This is just a general rant and flame page. Do not expect rationality
here. If you do not know who Monty Python is, or if you have not seen the
"Dead Parrot" sketch, then you were probably raised by rabid yaks in
Mongolia: and you will find no absolutely value in this page. And now for
something completely different...
November '2000 -- Really ought to learn not to open my mouth before reading what I've
written. Below there is a statement saying that I thought there was to be no major (i.e. v3.0)
version of Merchant released before the next-gen v4.0 release of the language. Duh. Later on
I read back over the San Diego stuff and saw my own report of the cool new features we could
expect from Merchant v3.0 in Q4 of this year. Double-duh. Quite obviously, they are right on
schedule as they had announced last Summer. Now, where's that Q4 beta release of the compiler?
October-November '2000 -- Discovered that Empresa NT under stress can be very stressful. Gremlins which
stay hidden under *nix suddenly rear their fanged heads when you turn up the volume under NT; and promptly
bite you in the ass. Calling to the umpires in Atlantis is met with silence. Asking for a W2K compatible version
is met with silence. Asking a hosting client if its OK to have their web server die thirty times a day is
also met with a similar silence; but only a temporary one before you hear the door slamming behind them. Nothing
like an unstable DLL to warm the hearts of those who consider trying to make a living from it! Guess the
point is to learn from the masters: when a customer complains of a major, show-stopping fault in a script
platform -- ignore them. Maybe they'll just go away.
October '2000 -- The Bestest Grand Wizard of the Miva Universe anoints the webmister with
a formalization of nuisance factor. No one mentioned the major catch-22 which bascially mandates you
to purchase your own sample/demo code. Oddly, Miva Partners are required to support Miva code -- but you
are not permitted access to the code unless you buy it yourself or send a 4-digit check to San Diego.
Guess that caveats like that are better kept hidden until after you pay your dues, eh? Nothing
warms a developers heart like being required to support programs that you are not permitted access too
unless you pay for someone's ticket to Munich.
Miva Merchant v3.0 (my code name "Sweet Dimples") is said to be in
beta and soon to be released -- then in a few weeks it suddenly is not even in beta anymore. If its
not out soon MM3 will surely miss the infamous holiday ecom window. Who's dumb enough to move to a
new release in the middle of the busiest sales season of the year? Only a masochist would be so dumb.
Which means the formal MMG position is to wait until December 7th to implement the new version. That
ought to be sufficiently painful to carry to the new year, and it seems an apropos date to implement
such a wide-sweeping new feature set. Plus it will provide the rationalization to delay the release of
the new v4.0 series of the language. You can hear the echoes now: "The v4.0 series of the Miva Script has
been delayed to accommodate the development schedule of Miva Merchant v3.0." We mistakenly thought
the announcement at the conference was that Merchant would see no major revisions before the
"next gen" release, which was to happen in "early 2001". Maybe 2001 will be a spaced odyssey after all.
Let's hope that Miva does not pull a Microsoft and just include features that other, third-party developers
thought of first. Then again, at least Microsoft pays the developers who create new
feature sets for them. Surely Miva Corp would not simply include features that were first borne from the sweat
and toil of their registered developers; and claim them to be new "look what we thought of!" features.
If the biggest bells-n-whistles of a new application version are actually purloined ideas from hard-working
aftermarket developers, there's not a lot of motivation remaining for those developers, eh?
September '2000 -- Somewhere around this month they release the first "localized" version of
Miva Merchant. Apparently the German explosion of ecommerce far transcend's that of Canada and all Spanish-speaking
peoples of the world. The German version of Merchant adds another 1,000 or so lines of code to parse with each
and every operation; no matter what the nationality of the server is. If this trend continues, a full international
version of Merchant (the only one available for release, of course) will bloat with another 10,000 lines of
foreign language code. Let's see, over 3,000 web hosts in the USA and maybe 100 in Germany. Yup, that's sure worth
doubling the code size for! You can just imagine what the size will be when they add the Japaneese version
(which seems a hell of a lot larger marketplace than Germany). Maybe Merchant will come with sub-titles.
Summer-Fall '2000 -- Very odd summer-fall. Ranting lunatics with VD roam the lists insulting any who venture in their
path. The first ever Miva Developers Conference brings a gaggle of the finest Miva developers in
the world to sunny San Diego (how about Vegas next time guys?) where they are forced to wear presentable
clothes for the first time in months. Thieving lamer scumbags purloin published Merchant modules and
try to sell them as their own; and think that no one noticed. Miva promises Partner licenses for the
old timers than never materialize (no major surprise there). An unstable Miva employee goes postal on
the MMG site webmister and accuses him of blasphemy, then goes on to try and form an
anti-MMG partnership with a Miva developer. About as successful as Pat Bucannan in the
presidential election with an equal share of credibility. And about as well liked by the general
March '2000 -- Decided that Miva is going to get fun again. Whoring on
the mailing lists is getting to be an art form. Adrenalin-filled security issues
lurk in the shadows, self-important list nazis are pillaging the countryside,
innocent Persian cats are being sacrificed inside computer cases as some sort of
bizarre Miva Script debugging tool. If you only just lurk the lists, now's the
time to post to the list. March is send-a-rant-to-the list month!
