The Nine Lives of Jean-Louis
Thursday, September 4, 1997 by Dave Winer.
From late last night...
A late-night DaveNet. A rare thing.
Lots of phone talks during the day.
New ideas. Steve set us free!
A message for IBM, Motorola and the other clone vendors.
Go ahead and make CHRP boxes. We'll make apps for the BeOS running on these boxes. It can run Mac OS 7 for compatibility with old stuff that doesn't get ported.
Where will the apps come from? That's where Metrowerks comes in. They have a package I wrote about in January, Latitude, that makes it possible to quickly port Macintosh apps to other platforms. API-level compatibility. You don't need Apple's hardware or OS to run apps that have been ported with Latitude.
Could we have a platform that the developers drive? Please! If Motorola and IBM want it to happen, it can happen. Jean-Louis must be flexible now. If Motorola and IBM are willing to do what Compaq and Intel do in the PC business: fund developers.
I'm sure it would be a small platform in volume compared to the current Mac. But it would provide an incubator for innovative users and software developers. Apple seems to have freed up a lot of developer energy this week. We all want to work together.
The key is Internet content software, editors, automation and servers. Lots of great independently owned software in the Mac market.
My friend Chuck Shotton, firstname.lastname@example.org, no stranger to DaveNet, said it very nicely in a message that appeared earlier this evening on Scripting News.
"What goes around comes around. Apple hosed Be in the next generation O/S licensing talks and now Be's in a position to return the favor.
"It started this afternoon and I predict an avalanche by tomorrow. Everyone is figuring out how Be and the clone manufacturers can put together a platform to work around Apple's monopoly. And it is an appealing vision.
"I hope Jean-Louis spends one of his remaining nine corporate lives on making this happen. I can tell you that if Metrowerks targets Latitude to the Be OS, I'll recompile every piece of Mac source code I have to the Be platform. Long before it goes to Rhapsody."
Chuck's got a lot of great source code. He's an influential Mac developer. He also has a developer community built around his WebSTAR HTTP server.
Another friend , Doc Searls, email@example.com, wrote a much longer piece about Steve Jobs. I think he called it just right. You have to read the whole thing.
Doc nails it. He put it in place for me. There isn't very much room around Jobs. That's what happened to Power Computing, and the other cloners.
I'm a big guy. Chuck wants a place to play. Windows will be fun for sure, but we just want a playground that isn't crowded by Jobs or Microsoft.
Come on Motorola and IBM, step up to the plate, come up with the bucks. Play the software game. Zig where Jobs zags. It's easy.