Re: [NTLK] [OT] OpenDoc...

Date: Sat Jun 01 2002 - 21:25:11 EDT

>What was really cool, is that I could use a Pareto app from company A,
>while you use one from company B. Both would be able to access the data.
>Interface wise, it would depend on the app. One company could have
>complex interfaces while another would have a simple on for the same

As far as I can see, you have just described XML. OpenDoc parts were
small fragments of application code providing individual document
editing features. So, for instance, to spell check a web page you
would drag your spell checker part (a file, with an icon) into the
document window and spell checking would suddenly happen and/or
become available in the menus. If you saved that doc it would now
always open with spell checking available. It was like a drag and
drop version of the Unix toolbox philosophy. There were no fixed
application environments as we think of them. You could never really
be in a particular programme. Any document could contain any
application feature so there was supposedly no need for heavyweight
apps. The interface was defined by which parts had been added to the
document, not by any more or less complex application environment. So
I think, correct me please someone if I am wrong, that the scenario
where different apps could access the same data was no more common
than it is now. However, since hardware requirements would have been
lower, and documents would have been more flexible, OpenDoc would
have been a great environment for sharing data between handheld and
desktop computers.

>Another aspect of OpenDoc is that the apps would cost very little
>compared to the full featured software packages that we have today.

This is probably one of the many reasons why it sadly failed.
Everyone would cheaply buy the very few parts that they actually
needed, but few would fork out for the grotesque bloat of features
that is M$ Office. Software developers probably reckoned that they
wouldn't be able to sell so many people things they don't need at
'full-feature-set' prices. I believe Corel committed to an OpenDoc
version of WordPerfect, but there weren't too many other takers.

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