Previous Issue | Search TidBITS | TidBITS Home Page | Next Issue

TidBITS Logo

TidBITS#230/13-Jun-94

Aldus and Adobe both figure in this issue, with a rumor about FreeHand, a charting module from Aldus, and a new font licensing policy from Adobe, which makes it easier for print shops to own lots of fonts. We note the new version of CDU from Connectix and list shipping software for the Power Macs (lots of international companies on that list!). Rounding out the issue, Matt Neuburg and Adam focus on the small Macintosh developer.

Topics:

Copyright 1994 TidBITS Electronic Publishing. All rights reserved.
Information: <info@tidbits.com> Comments: <editors@tidbits.com>


This issue of TidBITS sponsored in part by:


MailBITS/13-Jun-94

Mark Anbinder sent in a correction from last week: "After we wrote in TidBITS-229 that Maxima owners could order upgrades to the new 3.0 version with Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or Discover credit cards, a reader told us Connectix doesn't currently accept Discover. Roy McDonald at Connectix apologizes for the misinformation." Also, I (Tonya) had a regrettable accident with my Eudora folder last week. If you sent me mail between 30-May and 06-Jun, and did not receive a reply, please send the mail again. [TJE]

Pythaeus suggests that Scitex may buy Altsys and attempt to settle some litigation in the process. Apparently, Altsys, the original developer of FreeHand, is suing Aldus over Aldus's recent merger with Adobe, since Altsys either wants FreeHand to stay alive or to come back to Altsys. In a seemingly unrelated plot development, Scitex is suing Aldus over TrapWise. To bring the plot lines together, rumor suggests that if Scitext buys Altsys, then Scitext will try to settle out of court with Aldus, such that in exchange for dropping the charges in the TrapWise suit, Scitex gets the FreeHand rights back from Aldus. [TJE]

Connectix recently released version 1.0.4 of CDU (Connectix Desktop Utilities), which offers the ability to gracefully shutdown after a user-specified period of inactivity, and to re-open all previously open applications and documents when you turn on the Mac. Because this feature could save a lot of power if used on many machines over time, CDU is the first software program ever that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) calls "Energy Star Compliant." CDU also offers a variety of utilities that enhance Macintosh operations, including sticky menus, customized pointer, quick access to changing monitor depth or active printer, and more. CDU lists for $99, and registered owners of previous versions can upgrade for $29.95. [TJE]

Connectix -- 800/950-5880 -- 415/571-5100 -- 415/571-5195 (fax) -- <connectix@aol.com>

Aldus is shipping ChartMaker, an applet that provides sophisticated charting capabilities at a list price of $149. ChartMaker works via OLE 1.0, Publish and Subscribe, or the clipboard to add charts to documents created in other programs (you can't print directly from ChartMaker). Features highlighted in Aldus's press release include: 84 chart types (including 3-D charts with a z axis that you can rotate, tilt, and scale), an eye dropper tool to transfer color, custom gradients and fills, the ability to add text or graphics to the chart background, and chart templates. ChartMaker is clearly a product of the times - it requires System 7, a 68020 or better Macintosh, 8 MB of hard disk space, and at least a 2 MB RAM allocation; Aldus recommends a 16 MHz 68030 Macintosh and a 4 MB allocation to ChartMaker.

Aldus also plans to ship additional "Aldus Accessory Products," in both Windows and Mac versions, which - like ChartMaker - will enhance other applications by offering tools for a particular task. ChartMaker is currently available for the Mac; the PC version should be out "later this year." It will be interesting to see if this approach to a collection of applets pays off for Aldus, since many industry leaders and pundits have stated that such applets are the wave of our collective desktop applications future. [TJE]

Aldus Corporation -- 800/628-2320 -- 206/622-5500

Adobe Fonts Get New License

by Mark H. Anbinder, News Editor <mha@baka.ithaca.ny.us>

Director of Technical Services, Baka Industries Inc.

Citing a change in the way computer users work with fonts, Adobe Systems Inc. last month announced a change in its licensing policy from a per-printer approach to a per-computer system approach. Adobe's new licenses permit use of a typeface product on five computers within a single organization, rather than on a single printer as before. In addition, all Adobe fonts will ship with Adobe Type Manager (ATM), software that scales PostScript fonts onscreen.

In the early days of typeface distribution, people used PostScript fonts primarily for high-quality output on a laser printer or imagesetter, and low-resolution bitmap fonts to display the type on computer screens. Display PostScript technology on NeXT workstations, and the subsequent arrival of (ATM) for Macintosh and then Windows, brought about the common use of outline fonts on individual computers. The result was that the licenses for Adobe's and other vendors' typeface packages didn't reflect ways in people now use fonts.

