Man, you’d think from reading this post from Dave Winer that when I suggested over 10 years ago that UserLand Frontier would make a great scripting environment for the web, I somehow set into motion a series of events that would ultimately lead to his misery.
In 1995 or 1996 I got a prophetic email from Mason Hale, who had discovered Frontier and thought it would make a wonderful environment for CGI scripting. He was right, but I came to wish I had never gotten that email. Seriously.
While it is nice to be remembered, I wish it were a little more fondly. 😉 I hate to think Dave genuinely regrets our interaction and the cool things we built together or pushed each other to build back in the early years of the web. We did some crazy stuff. Some of which has faded to history, but I still remember well — and fondly. Like when we wired Frontier up to Netscape to run client-side scripts using a custom usrtlk: protocol. It was a security nightmare waiting to happen, but it was geeky-cool and a fun and still mostly uncharted territory to explore.
So it is a bit sad for me to read that Dave associates me and that time with a negative turning point in his life. I have not kept in touch with Dave over the years. We didn’t have a falling out or anything, we just started working on different things. I am thankful for the many lessons I learned from working with Dave Winer. I wish him well, and I am sorry to hear he’s had a rough stretch these last few years.