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Apple Embraces Internet Config

Friday, June 14, 1996 by Dave Winer.

In Picky Crabb, 6/7/96, I reported on confusion surrounding the innocuous and useful Internet Config system put together by the Macintosh net developer community. There was a serious cloud over its head, since Apple demonstrated similar technology at the Worldwide Developer's Conference, and it was unclear if Apple's technology was compatible with the standard that had already been established by the developer community.

In a postscript to the piece I said "If Apple is embracing Internet Config, it's a positive sign and I will say so in a future DaveNet if it turns out to be true."

Apple is embracing Internet Config. It's a positive sign! Very coooool.

Earlier today I received an email from Alan Samuel, bluker@bing.apple.com; and Arno Gourdol, arno@apple.com. It was the unambiguous statement I was looking for. It's even more important than it may seem on its face, because it represents an acknowledgement by Apple of the work of Macintosh developers, acting independently of Apple.

It's an embrace, not a fud. It's a good thing. A corner is being turned, it's a very positive turn for the Macintosh world, and Apple deserves the support of every Macintosh developer and user for making this turn, and for having the courage to respond to the challenge of a Mac developer.

The cc list on this email is also interesting: garryh@apple.com, heidi@apple.com, tesler@apple.com, amelio.g@apple.com, vito@apple.com, lauta@applelink.apple.com, dash@apple.com, gable@apple.com, mark@apple.com, rimalovs@apple.com, jpalmer@apple.com, lypham@apple.com, auerbach.m@applelink.apple.com, winston@apple.com, vhunt@apple.com.

Some of the names are familiar, some aren't. But it's clear that a connection was created from the top of Apple down to the troop level. Based on past experience listening to Apple people, this kind of connection has been rare in the past. Another positive sign.

So here's the message:



In Picky Crabb you discuss a technology demonstrated at the WWDC, the Internet Config Expert, and raise questions about how this demonstration impacts the developer community.

We regret if the demonstration resulted in confusion for you or other developers. That was not our intent.

The demo presented during this session (Session 107, MacOS 8 Assistance and Help Services) showed MacOS 8 Assistance technology working together with Internet Config. We did call out the fact that Internet Config was a part of this demonstration during the session. Just to be sure that we didn't forget to mention this, we went back and checked the tapes, and it's there. Apparently we were not clear enough for everyone.

We embrace Internet Config. We acknowledge it has been created by a third-party, that it is a good solution for the problem it solves and that many developers are supporting it. We have no intention of "reinventing" a technology that has been invented elsewhere. We apply here the engineering adage "don't fix it if it ain't broke".

We want to add value for developers and end-users where we can. For developers, it means being able to assume that the Internet Config API is present in the system. We are working toward this. For end users, it means providing an enhanced user experience to configure Internet preferences. We talked with Quinn "The Eskimo!" before starting our work on the Internet Config Expert. Quinn agreed with us that the Expert would add value to Internet Config.

The role of an Expert is to present a secondary interface to accomplish high-level objectives, not to replace a primary interface. It seems that Apple and developers share a common goal: make the Mac OS platform successful. I hope we can trust each other to make that happen.

We are embracing Internet Config, and we trust you'll let the world know when we do something right as well as letting us know when we do something wrong.

We hope you'll be able to take this correction into account.

Alan Samuel, Arno Gourdol

Apple Computer Inc.


The Infinite Loop appears to have broken.


Looking good Apple!

What a pleasure to be able to say that!

Dave Winer

© Copyright 1994-2004 Dave Winer. Last update: 2/5/07; 10:50:05 AM Pacific. "There's no time like now."