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Enterprise Objects Framework Developer’s Guide [pdf] (apple.com)
30 points by tosh 5 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 12 comments

Back when Apple sold a $50,000 enterprise Java framework that included a full Windows port of Cocoa.

A companion technology was Portable Distributed Objects, which was behind Sun's ideas for J2EE.



I used this, and it was a terrible ORM. NeXT did great software, NEXTSTEP and WebObjects were fantastic, but EOF was an exception.

I’ve forgotten the details now, but one thing was the naming. For example, who can guess what a “display group” is without looking it up? (Does it involve displaying things? A group of what?) Even the name “Enterprise Objects”, why should a database framework only be useful to enterprises?

I actually liked it, for its time it was great to point to a database and have it make a model. Not as useful for new dev though. Today its easy to see the flaws since you have other things to compare it to. But is Hibernate really any better, all I hear is the server guys complain about having to use it. ORM is hard but at the time EO was the best (which might have been because you got to use WO).

I’m not sure it’s just bad in retrospect. I remember it being difficult to do simple things, and there were lots of ways you could trip yourself up. I wish I remembered more details..

I remember preferring Hibernate when I encountered it although I agree that’s far from ideal either and there’s plenty to justifiably complain about there.

EJB Entity Beans were definitely worse than either, not supporting any kind of inheritance modeling, requiring altering many different files for a simple change like adding a field.

On page 25 - from 1998:

  Table: Talent 
(being Employees)

  lastName "Federighi"
  firstName "Craig"

No surprise there: Craig used to be the engineering manager for the WebObjects team which included EOF. In fact, if you were running one of the example app, it was going to populate a Movie database, and I forgot the movie name but all “actors” listed there included all the real names of the engineers working on WOF/EOF.

Brings back memories: this was our framework of choice at my first job back in 2000.

Published 1998

Was this under Jobs or Scully? Because for someone who complained about other companies having no taste, this has no taste.

EOF was invented at NeXT and came to Apple by way of the acquisition of the company.

As it references NeXT, it would be after Jobs’s return.

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