forward thinking about the UI

Liam Proven lproven at
Wed Nov 25 23:58:02 GMT 2009

On Wed, Nov 25, 2009 at 2:41 PM, Derek Broughton <derek at> wrote:
> Liam Proven wrote:
>> On Tue, Nov 24, 2009 at 2:10 AM, Michael Haney <thezorch at> wrote:
>>> And, you were partially correct about NeXTstep and Mac OS X.  NeXTstep
>>> was going to be to the next major Apple operating system, the idea was
>>> dropped though,
>> No, it wasn't.
> iirc, Jobs _left_ Apple to start NeXT, specifically because NeXTstep
> _wasn't_ going to be the next Apple OS.  Then he came back, and brought his
> ideas with him.

You *don't* remember correctly. Jobs was kicked out of Apple by John
Sculley, the former CEO of Pepsico, who Jobs hired to run the company
with the famous line "do you want to sell sugared water for the rest
of your life, or do you want to change the world?". The man he hired,
fired him. It was something of a scandal at the time.

Jobs then started NeXT, with a non-competition clause /vis-a-vis/
Apple limiting NeXT to the educational market. This did not last, but
as the NeXTstations were $10K+ they didn't compete with the far
cheaper Mac.

>> Such as? Apple did not buy Be and thus had no rights to any of its
>> ideas.
> Sure they did.  BeOS was genuine Free software.

Derek, your memory appears to be bl**dy awful, old son.

BeOS was the proprietary closed IP of Be, Inc. It was not, never was
and never will be Free software of any kind.

BeOS was a commercial product of Be Inc and was OEM licensed to
Hitachi, 3Com, Sony and others. After Be went under and was broken up,
the IP & most of the team went to Palm.  A later version of the OS,
under the name Zeta, was sold by yellowTab in Germany, and when
yellowTab went under, Magnussoft.

> I wouldn't be surprised if
> that was the biggest argument against it from Apple's view.

It was not the case, so it was no argument against it.

If Jean-Louis Gasée had asked for less for Be, Apple might have gone
for it. It was a tempting option. Unlike NeXTstep, it:
 - ran on the Mac already
 - was PowerPC native
 - was small, lightweight and very VERY fast
 - had a somewhat Mac-like GUI
 - offered a virtual-machine facility to run MacOS under it (a 3rd
party proprietary app called SheepShaver, which still exists)

Unlike classic MacOS, it:
 - had full pre-emptive multitasking
 - had efficient, fast virtual memory
 - had memory protection between apps
 - was broadly Unix-compatible and POSIX-compatible, aiding app
porting from Unix

In other words, it was all the things that classic MacOS was not &
that Apple had failed to achieve with the stalled MacOS 8 project.
(N.B. /not/ related to the product subsequently released under that
name, which was just an enhancement of MacOS 7, renamed so as to [a]
kill the Mac clone program and [b] stall users while NeXTstep was

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