ClarisWorks logoRegular readers of this site (all two of you) will know that I’m a bit of a sucker for stories about software development. For example, in the past I’ve linked to Damien’s cool recounting of his work on the Notes formula engine re-write and I also lapped up when stuff got posted there. Anyway, here’s another one, this time via The Unofficial Apple Weblog:

A Brief History of ClarisWorks by one of its developers, Bob Hearn.

I loved ClarisWorks. I wrote all my university essays and dissertations on it, often maintaining chats to chums in the US via UNIX chat programs at the same time (thanks to ClarisWorks’ terminal emulator). When I got bored with writing, I could always switch to another document and tot up just how overdrawn I was (there was a nifty wee spreadsheet module). All on a Mac Classic.

ClarisWorks brought together graphics apps, word processing and a spreadsheet in a way that could still teach a few software houses a thing or two — are you listening Microsoft??

All “integrated software” to date was effectively several separate programs, loosely stitched together. For multiple reasons we had to do better than this…

… We came up with a frame-based approach. Most of the functionality particular to the various application types was packaged up into “frames”: word processing frames, graphics frames, etc. These frames were then used as building blocks to make documents of the appropriate types, in a unified programming framework.

Great stuff. Ah, the memories…


  1. I know . . don't even get me started on MORE 3.1, the greatest outliner ever.Greg Walrath#

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