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November 29, 2000

NewsForge is the Latest Site to Criticize WAP

Jack Bryar wrote an original piece for NewsForge that reviews the current state of the Wireless Access Protocol (also known as WAP). The article is not as critical of the underlying technology as it is of the applications that have been built up to now.

From the outset, we have questioned the entire premise of WAP, so long as the devices used to access it look like mobile telephones. If you have a tiny display with no color or contrast, and no practical data entry device, who's going to use it? We prefer the form factor and usability of the Research In Motion Blackberry pagers.

We are not alone in our analysis. We have previously documented the fact that analysts like Stewart Alsop and Jakob Nielsen have found WAP wanting.

One question we have about the Newsforge analysis: why is Jack Bryar so tentative at the beginning of the article? He says:

If the pessimism in the "new technology" sector wasn't bad enough already, doubters about wireless Internet services are starting to come out of the woodwork. And some of them are blaming it all on the Open Source phenomenon.

We understand that the Open Source angle has to be present in order to justify its publication on NewsForge, but we question any assertion that cites Open Source content management or content delivery tools as a significant hinderance to the market acceptance of WAP. It's not the license that the technology is distributed under, it's what has been built with that technology that is the chief problem.

The same factors apply when it comes to evaluating businesses. Companies that develop Open Source software are not in trouble because Open Source is a bad idea. They are in trouble because they don't sell any products or services that command a premium in the market. How can you give your product away, and attempt to sell no add-ons, allied products, or services? Even religious institutions request donations, and offer valuable services like day care and private schooling to cover ministerial costs.

Investors have finally realized that companies with no realistic hope of making a profit are generally bad investments. The market is only willing to accept operating losses if the future business opportunity is very special.

This is a big switch in sentiment from the first quarter of 2000 and the two or three preceding quarters. At that time, investors equated large losses with major investments in "the future". A few market followers saw this as madness, but they were ignored.

We can safely say that a similar reality distortion factor was temporarily present in the market's appraisal of WAP. Performance and usability were small details that would be overcome quickly and easily. This was a critical miscalculation.

About six months ago, a client asked if we saw long term problems with the WAP protocol. At that time, we pointed out that WAP appeared to be designed with the assumption that the display form factor would remain small and the bandwidth available to wireless users would limit the amount of data a user could receive and assimilate for the foreseeable future. We thought that G3 and other high bandwidth wireless technologies would be implemented quickly, and this would further undermine the WAP market.

We now believe that the high bandwidth services will not be deployed quickly, due to lack good applications for wireless Internet access. Applications will continue to be poor as long as the usability of the devices remains an issue.

After all, have you tried to use Yahoo! Mobile services lately? They are great if you want to be notified whenever your favorite NFL team scores. But, beyond that, what's the point?

Far better prospects exist, at least in the short term, for services like Tellme. Then again, we already told you.

November 27, 2000

Santa Claus Fails to Show Up at Denville Holiday Parade

The Daily Record, the paper-of-record in Morristown, NJ, reports that Santa Claus failed to show up at the Denville Holiday Parade. For those in our world-wide audience who have never been to Denville for the Holiday Parade, it is a big deal for our home town (population 14,000), and a fixture on the calendar on the weekend after Thanksgiving for at least 20 years.

This is a big embarassment for the Denville Fire Department and the Chamber of Commerce, two organizations that have traditionally worked to raise funds and organize the parade. Of course we feel bad for them, since all of the members of these organizations are volunteers.

The parade is also a key component of the fundraising effort of the Joey Bella Fund, a local organization that provides resources to families with children that are afflicted with catastrophic illnesses.

We were particularly disappointed to hear that many groups who had agreed to march instead chose to "mail it in"; They failed to show up for the parade. According to the Daily Record:

But while a group of bagpipers showed up, other scheduled marching bands did not. A parade that normally lasts 1 1/2 hours took less than half that long to complete.

We think that the selection of Sunday as a date for the parade was a dumb idea, but, the organizations who did not show up ought to be ashamed of themselves. Many outdoor events like parades have rain dates, but just as many do not. Anyone who signs up to march in a parade ought to have the sense to find out if it will take place "rain or shine", and then live up to the commitment.

November 24, 2000

Directions to 31 Birchwood Road, Denville

A meeting of families of Kathleen Kuykendall and Dave Aiello will take place on Saturday, November 25, at 2:00pm Eastern Time. Attendance is by invitation only. The location will be Ernie Aiello's house, 31 Birchwood Road, Denville, NJ.

