FSGroupWare - a shared NextStep whiteboard used by the 1993 SM1 Hubble Servicing Mission

Seeing your app electronically distributed in the Electronic AppWrapper was a big deal back before the internet even though the ecosystem was so tiny at that time. Maybe because it was so tiny at that time. I had a tiny app, really a demo, and was super excited about it. The one tiny app was used in a tiny way on the Hubble repair mission which was awesome for Nerd Joe. I had forgotten about it until seeing Jesse Taylor's LinkedIn Post

Astronauts changed out Hubble Telescope hardware during a space walk.  Someone at NASA wanted a digital shared whiteboard with drawing capability.  Astronauts could take and transmit pictures to Earth. Multiple sites would examine the same picture and share notes or markup.  They had a couple NeXTStep machines running FSGroupWare.  Displays were 1120x832 and either 2-bit or 12-bit.  I was on call but never heard from anyone. I want to believe that is because they used it and it worked flawlessly.

It was a tiny piece of a cool mission and one of the most exciting things ever done with any code that I have written. https://asd.gsfc.nasa.gov/archive/hubble/missions/sm1.html

Distributed in the AppWrapper

I only remembered this recently because of a recent LinkedIn post  by AppStorey https://appstorey.com/2016/04/11/jesse-tayler-talks-appstore-and-nextstep-with-appstorey/

FSGroupWare distributed via The Electronic AppWrapper Vol 1 Nr 3 September 1993

Quit Working Alone! 
FSGroupWare provides a solution to your real-time data sharing 
and remote conferencing needs! FSGroupWare is a set of shared 
data applications that help support on-line collaborative efforts. 

The text found online at https://archive.org/stream/nextworld-1994/NeXTWORLD_1994_djvu.txt is extracted from a "digitized" version of Nextworld 1994.  You can see the digitized pages at https://archive.org/details/nextworld-1994/mode/2up?view=theater

FSPreferences 1.0

Another app I had in the catalog got hammered in the review.


Fat-binary set of utility modules added to Preferences 
I don't ever remember seeing this review and only found it while looking for AppWrapper-related content. I'm sure the criticism is valid but don't even remember what this app looked like. Sometimes you are limited by the underlying system events and sometimes you just don't build the right thing.  Sometimes a graphical UI is better for the less technical than using a text editor or the Unix shell. 

FSPreferences provides a set of addi- 
tions to the standard Preferences 
application that allows you to set 
alarms, automatically launch appli- 
cations, associate sounds with system 
operations, and edit the defaults 
database. Although you get several 
modules, the limited functionality 
and awkwardness of their design 
make this package less valuable than 
it first appears. FSSoundPanel works 
with only a limited number of sys- 
tem events, fewer than those avail- 
able with Microsoft Windows or a 
utility such as Click Change for the 
Macintosh. A standard analog alarm 
clock has more functionality than 
FSAlarmClock, and using the FSCur- 
rentDefaults panel to edit the de- 
faults database is actually less effi- 
cient than using Edit or a UNIX 
shell. FSAutoLaunch is reminiscent 
of the utility LaunchPad but has 
even less functionality.

Revision History

Created 2023 05


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