ambassador at fourthworld.com
Wed Aug 29 12:49:33 EDT 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
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?
Managing Editor, revJournal
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