Read on for directions to the location.

  • From East of Denville

    Take Route 80 West to Exit 42 A-B, Routes 202 and 46, Parsippany - Morris Plains. Bear right on to the first on ramp, Route 46. This puts you on Cherry Hill Road.

    Travel approximately 1/2 mile to the second traffic light, Route 46, and turn left on to Route 46 West. Travel about 3.3 miles through 6 traffic lights, until you pass a Burger King with a large sign on the left side of the road. Stay on Route 46 and pass under Route 80.

    After passing under Route 80, turn right at the fourth street, Birchwood Road. The last house on the left is 31 Birchwood Road.

  • From New York and points North;
    or New Brunswick and points South

    Take the New Jersey Turnpike to Exit 15W, Route 280 West.

    Route 280 ends at an interchange with Route 80 and 287, about 15 miles west of the NJTP. When approaching the interchange, stay to the left, following the ramp on to the express lanes of Route 80 West.

    Continue on Route 80 to Exit 42 A-B, the first possible exit from Route 80 express lanes once you have merged on from Route 280. You can now follow the directions labeled "From East of Denville".

  • From West of Denville

    Take Route 80 East to Exit 37, Route 513, Hibernia-Rockaway. At the end of the ramp, make a left on to Hibernia Avenue. At the traffic light that is immediately past the Route 80 underpass, make a right on to Morris Avenue. Continue on Morris Avenue for approximately 1.5 miles to a traffic light at Route 46.

    Turn right on Route 46 East. Bear left to stay on Route 46 (instead of re-entering Route 80). After passing under Route 80, turn right at the fourth street, Birchwood Road. The last house on the left is 31 Birchwood Road.

  • From Route 287

    Follow Route 287 to Exit 41, Route 80. Take Route 80 West. You can now follow the directions labeled "From East of Denville".

  • If You Get Lost

    Call (973) 625-0788 for additional assistance.

What is the Kathleen and Dave Section of ctdata.com?

The Kathleen and Dave section of ctdata.com is designed to provide information about the wedding of Kathleen Kuykendall and Dave Aiello. Unless otherwise noted, the information is intended for people who have received an invitation to the wedding or a related event.

November 23, 2000

The Desolate Wilderness and the Fair Land

Dave Aiello wrote, "There is no doubt in my mind that of all American holidays, Thanksgiving is the greatest. I often wonder how a holiday like this has survived through the constant change that is our nation's history. Yet, all Americans, regardless of our beliefs, take the time to be with friends and family, and to thank God for the blessings that He has bestowed upon us."

"Each year, The Wall Street Journal publishes two articles on its Editorial page on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. I want to thank them for making these articles available on their free Web Site, OpinionJournal.com. Reading them is one of my favorite moments of the season."

The Desolate Wilderness, taken from Nathaniel Morton's New England's Memorial:

Here beginneth the chronicle of those memorable circumstances of the year 1620, as recorded by Nathaniel Morton,
keeper of the records of Plymouth Colony, based on the account of William Bradford, sometime governor thereof:

So they left that goodly and pleasant city of Leyden, which had been their resting-place for above eleven years, but they
knew that they were pilgrims and strangers here below, and looked not much on these things, but lifted up their eyes to
Heaven, their dearest country, where God hath prepared for them a city (Heb. XI, 16), and therein quieted their spirits....

And the Fair Land written by Vermont Royster, 1949:

.... We can remind ourselves that for all our social discord we yet remain the longest enduring society of free men governing
themselves without benefit of kings or dictators. Being so, we are the marvel and the mystery of the world, for that
enduring liberty is no less a blessing than the abundance of the earth....

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family from everyone at CTDATA.

November 22, 2000

Floridians Get the Government They Deserve, All Americans Pay

The old saying "we get the government we deserve" is attributed to H.L. Mencken, a man who mocked God and organized religion. We don't agree with everything he stood for, but we agree with his sentiment in the regard to the latest pronouncement of the Florida Supreme Court.

The people of Florida, in their infinite wisdom, elected Bob Graham and Lawton Chiles as their governors, who in turn appointed six of the seven justices of the Florida Supreme Court. Several of the justices have been subjected to merit retention votes and, in effect, been re-elected.

So, when the Supreme Court makes a ruling that substantially changes the legislative intent of Florida election law, we ought to blame the justices for not rising above their own political preferences. But, the previous governors of Florida and the people themselves deserve some of the blame as well.

