Dave Winer has written a Web-based conferencing system for Macintosh
servers called the Userland BBS, and is giving it away free.



---------------------------------------
Amusing Rants from Dave Winer's Desktop
Released on 6/27/95; 10:08:17 AM PST
---------------------------------------

  ***The trial run is over 
  
  The trial run of my interactive website was a true success. Thanks to 
  the 259 different people who logged on yesterday. There were 226 new 
  messages. Over 10,000 hits. Yes, the critical test case, more than 
  one message being created at the same moment, happened several 
  times. The synchronization semaphores worked perfectly. Some bugs 
  were uncovered, of course -- and we hit some limits, but the 
  workarounds are clear. There will be bugfixes and new features. Dig 
  we must! 
  
  I learned a lot about the user interface issues, and why the work I've 
  been doing with the Netscape guys is going to pay off big time when they 
  ship their next Macintosh release. We need more control of the user 
  interface of the browser, specifically we need to be able to add 
  commands to the browser's menu bar. Luckily, with the next release of 
  Netscape we will be able to do exactly that. The various commands that 
  now appear on each website page will be in the menu bar of the browser, 
  where they always belonged. 
  
  So I'm taking the bbs at 204.119.90.243 off the air now. I learned what 
  I needed to learn. We shared some excitement. This is cool! 
  
  ***Don & Marie Packard 
  
  I'm releasing the source code for the bbs. Yo! Anyone with a Macintosh 
  running Webstar 1.1 can have an interactive website! This should be 
  fun. 
  
  I just made a pass over the initial setup and in the process invented a 
  fictional young couple, Don & Marie Packard, who live in Telluride, 
  Colorado. Don works for a major telecommunications company. Marie 
  manages all the restaurants at the Telluride Ski Resort. They have an 
  interactive website that they use to share news with their families, 
  to discuss river rafting, and to help organize events for the local 
  PTA. 
  
  After you install the BBS software, and connect to 
  bbs.welcome.fcgi, you'll be greeted by Don & Marie. Log onto their 
  bbs, you'll see the three main discussion areas, and a "Scratchpad" 
  section. Every BBS should have one, it's the place where all things 
  that don't have a place belong. It's going to be the most active 
  discussion section on every Home Page, I'm sure of it. 
  
  Then you should go in and change the topics and welcome text, using the 
  text editor, outliner and table editor in Frontier. Set it all up for 
  your stated purposes. Tell us who you are! Be a leader. By running a BBS 
  that's what you're signing up for. 
  
  You'll need to download two things to get this setup working. First, 
  you need the Aretha release of Frontier. That's at 
  
  http://www.hotwired.com/userland/aretha/
  
  Then you'll need the UserLand BBS package. It's at 
  
  ftp://ftp.hotwired.com/outgoing/aretha/UserLand_BBS_2.sit.hqx
  
  Launch the Frontier app, Double-click on the BBS Installer script. 
  You now have a BBS. That part is really easy. 
  
  Then find a friend who knows Frontier and explore the new stuff in 
  Frontier.root. A log is created by the installer script. Cmd-2click 
  each name to jump to the newly installed tables and scripts. This is 
  not for the faint of heart! Please put on your propellor helmet (and 
  your coal miner's hat) before wandering thru this stuff... ;-> 
  
  ***Send mail to Aretha 
  
  If you're going to operate a BBS, please send email to 
  aretha@userland.com. Aretha is my agent. I'd like to keep track of 
  what happens with my newest baby as the Macintosh scripting 
  community takes over. I *will* have new versions in the future, so be 
  careful with any mods you make. Be prepared for the suites.bbs table 
  to change. 
  
  But it's OK if you want to completely diverge from my release. If you 
  get an idea of how to do it much better, go for it! I look forward to being 
  able to kick back and watch you all improve on the foundation I've 
  built. 
  
  If you have questions, let's discuss this stuff on the MacHTTP list 
  server. To join, send email to machttp-talk@academ.com with 
  subscribe  in the body of the message. 
  
  I'll have more to say in a future DaveNet. For now, I have alot of 
  uploading to do, and then I'm going to switch in a different direction 
  for a few days. 
  
  I'll let you know how it goes! 
  
  Dave Winer