Adobe says that five is the average number of users connected to a single printer, so the new licensing agreement should not tend to make typeface purchases more expensive. The new license agreement also provides the flexibility larger organizations need for volume purchasing. For typeface users who wish to permanently download a given typeface to the hard drive connected to a PostScript printer, the license permits downloading to a single PostScript device. (There is no restriction on the automatic font download that occurs during ordinary printing, because the fonts don't remain in the printer.)

Adobe did not include Japanese typefaces in the change, and typefaces bundled with Adobe's application software packages come with a single-user license. Also, the Adobe Font Folio retains its two-printer license.

Existing Adobe customers may stick with the previous licensing scheme for products purchased under the old license. In other words, the license under which you purchased existing Adobe products remains in effect. Users have the option, however, of converting existing licenses to the new form. To do so, customers should list the typeface packages they own, then tally the number of computers on which the PostScript font files are installed, and send Adobe the information at the address below. As long as there are five or fewer computers per package owned, Adobe will send an updated license agreement. Users may purchase additional licenses, in order to make up for any shortfall, at a rate of $5 per typeface per computer.

At the same time, Adobe has announced special pricing for authorized service bureaus who wish to have affordable access to the Adobe Type Library in order to output customers' print jobs. (Adobe's license agreement does not permit users to give PostScript font files to service bureaus for output purposes, even temporarily. This has not changed under the new license.) Service bureaus will receive a special version of Adobe's Type On Call CD-ROM disc when their registration is approved, and may purchase individual typefaces by telephone for $10 each. Interested service bureaus should contact Adobe for more information.

Adobe Systems Inc. -- 800/833-6687 -- 415/961-4400
415/961-3769 (fax)
-- Information from:
Adobe propaganda

Power Mac Native

by Tonya Engst <tonya@tidbits.com>

More and more companies have shipped products that run in PowerPC native mode, and to assist you in keeping the score card up-to-date, here's Apple's list of all commercial shipping products. Although it include a phone number for each company, we have not researched alternate means of contact, so you're on your own if you live outside the U.S. and all that's listed is an 800 number. The list changes every week, needless to say, but we wanted to give you a sense of how many applications have been released in PowerPC native mode so far, almost three months after the Power Macintosh introduction in March.

Of particular note is Casady and Greene's Conflict Catcher, which not only helps to manage extensions and track down conflicts on any Mac, but also (on the Power Macs) reports on what extensions are running in emulation mode and thus dragging down your system. Also notice the large proportion of companies that are not located in the U.S. Hmm, I wonder what this says about the Macintosh software market?

A Through F

  About Software - 5PM Term for IMB Mainframes
  About Software - 5PM Term for VAX and Unix
  About Software - 5PM Term for AS/400 2.2
  About Software - 5PM Pro for Mac 2.2                      408/725-4242
  Absoft - Fortran                                          810/853-0050
  Access Privelege SA - Easy Transfer 3.1                 33-92-96-01-00
  ACI - Object Master
  ACI - Object Master Universal 2.5                         408/252-4444
  Adobe Systems - Illustrator
  Adobe Systems - Photoshop                                 800/833-6687
  Aetis - Protections Logicielles Copy Protection          3393-53-09-87
  Agfa-Gevaert N.V. - FotoLook 2.0                        32-3-444-39-07
  Aldus - FreeHand                                          206/628-2320
  Aldus - PageMaker                                         800/833-6687
  ALSOFT - Atlas 1.0.4
  ALSOFT - GeoConcept                                    331-45-84-26-00
  Artifice Inc. - DesignWorkshop                            503/345-7421
  Artwork Systems N,V. - ArtPro 1.2                        329-225-79-46
   AS-PLUS B.V. - AS-PLUS Bankaschriften                   31-2159-49490
  Ashlar Vellum - Vellum                                    408/746-3900
  Autodessys - Inc. Form*Z                                  614/488-8838
  Baltic Business Systems - MacHansa Accounting II 2.0      46-176-82230
  B.E.M.E. R&D - ALIX (colors for printers)              331-69-91-26-30
  Brossco Systems Oy - Voyant 2.0                         358-0-512-3130
  Bungie Software - Pathways into Darkness                  312/563-6200
  Canto Software GmbH - Cumulus                             800/332-2686
  Casady & Green - Conflict Catcher                         800/359-4920
  Casady & Green - Spaceway 2000                            800/359-4920
  Central Point Software, Inc. - MacTools 3.0               800/937-9842
  Charles River Analytics, Inc. - Open Sesame!              800-913-3535
  Claris Corporation - Claris Impact
  Claris Corporation - ClarisWorks                          800/3 CLARIS
  Dantz Development - Retrospect                            510/253-3000
  Data Description - DataDesk                               607/257-1000
  DeltaPoint - DeltaGraph Pro 3                             408/648-4000
  Diehl Graphsoft - MiniCAD+                                410/290-5114
  Domark - Flying Nightmares                                800/695-GAME
  Dunaway Systems B.V. - Signalize 2.6
  Dunaway Systems B.V. - Spooler 1.2
  Dunaway Systems B.V. - PostScript Interpreter
  Dunaway Systems B.V. - Scanning & Vektorizing 2.3
  Dunaway Systems B.V. - Remote Font & Clip Art           31.4902 167975
  Extools - Shade III 1.1
  Extools - Shade III Light                                 092/722-4540
  FIT Software - Full Contact                               408/562-5990
  Fractal Design - Dabbler 1.0                              800/647-7443
  Fractal Design - Painter 2.0                              800/647-7443
  Frame - FrameMaker                                        408/433-3311
  FWB - Hard Disk Toolkit                                   415/474-8055