Let this be a lesson to those who say that laws and procedures in other states have no effect on people who do not live there.

We have spent far too much time mulling over this situation. So, rather than further define a viewpoint which CTDATA employees share, we will point to commentary we found on the Web with which we agree:

  • Charles Krauthammer in the Washington Post, "What is the least fair procedure one could possibly devise for determining the winner? The one Gore is pursuing relentlessly in the Florida courts: The selective culling of Democratic votes by Democratic arbiters from heavily Democratic districts."

  • Dave Winer in Scripting News (someone with whom we often disagree on politics), "The Supreme Court in Florida is way over the line. They've taken power away from the executive, power that's clearly granted, for good reasons, in the laws of the State of Florida."

November 21, 2000

Questions About Unsigned Code on Microsoft's Whistler OS

Earlier today, we learned that Whistler, a new operating system under development at Microsoft, may be designed to provide users with the ability to stop any code that is not digitally signed from being executed. As it was described on Slashdot and ZDnet, this security scheme would not be granular, thereby appealing to users and IT managers who do not have the expertise to determine the appropriateness of unsigned code.

It may be a bit early to question the approach since we've seen nothing official, but, we thought we would make a couple of observations about the drawbacks to the design as it has been described in the press. Our primary concerns are with the impact this type of security mechanism would have on template-driven Web publishing environments and P2P applications that we have seen or understand to be under development at this time.

Template-Driven Web Publishing Environments

At CTDATA, we use the Slashcode Web Publishing system for a lot of our Web Site development and operations. The main distribution of Slashcode does not currently run under Windows NT or 2000 without substantial modification. The next release of Slashcode, code-named Bender, provides a great deal more flexibility with respect to target databases and would make a much better candidate for use on Windows.

Although it would be a relatively trivial process for a business that is part of the Slashcode development community (like CTDATA) to digitally sign each component of Slashcode that it has tested and is willing to support, a few esoteric issues would come up rather quickly:

  • Is the ActiveState Perl distribution going to honor the user's wishes and only execute digitally signed Perl scripts?
  • How will executable code that resides in BLOBs within the SQL database be addressed, since these code elements are loaded and executed by components of the Slashcode system?
Clearly, these concerns would not only affect platforms like Slashcode. They would also come up in Web Publishing environments with far larger users bases, like Vignette V/5, Interwoven TeamSite, and Allaire Spectra. All of these products, to one extent or another, depend upon the ability to embed executable code in Web Page templates and store that code in their back end databases.

These issues are exclusively of concern to Corporate IT people and consultants operating in this space. However, code-signing issues may affect a much larger swath of the PC using population, since:

  • Whistler is designed to bridge the gap between Windows 2000 and ME,
  • P2P applications may take off in either the corporate or home use market segments, and
  • Corporations may be forced to impose greater security on the home PCs of people who telecommute, as a result of VPN exploits like those that have plagued Microsoft recently.

P2P Applications

We must admit that we are casual observers of this part of the software market, but we wonder how a code-signing regime like the one that Microsoft is reportedly contemplating would affect P2P applications like RadioUserland and Groove. At this point, we can only wonder, since we are not users of either application.

November 20, 2000

VMware for Linux 2.x: A Credible Alternative to Dual Booting

Dave Aiello wrote, "In an attempt to fully embrace Linux as a server operating system, I decided that the I needed to force myself to use that operating system as much as possible. So, I bought myself the latest and greatest Dell Inspiron laptop, loaded it with as much memory as I could get, and left the comfort of Windows behind."

"But, there were problems with this strategy. What Linux software makes it easy to manage a small payroll? What Linux software helps you to control co-located NT Servers? After all, one cannot deploy Linux in a co-lo environment until you are comfortable using the operating system in day-to-day situations."

"The solution turned out to be VMware 2.x from the company of the same name. This is the kind of product that I dreamed of having when I was a Macintosh user, years ago. VMware lets you carve out a virtual machine from your Linux box and place in it any flavor of Windows you choose. Compatibility has been, in a word, extraordinary. It's hard to argue with a system like this when it runs such demanding applications as RealPlayer 8 Plus and PCanywhere in the client operating system."

Dave Aiello continued, "Use of streaming software like the RealPlayer can be a frustrating experience at times, but it works surprisingly well considering the fact that it is operating within a virtual machine. Our experience with pcAnywhere is better; The difference between running it on a 100 percent Windows machine and on a Windows virtual machine under VMware was imperceptible to me."