February '2000 -- Miva updated their web site. If you haven't snooped
the source of those pages you are missing some incredibly tasty code. Sad to
find no code credits for such talented work.
January '2000 -- Merchant update version 2.01 is released in
December; but Miva Corp forgot to tell anyone until January. Strange, but apropos.
November '99 -- New Merchant version is released. Evals
August 25 '99 -- Very disturbing signs on the Miva support
front. Change logs are actually
posted on their web site. Books are being
written (produced by a most excellent publisher, if you do not own Poor
Richard's Web Site you are a deprived soul). Scripts that haven't worked
in 2 years have suddenly come out of long-dormant loops to spew forth global
variables set eons ago. The dawn is rising, birds are chirping, dogs are noisily
making love in public places, kids are returning to school, and a Canadian
gentleman lost during a Molson party some 10,000 years ago has risen to the top
of a glacier. And he's real thirsty, eh?
If Miva Corp keeps this up, it's going to grow harder to find stuff to rant
about. Shucks. Maybe I'll have to move to insulting their heritage, past loves,
and lack of any sense of humor.
August 23 '99 -- My first (and only, so far) reaction from a Miva
employee about this site. They say:
"Interesting site. Looks like you have been very busy."
Which is usually the most polite thing to say when you
come across one of those "worst of the month" sites. Or when you hit a
newbie's site filled with blinking text and flashing animation. Or you're
pro-choice and hit a pro-lifer's site (or visa versa). Or maybe what Bill
Clinton would say about Kenneth Star's site; minus the Monica.
August 21 '99 -- Now there's a new Miva
support policy. whoopee (fart). Now we'll have to listen to even more
complaints on the mailing lists from folks saying they are not properly supported -- even
though they never paid a goddamn dime to Miva Corp. in the first place. On
the upside, Miva seems to have suddenly realized that Miva Script developers
have some value in life. What a revelation! Methinks this is a precursor to
their dumping the really bad newbie requests to a select list of
Here's the new "pay-per-view" Miva Tech Support (MTS) workflow:
- AOL newbie calls Miva support to ask how to turn on their computer.
- MTS tells newbie that is will cost $25.00 to answer their question.
- Newbie gives them a CC number which is immediately charged (with online
approval, of course) for an MTS call.
- Once MTS has the $$ in hand, they explain to the newbie that Miva is very
simple to learn and that lots of support is available.
- Newbie asks again how to turn on their computer.
- MTS explains that this problem outside of their boundaries, but they have
a list of most excellent developers on the Miva web site (link unknown, of
course) who will be able to help.
- Newbie thinks they have crossed the Rubicon and says 'Gee thanks!' and
- About an hour later newbie realizes they can't get the developer's list
because their computer is still not turned on, so they MvGO to #1.
On top of this, we will probably have a new cadre of Official
Miva Develerpers (kinda like 'Venders') who will inundate the mailing
lists with repetitive "We offer a module that can do that" messages.
And to qualify for entry onto this prestigious developers' list you must first
know how to turn on your computer. Oh, you'll also probably have to know some
secret link on their web site (like Jeff's Merchant Support pages) which will
auto-reg you as a developer on the first page load. Oh yeah, the other qualifier
will be that you will have to pay them $125.00 annual dues; but you will get one
free 5-minute tech support call each year! Billed from time of connection,
average hold time only 6-hours for pre-paid accounts, and a mere 72-hours hold
time without pre-pay.
August '99 -- Once again the great MC 'disses me most dramatically
(public sniveling exhibit subject Re: [meu] File upload and global time out
on the mm-coders list). Well FYT.
To the tune of the chorus of "Sound of Music"
The hills are alive with the sound of Cold Fusion
With none of the pain from Miva Corp . . .
A lawsuit prohibits
inclusion of the actual text of the original parody. Apparently you are not
allowed to mention Cold Fusion without your site being served by a $52,295
Proliant SQL server running on a Tiger cluster behind a Checkpoint firewall,
hosted by AT&T's SpaceLab platform (which orbiting Uranus at the
August '99 -- Realized that even though these pages have
been complete for some time now, they had never been published. Wow. Maybe that
explains the low hit rate. But my Miva Counter script had said I've been getting
32,387,475,298.099930 hits a day for seven years now! Golly geez, there must be
something wrong with this internet thing, 'cause we all know that there are no
timing problems in the Empresa engine, right?