Salon Blogs

I'm a big fan of Salon.Com, but I have to call out a tasteless metaphor by Publisher David Talbot in a story about the survival of his magazine and Slate: I think once the Internet bust got into full swing, it was like being survivors of a tsunami. Everybody was glad they were still there, no matter how they felt about each other before it hit. ... (read more)

Brian Carnell, Salon Subscriber

Last year, I announced a Salon contest on Workbench: I will buy a Salon subscription for one of the vultures who has circled the magazine for years in premature anticipation of its demise. The winner will be someone whose criticism of the publication is weirdly personal, unnaturally angry, outstandingly venomous, or ideally a combination of all three. Catching up today, I awarded the prize to the fetchingly bilious weblogger Brian Carnell. No one combines his passionate loathing for the liberal ... (read more)

Put Aggregators on a Diet

As a host containing thousands of weblogs, Weblogs.Com has to deal with one of the big scaling issues with syndication feeds: Once an aggregator subscribes to a feed, it could be checking the file multiple times a day, even when the site hasn't changed in years. For example, Java.Weblogs.Com hasn't been updated since 2001. A single user who subscribes to its RSS feed could be requesting that 13K file a dozen or more times a day. If the site has 20 subscribers, they could potentially be using ... (read more)

Open Source: the Final Frontier

Aside from an eWeek piece and a short mention by Dan Gillmor, the mainstream technology press has paid little attention to UserLand Software's decision to release the Frontier kernel as open source. Outside of the UserLand community, I don't think that many people realize that Frontier's kernel represents the core functionality of two actively developed programs with thousands of Windows and Mac users. This isn't an example of moldy software being released into open source when it's no longer ... (read more)

Archiving Radio stories and weblog entries

An e-mailer asks if there's a way to use my Workbench tool to display a list of weblog stories and entries on the same page. Radio generates the list of stories with a macro, radio.macros.viewStoryList(). To create a page that lists both stories and weblog entries, open one of the text files you've created that uses the viewPostIndex() script and add this line: <%radio.macros.viewStoryList()%> The page will be upstreamed automatically after you save it. If you'd like to add weblog entries ... (read more)

Tuning in to Radio's wavelength

Computer book reviewer Thomas Duff has covered Radio UserLand Kick Start, my unofficial manual for the software. Because Duff doesn't use Radio to publish his own weblog, his interest in the subject is mostly academic, but I appreciate the scrutiny. Radio's extremely tough to categorize. Though most people think of it as a weblog editor and newsreader, Radio's actually an innovative Internet development environment with a built-in object database, scripting language, and content management ... (read more)

Creating text date links in Radio

While redesigning Workbench, I learned that Radio UserLand macros can be used in customized images for permalinks and other icons. Using this feature, I created text-only date links: Change the Day Level Permalink field to <%longDate%> In the Day Template, remove the <%longDate%> macro. Add an <%archiveLink%> macro to the template. The macro will be replaced by the long version of the date, linked to a daily archive page. ... (read more)

Storing graphics in a UserLand database

A UserTalk tip inspired by Marc Barrot: If you need to store a graphic in a Radio UserLand or Frontier database, use the Quick Script window to call html.commands.loadImageFile(). A file open dialog box appears. The graphic you choose will be stored in the user.html.images table. ... (read more)

New Radio tool: Workbench.root

I have released the first beta version of Workbench.root, a Radio UserLand tool offering simple scripts that extend the functionality of the software. My goal is to offer a bunch of scripts that Radio UserLand users of all skill levels can put on their Web pages and Web site template files. The first release offers two scripts: Workbench.viewCategoryLinks, a script that displays a list of links for all of your weblog's public categories. Workbench.viewPostIndex, a script that displays a list of ... (read more)

Upstreaming in Radio UserLand

The most common source of confusion for new Radio UserLand users is upstreaming, the process that turns a bunch of text files in Radio's www folder into Web pages on UserLand's Web server. If you can spare a couple minutes, I'll show you a simple exercise from Radio UserLand Kick Start that makes upstreaming easier to understand: Open Radio's www folder and create a new subfolder. Copy the file #template.txt from www into the new folder. In the new folder, create a text file called ... (read more)