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(((((((((((((((( WEBREFERENCE UPDATE NEWSLETTER ))))))))))))))))) December 30, 1999


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http://www.webreference.com http://www.webreference.com/new/ http://www.webreference.com/new/submit.html New this week on WebReference.com and the Web:

1. CONTESTS: Subscribe & Win Dreamweaver 3!, Submit & Win GoLive 4! 2. 3D ANIMATION WORKSHOP: VRML to Web 3D, Part II 3. EXPLORING XML: The Foundation: XML, XSL, X-Link 4. BOOK REVIEW: Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace 5. NEW LINKS: Metasearch Engines, Advertising Resource Collections 6. OTHER VOICES: * A Day in the Life of a Web Builder * How To Build a Web Site with Free Stuff Pt. 3 * Stream the Millennium Party 7. NET NEWS: * Fear and Ignorance, Not Viruses, the Real Y2K Threat * Study: Web Success to be Measured in New Ways * Linux Community Scores Coup in Hotmail Outage * What Happened at XML '99 * Shuttle Astronauts Wrestle With Email

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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 1. CONTESTS: Subscribe & Win Dreamweaver 3!, Submit & Win!

>Subscribe & Win Dreamweaver 3!

Sign up for the WebReference Update today and you could win a free copy of Dreamweaver/Fireworks Studio 3.0! Each week we'll draw new winners from our new subscribers - you could be next. Already a subscriber? No problem - just fill out the form, and you'll be automatically entered to win.

This week's winners include Rudy Limeback of Toronto, Canada; Francisco Flores of Palo Alto, California; and Michelle Bernard of Boston, MA. Enjoy the new software, winners!


>Submit & Win!

Every Thursday the Update features a new article contributed by our readers through our Open Publishing Initiative. We encourage you to submit your own article ideas. Those that make the cut receive a free copy of Adobe GoLive 4.0 and a cool internet.com T-shirt!


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 2. 3D ANIMATION WORKSHOP: VRML to Web 3D, Part II

Continuing our series on the evolution of Web 3D we last left our hero (VRML) in dire straights, all but abandoned. Fear not 3D mavens, there's hope for the future in X3D. Learn another alphabet soup of acronyms like X3D, which uses XML to represent 3D navigable spaces. By Robert Polevoi.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 3. EXPLORING XML: The Foundation: XML, XSL, X-Link

We look at the most important XML vocabularies, decyphering all the TLAs (Three Letter Acronyms) along the way. Learn how you can tranform XML with XSL-T and browse XML documents with XSL-FO. Includes a live demo that transforms X-Link data into various forms (including our own hierarchical menus) using an XSL processor. By Michael Claßen.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 4. BOOK REVIEW: Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace

Conventional wisdom says that the Net is unregulable, and by its very nature is immune from government control. Lessig's book argues that this belief is wrong, and that code, not law, controls what values we protect on the Net. Code creates "architectures of control" and can either create an "intellectual commons," free from restrictive regulation, or a dark place of near perfect control. It's up to us (programmers, lawyers, policymakers, and citizens) to decide which eventuality will transpire.

The driving factor behind a regulable Net? Commerce. Commerce makes possible near-perfect control (regulation) through its requirement of identification and certification. The book is about that change and how we can prevent it.

In "real space" laws regulate through legal code. In cyberspace, for the most part, software code regulates. As the cost of violating our intellectual property and privacy decreases, the effectiveness of laws decreases while code increases. Or as James Boyle said more darkly, "Is freedom inversely related to the efficiency of the available means of surveillance? If so, we have much to fear." Lessig's thesis? On the Net, code is law. Code is a kind of constitution in cyberspace. How we write code determines in large part what values we protect. If cyberspace as we know it is to survive, we need a constraint on government's power to regulate through code.

Open source software provides that constraint by checking arbitrary power (transparent rules, changeable code), and functions as a type of "separation of powers in the American constitutional tradition." The Internet itself is based on open protocols, responsible for its rapid growth and innovation as others can tweak and improve open software. The World Wide Web is a prime example of an open system, with HTML, JavaScript, etc. a "view source" away from improvement.

But in the latter part of the 90's, closed application space code is emerging (Windows 95 bundling, etc.), so the balance between open and closed code is changing. Closed code is regulable (nontransparent), open code is not (transparent). To the extent that code is open, government's power to regulate is diminished. Open source rules.

