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May 96 Newsbits
Volume Number:12
Issue Number:5
Column Tag:Newsbits


By John Kawakami

DataPak Reveals the Secret of PAIGE’s Success

PAIGE, DataPak Software’s (DSI) popular cross-platform text engine, is scheduled for a major 2.0 upgrade.

To determine what type of functionality was missing from the current version, DSI’s marketing department interviewed and surveyed hundreds of clients and prospects. “The 2.0 upgrade is a major step for the technology, and it was very important that our clients were involved in that process. After all, they are the ones putting the technology through its paces,” stated Mark Nulph, Director of Marketing for DSI. “Besides, it’s tough for us to anticipate the needs of our clients. Let’s face it, clients like CompuServe, America Online and Prodigy are going to have different text considerations than, say, Macromedia, Scitex, Caere or Grolier Electronic Publishing.”

Source code clients will have the first look, and the final version is scheduled for broad release some time in May. The following is a partial list of suggested features/enhancements expected to be in the PAIGE 2.0 upgrade:

• Built-in RTF Import/Export

• Full MFC support (including a new PAIGE demo written entirely with MFC)

• OLE support

• Support for Drag and Drop

• Sub-Containers (makes creating forms easier)

• Unicode Compatibility

• Electronic documentation

• OpenDoc Support

• 2.0 will employ many open standards to ensure interoperability. Under consideration are CORBA, ODBC, Bento, SGML, HTML, SOM, Java, etc.

DataPak Software Inc. 11815 NE 99th St., Suite 1200, Vancouver, WA 98682. Sales: (800) 327-6703. Email:

Three Dimensional Machination

Apple, Netscape, and Silicon Graphics International announced that they are working together to use the QuickDraw 3D metafile format as the binary format for Moving Worlds. Moving Worlds is SGI’s proposed new Virtual Reality Modeling Language (VRML) standard, which, at press time, hasn’t yet been picked as the new VRML, but has significant computer industry support. Netscape, SGI, and now Apple, together present a formidable challenge to the competing standards.

Previously, Apple had its own proposed standard competing with Moving Worlds, but changed direction and refocused its efforts toward promoting the QD3D metafile after SGI’s proposal garnered the support of dozens of other companies. Apple’s promotional efforts, if successful, will help bridge the gap that exists between QD3D and VRML, and improve QD3D’s position in the market. It would also increase Apple’s ability to influence the VRML standard.

Apple’s contribution of 3DMF technology to the Moving Worlds effort will enable higher compression rates, file streaming, and faster parsing of 3D objects and virtual worlds across the Internet.

Royal Acquires Heizer

Royal Software, Inc., and Heizer Software jointly announced that Royal Software will acquire Heizer General Corp. for an undisclosed amount. Heizer has long been the leading publisher of CompileIt! and WindowScript, tools for use with HyperCard and other authoring environments. Royal Software, conversely, is an unknown entity led by long-time Heizer client Ro Nagey, who’s famous for sponsoring trips to the former Soviet Union to fly Russian jet fighters. Royal Software will continue to use the Heizer Software name, and plans to pursue online marketing and additional products aimed at entry-level HyperTalk users.

Heizer Software, A Division of Royal Software, Inc. 300 Cedar Lane, Largo, FL 34640. Phone: (813) 581-6422. Email:

Here’s Nutmeg For Your Java
Can Steamed Milk Be Far Behind?

THOUGHT Inc. announced Nutmeg, one of the first commercial class libraries available for the Java Language.

Even though it is one of the most promising new technologies to arrive, Java programming can still require a great deal of time for low-level programming tasks. One of the areas where this is true is in list management, which is still fairly primitive in the Java Class libraries. Smalltalk has long been known as a powerful programming language for applications like list management. THOUGHT Inc. has sought to address the problem of making Java useful for low-level programming tasks by creating a set of Java classes entitled Nutmeg, which have been modeled after the Smalltalk Collection Class library. Nutmeg for Java is one more tool to assist programmers in developing advanced applications using Java.

Nutmeg features include classes to manage: arrays of information, indexed collections, ordered and sorted collections, sets, and even dictionaries. Users can also define a Smalltalk-style or Java-style of error handling (exception handling), as well as programmer-defined sorting criteria and, in many areas, programmer-defined error handling and object selection blocks. These more robust classes should greatly improve Java’s applicability for large-scale and serious development.

A limited evaluation copy of Nutmeg is available for download under “products” on their Web site. Corporate pricing is expected to be US$495 per seat for the binary release, US$995 per seat for a source code license. Student pricing is US$49 for the binary. [Time to register for classes! - jk] These classes have been designed to work with either the Windows, OS2, Macintosh or Unix based Java Developers Kits.

