I’m glad that someone — Aaron Swartz — finally got around to taking the New York Times XML feeds and turning them into something more useful, namely a Times-specific weblog. This is something that’ll definitely end up in the bookmarks list; hell, with a little modification of the source, it’s also the perfect AvantGo channel.

(And I apologize, but I can’t help laughing at the fact that the XML feeds were released by the Times specifically for Radio UserLand users, but that UserLand wasn’t able to create a similar readable web page of the feeds because they couldn’t keep Radio UserLand from crashing.)


Hi Jason, sorry for the confusion. Our mistake was not redirecting from the old location of the site to its new location. As you noted we were having trouble with the machine it was running on. Anyway we added the redirect early this afternoon based on your feedback and Aaron’s. Thanks as usual for the informative report and best wishes on your new Movable Type blog. Dave

• Posted by: Dave Winer on Oct 2, 2002, 4:03 PM

Wow, and you don’t need passwords to access!

Dave - Now can you fix all of the OTHER problems with UserLand’s software?

• Posted by: Karl on Oct 2, 2002, 6:19 PM

Alas, Dave, after paying $5,000 per license and having our informative reports ignored, and then giving you guys free publicity and having our informative reports ignored, and then having you take our informative reports and tell us to just change the way we were doing things, and then, lastly, being told (in response to an informative report) by UserLand’s president and COO to “consider using another system to accomplish your programming goals,” we finally decided that it wasn’t worth sending the informative reports anymore.

• Posted by: Jason on Oct 2, 2002, 7:35 PM

I know Jason, we really let you down. I’m sorry about that, but there really wasn’t anything we could do. Life and the software business got hard. If there was some way we could have kept you as a customer we would have.

• Posted by: Dave Winer on Oct 2, 2002, 8:51 PM

This is why systems like Movable Type are doing so much better in the blogging community…..hackability. It’s open and if you have a problem, there is a giant community on the support forum.

• Posted by: mike on Oct 2, 2002, 9:43 PM

Actually, Mike, UserLand had its best sales month ever in September.

• Posted by: John Robb on Oct 3, 2002, 10:48 AM

John, I wasn’t meaning financially, but the growing move of a lot of the long timers to Movable Type and similar systems. They just have a system that is supported by a growing community who love to hack the system and implement new features. I used Blogger and moved from it because of all of the downtime and other errors. I tried Manilla and Radio, and the interface just wasn’t as user friendly and it seemed that it wasn’t as supported. I switched to Movable Type because it 1.) ran on my server 2.) the support forum was really good 3.) customization options. I’ll admit the first time I tried to installed it, I had problems. But I’ve installed it many times since then, and have even used it to support my company site.

• Posted by: Mike on Oct 3, 2002, 11:57 AM

Mike. Thanks. You can host Radio on your server too, it is a simple FTP setting.

• Posted by: John Robb on Oct 3, 2002, 2:44 PM

Personally, I think it’s funny that the very man who stood as a roadblock to actually solving my (and my company’s) Frontier problems is now here using the forums for cheerleading. John, I can’t imagine you realize how many people within the large media conglomerate you blew off have read the email you sent me and my boss; it surely can’t be how you thought UserLand would be be best represented, but it was the truth.

• Posted by: Jason on Oct 3, 2002, 5:14 PM


I am really very sorry about your problems. I can assure you that we did spend a tremendous amount of time working on your specific situation. However, your situation was unique, and given that we offer software at a small fraction of the cost of more expnsive systems, it would have been entirely different if the large media conglomerate you mentioned would have helped us to pay for the man hours to debug their implementation (small dollars to your media company but large dollars to us). I would have been more than happy to make that happen for you Jason.


John Robb

• Posted by: John Robb on Oct 5, 2002, 9:38 PM

I don’t know anything about the nature of the technical problems, or the relationship SI had with Userland, but Dave and John, you guys seem to be doing a much better job of representing your company here than I’ve seen in the past. Gotta give credit where it’s due.

• Posted by: Anil on Oct 5, 2002, 10:12 PM

Oh please folks, don’t buy into the bullshit Userland tries to spin. The reality is that SI was trying to use software that although advertised as such, wasn’t (and doublessly still isn’t) up to the task.

So instead of actually fixing the defects in Frontier Robb wanted SI to pay for the development? Hmmm, sort of like extortion isn’t it? Sure, it’s crappy software but since you’ve got deep pockets we won’t fix the bugs unless you to fund for the effort. This wasn’t feature requests folks, this was BUG fixes.

All the while pretending to have some sort of folksy demeanor. What a load of bull.

• Posted by: zaphod beebelbrox on Oct 10, 2002, 2:30 AM
Please note that comments automatically close after 60 days; the comment spammers love to use the older, rarely-viewed pages to work their magic. If comments are closed and you want to let me know something, feel free to use the contact page!