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Apple Internet Plans?

Happily, it turns out that the rumor from Pythaeus in TidBITS-231 about Open Transport not being backwardly compatible with MacTCP is false. Instead, Apple will support the MacTCP API for some time to ensure that current applications don’t break. Programmers can find information on Open Transport on (although it has been down the last few days):

The concern might have arisen, as one MacTCP developer said, not because of the MacTCP programmers, who have consistently done the right thing, but because of the decisions of Apple’s upper management, whose ways are mysterious and often plain confusing.

Shortly after the correction of the Open Transport rumor came another rumor about an Apple program, supposedly code-named Cyberdog, that integrates existing Internet programs. I have no specific information, except that apparently Apple is among the companies that have licensed the Mosaic source code from NCSA. Cyberdog reportedly comes from Apple’s Advanced Technology Group, and is slated to ship in the same package as System 7.5 (which will also include MacTCP). The world doesn’t need an integrated Internet program, but it would be interesting to see one that works with the excellent existing programs such as Eudora, Anarchie, Fetch, TurboGopher, and NewsWatcher. Speaking of NewsWatcher, John Norstad just released 2.0b2, an impressive upgrade. It’s at: newswatcher-20b2.sea.hqx

AppleLink Mirror — Enough rumors, it’s time to both praise and chastise Apple for resources they’re providing on the Internet. In the recent past a number of Internet servers have sprung up to distribute software to the Internet community, and <> (also available via Gopher) is now a mirror image of the software available via AppleLink and eWorld. That doesn’t inherently meant that it has everything that the other Apple sites have. The problem <> suffers is that because it’s an exact mirror of AppleLink and eWorld, some filenames aren’t standard. Apple suggests enclosing such directory and file names in quotes, although that may not always work. Apparently FTP clients such as Fetch and Anarchie don’t suffer from this problem.

MAE Resources — Chuq Von Rospach of Apple recently announced three ListProcessor mailing lists and another FTP site designed to support users of Apple’s Macintosh Application Environment (Macintosh emulation for certain Unix workstations).

The first list, MAE-ANNOUNCE, is a moderated list to provide information and announcements from Apple. The unmoderated MAE-USERS and MAE-BUGS are for more informal discussion and bug-reporting.

Since ListProcessor lists work much like LISTSERV lists, you subscribe by sending email to <[email protected]>, putting the appropriate ListProcessor command in the body of the message (pick one from the list below), and leaving the Subject line blank.

 SUBSCRIBE MAE-USERS your full name
 SUBSCRIBE MAE-BUGS your full name

If you have comments, send them to <[email protected]>. Chuq mentioned that they intend to add Gopher, WAIS, and Web services at a later date.

New Web Server — Speaking of Gopher and Web services, Apple has had a Gopher server up and running for some time at:


However, in keeping up with the Internet, Apple recently added a Web server as well at:

The Web site has links to other Apple Internet resources and information related to Apple (and much more promised).

Confused Yet? — All this sounds wonderful, but when you add in the existing FTP and Gopher sites that Apple has had around for a while, you end up with a confusing melange of resources. Apple’s other Internet sites include:
gopher:// Apple

Between six FTP sites, three Gopher servers, and a Web site, it’s downright difficult to figure out where to go for a something specific. I don’t think it’s possible (or even a good idea) for Apple to give one group control over all the FTP and Gopher sites, but I’d like to suggest that the folks who run Apple’s Web site take on the chore of making Apple’s Internet resources coherent and easily accessible from a single place, since Web servers can provide links to all the rest. For example, WAIS indexes of all files available (descriptions would be nice too) and where they live would be incredibly helpful, and if done right, that Web server could become not only an incredible resource and an indication of how far Apple is willing to go to support its customers, but also provide a competitive advantage for Apple with large companies that are on the Internet. And hey, then it might even fly with the upper management.

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