G Through L

  Gibbs Systems - Virtual Gibbs                             805-523-0004
  Graphisoft - Atlas 1.0.4
  Graphisoft - GeoConcept                                331-45-84-26-00
  Graphisoft U.S.,Inc. - ArchiCAD 4.5                       800/344-3468
  Graphisoft (Atlas S/W B.V.) - PS Mail                     800/344-3468
  Gryphon Software - Morph!                                 patch on AOL
  GTFS/GRAFTEK - Ultimage/Pro(Optilab/Pro)               331-46-92-14-89
  Hash Inc. - Playmation                                    206/750-0042
  Hi Resolution Limited - Mac=Bac 1.1
  Hi Resolution Limited - MacPrefect Remote 1.0.1
  Hi Resolution Limited - MacVisa 1.1                       800/455-0888
  Insignia - SoftWindows 286                                800/848-7677
  Interstudio - flexsplan 1.0
  Interstudio - Nonio C 5.0                                 39-573-31307
  ITEDO Software GmbH - IsoDraw 2.6                        49-2241-68841
  Jasik Designs - MacNosy                                   415/322-1386
  Just Systems - ATOK8                                      03-5470-6028
  Language Engineering Corp - LogoVista E to J              617/489-4000

M Through R

  MedImage - MedView                                        313/665-5400
  Metrowerks - CodeWarrior                                  514/747-5999
  Microland -  Le serveur maestria 2.0                 33-16-87-39-39-00
  MicroMacro, Ltd. - MicroGuard ADB Copy Protect.        (972.3)562.5661
  Neon Software - LAN Surveyor 1.1
  Neon Software - NetMinder Ethernet 3.1                    510/283-9771
  Now Software - Now Contact                                800/237-2078
  Orange Micro Inc. - OrangePC                              714/779-2772
  ORKIS - ImageBasePro 2.5                                33-42-60-45-56
  Pole Position Software GmbH - Mac DCF77                   49 9134-7447
  Route 66 Geo Info Systems - AtomicTime                    1-8385-54724
  Route 66 Geo Info Systems - ROUTE 66 1.2.0               31-8385-54724

S Through Z

  SCITEX America Full Auto Frame                            617/275-5150
  Segue Software - QA Partner                               617/969-3771
  SOFT Technologies - Simulateur de conduite 1.2           3365-40-05-05
  SofTeam Hardware & Software Dist - MacSign 4.0
  SofTeam Hardware & Software Dist - Punto 1.6             39-39-2012366
  Specular - Infini-D                                       800/433-7732
  Sorting S.r.l. - CADSap4.0                               39-6-44291061
  Spider Island Software TeleFinder Group Edition           714/669-9260
  System Clinic - DTP603 1.0j                               078-811-2318
  Trillium Research - Remus (ltd version)                   715/381-1900
  Trio Systems Europe - C-Index Pro 1.0                   31-20-638-6507
  TrueD Software - Live on RISC                            33.865.784950
  UserLand Software - Frontier 3.0.2                        800/845-1772
  usrEZ Software - ultraSecure 3.0                          714/756-5140
  VAMP - MacCAD Trailblazer                                 213/466-5533
  Vicom Technology Ltd - VICOM MultiTerm
  Vicom Technology Ltd - VICOM Pro SDK 5.0
  Vicom Technology Ltd - VICOM RunTime                      604/684-9517
  VideoFusion - Recorder                                    800/638-5253
  VideoFusion - VideoFusion                                 800/638-5253
  Wilkensen SCOOP - SCOOP Archive 1.1                      +48-8-6002600
  Wolfram Research - Mathematica                            800/441-6284
  WordPerfect - WordPerfect                                 800/451-5151

