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OS X Operating Systems

Steve Jobs Demos NeXTSTEP 3.0 465

Posted by michael
from the step-by-step-the-longest-march dept.
node 3 writes "Following the current trend of posting video from product demos long past, openstep.se has posted a 55MB video from 1992 of Steve Jobs demoing NeXTSTEP 3.0. They already have 4 mirrors hosting the file, but hopefully someone will set up a torrent (I would, but I don't have a place to post it). If you find the demo compelling and want to try out NeXTSTEP for yourself, you can always go here or here to get started."
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Steve Jobs Demos NeXTSTEP 3.0

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  • old apple ads (Score:2, Insightful)

    by dclaw (593370) on Saturday January 29, 2005 @09:34PM (#11517028) Homepage
    what's with all these old apple ads?
  • Geez (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 29, 2005 @09:35PM (#11517034)
    Is someone keeping a list of these or something? It sure would be nice if someone could just put together one big bittorrent archive.

    I mean, it would be sad if after these things being rescued from the ravages of time and analog media, they were lost to the ravages of time and the broken Slashdot search function the instant that the blogosphere's attention span moves on...
  • Re:Next NeXTSTEP? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ScytheBlade1 (772156) * <scytheblade1@[ ] ... m ['ave' in gap]> on Saturday January 29, 2005 @09:37PM (#11517042) Homepage Journal
    Ehhh.....maybe [gnustep.org] not [apple.com].
  • by nurb432 (527695) on Saturday January 29, 2005 @09:38PM (#11517046) Homepage Journal
    Or the files are lost due to the wonderful DMCA, as the DRM rights kick in and all unapproved files are magically deleted off your pc.. or just refuse to play beacuse they *might* be infringing on something, somewhere..
  • Re:Next NeXTSTEP? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by remahl (698283) on Saturday January 29, 2005 @09:40PM (#11517067)
    What is your point? Mac OS X _is_ the next NeXT operating system, even GNUstep realizes this and aims to keep up with Apple's development of Cocoa (former OpenStep). Anyhow, I don't see how this relates to the article about a ~14 yr old product demo.
  • by TheMediaWrangler (817300) on Saturday January 29, 2005 @09:44PM (#11517088)
    I knew that OS X inherits from NeXT, but I was surprised by the similarities. This also makes me believe that OS X is more mature than I had previously thought.
  • Re:old apple ads (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 29, 2005 @09:57PM (#11517157)
    Slashdot is owned by Apple.
  • by Leo McGarry (843676) on Saturday January 29, 2005 @10:04PM (#11517189)
    I'm sure you think you're being responsibly concerned, but the fact is that somewhere along the line you crossed over into the realm of the deranged ravings of a lunatic.

    Might want to take a step back there, to rejoin us in reality.
  • by WillAdams (45638) on Saturday January 29, 2005 @10:07PM (#11517205) Homepage
    NeXTstep is far more than just the Dock. Some of the advantages which it affords:

    - Display PostScript --- true WYSIWYG, and the ability to do rich on-screen stuff like display (auto-updating) dimension lines in a drawing program by just typing up some PostScript code.

    - Services --- these allow any app to take advantage of any other app which provides a Service. There're Services for sorting text, convert TeX source to in-place graphical equations, printing envelopes &c.

    - Customizable UI --- tear off menus allows one to decide which command is most easily available and where it's available at.

    - Dynamic run-time binding means that installing a filter service affords said capabilities to any other app, w/o recompiling.

    William
    (who misses NeXT's vertical menu, Display PostScript, Webster.app, pop-up main menu, concise shortcut descriptors and lots of other things on his PowerMac G4 at work in Mac OS X, and appreciates them greatly on his NeXT Cube at home ;)
  • Re:Next NeXTSTEP? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by slavemowgli (585321) on Saturday January 29, 2005 @10:07PM (#11517206) Homepage
    Wouldn't it make more sense to read past the headline and see that this is from 1992? It's not as if Apple is showing a demo of the upcoming NeXTstep *today*.
  • Re:Next NeXTSTEP? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by CRCulver (715279) <crculver@christopherculver.com> on Saturday January 29, 2005 @10:33PM (#11517335) Homepage

    No, since its just a rip-off clone

    "Rip-off"??? OPENSTEP is an open standard, different implementations were encouraged. How is implementing a standard by a consortium's invitation "ripping-off" someone?

