publispace.net is this year celebrating its tenth birthday.
It started as a way to publicize my Ph.D. prototype program called "publicspace". The original publicspace program was a group support tool that gave Macintosh users a shared workspace with file areas, notification services, threaded discussion groups and other goodies to help them collaborate more effectively.
In many ways it was what we would today call a "wiki". In 1996 this was still fairly "out there" stuff and especially the absence of any form of access control was heresy to many of my fellow academics. I guess that the very same academics are now writing about the unstoppable rise of wikis and how they all saw it coming 🙂 publicspace was a moderate academic success (hey, I got my degree!) and a total and abject commercial failure, being paradoxically "too cheap". Still I got around 100 groups to use and (in many case) love the program and this encouraged me to continue my "shareware" adventure.
While the original product died, the "publicspace.net" website and company not only survived but thrived. The "A Better Finder" tool series established me as a "top tier" Mac developer and the "MacBreakZ" Personal Ergonomic Assistant has helped many Macintosh users prevent repetitive strain injuries or make a full recovery from it.
In 2000, with the help of George Wantz, a friend and a great programmer, these tools were let loose on the unsuspecting Windows masses. After the initial cheapo hosting solution became more and more inadequate, publicspace.net moved to its own high-performance Solaris server account in June 2000. Back then Solaris was the right choice for a pricey, but stable and fast website project.
In the past 6 years, however, much has changed both on the internet itself and here at publicspace.net. Today the birthday kid is moving to its new home on a bigger, faster, stronger, harder web server based around all-open-source technologies, such as OpenBSD, MySQL, PHP, etc. Over the next few months, I hope to introduce more dynamic features into the website and this blog is only the start of this. You as a user will benefit from increased responsiveness and faster downloads. The increase in available storage area (from 700Mb to 15Gb!) will allow me to post more demonstration videos, maintain a larger base of old versions, allow you to post your own contributions and much more.
All these changes, at the end of the day are designed to benefit you, the users of publicspace.net and help me stay in touch with your needs, suggestions and opinions.
Thanks for a great ten years.