Talk:Ashton-Tate

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DBASE entry virtually has Ashton-Tate's history.

Naming of the original company[edit]

I have added a note at the bottom of the document about the original name of the company. Can anyone comment on this? Maury 15:26, 16 August 2005 (UTC)

The comment was correct, the article has been updated. Maury 13:32, 2 November 2005 (UTC)

Personal back-n-forth between Ed and Maury removed with both party's permission.

Bias[edit]

I've added a bias tag to the top of this article because much of the text reads like a corporate press-release. For example there is the paragraph:

dBASE III+, a version including character-based menus for improved ease-of-use, had troubles maturing and had to be recalled just prior to its release in early 1986. However the company handled this with some aplomb, and although some customers were affected, Ashton-Tate's handling of the problems did much to improve customer relations rather than sour them. dBASE III+ would go on to be just as successful as dBASE II had been, powering the company to $300 million in sales in 1987.

These assertions are simply not true. See chapter 5 od In Search of Stupidity by Merrill Chapman for more details. Rglovejoy 22:12, 21 September 2006 (UTC)

Hi - I worked at Ashton-Tate HQ from 1988-1991, and just to let everyone know, there were at least a few errors in Merrill Chapman's chapter on Ashton-Tate, although most of it is correct. (For example, I think he said George Tate died in 1985, and I also think he said Ed Esber took over as CEO right away, ignoring David Cole's brief turn as CEO which I added to the main article here. I do not have the book at the moment, so that is just from memory.) - TWR, El Segundo

Oh, it's most definitely NPOV, it doesn't read like a Wikipedia article, it's got style.... ^_^
I wouldn't say it reads like a press release when you step back a bit from the prose style: the author has strong opinions about various people and groups and doesn't hide that. And as a software developer, and WRT to a company that in part failed due to mismanaged development, I'd like to see a little more attention paid to Ratliff et. al.
All this should be corrected, but while I never used it, I was using PCs from before its inception (at least as a product) and it had a lot of the market's mindshare. I didn't detect anything incorrect in it, its been scrubbed a bit per the above entry by a someone who worked there, and after removing the second use of "strategically inept" (in referring to the board---who by definition are responsible for the outcome of a company) I'd say it'll do for the time being. Hga 19:54, 26 July 2007 (UTC)
Ed Esber edits this page to make his tenure there look good. If you look at Ed Esber you'll see his revisionist handiwork there, too. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 63.230.177.44 (talk) 17:52, 19 July 2013 (UTC)

Framework[edit]

There is one error in the small section on Framework. It did not use character graphics; it used bit-mapped graphics. Character graphics on the IBM PC and clones used ASCII text codes greater than 128 to "draw" shapes on the screen, although these are actually characters. The IBM PC character set contained characters for right angles, straight lines, and other "glyphs" that one could use to simulate drawing. However, being (merely) ASCII characters, the programmer was limited to a maximum of 80 characters across by 25 rows, the size of the IBM PC screen in those days.

Framework used bit-mapped graphics. In this "mode" (as it was called), the programmer had to something like 320x200 and/or 640 x 200 pixels on the screen for graphics. The graphing portion of Lotus 1-2-3, Version 1, used this mode to create true graphics".

I used Framework in those days and it definitely used bit-mapped graphics. This also made it slower than comparable character graphic programs such as Symphony by Lotus Corporation. RSzoc 14:54, 8 September 2007 (UTC)

Framework used character graphics for the GUI -- menus and window borders, but used bit-mapped graphics for the charts. Mike 19:05, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

A Note of Thanks[edit]

I want to thank the many people who contributed to this article to date September 19, 2008 It is fairly accurate and reasonably detailed. Maury has done an especially great job as the main editor. For those interested in much more detail including press releases, articles and financials click the link at the bottom. You will see articles as written, sometime with my editorials/opinions included and clearly labeled. I have made some minor edits. I will attempt from time to time to insure accuracy, insert facts and/or remove "baloney". —Preceding unsigned comment added by FormerATCEO (talkcontribs) 11:14, 19 September 2008 (UTC)

PowerStep for NeXT[edit]

Does anyone have any information about the spreadsheet program that Ashton-Tate started developing for NeXTstep? Apparently, when NeXT announced that it would give away Lotus Improv, A-T lost interest in any further development. I did find a Press Release from Ashton-Tate which mentions PowerStep and apparently predates NeXT's announcement of the Lotus Improv deal. I think that this would be an interesting detail for the article, although it should probably be minimal.

Yes I do, sort of: I wrote an ad for PowerStep. I was a copywriter at FCB Direct/LA, the direct marketing arm of Foote, Cone & Belding, Los Angeles on the 15th floor of the World Savings Center at 11601 Wilshire Boulevard (the building still stands at the corner of Wilshire and San Vicente). Ashton-Tate was one of our biggest clients. One afternoon in 1990 or 1991 (not sure of the year), Rick Amaya (art director) and I were briefed on an ad for a new spreadsheet Ashton-Tate had developed for the NeXTStep platform. I wrote a headline: One spreadsheet is as good as the NeXT. Ashton-Tate loved it, so Rick did a layout showing a mockup of a PowerStep software package (we didn’t have a picture of an actual PowerStep box) next to a NeXT Cube, and the client approved it. The next thing we knew was that the client had pulled the ad; the Lotus Improv explanation on this page has to be the reason why.Grahamcallander (talk) 07:24, 27 June 2013 (UTC)

dBASE IV for Unix, Solaris, VMS, etc[edit]

No mention of the project of porting dBASE IV away from DOS and onto other operating systems. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2001:470:494A:2112:0:0:0:137A (talk) 22:39, 31 July 2013 (UTC)