On the 1999-server mail list I asked for feedback on the product.
There were several very useful responses in the form of blog posts. Here are links to the posts and my responses follow.
Scott Hanson says it's simple.
Jack Baty is a former Frontier and Fargo user.
Frank McPherson has specific feature requests, all of which are good ideas, and some are even being planned at this time.
I had the same concern as Jack re archives and what happens when you get over 1000 messages (an arbitrary number). He says that no one has hit that yet, but I did. On Scripting News, and I figured out what to do about it.
I wrote a script that breaks the JSON file up into months.
You don't need all the messages to be in the chatLog.json file for it to work. It works fine with just the last month's files in it.
What I don't have now is a way to display a single month's file, but that won't be hard to do. It's basically just a repurposing of the code that generates the home page.
I tested this just before inviting you guys to run servers. It's the last thing I wanted to be sure I knew how to do before inflicting this on anyone else. ;-)
About themes, I very much want to do that. But first people have to start playing with templates.
I don't want to lock anything down re themes until there are one or two designers working on 1999 as a design platform.
Bryan Bell led this effort in Manila and Radio. It would be ideal if I had someone to work with like that. It's a whole other dimension, and I am not that kind of designer, but I always am on the lookout for blog templates that work on other systems.
Right now all 1999 sites I've seen look like mine. We should try to make that not true.
This should be one of the areas that 1999 shines in, because it's both very flexible, and to design templates requires no knowledge of how the technology under it works. So we should be able to accomplish quite a lot here.
So someone should dig into this and start reporting either success or problems with template work. Let's shake that part of the product out.
I also have a doc on that.
Anyone with experience working with Manila or Radio will immediately understand that doc, imho.
You all really nailed what the product is about and about the design of it.
I found I had ideas that didn't fit in Twitter and didn't belong on my blog. Too long for Twitter, too short for a blog post.
I was aware of this frustration almost from the beginning with Twitter. I used to have a good way to do this before all that, I used an outliner to write Scripting News, and it quite elegantly handled long and short form posts in one document.
My goal with "1999" was to move all the extra stuff out of the way, and achieve the simplicity of Twitter and Facebook, yet have all the options of a good blogging system.
It's such a natural place for me to write that I also write my long-form stuff there.
But for really serious docs, I use the OPML Editor. I need all the power of the outliner, for big writing jobs. Like all the docs on the 1999-project site. All OPML.