"I am quite convinced that this is a viable strategy for using both operating systems going forward. My commitment to this is great enough that I am looking to upgrade my laptop's hard drive to 20 gigabytes so that I can configure different VMs to emulate different Windows configurations that we run."

"At CTDATA, are building our company's future on Linux servers. This makes products like VMware critical to our transition plans. We encourage you to give VMware a try if you are in the position of straddling the operating system divide as CTDATA is presently."

November 19, 2000

Web Techniques Column Describes What Users Need to Collaborate with Others

Every once in a while, someone states the obvious in such a way as to make it seem like revelation. This is certainly the case with Amit Arsavala's column in the current issue of WebTechniques. When we read his column and its long list of prescriptions to fully enable collaboration, we are reminded of the fact that some of our most successful client projects succeeded in spite of the management in charge during the period-- not because of actions they took to facilitate or ensure project success.

The idea put forth about allowing all users to pick their own software, extending even to the groupware solution that an individual user chooses, is radical. A heterogeneous groupware environment would force corporations to think about the design of work flow and knowledge management applications a great deal more than they currently do. This would also be the death knell of applications based on Lotus Notes that cannot be rapidly Web enabled.

This column will go over like a lead balloon in many companies because management is often on the trailing edge of use of IT services like Virtual Private Networks, although managers often obtain the latest wireless gadgets to impress their friends. The tendency to support gee-wiz technologies at the expense of projects that have a good chance to fundimentally change the way work is done may ultimately result in unjustified cutbacks in Intranet spending.

The greatest blessing that can happen to many companies is that their managements become preoccupied with external events like corporate mergers so that more junior people can have the freedom to think radically about workgroup productivity. This is clearly one reason that one of our largest client projects has succeeded, and explains why some organizations produce great Web Sites in spite of internal turmoil.

November 12, 2000

Buffalo Bills Enshrine Vietnam Veteran to Wall of Fame

On Sunday, the Buffalo Bills enshrined two new members to their Wall of Fame inside Ralph Wilson Stadium.

While we are sure that George Saimes had a great career with the Bills, playing in five Pro Bowls, his achievements are overshadowed by the life and death of Bob Kalsu. Bob Kalsu was the only professional football player to be killed in action in Vietnam.

There is no greater indication of the integrity of the Buffalo Bills organization than the fact that they would remember Bob Kalsu, an active player in their organization for only one season, 1968. The induction of Bob Kalsu will help current and future Bills fans to put the sport into proper perspective.

VoiceXML: An Easy Way to Make Your Site Accessible by Phone?

Henry Scheuer told us that we ought to be playing with Tellme and investigating its features. At first glance, Tellme appears to be a voice response interface to certain simple Internet content. However, we dug a little deeper and found Tellme.Studio, a means for building, testing, and publishing Tellme "Phone Sites".

As a result of Tellme.Studio and its underlying XML protocol, we think there is a good possibility that developers will build applications for Tellme, at least as a promotional technique. Read on for more details.

Visiting Tellme.Studio led us to discover the fact that Tellme is promoting VoiceXML as a standard for providing data to it, and presumably, to other future voice-Web interfaces. Since they already provide an example XSL transformation, it seems like no problem to build interfaces to documents based on other simple standards like RSS (an XML standard many Weblogs and news-oriented sites already use to syndicate their headlines).

The simplest way to get a Tellme application up and running is through the Tellme Extensions program. Examining this, we already found a Slashdot Headlines extension (number 75438) that works as advertised. So, someone may have already written an XSL template that transforms RSS into VoiceXML.

Web Developers ought to watch these technologies. There is no telling how they will develop, but, we guess that this will become a hot way to promote small community Web Sites in the near future.

November 10, 2000

Why We Continue to Add Features to Slash 0.3/0.4

In the previous installment of this series, we talked about the reasons why CTDATA built and maintains its own Slash implementation. In that article, we pointed out that our goal is to converge our code with the main Slashcode distribution once the Bender version is finally released.

This article approaches our situation from the opposite direction: If CTDATA does plan to merge its Slash enhancements with Bender, why do we continue to add new functionality to Slash 0.4, like enhanced search capabilities and RSS support?

Needs of Existing Customers

Throughout this Weblog, we've alluded to the fact that we have several working instances of Slash 0.4, including a large corporate client who uses our code as the core of a knowledge management system for a departmental Web Site. A few of these instances continue to run Slash 0.4 because there are conversion issues which make it very difficult to transition them to Slash 1.x or Bender.

