OBJECTIVELY SPEAKING, FINAL ISSUE

Newsletter Highlights:

1. LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT - Teri Dahlbeck explains the dissolution of CI Labs by the Board of Directors.

2. SWEEPSTAKES WINNER - CI Labs Announces "Fly To Superior Membership!" Sweepstakes Winner - Steve Poole of WRQ, Inc. of Seattle Washington

3. MARCH PREMIER MEMBER - Corda Technologies makers of C-Graph, C-Table and C-TextBox

4. PREMIER MEMBER ALUMNI - Adrenaline Software, Digital Harbor, Hutchings Software, VoicePilot and Softlinc

5. REPORT FROM DEVELOPER RELATIONS - The Future Of Developer Relations Support

6. REPORT FROM LIVE OBJECTS PRODUCT MANAGEMENT - Transition Of Live Objects Validated Product, Live Objects Test Suite Support And Live Objects Trademark Issues.

7. REPORT FROM ENGINEERING - Engineering Transition Information Of Technical Processes, Task Forces, Licensing, Registration, Mailing Lists, Website, and Comments On OpenDoc Futures.

8. REPORT FROM OPERATIONS - Management During Transition

1. LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT

As you are aware, this has been a very exciting time in the evolution of the component industry and CI Labs. Over the past three years, CI Labs has helped to establish components as a new paradigm in application development, created the first component validation kit and branding program, and created a developer channel to communicate to you, one of our 3,000 leading developers.

The component industry has experienced the emergence of several component models. The CI Labs sponsor companies have acknowledged these fundamental shifts in the component industry and have announced a reduced investment in OpenDoc.

Therefore, we recently announced that CI Labs has been dissolved by its Board of Directors. We are in the process of transitioning our key assets to the sponsor companies. Our last day of operation will be June 30, 1997.

On one hand, this decision greatly saddens myself and the staff at CI Labs. We know how hard many of you worked to help create this industry. You should also know that we worked as hard as humanly possible to ensure that the OpenDoc technologies had significant commitment from our sponsor companies. The CI Labs team worked almost every weekend in January and February, worked many hours of overtime, and presented the CI Labs story hundreds of times to many of our constituents. We waved the component technology banner, and specifically shared our important contribution of component validation and more. Due to a number of issues, and even though the sponsors know that OpenDoc is a superior component technology, they made the painful decision of having a reduced investment or transition plan for OpenDoc.

However, we should all take pride and ownership in moving the component industry forward. Many of you have developed superior Live Objects(tm) components. We have approximately 75 Live Objects that have been or are in the process of being validated. We were off to a running start, and I personally believed that 1997 was going to be the year that components would be adopted by the masses. I still believe that components will take hold; that perhaps we were a less than a year ahead of ourselves.

We are in the process of transitioning our assets (OpenDoc, SOM, Live Objects Validation Kit and Branding) back to our sponsors. We understand that Apple and IBM are looking at providing access to the code technologies to anyone interested, particularly the university channel and yourself, in hopes of promoting the technology, similar to the Linux model. We will send you an update on this as soon as we learn more.

I would like to take the time to personally thank you for your support over the last three years, and urge you not to give up on components - they are the future of application development, especially with the wider acceptance of the Internet.

The staff of CI Labs will slowly begin to depart from the organization, going to the sponsor companies or elsewhere. Please feel free to send me personal e-mail until June 30 as I manage the dissolution. From the bottom of my heart, I wish you all the best of luck going forward!

Teri Dahlbeck, President
teri@cilabs.org

2. CI LABS "FLY TO SUPERIOR MEMBERSHIP!" SWEEPSTAKES WINNER

A big thank you goes out to the members who filled out to the CI Labs Membership Survey. Steve Poole of WRQ, Inc. of Seattle WA has won the CI Lab's Fly To Superior Membership contest. He has won a trip for two anywhere American Airlines has destinations with a maximum purchase price of $2,000. Congratulations Steve!

3. CI LABS' "PREMIER MEMBER" - MARCH 1997

Congratulations to Corda Technologies who was chosen the CI Labs Premier Member. Corda was founded in 1995, and specializes in the design and implementation of cross-platform component software. Corda Technologies has three Live Objects Validated products: C-Graph, C-Table and C-TextBox.

C-Graph is a data-graphing Live Object that lets the user easily add graphs to Live Object Documents. C-Graph has several different linking options and can graph data from a variety of different sources. C-Graph also has the unique feature of being able to import data from multiple sources at the same time. The user is able to chart data from two or more different sources all in the same graph. C-Graph also allows the user to incorporate clip art into graphs.

