ODB Engine 1.0
Thursday, September 5, 1996 by Dave Winer.
Today's Wall Street Journal has another gloom and doom Mac is dead piece.
I'd like to rebut. There are millions of Mac users. Important software keeps coming on Macintosh, much of it isn't available on Windows. They talk about retail shelf space as if that mattered but ignore the fantastic software distributed via the Internet. How many of them visit the websites where innovations are shipping on the Mac? Clearly the Journal hasn't been covering the story where the action is -- on the web.
Apple is at least partially responsible for this. Their home page rarely points outside of apple.com, leading people to think that less interesting new stuff is happening on the Mac. They fear us -- what would happen if they appeared to support what we're doing? They could give it a try. http://www.apple.com/ gets huge flow. Share some of that flow. It would be good for business.
Even more disappointing, yesterday an article appeared on ZD Net talking in emotional terms about our announcement that we are porting Frontier to Windows. A quote: "Winer has long been one of the Mac's most fervent adherents. Perhaps only a defection by legendary Mac evangelist Guy Kawasaki could have been worse for Mac morale."
Defection? Huh? No way. Let's clear this up. I'm continuing to invest in the Mac. My web tools and servers run on Macs. This piece was written on a Mac and shipped via email using scripts that run on a Mac. Today all the software I write only runs on Macs. Someday soon some of it will run on Windows, but it will be a long time, I think, before Windows has parity with the Mac in this area. Sorry Windows users, if you want the most powerful and complete web content tools, you gotta use a Mac, despite what the Wall Street Journal and ZD Net tell you.
Ahh you see what you want to see. These journalists want to see the Mac as a dead thing. They say goodbye. Over and over and over and over.
Hey, they say goodbye. We say hello!
To our friends in the Mac developer community...
Here comes ODB Engine 1.0, a royalty-free toolkit that makes it easy to add a solid, fast, low-tech, soon-to-be-cross-platform storage system for apps and system software.
Some ideas for ODB apps... A fast class hierarchy storage system for Java code. A way to share persistent data thru Java. A new storage system for Internet Config. A replacement for the Mac Resource Manager. A cross-platform Resource Manager! A shared file system for the Mac. (The Mac file system has a plug-in architecture.) A storage system for AppleScript that doesn't require Frontier. A Frontier-compatible persistent storage system for OpenDoc. A database for an email client. A database of web addresses shared between web browsers. A database for an email server. A fast back-end for a web server.
All these apps would be compatible, could share data, and they could be powerfully scripted thru Frontier (there's our incentive...)
I'm sure other ideas will come along.
We wanted to open this up so that all hell could break loose.
Let's have fun!
A Windows version of ODB Engine will be available in October. Same terms. Developers who have Macs get first shot at this technology. That includes Apple. Can we sieze an opportunity and make it an advantage for the Mac platform? This is out of my hands. I can make the offer. It's up to others to accept the invitation and build on our technology.
Mac developers first: Can we have your support? We'll be making the same offer to Windows developers next month.
To the Wall Street Journal and ZD Net: Here's movement coming from the Mac.
Optimism and investment.
PS: People ask about source code for ODB Engine. We will be willing to license source if people adopt it. It's kind of a chicken-and-egg thing. I understand that people (reasonably) want access to source. But it will come with restrictions that assure continued compatibility.
PPS: We'll do a Unix version too if there's demand.
PPPS: Ain't the Internet fun? Look at how fast things move!