These issues include:

  • no institutional support for Apache / mod_perl
  • no insitutional support for mySQL, or a preference for an enterprise SQL database, like Sybase or Oracle

Linux Transition Issues

Until we began working with Slashcode 1.x a few weeks ago, CTDATA had no Linux experience whatsoever. Our experience with Slash to that point had been on Solaris and (believe it or not) the Windows platforms.

Therefore our internal issues were:

  • no experience operating Linux as a bastian host
  • no spare server-class hardware on which to install Linux

Increased Traffic on Our Sites

In spite of the fact that we are not running the "latest and greatest" version of Slashcode, traffic on Web Sites we manage has grown steadily since we began to deploy Slash 0.4.

Most of our users have no idea what version of Slash we are running. However, those that have seen Slashdot before recognize the similarity and often expect us to have Slash 1.x features whether we are running that code base or not. This is the reason that we have rolled out RSS Slashbox support at this time.

If we can figure out a cross platform way to make home page personalization (i.e. cheesyportal) scale within the Slash 0.4 architecture, we will probably develop and deploy that feature as well.

Feel free to let us know if you have any comments, questions, or suggestions. Send an email to Dave Aiello or leave a comment attached to this story.

November 9, 2000

CTDATA Completes Content Syndication Support for Slash 0.4

CTDATA completed a preliminary version of an implementation of portald for Version 0.4 of the Slash Engine. This allows an administrator of a Slash 0.4 site to define a Slashbox to contain a continuously updated set of headlines from another Web Site. Headlines in RSS 0.9 and 0.91 formats are supported.

This brings the content syndication aspect of Slash 0.4 to feature parity with Slashcode 1.09.

As a result of this development, we plan to deploy a number of RSS Slashboxes on ctdata.com and rcnj.org in the near future.

Planned Enhancements

Enhancements to Slash 0.4 and the portald module are planned, beginning immediately. These include:
  • Channel link element support

    This will allow us to make the title of RSS Slashboxes into hot links that point back to the main page of the Web Site that created the RSS file.

  • backSlash block editor simplification

    We plan to improve the usability of the Slash 0.4 block editor. This is a feature that is used by the administrator of a Slash-based Web Site to components of the Web Page templates.

  • backSlash section editor modifications

    We need to make changes to the section editor to correspond with modifications to the data model necessitated by RSS support.

Controlling the Number of Headlines Displayed in a Slashbox

One of the issues that we are still grappling with is how to implement a control that the author can use to limit the number of items (headlines) that are displayed in an RSS Slashbox. RSS 0.9x provides support for up to 15 headlines, and displaying all of them in a Slashbox often takes up a great deal of vertical space on the right hand side of the home page or one of the section index pages.

We are considering these two options:

  • Setting a limit on the number of headlines at the block level.
  • Setting a limit on the number of headlines at the section level.
Update: While it would be nice to have a choice, we determined that the data model we are working with dictates that we limit the number of headlines at the block level. The block is the storage unit for recurring text elements of all kinds, and implementing some secondary limitation on this would require us to do some sort of translation on HTML.

A second alternative is to use the blocks table as a cache for RSS files and apply and XSL transformation whenever information stored in RSS is required. We simply do not have the expertise in XSLTs to know if this is viable, so we fall back on controlling the number of items at the block level.

November 8, 2000

A Moment in History: The 2000 Presidential Election is Too Close to Call

As anyone who stayed up until 4:30am Eastern Time on Tuesday night / Wednesday morning knows, the U.S. Presidential election hinged upon Florida and the results are inconclusive. This has all the drama of the last play of Super Bowl XXXIV, where Kevin Dyson of the Tennessee Titans was stopped one yard short of the end zone by the Rams' Mike Jones, denying the Titans the opportunity to tie the game and send it into overtime.

Well, in a political and civic sense America is now in overtime, for the first time in the lives of any living American.

A number of people who did not stay up until the bitter end have asked us, "How could the result be in such doubt? And, why was Florida projected to have been won, first by Gore, and then by Bush?"

We came up with two reasons: 1) Although running vote counts were available in several places, none of the sources ever reported the total number of absentee ballots outstanding. 2) The State of Florida's election results Web Site was overwhelmed and differed substantially from the information being provided by the Voter News Service.

