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How to Open the Radio Desktop Application

Radio Userland is one application, of course. However, it consists of two 'views'.

Your first (and default) view of Radio occurs whenever you launch Radio - this places you in your desktop home page within your web browser.


Your second view of Radio occurs when you open what I term the Radio 'desktop application'.


This topic explains how to do this. Actually, my language here is somewhat imprecise since your web browser doesn't exist in mid-air. It too resides, after all, on your personal computer desktop. Unfortunately, this is art and not science. As the queen said to Alice, 'a desktop application is what I say it is, nothing more, nothing less.' Or something like that.

The key point is this. In the olden days, the Radio desktop application was all-of-Radio. Unfortunately, end users found Radio terminally confusing. Userland wisely defined a tightly bounded weblog application within the Radio platform and dished it out as a browser-centered user interface. Cool. But what to do with the rest of Radio?

If Userland hid it entirely, how would programmers or power end-users be able to take advantage of Radio and extend it - not least, for the benefit of other users? On the other hand, if Userland didn't hide it to some degree, what would keep end users from becoming frustrated yet again.

The rather awkward but understandable solution was to make the desktop application accessible but not obviously so. Are you ready to find it?

Do this:

1. Double-click your Radio shortcut icon   if you have created one and placed it on your desktop. Otherwise, launch Radio from your Windows Start menu just as you would launch any Windows application.

(This launches the desktop weblog in your browser and places a radio icon in the Windows status bar. If you have already done this and your weblog is open, ignore 1. above and go to 2. below.)

2. Rightclick the radio icon   in the Windows status bar. By default, this status bar is at the bottom of your screen.


3. Select "Open Radio".


This displays the full Radio desktop application as a standard Windows software application.

What You See First

You will see a resizable window within the desktop application with the usual graphical menus at the top (File, Edit, Bookmarks, Radio, Tools, Windows, Help).


You will also see a small window within the visible workspace (About Userland) which can be minimized, maximized or closed as you wish. This window displays useful status and informational messages about Radio, depending on what is happening at any given time within the Radio application - including events taking place in your weblog.

Using the Desktop Application Is Optional

Until you understand Radio better, you may choose never to "open Radio" in the way I have described here.

However, I hope my explanation has introduced you briefly to the rich, complete application that 'drives' your weblog. Your desktop website (weblog) that you see in your Internet browser is directed by and executed within the desktop Radio application.

This said, here is an extremely important guiding principle:  

You do not need to open the Radio desktop application - ever - in order to have a fully functional Radio weblog. This is why Userland has partially 'hidden' the desktop application in the first place.

On the other hand, the desktop application is extremely powerful. You can customize, adjust, enhance and otherwise jazz up your weblog once you understand it.

Not only this, you can do many other things besides. You can design and publish other websites, program tools that extend the power of the entire Radio application (and share them with other Radio users) and more.

Faithful to its philosophy, Userland gives you visibility under the hood of your weblog. Visibility brings with it power and responsibility. So, it is possible to do very nasty things to your weblog if you corrupt Radio databases within the desktop application. Be sure to make appropriate backups of those databases when you develop an adventurous streak.

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Copyright 2002 © Russ Lipton.
Last update: 4/9/02; 8:07:12 PM.
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