C-Table is a powerful Live Object for creating and editing tables. C Table offers a wide variety of border options with everything from a hairline border to a sculpted 3D border. C-Table also provides many fill, shadow and text attribute options to help the user create just the look they want. C-Table supports linking enabling you to set up a link to other Live Objects, such as a data graph, and have the data automatically updated as it changes.

C-TextBox lets the user easily add text boxes, labels and titles to their Live Object documents. C-TextBox offers a wide variety of border options with everything from a hairline border to a sculpted 3D border. C-TextBox also provides many fill, shadow and text attribute options to help the user create just the look they want. C-TextBox can be set to grow in size automatically as the user enters text, so its frame is always the perfect size.

For more information, contact:

Neal Williams, President
5306 West 9910 North, Suite# 1000, Highland, UT 84003
E-mail: neal@corda.com, Voice: 801-763-0517, FAX: 801-898-4086
Internet: http://www.corda.com/

4. PREMIER MEMBER ALUMNI

Congratulations to all the past winners of the Premier Member award. Below is a listing of product and contact information. Great job!

Adrenaline Software
Live Objects Validated Products: Adrenaline Charts 1.0 and Adrenaline
Numbers 1.0
Contact: Christophe Legasse
E-Mail: mbigonese@adrenaline.com

 

Digital Harbor
Live Objects Validated Products: WAV 1.0
Contact: Roger Bell
E-Mail: rbell@dharbor.com

 

Hutchings Software
Live Objects Validated Products: Rapid-I Button 1.0
Contact: Brad Hutchings
E-Mail: hsd@earthlink.net

 

VoicePilot
Contact: Richard Grant
E-Mail: rgrant@ibm.net
Phone: 305-828-5600

 

Softlinc
Live Objects Validated Products: LEXI 1.0 - Conjugation, LEXI 1.0 - Spelling, LEXI 1.0 - Thesaurus, LEXI 1.0 - Translation
Contact: Brian Pfister
E-Mail: bpfister@softlinc.com

5. A REPORT FROM DEVELOPER RELATIONS

It's been a wild ride! And you've been great company. Your support and interest in OpenDoc and CI Labs resulted in a bright future for the component software marketplace. As Microsoft said in their open letter last week, they believe "the component-based development approach is the foundation for an industrial revolution in software." You got their attention, and it happened because of the commitment and passion which many of you have shown time and again over the past 4+ years.

Important contributions came from companies such as TrueSpectra, Athena Design, Metaware, Footprint, DST Systems, Claris, Comgrafix, WordPerfect, Route 66, Waterloo and WorldSoft who were some of the earliest OpenDoc proponents. And then later, companies such as Adrenaline Software, Digital Harbor, Voice Pilot, Eclipse, Pharos, theta group, Softlinc, Corda Technologies, Hutchings Software, Bear River Associates, Kantara, Asset Software, Secant Technologies, and Sundial Systems, Peripheral Vision, Everyware, Swift and MetaMind Software have all built on that early foundation to produce extraordinary and creative components.

You've mixed entrepreneurial spirit, like Brad, Jen, and Rappie - the Hutchings Software Rapid-I spokesblob, with superior innovation like Kim Cooper, Roger Bell and Dave Harding with Digital Harbor's WAV, with bleeding edge technology like Richard Grant and VoicePilot's SpokenDoc component. There is a lot to be proud of on the basis of each other's accomplishments alone.

As for the future, Apple, IBM and CI Labs are working to make OpenDoc and other pieces such as CyberDog and ODF and the Live Objects Validation Kit code available to you in the public domain. Many of you have already offered to carry the banner and work to keep OpenDoc alive and growing. Once the final details are worked out, you will receive another E-mail notice with this important information. We also expect to keep a very minimal CI Labs web site, and the OpenDoc-Interest list running for another month to provide you with information, pointers and a forum to discuss future developments.

In closing, each and every experience that we've shared has been personally meaningful to me. There are far too many of you to thank here, but it goes without saying, that I look forward to our paths crossing.

Larry Perlstein, Director of Developer Relations

6. TRANSITION FOR THE LIVE OBJECTS VALIDATION KIT AND BRAND

The Live Objects Validation Kit was the industry's first component validation and branding program to address software compatibility, a leading challenge among software developers and customers. During the first several months of the program, approximately 75 Live Object components received the brand or were in the process of doing so.

Though the program was clearly gaining acceptance, as part of the dissolution of CI Labs, we will notify current Live Objects licensees that the Live Objects Trademark and Logo License agreements will be terminated. Additional details will be provided to the Live Objects licensees in the next month.