The User Over Your Shoulder: Apple vs. The Little Guy

by Matt Neuburg <clas005@csc.canterbury.ac.nz>

You may recall my article "The User Over Your Shoulder: The New Technologies Treadmill" in TidBITS-207 pointed out that Apple has recently been churning out new hardware and software technologies at a great rate, and trying to whip developers into a frenzy to adopt them. I mused as to whether this was necessarily altogether a good thing for the end user.

The article provoked quite a bit of response. Only a few letters disagreed, but they were mostly long, vehement diatribes, lecturing me on my narrowness of vision and unfitness to opine in such a matter. Several dozen notes came in that agreed with and supported my opinion, but those negative letters rocked me. I had touched a nerve, and received a reactive drubbing in return.

I did admit at the time that Apple's strategy might, economically, be absolutely necessary. My question was, and remains, whether excessive novelty might be frustrating a need for consolidation. Suppose, as one correspondent helpfully did, we compare computers to motorcycles, with new models emerging each year. My question then would be (and this is what those negative letters have not shown me): what terrible thing would happen if Apple were more like BMW, continually improving the same models? With so much revolutionary stuff coming down the pipeline (PowerPC, QuickDraw GX, OpenDoc, PowerShare, Drag and Drop, Apple Help, System 8 and beyond), its more like each year BMW put out a new bike running on a fuel that hasn't even been invented yet.

Readers agreeing with me focussed on four different issues. First, there's compatibility across Mac models. This isn't trivial. An Apple employee admits in print (Apple Directions 2/94, 16) that "whenever we do a new Macintosh, there are things that cause old software to break." And with new system software, even old programs present moving targets (without laying blame, plenty of current applications choke on LaserWriter 8.1.1).

Second, there's the effect on the programs that users can buy. What with the compatibility issues and the constantly emerging technologies, previously solved programming problems don't stay solved, so what's "new" in a new version of a program is often just compatibility along with the incorporation of a few new features - not improvement in what the program does. Readers tended to focus on Microsoft Word as an example. As one respondent put it, we need an atmosphere where developers can fix basics rather than feeling compelled to add bells and whistles: "I would love to see a version of Word that had more basic writing aids (such as non-contiguous selection a la Nisus) rather than crappy memory-hungry drawing layers or QuickTime video support."

Third, there's the quandary of what to buy when. It's rough enough for individuals, but when you have to make the calls for a department with a limited budget it's a real headache. I know this all too well, and so does a respondent who complained of the "relentless need to invest capital in machines and software just to keep up."

Finally, there's the effect on smaller developers. Many readers lamented that it's getting too hard, and costing too much, for ordinary individuals to write programs. One spoke of "the financial and logistical difficulties involved in obtaining essential development information," adding that policies that make it cost $200 to program interactively with AppleScript seem heinous.

Another agreed: "I lament the death of the small-time developers and hobbyists, who make significant contributions to the Mac's software library. It's simply becoming increasingly impossible to justify the expense of developing if one is not writing a full-blown commercial application that will be sold on computer store shelves."

Changing technologies and multiple platforms can be the bane of small developers. Someone wrote that "Technology's steady march tramples us poor developers... It's just about everything I can do keeping our products compatible with the existing applications, printers, system software, and so on," adding that you never know when Apple will abandon a technology you've put time and money into (such as XTND). Apple, the writer said, should choose carefully the technologies they promote. System upgrades should be smaller, faster, more reliable; the present situation promotes proliferation of bugs which developers have to keep kludging to get around.

Coincidentally, just as my article appeared, so did an editorial by Neil Ticktin in the Dec-93 MacTech saying much the same, and evoking much the same response in the Mar-94 issue.

Voices such as these deserve Apple's attention. Better compatibility and cheaper development aids might help; why must Apple be money-grubbing about developer technical support? Individuals and what they can make computers do are the reason there are personal computers at all. If it becomes passe to feel that a computer is (at least partly) to program, what we've got on our desks are nothing but tiny mainframes. The Big Brother that got smashed in Apple's "1984" ad will have won in 1994 after all.