To prove the point, we invite you to look at this screen shot that we captured from the State of Florida's Election Web Site. It shows the vote count as it stood when the Secretary of State said that 100 percent of the precincts were reporting. It took some doing to get this screen shot, but it clearly shows why no one felt comfortable calling George W. Bush the ultimate winner as long as ballots from overseas absentees remain outstanding.

November 7, 2000

GuruNet Can't Make It with Consumers, Changing Name to Atomica

A few weeks ago, Julie Aiello endorsed GuruNet as a on-line useful research tool. Today, Forbes is reporting that GuruNet has decided it cannot make it as an advertising-supported consumer focused research tool. To this end, it is changing it's name to Atomica.

When we first heard about this product, we questioned the revenue model. After all, any Internet-based product that depends solely upon advertising for revenue is unlikely to generate enough cash flow to survive as an independent entity.

Will Atomica make it as a corporate research tool? How does something like the existing GuruNet stack up against things like Bloomberg and Lexis/Nexis? Your guess is as good as ours.

November 6, 2000

Drudge Report to Defy Embargo on Exit-Poll Results

Matt Drudge of The Drudge Report has a weekly radio program on the ABC Radio Network. On this weekend's program, he categorically stated that he would break the embargo imposed on the Voters' News Service exit-polling results from the U.S. General Election on November 7.

We support Drudge in this effort. The major media outlets withhold exit-poll results until after the polls close in each state. The rationale for this is that earlier disclosure will reduce turnout as voters see that their favorite candidate is losing. However, there is little difference between the holding of exit-polling results and the time delaying of Olympic events. Why tell the people in real-time when you can create an artificial moment of suspense? Think of the revenue potential of the advertising slots....

The pretentious productions of the major broadcast networks are only economically justifyable if viewers can be counted on to watch. We wouldn't be surprised if the biggest losers in the timely release of exit-polls would be the networks.

What difference would it really make to overall voter turnout? After all, many of us went to the polls to vote against Bill Clinton in 1996, despite the fact that he was obviously going to win.

Philip Greenspun Provides Insights on Managing Software Developers

Slashdot reported that Philip Greenspun wrote an article for ArsDigita Systems Journal describing how to manage software engineers. The article itself is quite interesting, with a number of unique insights, including:

One of the paradoxes of software engineering is that people with bad ideas and low productivity often think of themselves as supremely capable. They are the last people whom one can expect to fall in line with a good strategy developed by someone else.

We have encountered more than our fair share of developers like these, over the years.

Almost as interesting as Philip Greenspun's commentary is the commentary from the registered users of Slashdot itself. Whenever Slashdot runs a technical management article about motivating a staff of developers to achieve remarkable things, the story commentary is overloaded with "technology workers of the world unite" rhetoric. Are the most outspoken users of Slashdot waiting for the day that they can participate in a technological Haymarket Square Riot?

An example:

Is "high pay" the latest excuse to justify {bad} treatment?... It gets worse. Get married? Have a kid? Need to cut back the work hours to "only 40-50 hrs/wk" as a responsibility to your family. Then you get fired. And no IT company will hire older workers that have a life because they won't work 80 hours weeks (like recent college grads and H1B visa workers can)....

In our experience, productive programmers don't get replaced by 22-year olds or people from foreign countries. In this economy, if a programmer is unproductive, he is more likely to be let go and not replaced if he is on a well-functioning development project.

We don't agree with all of Greenspun's management observations or advice. Then again, we didn't entirely agree with him in Philip and Alex's Guide to Web Publishing, although we have consistantly called this a must read for all Web developers.

We believe his article is interesting, provocative, and worth reading.

November 5, 2000

Changes to CTDATA WebMail Interface

Over the weekend, two changes were made to the Web-based mail interface that we run on mail.ctdata.com. For details, read on....

  • Number of message per page is now 20.

    Before the change, WebMail displayed 10 stories per page. Some users have indicated that they review a large number of messages through this interface. Therefore, they suggested that the number of messages per page be increased.

  • Send message form now includes sender's address in cc field by default.

    Regular users of the WebMail interface often send a copy of their outgoing messages to their own email address so that they have a record of what they've said. So, we place the sender's email address in the "CC" field by default.

    If you do not want to "CC" yourself on outgoing messages, delete your email address from the "CC" field as you compose the message.

We hope that these changes result in more effective use of the WebMail interface. If you have any comments, questions, or concerned, please attach a comment to this story or send an email message to the postmaster at ctdata.com.