Development Paths for Mac/PC

Thu, 09 Nov 1995 21:38:28 -0400 (EDT)

On 11/2/95 at 4:01pm -0500, Robert Carnevali wrote:

>I've been using the windows version of Cu-SeeMe for a couple of months now
>Why is it so far behind the Mac version?! Video Conferencing (VC) promises
>to be a hot new technology for business. Many companies have gotten a lot
>of publicity for their own VC solutions. The majority of computers in
>business are PC's. Yet the feature set of the windows version of the software
>falls far behind the Mac.

and later, he writes:

>I think the Mac is a wonderful machine, but take a look at where the potential
>is for mass use. PC's far outnumber Macs.

On 11/3/95 at 11:23:29 -0500, Tim Dorcey wrote:

>All of what you say is true. What is also true, however, is that we
>currently make just as much money from a single Mac user as we do from 10
>PC users (and I might add, get a lot less grief). Furthermore, PC
>dominance is not nearly so lopsided in education as it is in the commercial
>sector (hint: Cornell is involved in education). Finally, when we started
>this project a little over 3 years ago, Apple already had consistent,
>well-defined audio, video, and network APIs, a 32-bit operating system, was
>shipping computers with built-in audio, and factory video capture was not
>far behind (with cheap 3rd party plug-and-play boards already available).
>Okay, so that was then. It is one of our goals to make videoconferencing
>available to as many people as is possible, and we do recognize the
>importance of the PC (if for nothing else than to give Mac users more
>people to talk to!). Market forces are beginning to take effect, and yes,
>ye shall have your volume purchasing power back in action soon enough.

It seemed evident to me, despite the shock felt by PC owners waking up to a
platform *disadvantage*, that the 'cost-benefit' calculation for CU-SeeMe
development as a non-commercial program relying on a/v capabilities was very
different from that guiding routine commercial developers. The fact
is, the early emphasis was on educational sites K-12, where Macs are still a
predominant presence. But aside from that, it's just got to be more **fun**,
for programmers, free of pressures to make the most money in the least time,
to spend their time pushing the 'tech-envelope' instead of chasing down every
incompatibility imaginable for a static product. Remember, as a non-commercial
team, time devoted on one pursuit is time taken from another...

It's intended as no disrespect towards our fellow PC CU-SeeMe'ers (try that
one out loud) to note that PC folks often assume they are the center of the
universe when it comes to software development. So I have to admit restraining
invidious impulse when I read comments from the Windows crowd expressing the
frustration that's routine for Mac folks about software development that treats
their choice of platform as an afterthought. (It would be *most* fun, I suppose,
if OS/2'ers and Amiga'ns could share the moment, though). It's a little like
the shock that US citizens sometimes feel when abroad that the rest of the
world really *does* have its own languages and ways -- and seems to be *happy*
about it -- after all.

But I suppose that this golden Mac moment too soon shall pass, as so many
others, when the multifarious (multi-infamous?) squeaky wheels of PC'dom get
their grease. White Pine seems determined to do its yeoman best to bring
PC CU-SeeMe up to snorff; and for that, all potshots aside, we can all be

But to echo a more familiar refrain, to White Pine: In the pursuit of
surely well-deserved riches, please don't leave behind the Mac crowd. We
are a stalwart bunch, really, and well represented in this group --

Despite the lower volume of our complaints ~~~

John Solorzano
Washington, DC EEUU