UserLand Software, Inc., has finalized and released version 5.0 of Frontier, their free scripting environment which includes Web site management, CGI scripting, and network communications capabilities (Frontier’s Web site features were reviewed in the fifth part of Tonya’s “Spinning the Web” series in TidBITS 389). Frontier 5.0 is the first version also available for Windows; there have been some interface improvements (tables are now outlines), and the Web site tools are easier to use. Users of Frontier 4.2.3 and earlier can export their existing work to 5.0, but there is no reliable path in the other direction. Because there has been a significant neatening and rearrangement of the database (including renaming of some important verbs), Frontier 4.x scripts may require some hand-tweaking.
TidBITS contributing editor Matt Neuburg has written a large book explaining Frontier, due to appear very soon from O’Reilly & Associates. It covers Frontier 4.2.3, the stable version at the time he was writing; Matt is already working on a second edition, which purchasers of the first edition will be able to update to inexpensively.