One of the things I’ve been doing while not updating this blog was looking for a web editor to replace the ancient NetObjects Fusion 7.0 still used (together with heavy “post-processing”) for some of my most important websites.The programs I had planned to have a closer look at were NetObjects Fusion 9, Nvu and Dreamweaver.
Concerning the first candidate, I had the impression that many features I didn’t really need had been added while no improvements had been made to the code quality, so I heavy-heartedly discarded NOF 9 and started to learn how to use Nvu.
Standing for “new view” and supposedly pronounced “n-view” (not “envy you”), open source Nvu claims to be “a complete Web Authoring System […] to rival programs like FrontPage and Dreamweaver”. As I eventually found out, this statement is only true if you compare Nvu to the very first versions of these programs. Not only does Nvu have severe limitations when it comes to using server side script languages like PHP, it is also a very buggy piece of software, making it useless for simple tasks, too. With no bug fixes released since version 1.0, Nvu is dead by now. However, there’s an unofficial bug-fix release called KompoZer, which I didn’t have a closer look at because I’d already wasted too much time.
In fact, at that point I had to stop my “research project” to continue working on my company’s web shops and back office systems. I didn’t even have the time to write a rant about Nvu on this blog. 😉
The next step would’ve been Dreamweaver and indeed I got as far as installing the MX 2004 version which came with a 1&1 webhosting account. That’s when I decided to have another look at the NetObject’s homepage and the NOF 9 newsgroups. I was pleased to find out that a significant update for NOF 9 had been released and even more pleased when I read that all code generated by NOF 9 now meets W3C HTML 4.01 transitional standards. At that point, I couldn’t resist to buy the upgrade. I’ll try to post an in-depth review in a few weeks, but the first impression I had was very good. It seems that the makers of NOF listened to what the users had to say and that NOF is still very much alive.
Don’t despair, we can’t all be Warren Buffets. Instead, think about it this way: There are about 6,6 Billion people living on this planet. If everybody just gave you 10 US$, you’d have 66 Billion US$ and could make Buffet look rather poor.
OK, so you tried that, sent 10 US$ to 5 people on that list you received by email and nobody ever sent you any money? Too bad, but that’s not really my point. Instead, I was trying to illustrate that small actions by many people can have an enormous impact, too (I know, Gandhi probably said it more eloquently). Which leads us to We Are What We Do, “a new movement inspiring people to use their everyday actions to change the world”.
Sure, something like only filling your kettle with the water you need won’t get you in the news, but it’s a start.
This is not the message I wanted to get after sending an important e-mail to a supplier in Taiwan. To make things worse, this isn’t a message I received when connecting to my (e-mail) provider’s mail server. Instead, the mail server itself received this message when trying to relay my e-mail to Hinet, where my supplier has his account. Maybe somebody at Hinet had a brilliant idea of how to reduce SPAM (“let’s not accept more than 8 e-mails per month from other mail servers”) or their server was having temporary problems and nobody could be bothered to check if the error message sent together with error code 421 made sense. In any case, my e-mail wasn’t getting through.
Other than sending a fax, the solution I found was to connect directly to the mail server at Hinet (ms12a.hinet.net) from my e-mail software, thereby bypassing my provider’s mail server. On this illustration from Wikipedia, this would mean drawing an arrow from “Alice’s MUA” directly to “mx.b.org”. My first attempt failed (“relaying denied”) because I had forgotten to remove my own address from the BCC field. Since Hinet’s server (at least this one) isn’t an open relay, it only accepts e-mails for its own users (*@hinet.net). After I fixed this, sending the e-mail was no problem (and it actually arrived, too).
Luckily, it was easy to add an alternative mail server in my e-mail software (Becky!). Still, this wasn’t the first time I had experienced problems communicating with business partners in Taiwan who were using Hinet and I’m sure I’m not the only one. I’m really wondering how many potential deals were never concluded because of Hinet’s poor performance.