Tuesday, May 12, 1998 by Dave Winer.
A brief public note of thanks to Steve Jobs for having the guts to back off the Rhapsody dual operating system strategy. The new strategy, called OS X, is basically a reincarnation of Copland, which was a *good idea* from the early nineties that wasn't well executed.
Roughly, the Copland plan was to close various holes in the Macintosh OS that allowed programs to do things that couldn't work under a fully pre-emptive multi-tasking operating system. Most of the OS remains intact. A few interfaces have to go. A minor transition for developers.
The benefit, Mac software can be as powerful and sophisticated and perform as well as software for other real-time operating systems such as Unix and Windows NT. It was clear that the Mac OS needed to go this way, but previous Apple management didn't get there.
As a longtime critic and public advisor to Apple, it's gratifying to see them make moves that make sense.
In early 1996 I outlined a plan for the revival of Apple. Jobs is pretty much executing that plan, with one major exception.
There's still no money available from investors for Mac-based development. This will probably be a challenge, but it really shouldn't be. The Mac OS remains the best alternative to Windows, with a deep application software base and millions of users of all levels of technical skills. It should be a good developer market.
We still compete with Apple, but it's easier to compete with a strong hypester like Steve Jobs. In the past we got in trouble with many users for promoting our product, I think largely because Apple wasn't promoting their products well. Competing with college professors is very difficult, I learned.
Now Apple isn't ashamed to promote the value of system-level scripting for the Macintosh. It's a huge win for people building publishing systems, an area where we have chosen to specialize.
Now the revival of the Macintosh platform is looking more likely, we hope that the cross-platform feature of Frontier 5 will turn into as big plus for our Windows users as it is for our Mac users. What a great place to be if it can happen.
Let's have fun, again!