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((((((((((((((((( WEBREFERENCE UPDATE NEWSLETTER ))))))))))))))))) MARCH 08, 1999


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New this week on WebReference.com and the Web:

1. GIORDAN ON GRAPHICS: Composite GIF Animations using Photoshop and Imageready 2. 3D ANIMATION WORKSHOP: Modeling and Animating, Part 1 3. E-COMMERCE WATCH: Payment Systems 101 4. NEW LINKS: Web Color, Agents and Robots, Graphic File Formats 5. INTERVIEW: Netscape's Dariusz Paczuski 6. NEW AWARD: Cool Tool of the Day 7. OTHER VOICES: * RealAudio Guide - WebDeveloper.com * Inside Microsoft's AI Labs - Botspot.com * Databases from Perl - de ead.com * Untangling the Open Source/Free Software Debate - oreilly.com * Optimizing Microsoft.com's Server Performance - microsoft.com 8. NET NEWS: * Microsoft admits privacy problem, plans fix * RealNetworks To Support MP3 * GNOME puts a friendly face on Linux * Start-Up Gives Away Virtual Hard Drives * Sun Runs Linux On Solaris * Inside LinuxWorld * Quark highlights Web template technology

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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 1. GIORDAN ON GRAPHICS: Composite GIF Animations using Photoshop and Imageready

What Ron Popiel's Vegomatic did for the kitchen, Dan Giordan's GIFoMator technique does for Web sites. It slices and dices and makes everything byte size and tasty. Dan shows how to slice up your animations and assemble them into low-cal seamless tables.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 2. 3D ANIMATION WORKSHOP: Modeling and Animating, Part 1

With arms akimbo our models are posed for success. But it takes more than a shove to get them to sashay down the runway of realistic motion. Model master Robert Polevoi shows how to make them come alive with modeling, animating, and everything be tween.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 3. E-COMMERCE WATCH: Payment Systems 101 - Building SET Applications For Secure Transactions

In this exclusive excerpt of his new book Mark Merkow gives an overview of the payment process with a brief history of charge cards and how they operate, SET lingo, and how charge processing works on-line with SET.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 4. NEW LINKS: Web Color, Agents and Robots, Graphic File Formats

>Web Color Resources

Roses are red. Violets are blue. Make your palettes neat, and non-dithering too. http://www.webreference.com/authoring/graphics/color.html

>Agents and Robots

What bot's hot, what's not? We got the hot, not the not. These bots do a lot. http://www.webreference.com/internet/software/agents.html

>Graphic File Formats

Don't know your PNG from your TNG? Well, here are some links that will help. Find out why choosy artists chose GIF. http://www.webreference.com/authoring/graphics/formats.html

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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 5. INTERVIEW: Netscape's Dariusz Paczuski

What do you get when you cross a Yahoo-like directory with open source-like editorial? A scalable Yahoo with very few broken links.

Netscape's new Open Directory Project aims to out-Yahoo Yahoo by doing just that: combining their recently acquired NewHoo! directory with thousands of volunteer editors to categorize the Web in an open-source-like project with the lofty goal of becoming the largest and highest quality Web directory on the planet.

We interviewed Dariusz Paczuski, the Program Manager of the Netscape Open Directory Project (which is the Netcenter version of the Open Directory Project), to find out more about this new way of making Web sites.

>Describe the Open Directory Project.

The Open Directory Project's goal is to produce the most comprehensive directory of the web, by relying on a vast army of volunteer editors.

>What's the difference between the Mozilla version and Netscape's?

The Open Directory Project (ODP) is the home of the editors and all directory development / maintenance. Consider it the "mother" directory of the Netscape Open Directory (NOD) which is the commercial Netcenter version made available to all our Netcenter users.

ODP exists on its own as the home for the editors and the "open content" development. It will not have advertising / sponsorships on it in order to give the editors the "peace and quiet" they need to what they do. The NOD (in the next few months) will include value added search features and services that will not be available in the ODP.

The Netscape Open Directory is the version that will be seamlessly integrated into the Communicator client (through Smart Browsing) and the Netcenter web site (through search, channel content, and services).


>How will you integrate the directory into your other services? Will keyword searches go to matching directory pages?

Yes, and the taxonomy will be used for future services coming online soon.

>How many editors do you have now?

Today, 7,789 editors, but see http://dmoz.org/ for the latest numbers.

>What does it take to become an editor?

Expertise in or passion for a specific subcategory - We take applications from people who select a category they wish to edit. We then look at their application to see if we think they make a good editor. We take on about 1/5 of the applicants into the editor ranks. The applications are fascinating - We have people from 229 countries and all 50 states, in hundreds of professions.

The Netcenter version of the Open Directory Project is available at http://directory.netscape.com/index.html?cp=ltrnod and is replacing our current http://home.netscape.com/directory/ Web Directory by Excite this month.

>Licensing the database, tell me more about that. What are the terms for licensing?

