Cyber Dog

Cyberdog was a cost-free set of Internet-protocol client components which AppleComputer bundled with MacOs in the mid-90s. It included a web browser, a POP3 mail client, an FTP client, an NNTP news client, a telnet client, and a notebook for managing favorite web sites, email addresses, and similar items.

It had many wonderful features not then available in most client-side tools (and some which are still missing at this writing, in October 2000). Some of these features included a threaded history of operations across all of the client pieces, full integration between the clients, and an open API for adding new clients and protocol support. Its text-search engine made the WYSIWYG mail client one of the best available for managing very large mail stores.

It was built on top of OpenDoc, and thus could be fully integrated into OpenDoc's document-centric model (so, for example, an FTP session could be embedded in a ReadMe document which described how to get an updated copy of an application).

Although Apple continued to ship Cyberdog for a little while after OpenDoc was cancelled, it too eventually was discontinued. Only an initial 1.0 release and two point releases were ever made publicly available, but many people who used the product (and could see past some of its annoying early bugs) saw Cyberdog as the penultimate object-proof that component-centric, document-centric computing could be rich, elegant, and indulgent.

One of the best features of Cyberdog was its name, which came from a popular one-cell comic showing a dog typing at a computer with the caption "On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog." The name was chosen as the codename for the project, but everyone loved it so much that Apple Legal was forced to jump through an amazing number of hoops to secure it as the final product name.

As of October 2000, a small portion of the Cyberdog source code still remained in Apple's "URL Access Manager" library.

[Note that unlike recent Apple products, the "D" in Dog wasn't capitalized, so it should be 'Cyberdog', not 'CyberDog'. But let's skip that anality for Wiki convenience.]

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