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Language peer sets for FRED:
United States
United States/1983
Designed 1983
1980s languages
Fourth generation
Late Cold War


alternate simple view
Country: United States
Designed 1983

for Frame Editor

Language used by Framework, created by Robert Carr, Forefront 1983

Subsequently bought by Ashton-Tate, then Boirland, then Selections & Functions

(Framework was multifunction software, combining outliner, word-processor, spreadsheet, database)

  • Glinert-Cole, Susan (1985) Glinert-Cole, Susan "Framework; a delightful writing - organizational tool. (evaluation)" Creative Computing 11(1) Jan 1985 p64 Abstract Online copy
  • Hergert, Douglas (1985) Hergert, Douglas "Mastering Framework" Sybex 1985
  • Hoenig, Alan (1985) Hoenig, Alan "Framework With Applications for the IBM PC" Wm. C. Brown Publishers IA 1985
  • Kruglinski, David (1985) Kruglinski, David "Framework: the Framework Book" Osborne, 1985
  • Simpson, Alan and Hall, Devra (1985) Simpson, Alan and Hall, Devra "Advanced techniques in Framework: programming in FRED" Berkeley, SYBEX 1985
  • Harrison, Bill (1988) Harrison, Bill "Framework III: an Introduction" Pearson Education Canada Don Mills, ON, Canada 1988
  • Stone, Deborah L. (1990) Stone, Deborah L. "Illustrated Framework III" Wordware Publishing 1990
  • (2002) Library of Congress Subject Headings F7
    • PC Magazine Profiles in Excellence 1985

      When he first conceived the idea for Framework, Robert Carr was working as
      programming consultant on a different product?an integrated spreadsheet package
      called Context MBA.

      "I was convinced," Carr says, "that integration was a powerful idea that
      brought many benefits with it. But I also thought that integrating around a
      single large spreadsheet constricted the user. A more appropriate method would
      allow the user to break information into many smaller chunks that could be
      linked together logically." This, according to Carr, is the heart of Framework:
      it permits you to break up your data into separate frames in any order you like.
      "Based on that conviction, I thought, What the hell, why don't I Try programming
      it? So I started programming it on my PC, hoping I could prove the idea
      workable, implement it, and start a company to market it."

      Carr, 28, had done a stint at Xerox's Palo Alto Research Center, where we
      worked on predecessors of Xerox's Star and Smalltalk. He holds B.S. and M.S.
      degrees in computer science from Stanford University.

      In January, 1983, after a year of designing, Carr began to create a program
      to embody his idea (which he called FRED for "Frame Editor") and by June it was
      clear that the programming effort was even more successful than he had hoped. "I
      was beginning to talk to some companies when Marty Mazner, who has more
      marketing background than I have, came by, saw FRED, and asked "Do you know what
      you have?" We got to talking and decided to co found Forefront."

      Their goal was not to organize a software company that would superintend the
      product through its appearance on the store counters, but to start a development
      corporation that could finish the product and team up with a leading publisher.
      "In July, 1983 we decided to go to Ashton-Tate first," Carr remembers. "We got a
      terrific reception. Within 2 days we concluded an agreement stating that they
      would both act as venture capitalists and get marketing rights to Framework and
      would also get rights to buy Forefront in 1986." In fact, the product was so
      successful that Ashton-Tate recently announced an agreement to buy out Forefront

      So, beginning in September 1983, Carr and company spent a feverish 10 months
      laboring to finish Framework ("It was the classic 7-day work week that you get
      with fervent believers," Carr says) and were able to finish the work in a
      relatively short period of time.

      "Framework is certainly not a result of my efforts alone," Carr insists. "Six
      other individuals worked with me day and night for almost a year. It's very much
      a result of their good ideas and excellent work. They and all of the teams need
      to be recognized by the software industry. Few products have been the result of
      one individual's effort."

      Since then, Framework has established itself as a major product in the
      integrated software market. "Integrated is a very loose term," says Carr. "An
      incredibly wide-ranging bunch of products fits under it. People who buy
      Framework find that it's easy to learn and use. Most software packages demand
      about 50 hours of training. But although you have to make a learning investment
      the first time you come to Framework, that training applies to all the different
      functions. If in the next week or month, you want to pick up say, the word
      processing function, you'll find that it works very much like the spreadsheet."
      Carr foresees an important role for integrated software in the move toward
      widespread use of the local area networks. "The whole industry is moving from
      personal to group productivity tools," he asserts. You can expect to find Carr
      and Framework riding the crest of that wave.

    • Framework SIG
    • FRED/FRAMEWORK home page
    • Bio of Robert Carr

      Robert Carr, Managing
      Director, joined Sofinnova in 1997. Prior to joining Sofinnova, Mr. Carr was
      Vice President of the AutoCAD Market Group at Autodesk, Inc., where he led
      Internet work, managed a staff of 330, and was responsible for the company's
      flagship product, AutoCAD. In 1987, Mr. Carr co-founded the high profile mobile
      communications startup GO Corporation, where he led all software development,
      including the ground breaking PenPoint operating system. Mr. Carr previously
      served as Ashton-Tate's Chief Scientist, after the 1985 acquisition of his
      software startup. This startup introduced Mr. Carr's invention of an integrated
      PC software program called Framework.

      Mr. Carr is currently on the Boards of Directors of AirZip, Atomz, Fresher
      Information, Laszlo, OpenReach and Mondo Media. He began his career at Xerox
      PARC in 1978, after earning B.S. and M.S. degrees in Computer Engineering from
      Stanford University. Mr. Carr won PC Magazine Technical Excellence Awards for
      both Framework and PenPoint.

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