12 August 1995: It Works

These emails are from the day we got Viaweb working. I think we demoed it to potential investors a few days later.

From rtm@uun.org Sat Aug 12 13:49:39 1995
To: pg@garage.uun.org
Subject: score: 2

I have clisp installed, and it has a (shell "...") command.

The sink works now.

From rtm@eecs.harvard.edu Sat Aug 12 16:26:39 1995 To: pg@eecs.harvard.edu Subject: clisp

It loads now. It's running (gen-site)... I think I'll get some coffee.

From pg@das.harvard.edu Sat Aug 12 23:25:29 1995 To: gino@webgen.com, jlw@webgen.com Subject: it works! Cc: pg, rtm

About an hour ago we got the generator working remotely. That is, you can now run the generator at our site from Netscape, wherever you happen to be.

--> If you were a catalog company, yesterday there were about five places that could generate a web catalog for you. Now anyone with a modem and a copy of Netscape can do it.

To use the program, all you have to do is go to a certain URL at www.webgen.com. This page has a form you can type commands into to run the generator. When it has finished, you can inspect your changed catalog by going to its URL.

We now have to do a lot of polishing: the program is very slow and not especially user-friendly. But it is a real, working system, and it already generates the best catalogs on the Web.

We are thinking of having the service go online for real around the beginning of September. Between now and then we might like to use you as a guinea-pig, Gino. Actually, we should have Julian generate a catalog of his own, too.

Yow! -- pg