There’s a Company Behind!

Pacific Hi-Tech, which has, for some time, mirrored the Info-Mac archives at, recently sent us a notice regarding three CD ROMs:

MacSource is a disk containing 600 Megabytes of source code, compilers and languages. 200 Megs of this is source code, 150 of C/C++, 25 of Pascal, and the rest BASIC, Lisp, Assembly, Applescript, Prolog, and others.

Hyperstacks is a disk containing more than a thousand freeware and shareware stacks. [Including several classics by Your Humble Managing Editor. - man]

Internet PowerWEB is a book/CD-ROM combo intended to assist in the writing of Web pages. The book is a tutorial in three languages, and the CD-ROM is all of the most popular Web writing sites on the Internet.

Oracle Plans for The Future

Oracle has been expanding into microcomputer software development tools, and has been focusing on the Macintosh as one of its key platforms. Not only do they produce high-powered cross-platform development environments for the Macintosh, they even make an effort, in their marketing material, to appeal to Macintosh developers. To wit, an Oracle executive commented about their Oracle Media Objects development tool:

“Oracle Media Objects 1.0.5 adds a Windows 3.1 development environment to the already available Macintosh development environment. Players for Macintosh and Windows are included with both development versions. OMO is fun and easy to use, and gets your applications up and running quickly. Developers can easily extend the functionality of OMO using the MOX (Media Objects eXtensions) interface. The OMO metaphor is based on the card and stack, just like HyperCard.”

[When I tried out the demo, it was a lot like HyperCard, but with many new tools. It was much slower that I expected on a Power Macintosh. Perhaps there’s some significant overhead incurred by running under Oracle’s cross-platform environment. - jk ]

You can download the 17 megabyte trial of OMO at the Oracle Web.

Oracle Web

Oracle Media Objects Web

Peregrine Shapes Up to Challenge Client/Server Tools

Peregrine is a rapid application development tool for creating compiled client/server applications and databases. Peregrine is completely visual and object-oriented so code is reusable and extensible. It has a built-in database for testing and prototyping applications without overloading the server, as well as for creating standalone database applications. Peregrine provides true client-server architecture and includes full source code, giving developers control right down to the Mac Toolbox level.

Peregrine 1.3.2 features:

• ODBC driver support, which increases the number of databases which can be connected to simultaneously and in the same application. Other databases supported by high performance drivers are Oracle, Sybase, Microsoft SQL Server, Butler, dtF and DAL/DAM.

• A Power Mac compiler for compiling Power Mac native client applications.

• Support for dtF LAN.

• Peregrine Xtras - including 4D Migrator Tool for moving schemas and data from 4D Server into Peregrine’s internal database or to another Peregrine-supported database. The Xtras also include an Application Generator and window items that ease the creation of relationships.

• Preview of the Windows version of Prograph CPX, the underlying programming language for Peregrine.

Pictorius, Inc. 2000 Barrington Street, 4th Floor, Halifax,

Nova Scotia, B3J 3K1, Canada. Sales: (800) 927-4847. Email:

The Claris World Wide Developer’s Conference
(Not to Be Confused With Apple’s WWDC)

Claris Corporation is holding its first-ever Worldwide Developer’s Conference (WWDC) June 3-5, 1996, at the Santa Clara Marriott Hotel in Santa Clara, CA, and will offer both in-house and third-party developers hands-on sessions using the hottest Macintosh and Windows technologies with Claris and Apple software.

“Developers have become increasingly successful deploying solutions based on FileMaker Pro and ClarisWorks across small business, education and workgroup environments,” said Guerrino De Luca, president of Claris Corp. “With technologies such as OpenDoc coming to the forefront, and the Internet emerging as a platform, Claris more than ever needs to listen to our developers, support them, and give them the tools they need to deliver custom solutions and services based on our products.”

The first Claris WWDC will include three days of developer-specific sessions for Macintosh and Windows developers, with the objective of providing tools and techniques to maximize solutions based on Claris products, and will cover several topics, including:

• Deploying database solutions over the Internet using FileMaker Pro.

• Designing user interfaces for Macintosh and Windows solutions.

• Integrating OpenDoc and OLE with Claris applications.

• SQL connectivity with FileMaker Pro and third-party programs.

• Marketing and selling solutions and services.

Developers interested in getting registration information, or who have other Claris WWDC questions, can call (800) 778-9383 (North America) or (503) 699-7178 (International) for more information.


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