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Somewhat famously, the first question Steve Jobs took at his developer Q&A at WWDC ‘97 was about OpenDoc & the bullet he put in its head.


Honestly, the “component software model” had at least hundreds of millions of dollars in development thrown at it by all the major players and went essentially nowhere at the application level.

It had some nice architectural properties for developers, and COM at least has had a long and prosperous history as a building block. But it’s hard to imagine any possible world where business or consumers spent a significant fraction of their software dollars on components rather than full applications. So Steve was probably right.

Thanks for linking to the 1997 WDC (only 1 "w"!) Q&A with Jobs. For those hoping to cut to the chase, the timecode for Jobs' prompt and the hapless attendee who asks "What about OpenDoc" is 4:26 [0]

The four and a half minutes prior are interesting (thoughtful introduction, Jobs' framing of the session and his brief thoughts about Apple's current position), but what he says in response to the questions following the OpenDoc question is deeply thought-provoking.

Many of the ideas Jobs shares show the general shape of recent and current Apple business decisions macOS and iCloud, for example. Especially interesting are his discussions of NIH syndrome, networking, and more.

Thanks, twoodfin, for pointing to this session which punctuates Jobs' return to Apple the year previous.

[0] https://youtu.be/yQ16_YxLbB8?t=266

Microservices are the new components.

After all, the network is the computer.

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