Microsoft XML

Richard Gaskin ambassador at fourthworld.com
Wed Aug 29 11:49:33 CDT 2007


Dale Pond wrote:
> Some interesting history might help with this question... many years  
> ago (1989?) Apple purchased the kernel for their spreadsheet used in  
> AppleWorks from WingZ (now long since defunct). They paid $1,000,000  
> for it. I know this because I was using WingZ 1.0 and absolutely love  
> the program. It had (even at 1.0) far more capability than MS's  
> skinned down bleached out program. WingZ went bust, I suppose, for  
> lack of market. Anyhow, the current version of AppleWorks can accept  
> a cut and paste of the data and formulae from WingZ. However, since  
> Apple did not implement ALL of WingZ capabilities some things don't  
> work as well.

So that's who killed Wingz.  I've always wondered about that.  Wingz was 
an unusually useful program, and when it was EOL'd I never really 
understood why; it was so original that I felt the only problem with it 
was its marketing, the challenge of selling something that so redefines 
the spreadsheet.

I've long advocated such an approach, doing away with the inflexibility 
of row-and-column fixation which characterizes most of the market, and 
which arguably is just a holdover from pre-GUI character-driven displays.

But it's a tough sell:  so many people have become so used to being 
bound to the limits of traditional spreadsheets that it's difficult for 
them to conceive of a more open way of working.

I have a half-dozen prototypes on my hard drive experimenting with a 
similarly free-form approach to making a calculation tool like this. 
The combination of the marketing challenge, Excel's dominance, and Rev's 
lack of column alignment kept it on the backburner.  I can't feel to 
badly that Apple's beating me to the punch on delivering this, since it 
almost requires a company of their size to validate such an unusual 
approach to get people to take it seriously.

One odd anomaly with Numbers, though:  no macro/scripting language? 
Strange omission....

-- 
  Richard Gaskin
  Managing Editor, revJournal
  _______________________________________________________
  Rev tips, tutorials and more: http://www.revJournal.com



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