9.529 demise of Blackbird

Humanist (mccarty@phoenix.Princeton.EDU)
Mon, 12 Feb 1996 23:46:35 -0500 (EST)

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 9, No. 529.
Center for Electronic Texts in the Humanities (Princeton/Rutgers)
Information at http://www.princeton.edu/~mccarty/humanist/

[1] From: Dorothy Day <DAY@ucs.indiana.edu> (40)
Subject: 9.527 Java, Blackbird, Shockwave

On Tue, 6 Feb 1996, Humanist wrote:

> [1] From: "Richard L. Goerwitz III" <richard@mithra- (25)
> orinst.uchicago.edu>
> >
> Perhaps Microsoft is also taking this route. I know nothing about Black-
> bird, but if history is any guide, Microsoft is focusing on Windows, and
> the source code and specs aren't being dealt with nearly as openly as
> Java's. Actually, is the source code even being released? Or is this
> just another piece of totally proprietary software?
> Someone please enlighten us about the specifics, with URLs if possible.
> Thanks in advance,
> Richard Goerwitz
> U of Chicago

to which on Febr 9, 1996 John Unsworth replied:

>Well, there's a concise and fairly unbiased rundown on Java, Blackbird,
>and Shockwave at http://zeppo.cnet.com/Content/Voices/Barr/112795/index.html
>--perhaps the most important thing to note, up front and first of all,
>about Blackbird is that, like the Microsoft Network, it has been redescribed
>and reinvented many times by Microsoft, so there will be many conflicting
>understandings (and descriptions) of what it is supposed to be and do.
>John Unsworth
>http://www.village.virginia.edu/~jmu2m/ jmu2m@virginia.edu

Talk of Microsoft Blackbird has become basically irrelevant, because
last week Microsoft abandoned its support of the project, leaving
in the lurch hundreds of software developers who had sunk large
investments into developing products dependent on Blackbird
technology. I believe the announcement I saw said that Microsoft will
use it internally on some part of its own Internet projects, but will
not develop it for broader dissemination or support. MS has licensed
Java, which seems to be the current wave to ride.

Dorothy Day
School of Library and Information Science
Indiana University