Basically, anybody may license a copy of the Open Directory Project from http://dmoz.org/rdf.html and use it as long as there's attribution back to the Open DIrectory Project. The idea is that anyone can do whatever they'd like - but they have to give back to the effort by giving their users the opportunity to participate in growing the directory and becoming editors. In this way we hope to build the largest and most comprehensive directory of the web.

>How do you compare to Yahoo!?

Although Yahoo is still bigger overall, we have some real differentiators. First, our directory has almost no "dead" links in it - Our editors are informed if there are unreachable links, and they go in and fix them. We are down to 1/4 of one percent "unreachable" links. Yahoo is estimated to have between 10-15% "link rot," Also, we provide "freshness dating" (time stamp of last update) to every directory subcategory. Finally, we have almost 8,000 people working on our directory, all over the world. Yahoo's founders have written about the lack of scalability of their model - We think we've got a much more scalable way to catalog the web in the long run.

http://dmoz.org http://directory.netscape.com/index.html?cp=ltrnod http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-rdf-syntax/ Resource Description Framework (RDF) Model and Syntax Specification

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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 6. NEW AWARD: Cool Tool of the Day

Congratulations to Stephanos Piperoglou for winning Cool Tool of the Day on Wednesday for his nifty Colorizer color picker applet.

http://www.webreference.com/html/tools/colorizer/ http://www.cooltool.com/tool.cgi?id=807

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 7. OTHER VOICES: RealAudio Guide, Inside Microsoft's AI Labs, Databases from Perl, Untangling the Open Source/ Free Software Debate, Optimizing Microsoft.com's Server Performance

>Tutorial: WebDeveloper.com's Secret Guide to RealAudio

Learn the secrets of streaming without a server, encoding for the least common denominator, and how to beat MP3 at its own game. http://webdeveloper.com/categories/multimedia/multimedia_guide_realaudio.html WebDeveloper.com, Mar. 8, 1999

>Inside Microsoft's AI Labs

Microsoft's advance research labs gives BotSpot a rare look at their work on natural language processors. http://bots.internet.com/pcai/ Botspot.com, Mar. 1999

>Perl Wisdom: Databases from Perl

Nathan Torkington shows how to access SQL databases from Perl. http://www.zdnet.com/de ead/stories/articles/0,4413,2220157,00.html De ead.com, Mar. 4, 1999

>Whence the Source: Untangling the Open Source/Free Software Debate

The battle for ideological control of computing's next wave is being waged between two factions. One seeks to increase the collective IQ of the software development community by loosening industry's grip on intellectual property. The other wants to do away with intellectual property altogether. (Actually the FSF and OSI have some common goals, pitting them against each other just makes good copy). http://opensource.oreilly.com/news/scoville_0399.html O'Reilly, March, 1999

>Optimizing Microsoft.com's Server Performance

See how Microsoft tweaks their NT Servers for maximum speed. http://www.microsoft.com/backstage/

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 8. NET NEWS: Microsoft admits privacy problem, plans fix, RealNetworks To Support MP3, GNOME puts a friendly face on Linux, Start-Up Gives Away Virtual Hard Drives, Sun Runs Linux On Solaris, Inside LinuxWorld, Quark highlights Web template technology

>Microsoft admits privacy problem, plans fix

Microsoft has acknowledged that a feature in its Windows 98 operating system (unique ID numbers) can be used to collect information on authors of electronic documents without their knowledge, and has vowed to fix the problem. http://www.news.com/News/Item/Textonly/0,25,33413,00.html News.com, Mar. 7, 1999

>RealNetworks To Support MP3

RealNetworks is reportedly developing MP3 playback capability into a new version of its streaming media player, due later this year. http://www.zdnet.com/intweek/stories/news/0,4164,2221383,00.html ZDNet.com, Mar. 8, 1999

>GNOME puts a friendly face on Linux

Linux on your desktop? That's the idea behind the Free Software Foundation's GNOME 1.0, released last week at Linux-World. http://www.zdnet.com/pcweek/stories/news/0,4153,393040,00.html PCWeek.com, Mar. 8, 1999

>Start-Up Gives Away Virtual Hard Drives

Get your free 50MB Web-based hard drive at docspace.com. http://www.docspace.com http://www.techweb.com/wire/story/TWB19990308S0001

>Sun Runs Linux On Solaris

At LinuxWorld Sun demonstated LX Run, which provides platform level support for Linux applications. http://www.techweb.com/wire/story/TWB19990304S0008 Techweb.com, Mar. 4, 1999

>Inside LinuxWorld

Get the inside scoop to the first LinuxWorld convention. http://www.wired.com/news/news/linux/ Wired.com, Ongoing

>Quark highlights Web template technology

Quark is planning to enable its large base of designers to create Web templates with a new technology, code-named Troika. Troika enables the rapid creation of Extensible Markup Language (XML) and HTML documents from Quark XPress files with a drag-and-drop feature that populates data fields that match a publisher's Document Type Definition. http://www.infoworld.com/cgi-bin/displayStory.pl?99036.whquark.htm InfoWorld Electric, Mar. 6, 1999

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

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

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