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> There were a lot of really cool technologies developed during the "interregnum" years between 1985 and 1997 at Apple.

The situation seems to have been similar in Sun Microsystems around the same era: a number of different high-level language/runtime projects kicking around (eg. Self), and a generally deflating outcome.

> While it was canned when Steve Jobs returned

I don't know enough about OpenDoc to comment about the merits of what happened, but here are a few things. First, Jobs and Apple were pushing Rhapsody (Cocoa as a cross-platform API for applications) https://arstechnica.com/staff/2008/04/rhapsody-and-blues/ when OpenDoc was cancelled. It's easy to see the cancellation as the ex-NeXTers killing anything that competed with the NeXT technology or just didn't particularly integrate with it. OTOH, OpenDoc was definitely seen as a big commercial and consumer-adoption flop before Jobs killed it. Finally, it has to be noted that OpenDoc's inspiration and competitor OLE is still around, perhaps underloved.






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