980706.html | WebReference


((((((((((((((((( WEBREFERENCE UPDATE NEWSLETTER ))))))))))))))))) JULY 06, 1998

Sponsored by: +----------------------------------------------------------------+ Intel: Get the business computing information you need to excel from Intel's Technology@Work. Learn more about this new, specialized information resource, and explore this month's topic: Intel's powerful Pentium® II Xeon(tm) processor for mid-range and higher servers and workstations. Subscriptions are free, so click here to join now.... http://www.intel.com/businesscomputing/tech/index.htm?iid_itm:4IR01JL6& +----------------------------------------------------------------+ TidBITS: Subscribe to the longest-running Mac Internet newsletter! Free weekly news, detailed reviews, and comprehensive analysis of relevant Mac issues, plus daily updates and moderated discussions with Mac power users. Sign up at <http://www.tidbits.com/wr.html> +----------------------------------------------------------------+

Now with over 35700 subscribers

http://www.webreference.com <- link to us today http://www.webreference.com/new/ <- archive, subscribe/unsubscribe

New this week on WebReference.com and the Web:

1. DOC JAVASCRIPT: Embedding Sound in Web Pages, Part II 2. DYNAMIC HTML LAB: Hierarchical Menus, Version 2.1 3. E-COMMERCE WATCH: RosettaNet: Etching A Digital Rosetta Stone 4. ADOBE IMAGEREADY 1.0: First Look 5. ALEXA UPDATE: Related sites criteria, v 2.0 6. NEW LINKS: Audio Resources, Internet Magazines, ISPs 7. NEW BOOK: Speeding the Net - The Inside Story of Netscape and how it challenged Microsoft

Spread the word! Feel free to send a copy of this newsletter to your friends and colleagues, and while you're at it, snap a link to WebReference.com.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 1. DOC JAVASCRIPT: Embedding Sound in Web Pages, Part II

Create a cross-browser, cross-platform audio jukebox, with the Doc's latest prescription. Using JavaScript you can allow users to change songs, play/pause/stop an audio track, and adjust the volume. Rock on with Dr. Yehuda Shiran.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 2. DYNAMIC HTML LAB: Hierarchical Menus, Version 2.1

By popular demand Peter has updated the hierarchical menus script to add more functionality. Add just two lines of code to make your menus more versatile. Also, make the menus appear with a click instead of a mouseover. By Peter Belesis.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 3. E-COMMERCE WATCH: RosettaNet: Etching A Digital Rosetta Stone

Like the Rosetta Stone of yore, RosettaNet aims to translate the babble of e-commerce content into parsable objects so your personal e-agent can find, bid on, and buy the products and services of your dreams at prices that will make you smile. By Mark Merkow.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 4. ADOBE IMAGEREADY 1.0: First Look

A preview of version 1.0 of Adobe's new all-in-one Web graphics tool, due out July 7th. ImageReady combines an intuitive interface (not unlike Photoshop's) with sharp JPEG reduction and frame- differenced animated GIFs. By Andrew King.

Correction: Note in the June 15th newsletter I said ImageReady only did minimum bounding box interframe optimization. It turns out it also does frame differencing (saves only the pixels that change from frame to frame), you just need to check the "transparency" option in the optimization dialog. Thanks to Doug Shimonek, ImageReady product manager, for pointing that out.

http://www.webreference.com/new/980615.html http://www.webreference.com/dev/graphics/compare.html - JPEGs http://www.webreference.com/dev/gifanim/

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 5. ALEXA UPDATE: Related sites criteria, v 2.0

In the June 8 Update I reported that Alexa's related links list was sorted by backlinks. Turns out it's more complicated than that, though backlinks do play a part in the ratings. Here's the criteria from Geoff Mack, Alexa's Editor.

"Alexa uses several methods to identify similarities between sites including:

1) Text and Phrases contained within HTML 2) Links in common with other sites 3) Usage paths of Alexa users 4) Directories (Yahoo, Infoseek, Webrings, etc...) 5) Links suggested by users

We take the cream of the crop from each of those methods and then mix them into our Related Links soup. Then we sort them:

1) If we have something specific to say about a specific URL, it goes to the top of the list, if not, we find the closest match. 2) If a site is cited by multiple methods for the specific URL, then it will get sorted to the top. 3) All other Links are determined by a closely guarded secret algorithm that picks and chooses from its favorite sources."

http://www.webreference.com/new/980608.html http://www.alexa.com

Alexa also announced last week version 2.0 for IE4 Windows. Users load Alexa just like a Web page, and the size of the file is only 45K. One click and Alexa 2.O is loaded into the browser.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 6. NEW LINKS: Audio Resources, Internet Magazines, ISPs

