Jack Stenner
Since the beginning
Works in Gainesville, Florida United States of America

PORTFOLIO (1)
BIO
Jack Stenner is an artist who has worked with technology, video, and installation since the mid 1990s. He is an Assistant Professor of Art + Technology at the University of Florida, School of Art and Art History. His work addresses issues related to our socio-culturally constructed "reality" and the ways we create meaning. He is interested in “place” and how meaning is embedded, manipulated and transcoded in the environment. His work explores the construction of a “hybrid subject”; a subject that is neither entirely human nor machinic. Combining techniques from information retrieval and visualization, content analysis, video gaming, computer vision and experimental video, he seeks to create experiences that encourage us to reconsider what we think we know about our world, and imagine an alternative utopia.

He holds a Bachelors of Environmental Design, a Masters of Science in Visualization, and a Ph.D in Architecture with emphasis in Computer Visualization from Texas A&M University. He worked with artists in the context of an alternative art space he founded in Houston, Texas, for almost 10 years. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, at venues including Siggraph, ACM Multimedia, International Society of Electronic Artists (ISEA), ZeroOne Biennial, Alternative Museum, Museum of Modern Art, Toluca, Mexico, Polk Museum of Art,Tampa Museum of Art, and others.
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DISCUSSION

Re: The end of Premiere for Mac


On Friday, July 11, 2003, at 09:44 PM, Jim Andrews wrote:

> So you're saying Apple has implemented a responsible solution to this
> situation? Is that your
> position also, T.whid?

I wouldn't commit to that yet, but it looks like it's headed in the
right direction. It's very new (Safari just came out of beta a week or
so ago). Access to the rendering engine via WebCore, is open source
under LGPL. I believe twhid posted this link already, but here it is
again <http://developer.apple.com/darwin/projects/webcore/>

>
> I don't understand some of the distinctions you make. You say "the GUI
> and interface functions
> are proprietary, but the portion that integrates with the network (the
> rendering engine) is open
> source and standards based."
>
> So, I take it, for instance, that the DOM (Document Object Model) is
> in some sense open source
> and standards based. The standards would be W3C standards, but are you
> saying the implementation
> of the DOM is open source so that, for instance, one could inspect the
> code implementation of,
> say, the window.open method? What do you mean by the GUI and interface
> functions?

A browser, like most applications are composed of many parts. One part
might present an interface (GUI, buttons, tabs, etc.) to the user,
another part might save preferences/state, another will handle html
page rendering, yet another part will interpret javascript statements.
What Apple has done is create an Objective-C (the preferred language of
OSX) interface to the KHTML parts that interpret html, css, javascript,
etc. (the parts that typically rely on cross-platform communication via
the network). This interface (WebCore) is open source so any
programmer on OSX has access to it. The look and feel of Safari, and
any platform specific features that don't affect page rendering are
part of the Safari application itself, and are not open source. If you
look at the WebCore framework, you will see a bunch of header files
that provide access to the underlying KHTML library. It's really just
a translation from OSX to KHTML. If MS were to desire to do this, they
would have to design a complement to WebCore that runs on their
platform. These are basically the "hooks" between the OS and the
underlying cross-platform KHTML library.
<http://developer.kde.org/documentation/library/kdeqt/kde3arch/khtml/>
The beauty of this is that KHTML is standards based, supporting W3C
DOM, Java, JavaScript, and CSS. In other words, you don't have an OS
manufacturer modifying or ignoring standards for their own benefit (at
the cost of compatibility). At least that's the way it SHOULD
work...time will tell. The Konquerer browser, commonly used on Linux,
is similar to Safari in that it uses KHTML to render pages.

>
>
> Any sense of why the DOJ is not making any noise?

Ha, that's another can of worms that's probably off-topic for this
list......the short answer might have something to do with a
big-business friendly administration, deep pockets, and a sour economy.

>
> And thanks to T.whid and you for arguing forcefully and clearly on
> this question. It is
> important.

Sure, glad to spew ;-)

Jack

DISCUSSION

Re: The end of Premiere for Mac


On Friday, July 11, 2003, at 07:33 PM, Jim Andrews wrote:

>
> What is your solution? Take IE away from Microsoft and give it to a
> different company? Make it
> open source?

It seems to me that OS manufacturers should not be allowed to develop
browsers (in which case IE could be taken by another company) or at
least the portion that interacts with the rest of the network should be
required to be open AND standards based. In Apples case, the GUI and
interface functions are proprietary, but the portion that integrates
with the network (the rendering engine) is open source and standards
based. That model could work for MS as well, in lieu of selling/giving
up IE.

