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TBTF for 1995-05-17: Apple's Cyberdog

Keith Dawson (dawson dot tbtf at gmail dot com)
Wed, 17 May 1995 18:04:55 -0400

Cyberdog is coming. Apple Computer released details of this rumored appli-
cation using OpenDoc technology to tame the Internet. The following summary
is condensed from Adam Engst's TidBITS periodical; for the full issue see


MacWeek's coverage of the Cyberdog announcement can be found in


OpenDoc is a next-generation model of software... that uses small,
reusable components that can be combined in different ways to
create the equivalent of today's programs (although that's not to
say that OpenDoc parts can't be combined in unique ways). An OpenDoc
word processor might combine a spell-checker part, a search &
replace part, and a part that might generate a continuously updated

Apple's Cyberdog project... could pull OpenDoc into the big
time. Cyberdog is a collection of OpenDoc parts that provide
Internet functionality. So, instead of Netscape or Anarchie, you
could use the equivalent Cyberdog Web or FTP parts. Other Cyberdog
parts planned include Gopher and email (and possibly Usenet news),
along with viewers for common Internet file types like GIF, JPEG,
and various sound formats.

So why did some of the Internet folks we spoke with after WWDC in
San Jose last weekend call Cyberdog "compelling?" ... the term
"killer app" was applied to Cyberdog in relation to OpenDoc as
well. Cyberdog stands out in a number of ways:

* Cyberdog includes a Notebook part that can store URLs for any
Internet service...
* Cyberdog can log everything you do...
* Cyberdog is a completely open system, so developers can either
write OpenDoc parts that supplement Cyberdog's parts... or replace
* You can combine Cyberdog parts within an OpenDoc container
(think of it as a blank generic document) to perform...
"ad-hoc publishing."
* Once other OpenDoc parts start appearing, it should be trivial
to combine them with the Cyberdog parts to create new, customized
interfaces to both local and Internet information.

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Keith Dawson dawson dot tbtf at gmail dot com dawson@atria.com
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