Apple Computer Compound Document technology, now abandoned. standard created by Apple in the 1990s for compound documents, intended as an alternative to Microsoft's Object Linking and Embedding (OLE)... Apple was rapidly losing money at the time and many in the industry press expected the company to fail. OpenDoc was soon discontinued, with Steve Jobs (who had been at NeXT during this development) noting that they "put a bullet through [OpenDoc's] head", and most of the Apple Advanced Technology Group was laid off in a big reduction in force in March 1997.

Rys McCusker had some involvement.

Cyber Dog was an OpenDoc-based suite of internet applications, including email and news readers, a web browser and address book management components, as well as drag and drop FTP. OpenDoc allowed these components to be reused and embedded in other documents by the user. For instance, a "live" Cyberdog web page could be embedded in a presentation program, one of the common demonstrations of OpenDoc.

Greg Maletic: on OpenDoc

Back in 1995, my first job at Apple was as a Product Marketing Manager for OpenDoc.

the OpenDoc concept was that developers could just write the one piece they were best at, then let end-users mix and match all of the little pieces of functionality together as they wished.

there was a thought floating around the halls of Apple that, hey, we’re plunging a ton of money into OpenDoc, there must be some way we can leverage it in the operating system

the OS group resists adding new things because of increased complexity and memory footprint

Despite what the title “Product Marketing Manager” may imply, no one worked for me. As a product manager at Apple, your job was to go around to the various development arms of your assigned technology–engineering, quality assurance, human interface–and make sure they were doing things in a way that was conducive to making your technology appealing to customers

It’s hard to remember now, but back in 1996 memory (as in RAM) was a big issue. The average Mac had about 2 megabytes of memory. OpenDoc wouldn’t run on a machine with less than 4 megs, and realistically, 8 megs was probably what you wanted

The OS group had mixed feelings, but ultimately didn’t care. Most folks at Claris, Apple’s application group, didn’t want it at all, seeing it as an enabler for competition to Claris’s office suite product, ClarisWorks.

This isn’t a problem that exists at Microsoft (at least, it certainly isn’t evident.) The Office group needed a component architecture, so they wrote one. They needed it integrated into the OS to support things like Publish/Subscribe, etc., and to leverage it into Explorer…it happened

Unless you have application groups who want to create functionality to run on your OS, it’s one hundred times harder to figure out what you’re supposed to be doing with your OS.

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