  • by lutzray (854591) on Saturday January 29, 2005 @10:48PM (#11517403)
    You can see that Jobs is behind a monochrome NeXT MegaPixel Display and the screen grabs are from a color screen.
  • by jbn-o (555068) <mail@digitalcitizen.info> on Saturday January 29, 2005 @11:08PM (#11517479) Homepage
    Brilliant concepts, perhaps, but management that was anything but brilliant. "Kits" (proprietary software--collections of ObjC objects and classes--one was encouraged to build dependencies upon) were obsoleted quite quickly, frustrating developers. The underlying OS was a rapidly decaying proprietary variant of 4.2BSD. I vaguely recall the details on how to build shared libraries were kept secret. This might have helped developers write programs that could work better on machines that had less than the full 64MB RAM (on a NeXT Cube). 64MB might not seem like a lot of RAM today, but back then RAM was considerably more expensive.

    Many of the apps that came out for the OS were profoundly overrated and overpriced. There were some unquestionable gems here and there (some gems were even available with source code so one could learn from them, like the sorting demonstration application which allowed you to sort groups of bars of varied heights using different sorting algorithms), but I think many people looking back on what NeXT had to offer are wearing rose-colored glasses and are likely to have never owned NeXT hardware.

    My experience with my NeXT Cube (ownership starting with NS 2.1, user experience starting before that, perhaps with v2.0) helped lead me to appreciate the free software movement. I didn't have my software freedom then and now I do, using commodity hardware I can afford to enhance and replace if need be.
  • by bbh (210459) on Sunday January 30, 2005 @12:01AM (#11517679)
    Wow, hopefully Linux will be this good one day!

    -bbh
  • It's amazing (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Prien715 (251944) <agnosticpope.gmail@com> on Sunday January 30, 2005 @12:46AM (#11517822) Journal
    It's honestly amazing. I'm serious. Can anyone remember Windows 3.11? That's what was state of the art when this came out.

    Over 10 years later, tasks like e-mailing, starting a program, and even browsing a network look very similar to what he's demoing, and I'm talking about MS Windows (PC) use. I'd still like an easy-to-use inter-application dictionary. I'm sure the editors of slashdot could use one too.
  • by MightyMartian (840721) on Sunday January 30, 2005 @01:07AM (#11517907) Journal
    Considering what "conservatives" are doing to the US economy right now, the previous "liberal" administration seems like a dynamo of economic sense. "Conservatives" in the US haven't done right by the economy for decades now.
  • Re:Geez (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bigberk (547360) <bigberk@users.pc9.org> on Sunday January 30, 2005 @02:06AM (#11518211)
    I mean, it would be sad if after these things being rescued from the ravages of time and analog media, they were lost to the ravages of time
    This is precisely why we need industry standard open formats, not proprietary formats (QuickTime won't fly). All specifications have to be out in the open since we don't want the death of a company to take its format to the grave.

    The second threat to archival is digital rights management, content protection, keys or any other kind of 'protection' is basically going to kill long term archival.

    I think pure MPEG video is still the best candidate.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 30, 2005 @02:35AM (#11518321)
    This is sort of sad to watch, because it makes me realize that most of the neat new developments in OS X are really just progressive reimplementation of a vision and feature set that was already complete very long ago.

    This is sad, first of all, because it illustrates just how much Windows's domination has stalled everything in the interim. It's like we've been stuck in a time warp, with nothing changing except processor speeds, for 10 years. Now, since the DOJ suit, things seem to be unfreezing a little and progress can start up again--maybe. But how much further along would be be if the industry had actually had meaningul competition all these years, and if the NeXT vision had not failed so completely to make a dent in Microsoft's two monopolies?

    The other sad thing is that Jobs is still basically just trying to get that vision reinstated. Even playing sappy music while showing family snapshots--everything is the same from demos then and now, only now it's part of iLife. But what if he doesn't have any more big visions beyond what he did at NeXT? We've been living so much in the dark ages that everything old looks new and exciting, but at some point we'll have everything NeXT had again--and then what? Is that the end of the evolutionary path we're on? (In terms of real computer development, not consumer electronics.)

