Source Code for Apple's Lisa Operating System to be Released for Free in 2018

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Dec 27, 2017.

  1. mgauss7 macrumors regular


    Apr 23, 2009
    What is the difference? To me Pascal and C look so alike
  2. coolfactor macrumors 68040

    Jul 29, 2002
    Vancouver, BC CANADA
    Yes, today's computers have an immense amount of capability built into them, and built better than ever, yet people think that $1000 is expensive for a [good] computer. It's not. Today's computers are cheap for what you get with them.
    --- Post Merged, Dec 27, 2017 ---
    Ask and you shall receive. :)
  3. Dimer macrumors newbie

    Oct 21, 2014
    Not C, but the article.
  4. jerryk macrumors 68040

    Nov 3, 2011
    SF Bay Area
    I still fire up my 1984 mac every once in a while. It has been upgraded to a fat Mac with 512 kB of memory.
  5. NetMage macrumors member

    Oct 21, 2007
    My head hurts. There are huge differences but mainly C is much closer to the hardware and allows for more efficient programming and worse errors.
  6. Tech198 macrumors G5

    Mar 21, 2011
    Australia, Perth
    lol... less problems eh...

    I'm sure today's developers could set this to good use somewhere
  7. Axemantitan macrumors 6502

    Mar 16, 2008
    --- Post Merged, Dec 27, 2017 ---
    "Only" 100,000 sold at 10k each. That's $1 billion (in 1983 dollars.)
  8. pppx3 macrumors member


    Apr 19, 2016
    excuse my ignorance, but surely not much of the source code would of much use to anyone, especially since most of the Lisa/Mac in the early days relied on the graphics toolbox built into the ROM, right? It want's until the Bondi Blue iMac & G3 tower came along that the expensive ROMs moved into the OS (aka ROM in RAM). I think these components would be more significant, no?
    I remember working on the Lisa (I was an Apple techo a long time ago) and I could not believe how great these machines where, even better than the first Macs. These computers where WAY ahead of anything else in that time (within the PC market) and I wish that I could say the same now. Alas, the Mac looks more like an antique compared with some of the PC offerings now...
  9. John Sellers macrumors newbie

    John Sellers

    Jun 30, 2016
    Well, If the software is released a a GNU project or some such developes, it is possible it will gain some small popularity to some really good and satisfying ends. Especially for those who harken back to the days where programming was programming instead of monstrous beasts that hardly anyone has a full grasp of.

    We might see some artifacts from and earlier age when language syntax was much cleaner and simple.

    The Lisa has its roots in Pascal and Object Pascal.

    Also, it is an OS that ran well on a 5 megaHtz machine with a tiny footprint compared today's machines. How would such an OS do on a 2.5 gegaHtz machine? It would be VERY fast.

    It actually might find some useful nitches.
    --- Post Merged, Dec 28, 2017 ---
    ouch! Pascal and C are in no way similar. Pascal has a very uniform systemic, simply structured syntax of maximum symplicity, C does not.
  10. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    Clascal. Pascal with classes. No C anywhere in sight.
  11. djcerla macrumors 68000


    Apr 23, 2015
    5MHz Motorola 68000 CPU, 1MB of RAM

    In the same year, my ZX Spectrum (about $400) had a paltry 16kb of RAM... and a 3.5MHz CPU (8 bit thought).
  12. chucker23n1 macrumors 68000


    Dec 7, 2014
    Interesting maybe, but not legal — the source will be available, but not under an open-source license.
  13. Geohord macrumors member


    Nov 15, 2016
  14. Miss_Mac macrumors member


    Nov 22, 2017
    That's neat. The earliest Mac I remember seeing was when I went to University with a friend and she was working on a little Mac around 1991-1992. I was blown away by the machine (and the little smiling computer icon.)

    If I knew anything about programming, I'd look forward to this.
  15. M2M macrumors 6502


    Jan 12, 2009
    Maybe good for the current MacOS and iOS teams to Learn something about good coding ?
  16. sracer macrumors 604


    Apr 9, 2010
    in exile
    When C first hit the scene, I thought it was a step backward in terms of computer language development, primarily due to it being closer to the hardware and requiring the programmer to be (painfully) aware of and managing null termination on strings. ;)

    Having written my share of software in Assembler (360 and on personal computers), PL/I (and the rest of the language family: PL/S, PL/AS, etc.) I was excited for the ability to "step up" and develop in Pascal. Oh what we could do on a PC/AT with PC-DOS and Turbo Pascal 3.0. The compiler, editor, and linker all in a 40KB executable file.... hold on... hey you kids! get off my lawn!!!... I'm back.

    I think releasing the source code for the Lisa OS is fantastic and hopefully will give people today a peek into what personal computer software and system development was like back-in-the-day.

    Time and technology marches forward. We've gain a lot in the process.... but we've lost some stuff (some of that should've been kept) along the way.
  17. vkd macrumors 6502a


    Sep 10, 2012
    I hope we'll be able to run this on our present macs, in an emulator or something. Be fascinating to see the first commercialised GUI (outside of Xerox) functioning.

    Re: Pascal v C

    Basically Pascal is a sequential language, each line of code is numbered and to call a repeated routine you have to specify the start line of code for that function, dropping out with if/then functions. C is modular code, whereby you write self-contained modules of code that are known as functions, which you then call from either other functions or the main program routine. This makes overall programming simpler to write and enables greater diversification and complexity.
  18. whiteboytrash macrumors 6502

    Jul 15, 2007
    It’s used smalltalk.
  19. chabig macrumors 601

    Sep 6, 2002
    No. Just no. None of it was taken from Xerox PARC. What Apple got from visiting PARC was the concept of a GUI. The implementation on the Lisa, and then the Mac, was entirely Apple's work. It differed greatly from what they saw at Xerox.
  20. MC6800 macrumors 6502

    Jun 29, 2016
    You must be thinking BASIC, not Pascal.
  21. jtrenthacker macrumors regular

    Apr 12, 2012
    Kevin Costner? I have never seen this commercial before. The way he grips the mouse is painful.
  22. Rob_2811 macrumors 68000

    Mar 18, 2016
    United Kingdom
    Still runs better than the last version of the Mac Mini
  23. Pentad macrumors 6502a


    Nov 26, 2003
    LisaOS was way ahead of MacOS at the time. LisaOS could multitask and supported serialization of software to help prevent piracy. However, it used rectangle pixels (the Mac used square, the ST & Amiga round) and was half the speed of the Mac. The rectangle pixels made MacWorks (the software on Lisa to run Mac software) look distorted.

    Burrell Smith (the guy was brilliant, I always felt bad for him later) was able to make the Mac twice as fast at half the cost which sent shockwaves through Apple at the time. This caused a huge division in Apple fueled mostly by Jobs.

    You can download the Lisa here:

    You can learn more about the early days at Apple here:
  24. centauratlas macrumors 6502a


    Jan 29, 2003
    That is not Pascal you are describing. Maybe you are thinking of BASIC. Pascal is an imperative procedural language without line numbers.

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