The existing version 1.0 of the Live Objects Validator for MacOS and OS/2 will be offered to the CI Labs Sponsors and will remain in the "members only" area of the CI Labs web server through the end of April. Based on feed back from our members, we have a beta of the Live Objects Validator version 2.0 for MacOS , Windows 95 and Windows NT. We will provide this version to our sponsors in hopes of if appearing in the public domain soon. The beta code will also be offered to the CI Labs Sponsors but will not be supported by CI Labs.

I would like to thank all of our members that helped create the industry's first validation program and supported the Live Objects brand. Validation will continue to be the key to ensuring compatibility between components. Best wishes for your success in the rapidly growing component market.

Michael Barton, Vice President of Business Development

7. ENGINEERING TRANSITION REPORT

It is with great sadness that the Engineering Division write our final words to the OpenDoc faithful. We've been involved with OpenDoc since the early days and feel gratified to see how well it has been received by bleeding-edge component developers worldwide.

We aren't sure exactly what is going to happen to OpenDoc in the near future, but we hope it lives on, if nothing else, as a shining beacon of sanity amongst the dark forces of the component industry.

So without any further ado, as part of our overall transition to a world without CI Labs, the Engineering Division wishes to make the following announcements:

Technical Process: CI Labs will no longer be responsible for the ongoing evolution of OpenDoc hence there is no need for the technical process. The Task Force BBS will be removed from the web site.

Licensing: CI Labs will no longer be able to license OpenDoc, SOM, Bento, or OSA source code to interested third-parties. You will receive information as to whom you should contact for licensing information.

Registration: CI Labs will no longer be maintaining a central repository of component properties.

Mailing Lists: CI Labs will be turning off all mailing lists, including OpenDoc-Interest, ODF-Interest, and Bento-Interest on May 1, 1997. You will not need to unsubscribe -- mail will simply stop being delivered to you.

Website: The CI Labs website will be dramatically scaled down as of May 1, 1997. Information will remain online that will direct interested parties to sources of additional information on components.

This scaled down website will not include the Member Services area which is currently being offered within the members - only section of our website including:

  • Membership Survey
  • Registry Database
  • Members Rolodex
  • Objectively Speaking Newsletter
  • Taskforce BBS
  • PR Tool Kit
  • Live Objects Validation Kit

OPENDOC FUTURES

The software industry has been in a continuous process of adopting critical ideas and making those ideas part of the foundation of the technologies that follow. For component developers, we already see the strength of the component ideas within JavaBeans. Thus, the skills and motivations for developing with OpenDoc may be applied to creating products based on beans, and in evolving JavaBeans, and other technologies, to provide the capabilities required to develop the level of product possible with OpenDoc.

Products change, knowledge endures. AI (artificial intelligence) products diminished, but their ideas exist as elements of many end-user products today. OpenDoc raised the bar on what component technology is expected to deliver, and though a return in its present form is unlikely, many of the key technologies that established it as the premier component technology will endure.

Having worked with many of you directly, we know that you have established your companies and yourselves as leaders in creating next generation products. We hope to continue to see innovative products and new uses of component technologies from you, and look forward to working together again.

David Berkowitz, Vice President of Engineering
Joe McIntyre, Director of Engineering

8. REPORT FROM OPERATIONS

It has been a pleasure working closely with many you over the past few years. The operations staff has worked diligently to ensure that our membership database contains the most current and relevant information and that you have received operational services in a timely manner. Until June 30, if you have any questions or need assistance, please contact me at kathy@cilabs.org or call (408) 864-0314. I will be assisting Teri in the transition of CI Labs.

Kathy Brown, Chief Financial Officer

ONE FINAL NOTE

From all the CI Labs staff, we wish to thank our sponsors for all their support in the past three years, including Apple Computer, IBM, JustSystem, Novell, Adobe and Oracle. We wish you, our developers, all the best in the future. Thanks for making a difference in the component industry!

Sincerely,

Teri Dahlbeck, President
Michael Barton, Vice President, Business Development
Kathy Brown, Chief Financial Officer
David Berkowitz, Vice President, Engineering
Joe McIntyre, Director, Engineering
Larry Perlstein, Director, Developer Relations
Sylvia France, Director, Public Relations
Lucy Sheldon, Manager, Operations
Vickie Sorensen, Database Administrator
John Jourdan, Marketing Specialist
Roz Devin, Executive Administrator
Deleen Redding, Area Administrator
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