In case you haven’t seen the news about it, today we announced a new open source technology in cooperation with The Omni Group and Blacksmith, Inc. called LinkBack. The purpose of LinkBack is to make it easier for you to use several different applications together to create a final report or document. With LinkBack you will be able to create charts or diagrams and then paste them into Nisus Writer documents. Later you can edit those graphics just by double-clicking on them.
Now, this kind of technology is not new. Other technologies have existed for years to do this kind of thing: OLE (from Microsoft), EGO, Publish/Subscribe from Apple, OpenDoc, and so on. The challenge for these technologies, however, is that you need applications to support them to be useful. Many of these technologies never gained widespread use, however, because they are fairly complicated to implement.
LinkBack is different because we tackled those areas that have kept these other technologies from being adopted. First of all, we designed it to be easy for developers to implement; if you built your application using the standard Cocoa NSDocument design, it can require as little as a few dozen lines of code. We are also making the source available under a BSD license so anyone can make use of it free of charge.
Our goal with LinkBack is to bring embedded objects to the Mac in a way that is easy to implement so that it can be widely supported. That way, Mac users can gain the benefits of seamless integration between their applications, even if the applications come from different vendors.