[NTLK] Restarting Newton development

Steven Frank stevenf at panic.com
Wed Aug 1 13:14:23 EDT 2018

> On Aug 1, 2018, at 8:53 AM, j <thej at shaw.ca> wrote:
> Over the last month or so, I have been (obsessively?) researching what I would call "the lost Future of Computing". In essence, Document-Centric & Collaborative Computing of which, the Newton is definitely a part.

I love reading and chatting about this kind of stuff.  If you've come across any particularly interesting articles or documents on this topic, I'd love to get some links from you.

> I've been doing this "research" because I feel that "modern" computing is not what it is supposed to be. It has also become very clear that "Apps" are a Business Model not a computing model. The document-centric aspects of computing that were "the future" have been thrown away because it is not as profitable.
> This brings me to a couple of conclusions:
> "The computing industry will NEVER revive Document-centric computing!".
> And
> "It will be up to the Community to create computing as they truly want it to be!".

I think I've pretty much reached the same conclusions.  The mass-market is not just "getting by", but downright delighted with apps and app stores in their current incarnation.  The alternative is such a different paradigm that businesses will resist putting work into a commercially unproven (and historically unsuccessful) idea, customers will resist having to "re-learn everything", and as I've mentioned on here recently, the security and privacy issues inherent in collaborative software components tend to keep them in the realm of the academic.

Doesn't mean it's not worth studying, of course.  But, yeah, I agree that any research in this area is probably going to have to happen at the grassroots level.


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