Lip Service

Biology experiment

The first thing that came to mind while reading Dan Ruby's editorial ("Petri Dish," NeXTWORLD, Summer 1992) was that the analogy could be extended to the comp.sys.next.* groups on the Internet.

It seems that these groups, and NeXT in general, do indeed behave like a biological organism. You prune them and let each branch grow as an individual and soon have a healthy tree that is vibrant and alive with many strong healthy branches. Each can live without the other, but they are all dependent on the central trunk. Now we just have to hope that our tree will be allowed a little light to flourish in the dense forest in which we have collectively chosen to sprout.

Glenn Rempe

Tucson, Arizona

Natural integration

The article "Exporting from Data-Phile" (NeXTWORLD, Summer 1992) illustrates how a NeXT user takes advantage of NeXTSTEP's seamless integration. Developers from Stone Design should take note of this and give it to users of their programs to help them work better with their computer. I also wanted to suggest that DataPhile should allow for exporting records directly to the pasteboard in ASCII form. This would have made it one step easier to copy the mail addresses into the bcc: field in NeXT's Mail application.

Ricardo J. Parada

Tucson, Arizona

Most hyped

Regarding your Ten Most Wanted list, NeXT owes on-the-fly JPEG image compression to NeXTdimension owners, especially those who purchased an ND in early 1991 based on NeXT's hype. NeXT pulled the old bait and switch by pocketing money for ND orders and shipping an inferior product. Even now, more than a year later, NeXT says it still has no plans to implement real-time JPEG compression.

Just for laughs, compare the glossy brochures on the NeXT pro-duct line as they appeared before JPEG hardware was cut (when we bought our machine), and after it was cut. The brochures and spec sheets look the same from one meter away, down to layout and copy. Closer up, however, you see the new ND photo has a vacant connector where the C-Cube chip was, and the new ad copy and specs tiptoe around the missing chip. Historical revisionism.

Dylan Kohler

Glendale, California

Builder vs. BASIC

I've used Interface Builder (IB) and am extremely happy with how easy it is to make powerful professional applications. But what advantage do I have using it when Visual BASIC is around to make easy custom apps on a PC? What's the key difference between the two (besides the platform) that makes NeXT IB a better tool? Or is there one?

David L. Neumann

Engineer, Exxon Research

Houston

Visual BASIC is basic. Not being a structured let alone object-oriented language, it has none of the advantages of an object-oriented language, such as extensibility, reusability, and maintainability. Interface Builder comes with a rich set of object kits that dramatically reduce the amount of time required to develop commercial-quality applications. Though Visual BASIC does speed the development of an application, nobody would expect to use it to create a large, commercial application.When you hit its inherent brick walls, you must go back and rewrite your application from scratch. Interface Builder has no walls because the application is fully extensible at any time. Using Interface Builder never prevents you from using the Application Kit directly in Objective-C. Ron Lang, director of software product marketing, NeXT Computer

Waiting for ISDN

Come on now someone didn't do their ISDN homework ("ISDN Comes of Age," NeXTWORLD, Summer 1992). The "D" stands for dead. I live in a puddle town up north here next door to Micro-who. After calling US West several times over the past few months, I was informed that:

1. US West is not interested in ISDN or not very interested.

2. The Olympia, Washington, test project was abandoned.

3. US West has another system they are debating about implementing rather than ISDN.

4. If I forced them, they might actually hook it up for several hundred bucks. They had no idea of how much it would cost each month.

My assumption is that ISDN is being reserved for Betty and Bob Billionaire. And that outfits like Microsoft are, or will be, developing some sort of other teleconnection system.

Satellites?

Tom Hicks

Seattle

Your experience with your absentee telephone company mirrors my experience in Cambridge, where I have been waiting more than three months to get a residential ISDN line installed. Nevertheless, some Bell operating companies most notably Pacific Bell, Bell Atlantic, and Bell South have been making great strides in ISDN. If you lived in Mountain View, California, you could get ISDN installed in your house tomorrow for less than $30 per month. Simson L. Garfinkel

Missed on the list

Regarding your list of the Top 40 North American NeXT Sites in the Summer 1992 issue of NeXT-WORLD: There are no less than 156 NeXTs registered in the Networking and Communication data-base here at Stanford University. If I remember correctly, some of the original board layout for the Cube was done here on campus by NeXT employees! A grievous omission.

Mark Warren

Palo Alto, California

This is one of several letters we received noting omissions from our list. We will update our list next year. We also heard from several executives at NeXT, who told us they were surprised by how accurate the list was. NW

NeXTWORLD welcomes your comments. Please send them to Letters at NeXTWORLD, 501 Second St., San Francisco, CA 94107, or e-mail letters@nextworld.com.