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I agree that the OO hype at the time was crazy, and I was extremely guilty of that mania at the time. But from my POV (as a Pink/Taligent employee) the failures of Taligent had little to do with that. It was much more a problem of constantly moving goalposts (we're an OS! Now we're an OS and a layer on top of AIX! Now we're going to be an optional window manager for AIX!) and vicious politics.

I think that, if we're talking about Taligent itself, that's probably true. I've talked to other Taligenters and they say the last bit in particular.

But the books, the books were straight up crazy and people reacted to them in the same unfortunate way that they reacted to "Design Patterns."

Another of the crazy OS companies that deserves mention on the list of failures is both the Newton and Magic Cap.

Also, even though Taligent was a monumental disaster, it wasn't all bad. There is a lot of stuff you use every day that came directly out of Taligent's work. For instance, the i18n libraries for Java and ICU (http://site.icu-project.org/design/cpp) were early important work. A lot of unicode came from Taligent's work (but not all of it), and the President of the Unicode Consortium, Mark Davis, did a lot of the formative work at Taligent. So at the end of the day you can thank (or blame) Taligent for emojis.

Taligent also had quite a bit of influence on the field of unit testing, which I'm proud to have had a hand in. I've written about this in the past: https://shebanator.com/2007/08/21/a-brief-history-of-test-fr...

It is true that many good things come out of failures. There's a lot of value in trying and _not_ succeeding.

I'm a bit of a student of failure. If we want to really dive into deep failure, someone mentioned Workplace OS, which was not just a terrible project but a terrible idea (in the same way that NT's original concept of multiple-OS-personalities was wrt: OS/2 16 bit, for example, and POSIX, just taken to an entirely more crazy level).

For truly fun crazy, one has to step away from OS projects to things like graphics (for example, Fahrenheit and Talisman).

I wrote one of those books, specifically "The Power of Frameworks". Like I said, I was definitely deep in the hype cycle at the time.


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