I remember running Frontier back in the days. I still miss it, it was so much fun to use. At the same time a database, a web server, an application development runtime and environment, and a novel outline-based UI. Doing web stuff on the mac was really different in those early days, I remember doing CGI using AppleEvents since both the CGI and the server were desktop apps. Frontier unified everything into a cohesive package. If you’re curious, check out what were their manila sites and the “edit this page” features that allowed in-browser editing with ease.
This is a cool link for those who are curious about it: https://inessential.com/2014/05/24/what_happened_at_userland
and I couldn’t get this version to compile on a modern M1-based mac…
For anyone else having trouble compiling my Frontier build on MacOS, Ted Howard has his own build likely to work better on Macs since that’s the focus of his commits.
Some background: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UserLand_Software#Frontier
If one of the authors is reading this: the readme needs to explain what this, preferably with screenshots. The “description” on top gives a small description, but it sounds like this has a significant visual aspect, which IMO should be shown off in the readme.
I’m the developer of the linked project. That’s a good suggestion. Before I add a guide with screenshots, there’s one on FredShack.Com that explains what Frontier is like and has some representative screenshots.
What a strange historical artifact. I wonder why Winer decided to Open Source it.
Update: After reading I guess Dave Winer doesn’t have anything to do with UserLand anymore
UserLand Frontier was released as open source in 2004 to encourage further development of the C codebase that powers the platform. All the commercial development had shifted to the applications that ran atop Frontier – Manila and Radio UserLand.
As for the fate of the company, a deal was reached to sell UserLand to a new company called Radio UserLand Corporation. After that effort ended, UserLand went out of business. Open source development continues and the company’s sites are being kept online by former developer Jake Savin.