deal with as a server admin is amateur crawlers.

Inktomi and Google and all can be bad when they go nuts all at once, as they sometimes do -- but that's not the worst of it.

People sometimes use WebWhacker-like software to download a whole site. That's not bad if the software is well-behaved. But not all such software is. And then you get n people doing it at the same time.

Worse than that... sometimes people use software they've written themselves, or is in beta, or is just plain terribly awfully sucky, and it goes nuts in a huge smelly way. The symptoms of this are usually when just a few pages are requested very rapidly and repeatedly for several hours or a few days. You know then that somebody's POS crawler has gotten seriously stuck.

I'm a couple days late, but I just can't resist commenting on Simson Garfinkel's article Java: Slow, ugly and irrelevant.

It's not like Garfinkel is wrong -- writing applets and desktop apps in Java is contra-indicated. Agreed. This is not news. (Cocoa apps in Java may be an exception, but then they're not WORA.)

Garfinkel totally didn't mention Java on the server, where it does make sense. I just wanted to shake him and say, "Hello! Servlets!"

I prefer Frontier to servlets. But if I imagine an alternate universe, one in which there is no Frontier, I'd be writing servlets right now, for many of the same reasons I like Frontier in the real universe.

(In fact, before I started working for UserLand, I was getting into server-side Java, having discovered that writing plug-ins in C for WebSTAR was limiting. This was in like 1996/1997. I had two plug-ins for sale: one of them sold one copy. Okay, maybe I wasn't the best marketer, but still. The Servlet API didn't exist yet, but it was clear it was coming. So I wrote server-side Java apps to this weird API the Roaster guys came up with. Ah, Roaster, a cool IDE. RIP. I hope you're up in software heaven hanging out with Think C. Say hi to HyperCard if you see him. I'm rambling.)

Here's a little-known fact. In fact, I may be the only person who knows it. The filemakerLib scripts in Frontier were originally part of a set -- I did the Frontier version first, and I was working on the Java version, way back when, but then other folks came out with ways to access FileMaker from Java before I did, so I dropped the Java version.

Here's Josh Lucas and Erik Thauvin on Garfinkel's article.

Joe Mahoney: "It's not even worth the effort of rebutting."

Oui d'accord, I think we've been baited.

Why is text selection so brain-damaged in MSIE 5.5 for Windows? I'm gonna, like, hurl.

Daniel Berlinger, writing about my comments of yesterday, writes: "How uncontrarian!"

Naturally I have no choice but to differ sharply with that statement.