>
> Microsoft could still develop OS accessible functionality that could,
> if the developers chose,
> be accessed through a Microsoft API accessible to registered browsers.
> The 'registered' part
> could deal with security issues.

Whatever OS functionality MS wanted to open to browser developers would
be fine, as long as the features did not create a situation that limits
the network access of non-MS browsers to portions of the net. In
simplified form, we don't need a telephone network that only speaks
English.

>
> What was the DOJ's proposed solution? Wasn't it just this, to take IE
> away from Microsoft? Was
> it IE or was it some other partition?

At one point, the goal was to break MS into a number of smaller
companies. The idea was to separate OS operations from applications,
etc. The intention was to encourage competition and remove the
inherent conflicts presented by an OS manufacturer also producing the
browser. Despite MS's claims to the contrary this would encourage
innovation rather than stifle it.

I agree it's desirable to bring the net closer to the desktop, in
reality I think this is more likely with competition than without it.
After all, browser development has practically stalled (in terms of
real innovation) in the last 3-4 years since MS gained the majority of
the market. Here's a semi-related interview with Marc Andreessen
discussing the lack of innovation.
<http://reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=internetNews&storyID020749>

Jack

DISCUSSION

Re: The end of Premiere for Mac


Re: RHIZOME_RAW: The end of Premiere for Mac (or what happens when OS
vendors get in the applications business)

On Thursday, July 10, 2003, at 05:57 PM, Jim Andrews wrote:

>
> Microsoft is an OS/system level company. They don't have the culture
> to support something like
> Premier or Director or Flash or anything particularly creative. If a
> product isn't geared
> primarily toward big business, they don't know what to make of it. But
> they are often the best
> at system design/architecture. It's that fresh Pacific, Seattle air,
> T.whid.

This is an important issue. If Microsoft (or anyone for that matter,
but by virtue of their 90% market share, it appears to be MS), controls
the gateway to the net, don't we all become reliant on their "corporate
culture" as a filter for our experience? If they aren't particularly
creative, and competition has vanished, won't the speed of innovation
diminish? Why does this seem to be a desirable condition for so many?

We keep talking about "OS-integration" as if it is some magical
relationship between the OS and the browser. I believe this is a false
notion, invented by Microsoft, as a means to justify the absorption of
the browser into their portfolio of applications. If you recall, this
notion first came up when the Netscape anti-trust case began. No
matter how you color it, the browser will still be an application that
runs on top of the OS. Because Microsoft controls the source to the
underlying OS, it is true that they can create barriers that would
hamper access, or otherwise limit the functionality of competing
developers (browser makers, here). This is a matter of choice by
Microsoft, however. Other than the removal of this artificially
created barrier to development, there is no intrinsic advantage
(performance, features, etc.) to Microsoft controlling the browser or
someone else.

It's too easy to divert this discussion into a "platform war." It's
not about whether you like this flavor or that, or this browser is
better than that one was. As an artist I am concerned about the
environment within which we will operate in the future. I realize that
artists are like cockroaches ;-) and will adapt and thrive in whatever
the world presents, but as a person who is interested in creativity I
would like an environment that maximizes that potential. Will an
environment (the net) whose features are determined by a single
corporation be more, or less, flexible? Will it be conducive to
activities that may not support the corporation's agenda? Will
innovation slow to the pace of corporate upgrade schedules? What
happens when the corporation decides to filter everyone through their
own portal (ala AOL) or begin a subscription upgrade service? For me
it comes down to this: do we want the net to become an extension of
one corporation, or a somewhat ad hoc collection of individuals
functioning as a community? I believe that access to the net is a
social function that is too important to allow a single entity to have
control. Ideally, OS vendors should not be allowed to produce
browsers, but in the least, they should be open source and standards
based. I don't believe the nebulous promise of "additional features"
is worth the price of limited freedom.

I'll shut-up now,
Jack

DISCUSSION

Re: The end of Premiere for Mac


On Thursday, July 10, 2003, at 04:51 AM, Jim Andrews wrote:

>
>>> http://money.excite.com/jsp/nw/nwdt_ge.jsp?news_id=cmt-
>>> 189w8888&feed=cmt&date 030708
>>>
>>> The article notes that Apple is integrating the product more tightly
>>> into the OS than a third
>>> party can. That spells doom for competition unless the third parties
>>> can do the same. OS
>>> integration offers all the speed and features of the OS whereas there
>>> are protocol layers
>>> between third parties and the sweetest spots. This both slows third
>>> party software and sometimes
>>> bars it from OS resources or makes those resources such that the app
>>> waits in line more.
>>
>> You might notice that in the article, the only place where there is a
>> claim that tighter OS/application integration is a benefit, is in the
>> quote from Microsoft. I think they are secretly glad that Apple has
>> made Safari because it gives them the justification to "integrate" IE.
>
> I would agree that Microsoft has to be happy that Apple concurs about
> the value of OS
> integration; what sort of case would the Department of Justice have
> against OS integration if
> Apple is doing it also? Take them both to court?

