[rescue] Re: G5 case

Phil Stracchino alaric at caerllewys.net
Wed Jun 25 15:35:26 CDT 2003

On Wed, Jun 25, 2003 at 10:09:56PM +0200, Frank Van Damme wrote:
> On Wednesday 25 June 2003 21:22, Phil Stracchino wrote:
> > > 1) it re-implements functionality allready available on every OS
> >
> > True.  Reinventing the wheel is usually a bad idea.
> I'd like them to use a cross-platform open source toolkit like Qt. It's not
> going to get much slower anyway, and qt is so much nicer to work with then
> that pathetic windows interface clone they're deploying now.

*sigh*  now you've got me thinking back to the STI days.

STI was Software Transformation Inc.  You've probably never heard of it.
We were developing a cross-platform software toolkit in competition with
things like XVT and Neuron Data, only we were doing it differently.

XVT was just an interface layer.  You could build a real pretty portable
GUI with it, but you still had to port all the underlying code by hand.
Neuron Data virtualized everything, so you could be runnong on Windows
and change your look-and-feel preference to Mac, and the entire UI would
redraw itself ...  it was sorta cool, but it was horribly slow.  And
both of them (and all the other players in the market) either supported
a common subset of features and said "Sorry, we don't support that" if
you tried to use something outside it, or supported each platform's
features and said "Sorry, X feature isn't supported on Y platform."

Anyway, what we were doing was writing a complete portable API.  We went
right down to low-level memory-access and string-handling calls, we
implemented everything with native code, so you could write a complete
application using only our API and C/C++ primitives and it would look
100% native and run as fast as or faster than native code.  We
implemented a superset of the features supported on our supported
platforms (at that time Motif/X11 on SunOS and OSF/1, Windows 3.x, NT,
OS/2 PM, and MacOS).  Windows didn't support styled lines, so we
implemented styled lines on Windows.  MacOS didn't support dynamic
linking, so we implemented dynamic linking on MacOS.  And so on.

Then in very quick sequence, Ray Noorda decided our toolkit would be the
Microsoft-killer he dreamed of, Novell bought STI, Novell kicked out Ray
Noorda, Novell looked at our product and saw that it really didn't fit
into Novell's business model anywhere, Novell cancelled our product and
laid off all the former STI employees within a few months of the
acquisition, and STI became an unremarked footnote in the history of
software development.  Just about everyone got shafted.

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