>Audio Resources

Can you hear it? No? Allegro! Add a song to your site with our freshly composed links. http://www.webreference.com/multimedia/audio.html

>Online Internet Magazines

Save a tree, read an Internet magazine. Peace. http://www.webreference.com/internet/magazines/internet.html

>Internet Service Providers

Staking your claim in cyberspace just got easier. Let our link resources show you the way. http://www.webreference.com/internet/providers.html

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 7. NEW BOOK: Speeding the Net - The Inside Story of Netscape and how it challenged Microsoft

This is the story about how a crew of talented programmers created Netscape, code-named Mozilla (Mosaic meets Godzilla), and fought off Microsoft who entered the fray late with a vengeance. The book chronicles the development of the Web's killer apps, graphical Web browsers, and gives a fascinating account of what it's like to be inside a wildly successful startup.

At Illinois' NCSA in 1992, a young part-time programmer named Marc Andreesen began exploring the Net with Telnet. The more he saw, the more he liked, here was a world of information at his fingertips! He realized the Net's commercial potential, if it could be made easy to use. Typing in arcane Unix commands to get around was no problem for geeks like Marc, but it made the Net out of reach for the masses. He began to search for a solution. The most interesting work he ran across was something called the World Wide Web.

He tried some textual Web browsers, and saw the light. Point and click. Combining styled text and graphics seamlessly in the same window would make for a nice hack. He convined Eric Bina, a prolific programmer at NCSA, to join the quest. On Jan. 23, 1993, after working for two months straight Andreesen and Bina uploaded an alpha version of X Mosaic 0.5 to NCSA's public FTP server. The programmers watched in amazement as their efforts spread over the Net.

Marc, by now a celebrity, graduated in December 1993 and was approached in late February by Dr. James Clark, founder of Silicon Graphics Inc. Clark and Andreesen hit it off and cofounded Mosaic Communcations, Inc. on April 4, 1994. From experience, Clark knew he had to move fast, Microsoft had no Internet products by then, but were bound to move soon. Clark interviewed 6 programmers, the core of the Mosaic team at NCSA and some SGI veterans.

Clark's approach was direct: Get in on a new company...It's is a chance of a lifetime...You'll get stock options (the magic words), plus a weeks vacation on his sailing yacht in Tahiti. The young programmers were hooked. By then Clark and Andreesen had a clear idea of the business strategy, the revenues would come from their server software, while the market share (and some revenues) would come from their browser. "Distribute the razor and sell the razor blades."

Andreesen had to hire people fast, including his replacement, to free him to think about the big picture. After posting a corporate backgrounder to Usenet, a 25-year old Unix programmer responded, Jamie Zawinski. Zawinski, it turns out, played a key role in developing Netscape, and came up with the Mozilla name, and the idea of giving the source code away free at mozilla.org.

The programmers cranked 120 hour weeks, often coding for days at a time. Zawinski (Unix front end) worked so hard he caught catnaps at his desk draped in a blanket, rather than waste time walking to one of the office futons. He blew out his wrists with RSI, but bandaged them to "work through the pain." Bina (HTML layout engine), known for doing the impossible, sometimes coded for 3-4 days straight. They were obsessed! They were also going to be incredibly rich.

In Oct. 94 they released Mozilla 0.9, and the programmers watched in awe as thousands of users downloaded their program, and helped beta test their product. On Dec. 15, 1994 they released Netscape 1.0, a mere 8 months after forming the company. Mosaic went from market domination to 5% share while Netscape zoomed to 75% share in four months. Metcalf's law in action (see the June 22 Update). Since then, Microsoft has eroded Netscape's early lead. On July 1st Internet.com's logs show the following (for all of our sites):

Browser Market Share ----------------------- Netscape 46% Microsoft 43%

The book goes on through Jim Barksdale's reign, the incredible IPO, and Microsoft striking back. It gives a glimpse of what it's like to be inside a fast-moving start-up, risking it all, and coming out rich, while changing the world, a rare combination.

http://www.ncsa.edu http://www.netscape.com http://www.mozilla.org http://www.webreference.com/new/980622.html http://people.netscape.com/jwz/

Speeding the Net The Inside Story of Netscape and how it challenged Microsoft. Joshua Quittner and Michelle Slatalla Atlantic Monthly Press, 1998 ISBN: 0-87113-709-7 $25

That's it for this week, see you next time.

Andrew King Managing Editor, WebReference.com update@webreference.com

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