One of the reasons I love the soap opera that is the Macintosh is how some rumors simply never, ever die. The Apple tablet and the Apple PDA are two great examples, but here’s another case in point: the 1997 promise of a write-once, run-anywhere programming environment called “Yellow Box” that would enable Mac developers to distribute applications to various platforms with almost no additional effort.
The irony of this is earlier this week, as I have tinkered with the new Safari beta on my work XP machine, I have been thinking about how intriguing it would be if this heralded the revival of the yellow box. I don’t know if that makes me prescient or rabid, but it confirms me as a long-time devotee. Surprise to you all, I know. Either way, I enjoyed seeing this appear: Mac Rumors: Yellow Box for Windows Still Exists?
As for Safari on Windows, I have read all sorts of commentary on the issue since Monday’s announcement. I covered this a bit that day, and since then I’ve noticed a few columns (Gartenberg and Gruber) that helped explain the riddle to me, as well as a few (Cringely) that did not help me. The one that seems to make the most sense is here, by Bertrand LeRoy, who describes this as an ’emulator’ of sorts for iPhone development.
Its one and only purpose is to make sure that devs who work on PC can build apps that will run on the iPhone and on the Mac. Especially the iPhone: when you have relatively little screen real estate, making your UI fit is no easy task, and the closer the browser on your dev machine is to the real thing, the better.
I think that’s what’s really going on here, and the money they make from the Google searches is simply gravy.
Composed while listening to The Mavericks’ “There Goes My Heart” from What A Crying Shame (1994). Listen here.