Re: FYI... press release

Michael D. Doyle (
Wed, 31 Aug 1994 23:36:55 -0700

To: wei@xcf.Berkeley.EDU (Pei Y. Wei)
From: (Michael D. Doyle)
Subject: Re: FYI... press release

Out of curiosity, did you publicly demonstrate this or publish any results
before 1994? I remember talking to people from ORA at the first SIG-WEB
meeting in November of 1993 and they said that no such features were yet
publicly demonstrable in Viola. I seem to remember that they hinted at the
time that someone was trying to get something to work, but it wasn't ready
to show yet.
>> (Michael D. Doyle):
>>> How many months and months? We demonstrated our technology in 1993.
>>> >This is very interesting... But, I don't think this is the first case
>>> >of program objects embedded in docs and transported over the WWW.
>>> >ViolaWWW has had this capabilities for months and months now.
>>> >
>>Not that I wish to content on the point of simply who's first :)
>>But, let's see... (Wish I had kept better records and wrote papers
>>about things as they happened!)
>>Definitely by May 8, 1993 we had demonstrated that plotting demo
>>(the very one shown in the viola paper) to visitors from a certain
>>computer manufacturer... This demo was memorable because someone and I
>>at ORA had lost sleep the night before the meeting, in order to cook up
>>that particular plotting demo :) We had to show something cool.
>>That demo wasn't very hard to do because by that time the basic
>>capability was already in place for violaWWW to fetch viola objects
>>over HTTP (or whatever) and plug them into documents. Of course,
>>our wire-frame plotting demo isn't anywhere as comphrehensive as yours.
>>But, the point was that there was a way to embed programmable &
>>interactive objects into HTML documents.
>>You see, the basic object/interpreter engine has been in viola from
>>day one of the old ViolaWWW from mid 1992. So, basically it just had to
>>wait until the second (current) incarnation of ViolaWWW for the HTML
>>widget (as it were) to get good enough such that it was feasible to
>>embed such interactive objects inside of a document.
>>If I dig more and harder into my archives I might find more earlier
>>evidence of having shown this to outside parties (we do these demos
>>to interested parties some times)... Unfortunately I don't remember
>>when it was (definitely earlier than May 93) that we showed
>>Tim Bernners-Lee a very early demo of the second ViolaWWW with
>>embedded interactive objects.
>>I don't know how your system works (maybe you could post or send me
>>some detailed info or URLs), but I should mention that Viola's basic
>>approach is to use an interpreter to run the "program objects"
>>(as opposed to linked-in executables).
>>I have say, thou, that lots of this stuff is still in the Research &
>>Demo stage, and there's still lots of details to work out.
* Michael D. Doyle, Ph.D. email: *
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