Happy Birthday Cocoa!

Discussion in 'Mac Programming' started by iMeowbot, Oct 19, 2004.

  1. RacerX macrumors 65832

    Aug 2, 2004
    Well, October 12, 1988 was the first time the public (outside of NeXT) got to see a system (a Cube) running NEXTSTEP (version 0.8, back then written as NeXTStep).

    The NeXTstep APIs (yes, NeXTstep is different than NeXTStep, the whole operatings system) stoled the show that day, and companies like IBM began to ask about it.

    It was years later that Sun would partner with NeXT to make the NeXTstep APIs portable and turn them into OpenStep (a portable application environment based on the OpenStep Specifications).

    NeXT would finally add the OpenStep APIs to the fourth version of the NEXTSTEP operating system which, in another bizarre named turn, would be called OPENSTEP.

    Anyways, it is great about the 10th anniversary of OpenStep. It is sad that Apple closed it off again with Yellow Box and Cocoa.

    And I guess we are close enough to the 12th of October to wish Cocoa a belated Happy Birthday.

    16 years and going strong! :eek:
  2. iMeowbot thread starter macrumors G3


    Aug 30, 2003
    The original NeXT stuff wasn't all that much like the current Cocoa, except for superficially. The whole thing was torn up and redone for 3.3-4.0. It's that latter spec, completed ten years ago, that allowed (and still allows) multiplatform development.
  3. RacerX macrumors 65832

    Aug 2, 2004
    That is rather vague. I have NEXTSTEP 3.1 and 3.3 (both user and developer) and OPENSTEP 4.1 and 4.2 (again both user and developer) and have a lot of friends who had been developing professionally for the NeXT platform since long before Sun and NeXT joined to make the NeXTstep APIs portable.

    I admit that I have only been using NeXT systems since 1993 and most of my apps I made were small, but I sure don't recall a major change from NEXTSTEP to OPENSTEP to Rhapsody in the way programs were developed.

    And if the original NeXT stuff wasn't that much like OpenStep (as you are putting forth), then why would Sun have bought Lighthouse Design for their suite of office applications? They were never rewritten for OpenStep, so by what you are saying they should have been worthless to Sun which needed OpenStep compliant apps to run in OpenStep Solaris.

    Further, if OPENSTEP was so different, why can I run all my NEXTSTEP apps in OPENSTEP too?

    This isn't some historical reference to me, I still use NEXTSTEP and OPENSTEP... even today.

    Attached Files:

  4. MacFan26 macrumors 65816


    Jan 8, 2003
    San Francisco, California
    What computer are you using to run NextStep?
  5. iMeowbot thread starter macrumors G3


    Aug 30, 2003
    There was backward compatibility for binaries between the old and new Os on the same hardware, but you couldn't simply take an old NeXT project and compile it under, say, Sun's version without another thought. They brought in the whole Foundation concept, rewrote everything for cross-compatibility and changed the whole API. There were some simple conversion tools but there's still a bunch of remaining manual work -- and the current Cocoa and GNUstep don't even include the conversion scripts.

    That's the big difference with OpenStep -- you actually can take GNUstep and port it over to the Mac without pulling your hair out.
  6. RacerX macrumors 65832

    Aug 2, 2004
    My ThinkPad does triple duty... I have an 800 MB drive with NEXTSTEP 3.3 installed (with the Y2K patch Apple sent out on a CD), I have a 2 GB drive with OPENSTEP on it (with patch 4 from Apple) which is used mainly for software from when I was at the Geometry Center (though it is all pre-OpenStep software and runs fine in NEXTSTEP too), and I have a 6 GB drive which has Rhapsody 5.1 installed on it. That is what it runs the most, the Rhapsody drive only has about 1.5 GB of space left on it.

    The ThinkPad is pretty cool, I can flip up the keyboard and replace the hard drive in a matter of seconds. So moving from one OS to another takes about as much time as rebooting.

    I like the feel of Rhapsody more, but I have more applications in OPENSTEP...
    • Concurrence
    • Diagram
    • EquationBuilder
    • OmniPDF
    • PDFView
    • OmniWeb
    • OpenWrite
    • ParaSheet
    • WetPaint
    • Create
    • GIFfun
    • PStill
    • ToyViewer
    • ToyAlbum
    • TIFFany2
    • PixelNhance
    • Geomview
    • ODE
    • Chronographer
    • CalendarCenter
    Most of those require a license, but a lot have become free in the last few years. And I use Fiend to replace the Dock so I can move from one group of Docked apps to another.

    Create 5.2.1 is my main app for making and moving around documents as I have a copy of Create on most of my systems (Mac OS X, Rhapsody 5.1/5.6 and OPENSTEP), and also OmniGraffle reads Diagram documents (very helpful).

    The GNUstep project has said that they have been working to try to stay as close to Yellow Box/Cocoa as they could. That has nothing to do with OpenStep APIs being different from NeXTstep APIs... specially to the degree you are trying to argue.

    But it is easier to just let the documentation do the talking for me...

    From Porting NEXTSTEP 3.2/3.3 Applications to OpenStep on Solaris:

    • The specification for OpenStep was developed by NeXT Computer and Sun. OpenStep is based on the NEXTSTEP Release 3.2 development environment created by NeXT Computer.


      OpenStep supports an application programming interface (API) and several application services such as spell checking and printing that make it easier for you to design full-featured applications. OpenStep interfaces are primarily an enhanced superset of NEXTSTEP interfaces, although a few NEXTSTEP interfaces are no longer supported.
    But according to you, this can't be.

    I'll stick with what I've seen over the years, thank you.
  7. MacNeXT macrumors 6502

    Jun 21, 2004
    Argh I'm trying to get OpenStep 4.2 running on my PeeCee. One should be able to run it on any modern or less-modern PC with little problems but I seem to have trouble with an incompatible CD ROM drive. It's cool, NeXT/OpenStep!!

    RacerX: I noticed you around! You might recognise me as BlueWhiteG3 on some other forum in which you're active ;-)
  8. Fukui macrumors 68000


    Jul 19, 2002
    Man, I really want left side scrollbars....
  9. RacerX macrumors 65832

    Aug 2, 2004

    I had the same problems with a CD-ROM drive on one of my PCs, but I also had a SCSI card to work with. Oddly enough, after the installation the IDE CD-ROM worked fine.

    That throws me off so much when moving between systems. It takes me around 20 minutes to reorient myself every time I jump on a NeXT system.

    I'm sure a lot of it has to do with being mainly a Mac person all my life, and spending a lot of time in Mac OS X, Mac OS 8/9 and Rhapsody. I understand why it is cool... but my brain still looks to the right side for scrollbars.
  10. Macs R Us macrumors 6502

    Mar 8, 2004
    Here on My Mac(s) in my house in the USA!
    D@rn I should have kept all my NeXT Systems, NeXTStep OS, and all that other stuff... Well it was taking up too much space... But hey 10 years is a long time... Amazing...

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