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©Copyright: 2005
Steve Kirks

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  Monday, April 5, 2004

Frontier 9.0.1 beta notes

I downloaded the beta of Frontier (for MacOS X) and am installing to test. This is "part one of two" post, breaking the review into Manila and Frontier parts. These are my notes:

Download: smooth and simple. Did not automount under OS X, probably because I option-clicked the link in Safari.

Mounting: clicked "agree" to user license and disk image mounts. Nice folder with Frontier logo. That's new. Also, when viewed in "icon view" under MacOS X, it has a nice logo and graphic for the folder background. Nice details.

Install: The instructions say:

3. Copy the Frontier folder from the disk image to your Applications folder, or to the location where you want to install Frontier. Important: If you have an existing installation of Frontier on your computer, make sure not to overwrite that installation.

No problems here. I copied it to a second partition on my hard drive in the root folder.

Application Launch:

First problem encountered. On MacOS X, the Preview version of the icon looks like a folder, not an application icon. In fact the small version of the icon looks like a folder too. Needlessly confusing. Double click. Nothing happens. Double click in the list. Nothing. Time to reinstall. No wait--a refresh of the Finder window now shows the icon as a true folder with contents. Frontier app installed. Double click and the app launches.


Standard setup questions answered. Nothing unexpected. Browser returns a login prompt, filled out, login proceeds normally. I head to the settings page, then start with the Manila prefs first.

  1. No changes to page 1.
  2. Many changes here. Description text is the same, but now a checkbox for "enable hosting". I guess this pref is for the users who buy this and setup one weblog/CMS/intranet. No sense in creating extra blogs if you don't need to. For this test, I'll leave it checked.
    Userland Question: if you don't check this, do some prefs "grey out" or disappear?

    The page now has logical sections divided with labels like "Appearance" and "Email confirmation". Also, the text entry boxes on this form have been changed to be a consistent size. Still function, just better looking--more professional or polished.

    The shared membership pref is under the appearance section. It has nothing to do with appearance, so why did it move? Suggestion: create a first section called "Security" and put the hosting checkbox, create site pref and membership pref under it.

    New pref for email confirmation with options for requiring email responses before creating a site and restricting (apparently responses) to a particular domain.

  3. Page 3 is the same. All are off by default.
  4. Theme configuration is handled the same, just some "out with the old, in with the new". UserLand note: there are two themes listed as ISP and both of "sample" URLs that point back to the main UserLand site. This exists in the current official release, too.
    Missing: Adult Contemporary, America, both Aquas, A Theme Apart, Basic Blog, Cool Blue, Directory Theme, Drab Blogger, Green Boxes, Grid Paper, Hazard Area (and Revisited), Ketchup, My Frontpage, Newspaper, Old Days, Orderly Boxes, pwc Theme (good riddance), RightStrip, Roses are Red, SideMat, SimplyPaper, Slashnot, Soni, Soundwaves (all), Space, Stripes, themeweenie, ThinLines, Transmitter, Vanilla Manilla, WhiteSpace (a DaveNet clone and fave of mine), Wood Grain, Wunderkind, ZeroPointNine.

    New: Book Worm, Colonsay, Swim Fan--all new Bryan Bell themes introduced in the last year.

  5. No changes to static rendering prefs (yet...)
  6. No changes to site download prefs.
  7. Page 7 is for configuring legal macros. See the beta notes for details on changes. Leave a comment on this post if you have a specific macro question, as there are too many changes to list here.
  8. No changes to News Aggregator settings.

That's it for Manila settings. I'll come back and cover the Frontier-specific settings in a second post.

- comments []