Claris, daughter Apple. Adult life

Claris plays a fatal role in the fate of HyperCard. The saddest thing is this was an accident, and no one knew what he was doing.

The beginning.

In 1988, Claris began to act aggressively and skillfully. Bill Campbell received a bachelor’s degree in Economics and a master’s degree in education. But all his student years, bill was fond of baseball seriously, successfully playing for Columbia University, and in 1974-1979 he worked as a coach of the Columbia Lions. Say very successfully, I’m a baseball measures of success do not quite understand – as I understand it, the team has been ranked between 5th and 7th… Maybe it is a good thing.

And in 1988, bill showed the world (and the Board of Directors of Apple) what a real baseball.

The struggle for unearthly perfection

In 1988, Claris has acquired from Nashoba Systems FileMaker DBMS 4. I know one of the creators of this program, SPECA Bowers. FileMaker itself is no stranger to me, although in 1997 I was probably the only legal user of AppMaker from Russia. And AppMaker – only got in my hands the application to accelerate the development of programs that can be used. In the end, I had the opportunity to participate in drafting the penultimate version of AppMaker. Proud of it.

Ten years ago, I accidentally and was surprised to learn that FileMaker is his handiwork.

Claris was renamed FileMaker 4, FileMaker II, released it to market with their logo and…

And began to implement the principles enshrined in the establishment of the company. I think marketers and merchants, reading the Declaration of these principles, not taken them seriously. Made to paint any selfless service, facilitating the share of poor and all. Declarations are not legally binding. And here for you…

First, all programs (including newly acquired FileMaker) led to a single standard user interface. To be able to use at least one program Claris without any difficulty to be able to enjoy any other from the same company. Appearance was also reduced to the character as possible.

Dozens of employees were engaged in the study of the reaction of users on interface decisions, achieving clarity and convenience of the controls and the programs themselves. On a relatively small number of staff, the company has created a powerful technical documentation Department.

About thorough cleaning programs from the bugs would be silent, but such a rigid system of repeated testing probably was never even in the most dangerous areas and hazardous areas. The principle was simple and impossible: “Our ideal – ideal”.

Nowadays, the majority of companies developing software, live strictly according to schedule and managed managers who know how to capture only the execution or fulfillment of plans.

This approach has already destroyed one country (I will not say what), it is clearly not the best – but it is so simple that it seems brilliant.

Claris proved to the world that any extremism is evil. In theory, a software product is developed, or “specific date”, or “until the last bug”. No one actually should not be exactly any of those paradigms.

Compromises are inevitable.

In the result, Claris became a salesman is incredibly clean and beautiful programs, inevitably lagged behind market leaders. Claris worked strictly “to the last bug.” As every one of the bugs no testing for arbitrarily large user base still does not detect (they will appear only in the hands of users), it does not make sense. The story gave Claris a painful lesson (see section on Claris CAD).

All must be done well and on time. To the extent possible.

Have achieved the level of quality that meets the requirements of The application received new names. It was something like titles of nobility or honorary titles. Names instead of “II” there is a “Pro”. FileMaker Pro, MacWrite Pro MacPaint Pro, MacDraw Pro, etc.

User opinion: FileMaker Pro was better than FileMaker II, but not so much that something has changed seriously. I would prefer the new functionality. However, there were different opinions even in our team. I was familiar with these fanatics Claris. All of your taste.

Apple appreciated the efforts of Claris

But the leadership of Apple like Claris works. So, I decided to give in Claris in General, all software, leaving only the writing any device drivers and other low level stuff, and the development of new models of Macs.

The engineers objected. They argued that only if the computers and their operating systems are developed in close co-operation that is possible only in one company and under the overall guidance, you can achieve acceptable, from the point of view of Apple, of course, matching one another.

In the end, the operating system returned to Apple, after losing on the road a considerable number of the worst experts. Some – on the way there. Others on the way back.

Discussion on the transfer of the operating system closed. But suddenly found HyperCard. A whole team of bearded men and pretty women, still not on Claris? What are they doing? HyperCard? How many copies of HyperCard 2.0 sold during the year its sales? 300 copies?

Load command, full of plans and knows what must be done to not lose the exalted love of hundreds of thousands of users have been faced with a choice: go to Claris or to leave the company. With compensation, but forever. Almost the whole team… he chose to leave.

About the life of HyperCard in another company, read the next opus about HyperCard. He survived that, just in case.

Claris CAD and Claris Graphics Translator

In 1988, Claris, in collaboration with Craig young from CASE (Computer Aided Systems for Engineering), based on MacDraw II and young’s earlier written a CAD application for Macs EZ-Draft, developed the Claris CAD.

Help Claris CAD was developed in another application, Claris Graphics Translator, which converted the edit in Claris CAD document formats IGES and Autocad’s DXF.

Having passed all the circles of hell and having finally obtained a positive decision service of quality control in 1989, Claris CAD was published. And… the first version was full of bugs, especially the driver from the MicroPlot.

That is, neither hell nor other harsh measures do not guarantee the result?

If it was someone else’s discovery, the conclusion of the incident was made almost rebuffed: “dateline need stilnee!”.

In version 2.0, running forward, I found very unpleasant bug. Sometimes the user could not save the results to disk. This happened at the confluence of a number of circumstances, which neither the tester in the world (not knowing about its causes) could not even imagine. It’s CAD work on the creation of schemes and plans which is considerable as a rule. Not a bug, but some kind of sabotage…

In 1991, the development of the Claris CAD was discontinued. Claris CAD 2.0.3 was the last version. Along with Claris CAD and stopped development of Claris Graphics Converter. To these IGES and DXF needed if no CAD applications?

What did you do with the team that wrote these programs, and whether they remain alive after this, I don’t know. Honestly, I am ready to face the polygraph.

Claris SmartForm Designer And SmartForm Assistant Claris

In early January of 1989, seven months after the promised date, Claris has released another pair of apps – Claris SmartForm Designer to create and edit forms filled in manually or using the Claris SmartForm Assistant on the computer.

The program was $ 399 and came with SmartForm Assistant for a single user. Additional “assistants” worth at $ 49 if you buy one, $ 399 for a package of ten and $ 500 for a multiplayer version for 100 users.

Claris announced the program in January of 1988, promising to release it in June. Careful catching bugs lasted for months. During these months on the market, a new competitor, Adobe TrueForm, which Adobe Systems bought in may at Spectrum Digital Corp. First to market gets all, unless, of course, the program does what it’s designed.

The user gets used to the program in which it all turns out, and not looking for a new adventure. Latecomers must be better than something substantial, and not a little bit.

Very decent quality, 15 templates for construction of forms, precise and elaborate interface – alas – for the user argument was not and is not. So we live in the world today programs, the number of non-protein life forms (bugs) leading the imagination of any science fiction. But that is humanity, we have another.

SmartForm Designer and Assistant were very nice couple. Those who met with this kind of programs on the example SmartForm Designer, software liked, no TrueForm, in their opinion, and some were not… Especially SmartForm Designer, like those who have used one or more programs from Claris, but sales were below expectations, five times.

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