The NeXT was brilliant. The NeXT had (arguably too) many things introduced at once – removable optical storage, Objective C, DSP for sound and movies, Mach kernel, unix for a PC, display Postscript, InterfaceBuilder and so on. Yes, they never got the price down and the optical disks proved unreliable. But Steve and NeXTStep ended up saving Apple, and there must be a lesson that it is worth hanging on to cool things: you never know when they will in fact become mainstream.
Programming the WorldWideWeb client was remarkably easy on the NeXT. There was already a software module, the Text Object, which was an editable multifont editor. I just had to subclass it to make a hypertext object, and add the internet code. Designing the app’s menus was trivial – just drag and drop with InterfaceBuilder. The code framework of the app was generated automatically. That is a platform: something which allows you to build things which without it would have been possible, but a lot of work.
The geeks among us need to be at the same time deeply insistent technically on beautiful, clean, extensible design inside, and utterly impatient as naive end users about the outside.
Hommage de Tim Berner Lee, et oui le web a été conçu sur une machine de qui vous savez. Ca me rappelle qu’à l’époque j’avais 13-14 ans je bavais bien sur les NeXT qui étaient financièrement hors de portée. Un peu comme les silicon graphics quelques années plus tard ou les BeBox de JL Gassée (tiens un autre transfuge d’Apple).