It's Throwback Thursday. How many people remember the WHIP ADI driver for AutoCAD R13 or the WHIP! Netscape Navigator Plug-in and ActiveX Control for Internet Explorer?
What's in a name? The ADI driver was going to be called the Windows High-Performance driver, but Microsoft would not let us use Windows in our name. So for about a day and a half, it was actually the What-a High-Performance driver before everyone realized that was just too silly. So the driver just went out with AutoCAD R13 c3 as the WHIP ADI driver with no explanation of the name.
When customers wanted to view designs on the web, Brian Mathews realized that a Netscape Navigator Plug-in to view native DWG files would be too big to download. Back in 1995, bandwidth was not what it is now. To reduce the plug-in's size, the files needed to be simpler to interpret - something ready to be drawn. So Brian came up with a format suited to that where the geometry was already tesselated and ready to be blasted to the screen. But where could he get the geometry in such a ready to display form? Aha! The WHIP ADI driver had a display list that it used for fast display of AutoCAD entities. So the first Design Web Format (DWF) files were actually produced by sending a command to the WHIP ADI driver to dump its display list to a file. Since the DWF files came from the WHIP ADI driver, the Netscape Navigator Plug-in was called the WHIP! plug-in.
Nostalgia is alive in the lab.