Andrew Channels Dexter Pinion

Wherein I write some stuff that you may like to read. Or not, its up to you really.

November 14, 2001

Content Management Software

I am the king of web content management software this week. As I mentioned yesterday, in addition to this blog, you can also find a Radio blog here and my Manila site here.

You would think that would be enough for any sane person, especially someone like me who is incredibly content free but no, I've gone and got myself signed up for the CityDesk beta. This means I will be publishing even more meaningless drivel to a site near you very, very soon.

Posted by Andy Todd at 04:34 PM | Comments (0)

November 13, 2001

Technical Progress

In more technical news, I've nearly finished an Oracle port of dbdoc. Expect it to appear in version 0.6, or possibly later.

I've also made some changes to the dbBrowser sample in PythonCard. This will now also support Oracle and should show up in the 0.5.1 release. I've got more things to do with this, but they won't be done in a hurry.

Posted by Andy Todd at 09:44 AM | Comments (0)

Radio Userland

Just to waste even more of my time I've started playing with Radio UserLand.

Not content with that I've also set up my own Manila site, courtesy of the lovely people at Have a look at 99% of Gargoyles.

Oh, and Dexter will be back on our screens next Monday evening (the 19th of November). So watch out tree huggers.

Posted by Andy Todd at 09:39 AM | Comments (0)

November 06, 2001

Web Services

I've been thinking about web services on and off a bit recently, and an e-mail I received this morning crystallised my thoughts enough for me to actually post to this blog.

There are two problems with web services applications that will stop them being successful with consumers. By web services, I'm referring to handy applications that are available via the internet and displayed in a web browser, things like xdrive for instance.

The first problem is the lack of permanent internet connections. By far the majority of consumer web surfers access their ISP via dial up. Even today in these DSL and cable modem rich times the average internet user is at the end of a telephone line with a 56k modem. Not having your information available to you when you start up your computer is a no no. Having to dial in to your ISP just to get at your data is too much trouble.

The other problem was brought to light by the e-mail I mentioned earlier, just because you use a web service it doesn't guarantee your information will be available. Even if you pay for it. Businesses go under all the time, why should web service providers be any different. I have used, and absolutely love the alphablox technology, but I'm very glad I didn't rely on it. Because if I had I would be frantically scrabbling around to recreate any document I had created at before it is turned of on the 30th of December this year. Here is the text of the e-mail I received;

To users:

Alphablox will be discontinuing the service, effective December 30th, 2001. As such, all services and content that are embedded in Web sites will no longer be available, and will not work, after this date. For those of you who have leveraged our innovative technologies from this service, our SpreadsheetBlox solution may be licensed and installed on your site. However, we will no longer offer any of our technology on a subscription basis.

Alphablox will continue to market its solutions to Global 2000 companies, allowing its customers to broadly deploy a new class of collaborative analytics for improved visibility and cross-enterprise intelligence. Please visit for more information about these solutions.

In other words, thank you and goodnight. At least they gave me six weeks notice, they could have just shut down the whole thing.

Oh, and if you are still tempted to entrust your information to reputable (?) merchants on the internet read this.

Posted by Andy Todd at 04:02 PM | Comments (0)