    Seeing him mention Lotus Improv led me to the Wikipedia entry on it, which led me to a (pretty awful) OS X version of Quantrix, which led me to understand that when Cells comes out, that is probably exactly what it will be like, with premade templates for commonly-used home functions like blood-pressure management and weight control, and an emphasis on beautiful charting and graphing, so Apple can deny that it is trying to mess with Excel. And again, we'll be back to something wonderful that we should have had a long time ago. I mean, reading PC Magazine and having them celebrate Pages as a new way of thinking about word processing . . . it really is just a reimplementation of another ancient NeXT program, Pages by Pages.

    So anyway, the whole What Might Have Been feeling is just so strong for me when I see this stuff. You can see why Jobs ended up feeling bitter.
  • Re:old apple ads (Score:5, Insightful)

    by soft_guy (534437) on Sunday January 30, 2005 @03:35AM (#11518561)
    Its interesting that anyone who is worried about the national debt is considered a "liberal" now.

  • by squiggleslash (241428) on Sunday January 30, 2005 @12:26PM (#11520352) Homepage Journal
    WindowMaker and GNUStep would have done for the Linux desktop what NeXT did a decade earlier: they would have made the Linux desktop fail, and pretty much for the same reasons.
    You mean GNUStep would have made the GNU/Linux desktop absurdly expensive and virtually unknown outside of academia?

    I mean, those were the reasons NextStep/OpenStep failed. It was user friendly, and (almost) everyone who used it apparently liked it. But the original NeXTs were sold with the suicidal marketing strategy of selling boxes that started at $10,000 only to people associated with academic institutions. As time went on, the prices dropped and marketing limitations removed, but the machines still cost $4,000 and up, putting them in the workstation market but well out of reach of the majority of regular users.

    Compared to OS X, right of the top of my head, Gnome has XML-based GUI specifications, a network transparent window system, theming, language neutrality (so you can write GUIs in modern OOLs like Python and C#--possible but a lot harder on OS X), and a consistent look-and-feel (as opposed to the Carbon/Cocoa Metal/Glass mess on Macintosh)
    OpenStep was network transparent and GNUStep certainly is. GNUStep runs over X11, like GNOME and KDE. GNOME and KDE are no more network transparent than GNUStep (they get it for free via X11 but their underlying toolkits provide no inherent network transparency), GNUStep has the potential to be more if they get around to replicating OpenStep's network transparency.

    Current versions of Cocoa (yes, I know, I'm moving goalposts by combining OS X and earlier versions, but the point is GNUStep can be all of these, it's not like the development of one undermined the others) use XML based GUI specifications, if XML is considered a good thing. GNUStep's migrating to such a thing. What makes this a little galling is that the real nice aspect of this is merely that the GUI is seperated from the code in nice, editable, files. It's not the XML that's nice, it's the seperation. And, guess what, that's been a part of OpenStep since the beginning.

    The OS X desktop is themable, though not with Apple's blessing, but GNUStep is themable anyway.

    Cocoa bindings exist for multiple languages, Apple's (and GNUStep's) most supported being Objective C and Java, but it's pretty obvious any language can have them.

    OS X has a consistant look and feel. So does GNUStep. I don't particularly like the former's, but metal and glass does not an inconsistant look and feel make. It's ugly, but there's logic in terms of what windows use what.

    I can't think of anything in OpenStep and OS X that's done better, overall, in GNOME or KDE. I especially don't believe that GNUStep would be worse or similar to either if development on GNOME and KDE had actually been concentrated on GNUStep instead, I think it'd be light-years ahead, probably better than OS X too in terms of what I'd want to do with it.

    The major problem is simply that GNUStep didn't get the development and ended up being a project largely run by nostalgic NeXT users, so it's, until recently, been stuck in a 1992 mentality. It's, thankfully, beginning to move forward now, as people who've taken an interest in OS X see the potential.

    I don't see OpenStep as being the ultimate GUI. Far from it. But I think it was better out of the box than the Windows-inspired KDE and GNOME when it came to providing a suitable user interface for a Unix-like operating system. Both KDE and GNOME upon principles designed for an operating system that doesn't resemble Unix in any real way. The results have always felt awkward in the environment in which they run. GNOME and KDE would have made great projects for something like ReactOS. What we ended up with is GNU/Linux becoming a kind of Frankenstein OS. GNUStep would, if it had become mainstream and had the same degree of effort poured into it, made it elegant.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 31, 2005 @12:42PM (#11529234)
    YHBT. HAND.

Today's scientific question is: What in the world is electricity? And where does it go after it leaves the toaster? -- Dave Barry, "What is Electricity?"

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