Just to be clear, I didn't mean to communicate to you that "Apple
concurs about the value of OS integration." Indeed, I don't believe
Safari is a response to a desire for OS integration on Apple's part
(whatever that really is). As twhid recently stated, and as I have
said as well, Safari is a traditional application programmed in the
same way a 3rd party would program an application. It was simply
required that Apple do it because no one else was, and IE was
languishing. The only "new" thing is that the html rendering engine is
abstracted into a framework/library called "WebCore" which can be
accessed by any other application. Simplified, Safari is conceptually
nothing more than a GUI that uses WebCore to draw html and interpret
javascript. An example of this is the "Help" system. Any application
written for the Mac can now plug into the WebCore framework and use
it's routines to render "Help" documents specific to their application.
Nothing is hidden, it's all there accessible to any application that
might need to draw html. WebCore is Apple's API into the KHTML library
which is used to draw html on Linux (Konquerer) and even Windows. This
is all very different, from a programming point of view, than making a
proprietary browser (which is what it appears Microsoft is naming
"integrated")

Jack

DISCUSSION

Re: The end of Premiere for Mac


On Wednesday, July 9, 2003, at 09:42 PM, Jim Andrews wrote:

> http://money.excite.com/jsp/nw/nwdt_ge.jsp?news_id=cmt-
> 189w8888&feed=cmt&date 030708
>
> The article notes that Apple is integrating the product more tightly
> into the OS than a third
> party can. That spells doom for competition unless the third parties
> can do the same. OS
> integration offers all the speed and features of the OS whereas there
> are protocol layers
> between third parties and the sweetest spots. This both slows third
> party software and sometimes
> bars it from OS resources or makes those resources such that the app
> waits in line more.

You might notice that in the article, the only place where there is a
claim that tighter OS/application integration is a benefit, is in the
quote from Microsoft. I think they are secretly glad that Apple has
made Safari because it gives them the justification to "integrate" IE.

I don't think Apple is creating these apps because they believe OS/app
integration is important. Because Apple has a small market share,
major developers create applications for Windows, and then port them to
the Mac. This "Windows first" mentality results in apps that give
little consideration to the Mac interface, or worse, perform poorly
(think Premiere). FCP was developed because Premiere stank and Adobe
didn't seem to care as long as Windows buyers didn't. DVD Studio Pro
was created because there was nothing else happening and Apple needed a
companion for the new Super Drives. Emagic Logic was purchased to
guarantee that Apple's new Audio Units plugin standard would take root
in the audio community. Safari is a response to Microsoft's lack of
development on the Mac. None of these apps are more closely tied to
the OS than any other Cocoa/Carbon application (the APIs any third
party developer writing specifically for the Mac would use). I wonder
if this whole OS/app integration issue is bogus; you still have to
create an application that accesses the lower level system...it's all
modular. Sure, the OS manufacturer can hide portions of the OS from
other developers (as MS has been accused of repeatedly), thereby
placing competitors at a deficit, but removing this barrier does not
really result in "integration." I suspect that "integration" is simply
a marketing term to justify an OS manufacturer grabbing a larger piece
of the pie and maintaining control.

> .dcr and .fla? Or, in a computing environment basically without
> browsers, or browsers integrated
> deeply into the OS, will those multimedia apps be in languages
> developed that take full
> advantage of the OS integration with the machine and the net?

I think your right. It's probably inevitable that Microsoft will have
it's way and "integrate" the browser into the OS. Because they will
have exclusive control over their application, they will have the power
to determine file types they support, multimedia capabilities, os
specific "features", etc. Safari, and other browsers will struggle to
maintain compatibility with websites that increasingly integrate
features only available on Windows. Eventually (barring unforeseen
events), not only will the browser become an extension of Windows, but
the network itself will become a mere extension of the Redmond
monopoly. Fortunately, I think there will always be margins or pockets
of "alternative" environments that are happy to remain
independent....subbacultcha :-)

Jack