Apple itself admits (Apple Directions 1/94, 8) that "many DOS programs support vertical markets - scheduling and billing packages for dentists, for example - and, because of the small market size, will probably never be translated to either the Macintosh or Windows environments." That's a pity; would it really mean nothing to sales if every dentist's office had reason to choose a Mac? The PowerPC might help Apple (with microkernel technology and super-fast processors, every computer can run every platform); but can it be that the age of individual programmers, the Two Guys In A Garage ethos that created Apple and that Apple initially fostered, is gone with the wind?


The Diminishing Diminutive Developer

by Adam C. Engst <ace@tidbits.com>

Matt Neuburg's article above touched a nerve in me almost immediately, not so much because I disagree with him (I don't) but because I've had a number of email discussions with people over the last few months that tie into it. The common thread, I think, is the fate of the small developer. It's hard to argue with Apple when they say that they must charge high prices for developer tools and developer technical support because those departments can't be a complete financial drain on the company. It costs Apple money to make those tools and to support developers, and in this day and age of departments needing to be self-sufficient in large organizations (creating humorous situations where different departments in the same organization start nickel-and-diming each other), I imagine Apple's Developer Technical Support group must feel the need to make some money on its own.

However, what this boils down to, as Matt noted above, is that the entry price to become an Apple developer is becoming rather high. I had a conversation with a friend at Apple, and he admitted that it would cost at least several thousand dollars to get all the basic developer tools and support packages, and a commercial developer could easily pay quite a lot more than that.

The problem is, I would say, that in many ways the health of the platform is linked to the enthusiasm of the developers, and by making it impossible for people to easily start programming on the Mac, it's more likely that they'll program for another platform, moving their talent away from the Mac community. Sure, a clever hack like Moire (remember the screensaver Moire?) may not do much for the economics of the platform, but in many ways Moire may have influenced After Dark, and Berkeley Systems has built a pretty hefty company around that program. I don't believe that the Macintosh market is suffering particularly from a lack of programmer enthusiasm, but if current trends toward ignoring the fate of the small developer continue, there's no telling what might happen.

Solutions? It's hard to tell Apple what to do in a field that I'm unfamiliar with, but it seems to me that there should be some simple, low-cost (maybe a few hundred dollars for everything) way for an individual developer to get the necessary tools without having to pay for the development kit for each new technology. Maybe no support goes with such a program, I don't know.

In the end I think the solution must be OpenDoc. As Matt points out, the primary desktop applications are becoming seriously bloated. (The complaints Matt talked about related to Word 5, which is over two years old. Just think about how much Microsoft could add in those two years.) When you factor in the size of the applications and the brutal checkbox feature wars with the realities of attempting to test on the ever-increasing number of Macs out there, you realize that there's no way a small developer can compete at all without the focus that OpenDoc can provide. Let's hope that OpenDoc doesn't turn out to be another of Apple's albatross technologies like XTND (nice idea, never went anywhere), Publish & Subscribe (nice idea, implemented poorly and minimally supported), and until recently, Apple events (minimal support from Apple and third parties).

Just to tie in another thread from recent events - the small developer stands little chance with a commercial application as the companies in the industry all get into bed with one another. At the rate industry is imploding we'll soon have only four or five companies at most sharing 98 percent of the market in every imaginable niche. The small company and the individual developer will be completely squeezed out of existence unless they can compete by developing and supporting OpenDoc tools.

I'd like to think that the Internet could play a large role in this recovery, assuming it happens, since only the Internet can amplify a single person or a small company sufficiently to compete with a large company. A fast tech support person may be able to answer 50 calls in a day, but that same person can probably juggle twice as many cases online, and by making the discussions public and archived, those support questions can easily stick around to help other people without additional effort.

Perhaps this is all idle speculation and off the mark entirely? But what if it's not? Maybe by talking about this and thinking about it now we as users can better deal with the changes in Apple and in the industry, and in the process help to make it a better place to live, work, and play.


Reviews/13-Jun-94


Non-profit, non-commercial publications and Web sites may reprint or link to articles if full credit is given. Others please contact us. We do not guarantee accuracy of articles. Caveat lector. Publication, product, and company names may be registered trademarks of their companies. TidBITS ISSN 1090-7017.

Previous Issue | Search TidBITS | TidBITS Home Page | Next Issue