Lessig acts as a kind of meme cracker, using stories to illustrate his main points about regulability, privacy, IP, and freedom of speech. As lawyers are wont to do, the book raises more questions than answers, but it is thought-provoking. The footnotes alone are worth the price of admission. Highly recommended.

Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace By Lawrence Lessig Basic Books, 1999 $30.00 ISBN: 0-465-03912-X

A streaming audio interview with Lawrence Lessig is available.


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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 5. NEW LINKS: Metasearch Engines, Advertising Resource Collections

>Metasearch Engines

Whether you're looking for tips on decorating your bunker, or filters for lame Y2K jokes, there's no reason to search one engine at a time. Our collection (or is that a meta-collection?) of metasearch engines helps put the whole Web at your fingertips. http://webreference.com/internet/search/meta.html

>Advertising Resource Collections

"And now for the rest of the story...." Didn't agree with Erich Hugo's article in the last newsletter? Looking for info on banner ads and more? This collection of advertising resources shows you where to start. http://webreference.com/promotion/banners/collections.html

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 6. OTHER VOICES: A Day in the Life of a Web Builder, How To Build a Web Site with Free Stuff Pt. 3: Games and Puzzles, Stream the Millennium Party

>A Day in the Life of a Web Builder

The term Web builder can mean a lot of different things. Whether you're a graphic artist, an information architect, or a Java programmer, you probably spend your day quite differently than another Web builder at a different company. Compare notes and see how your job stacks up. http://www.builder.com/Business/ADayintheLife/ Builder.com, 991228

>How To Build a Web Site with Free Stuff Pt. 3: Games and Puzzles

In this third part of WDVL's series on free stuff to build Web sites with, they look at ways to entertain your visitors. Whether your site is about entertainment or not, your visitors might welcome a few moments of light relief! http://www.wdvl.com/Authoring/Design/FreeStuff/index3.html WDVL.com, 991228

>Stream the Millennium Party

Whether you're stuck at home or stuck at work for the big Y2K bash, there's no need to miss the celebrations. Stream the party right into your living room with this guided tour of the Net's best Streaming New Year Webcasts. Grab some egg nog and enjoy the shows. Happy New Year, everybody! http://smw.internet.com/gen/cool/y2k/ StreamingMediaWorld.com, 991230

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 7. NET NEWS: Fear and Ignorance, Not Viruses, the Real Y2K Threat, Study: Web Success to be Measured in New Ways, Linux Community Scores Coup in Hotmail Outage, What Happened at XML '99, Shuttle Astronauts Wrestle With Email

>Fear and Ignorance, Not Viruses, the Real Y2K Threat

Despite a deluge of new computer viruses hitting the Web in November and the ample threat of viruses aimed at raining on computer users' New Year festivities, few virus watchers believe a major incident will threaten computers over the holidays. http://www.zdnet.com/zdnn/stories/news/0,4586,2413734,00.html ZDNet.com, 991229

>Study: Web Success to be Measured in New Ways

Forget about hits and page views. Determining online success involves tracking what consumers do when they visit Web sites rather than how many eyeballs hit the screen, a new study says. http://news.cnet.com/news/0-1005-200-1508555.html CNET.com, 991228

>Linux Community Scores Coup in Hotmail Outage

Microsoft owes a debt of gratitude to a lone Linux programmer. The software giant confirmed that its popular Hotmail email network was partially paralyzed over the Christmas holiday when it failed to pay a $35 registration fee for the domain name Passport.com. The oversight was remedied by Linux programmer Michael Chaney, who covered the payment with his personal credit card. Within hours, Hotmail was back online. http://news.cnet.com/news/0-1005-200-1508169.html CNET.com, 991228

>What Happened at XML '99

A lengthy and detailed look at XML '99, held in Philadelphia in December 1999. XML '99, which focused on XML business, technology and standards was reportedly the largest XML conference to date. http://www.wdvl.com/Authoring/Languages/XML/Conferences/XML99/ WDVL.com, 991220

>Shuttle Astronauts Wrestle With Email

This is one case where technical support is definitely not going to make a house call. After racing against the calendar to avoid Y2K computer problems, the astronauts aboard the space shuttle Discovery roared into orbit only to encounter a far more familiar computer glitch. "I can't get the email," radioed astronaut John Grunsfeld to Mission Control shortly after the crew woke up on Monday morning. "It's just coming out as x's and o's." http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nm/19991221/sc/space_shuttle_39.html Yahoo.com, 991221

That's it for this millennium, see you on the flip side. Happy New Year!

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

Eric Cook Assistant Editor, WebReference.com ecook@internet.com

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