Keith Dawson (
Fri, 18 Jul 1997 08:51:54 -0400

Today's Tasty Bit concerns a company I've been involved with for some
time (though not for pay). Some of the folks there I knew from Texet.
Some of those, and others, did a rotation at Interleaf. One of them
was a principal in Eastgate Systems. We're talking folks wo have been
thinking through the problems of text and hypertext since at least the
early 80s (and longer in Bricklin's case).

Download this thing on Monday, you might like it.


..Trellix: specialized for hypertext

The wraps are coming off Dan Bricklin's new company (see TBTF for
7/2/96 [1]) and its product, Trellix 1.0, is bold indeed. (Full
disclosure: I know a good many of the people at Trellix, having
worked with them in past lives, and I participated in the com-
pany's market research and First Look programs.) In an era when
not even Microsoft can buck the Web's dominance with impunity,
Bricklin, co-inventor of Visicalc, looks anew at the problems of
writing, reading, navigating, and printing hypertexts. Trellix
1.0 is a Win-32 environment designed from the ground up to excel
at these tasks in a business environment. It's the first applica-
tion to use the ActiveX Hyperlinking Protocols -- in fact the
product is made up of ActiveX controls, which are themselves con-
tainers for each other. Its files are OLE-native structured storage
files. Its import and export functions, including of course to and
from HTML, are written in Visual Basic and are open to extension
by VARs and corporate developers. The Trellix 1.0 environment fea-
tures a freeform visual map of document structure; the author can
easliy define canned "tours" through the hypertext content, which
the reader is free to follow or to depart from. The map will appeal
instantly to anyone who has struggled to visualize a hypertext un-
der development, or who has gotten lost in hyperspace because
browser navigation is linear and single-threaded. When Trellix 1.0
exports a hypertext to HTML, the visual map is preserved as a Java
applet keyed to the HTML pages. And Trellix 1.0 is smart about
printing -- it can follow through links, tours, and sequences to
print an entire hypertext document complete with table of contents.

On Monday 7/21 the Trellix site [2] will open for free downloads.
I urge everyone who runs Windows 95 or Windows NT to give Trellix
1.0 a close look.