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. kemal macrumors 65816


    Dec 21, 2001
    It will be running on an rPI in a Pascal compiler second.
  2. vkd macrumors 6502a


    Sep 10, 2012
  3. stockscalper, Dec 28, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2017

    stockscalper macrumors 6502a


    Aug 1, 2003
    Area 51
    That's what I had always read. Apple was short on business software and Microsoft promised to develop a spreadsheet and word processor for the Mac OS. Apple gave Microsoft the code and Gates and company went to work reverse engineering it to create Windows.

    Now, just think if Gates had ripped off the Amiga OS instead of the Mac where Windows would be today :)
  4. mdelvecchio macrumors 68040


    Sep 3, 2010
    wrong. Apple bought the right to use tech demoed to them by Xerox for millions in stock. Please cite your claim that MS did the same.

    Further, Apple then added a whole lot to what they saw. Read it from the people in the room:,_Apple_and_Progress.txt

    MS did not visit Xerox, did not pay to license its tech, and instead ripped off the Macintosh while developing apps for it as an early partner:
  5. dogslobber macrumors 68040


    Oct 19, 2014
    Apple Campus, Cupertino CA
    I’ve been waiting 35 years to code review this. I hope they’re willing to fix the bugs.
  6. kdarling, Dec 28, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2017

    kdarling macrumors P6


    Jun 9, 2007
    First university coding class = 47 years ago
    Internet myth.

    First off, Apple never bought anything. Apple offered the option to buy pre-IPO stock to quite a few investors, for which the investors had to give nothing in return. Plus, Xerox accepted the offer long before the PARC visit was ever conceived. Myths as usual can't even get the timeline right.

    Moreover, Apple itself never claimed to have bought such a right when they were later sued by Xerox. Certainly Xerox didn't think Apple had done so. As noted in a 1989 NY Times article when Xerox sued Apple for intellectual theft:

    "Xerox's suit, which was filed in Federal District Court, charges Apple with copyright misrepresentation and seeks more than $150 million in royalties and damages.

    "Xerox contends that the Lisa and Macintosh software stems from work originally done by Xerox scientists and that it was used by Apple without permission."

    Yes they did. As did others later on.

    Doesn't change the fact that they started from ideas taken over the objections of some of the people who invented them. They had no moral ground to stand on when complaining about others doing the same to them.

    But then, it's always been typical Jobsian/Apple thinking that only they get to take from others and claim ownership of new (or old) ideas.
  7. John Sellers macrumors newbie

    John Sellers

    Jun 30, 2016
    Actually, not quit. primatives could be written in machine language, C, and other languages.
  8. shamino macrumors 68040


    Jan 7, 2004
    Purcellville, VA
    This is great news. Hopefully it will spur someone to produce a Lisa emulator with all these apps so we can run them and experience what computing with one of the first GUI platforms was like.

    Having had personal experience with the Xerox Star, early versions of SunOS (SunVew GUI), early Macs (System 6) and having read Jef Raskin's books, it will be particularly interesting to play with the Lisa environment, comparing it against what I already know from that era.

    If I remember correctly, contemporary workstations included the Xerox Star (at about $10K), first-generation Sun workstations (at about $20K) and Apollo workstations (at about $30K). But all of them were large systems (large towers) with large monitors, not compact desktop systems.

    If Apple had been able to break into the business/scientific market with the Lisa, it would have been priced very attractively.

    Perhaps they will be able to get/share commented source code/disassembly of the ROM?

    But even if they don't, ROM images are available to someone who is good at performing web searches.

    If we have the OS sources, however, then it should be possible to recompile them for a replacement library. The result won't be a Lisa emulator per se, but may be just fine to make a platform that can run Lisa apps.

    I agree. The important thing to note is C's design goals. Its original purpose was for implementing system software. Specifically, to make the UNIX kernel source code portable across platforms. As such, it had to be extremely lightweight and very close to the hardware.

    It became popular in the UNIX world primarily because every UNIX system had a C compiler available. But on other platforms, other more powerful languages (BASIC, Pascal, FORTRAN, COBOL, etc.) were far more popular, because they were easier to work with for designing applications.

    Today, thanks to extremely powerful computers and servers, the pendulum is swinging back in the other direction, with application development focusing on languages like JavaScript, Python and Ruby, which are extremely high-level (and wholly unsuitable for low-level system software) with very rich standard libraries. In addition to what I think of as expanded versions of C (C++, Objective C, C#, Swift) that attempt to bridge the gap by offering features relevant to both system and application software.
  9. cmaier macrumors G4

    Jul 25, 2007
    “Other more powerful languages (BASIC...”. You lost me right there :)

    Also, I wouldn’t describe SWIFT as a version of C. It isn’t very c-like (which is one of the reasons I still haven’t mastered it)
  10. currentinterest macrumors 6502

    Aug 22, 2007
    The Lisa pictured appears to be a later 3.5 inch floppy disk version. The original came with two 5.25 inch floppies. I was one of the first to own a Lisa and it remains my favorite computer I have ever had.
  11. shamino macrumors 68040


    Jan 7, 2004
    Purcellville, VA
    I mean in terms of the depth of the language's features. C has almost no features, offloading everything into libraries (standard, OS, and others). BASIC, offers quite a robust set of features built-in.

    BASIC's biggest problem was performance, mostly because it was interpreted. But when people started writing compilers (and when Microsoft's dialects added proper functions and did away with line numbers) it became an extremely good language for application development.

    I may have chosen my words poorly there. I don't mean to imply that Swift's syntax is C-like - it is quite different. But at an architectural level, it draws from many other languages including quite a lot of Objective C (which in turn grafted SmallTalk's object model onto C).

    This is in comparison to languages like Python and Ruby, where not only is the syntax different, but many of the basic concepts (e.g. how parameters are passed to functions) are very different and will come to bite you if you forget and end up thinking using C concepts.

    It actually used "Twiggy" disks, which were unique Apple inventions. They were 5.25", but they featured two slots for heads. The drive had two head assemblies - one for each surface, one making contact in each slot. The heads shared an armature, moving in synchronization together.

    The Twiggy drives were not very reliable, which is one of the reasons why Apple's engineers soon changed it to Sony 400K 3.5" floppy drives.
  12. whiteboytrash macrumors 6502

    Jul 15, 2007
    Wasn’t called Mac OS back then. It was System 7, System 8 etc.
  13. cmaier macrumors G4

    Jul 25, 2007
    As someone who cut his teeth on BASIC on a trs-80 model 1, then Apple integer basic, turbo pascal, turbo c, etc. in those early days, and who tried to use compiled basic when it became a thing, basic is not a extremely good language for application development. It fosters bad coding practices (goto, anyone?), has no security model, isn’t object oriented (putting aside various attempts to make it so, all of which suck), etc.

    Also SWIFT is not very similar to objective c. In fact, when you want to use objective c style parameters you have to expressly add @objc. Putting aside purely syntactical issues, swift is much more similar to languages like Rust, Haskell, or even python, than it is to objective C. While you can code in a c-ish procedural way, Swift is really intended for pseudo-functional programming, which makes it very different, conceptually, from objective c. There’s nothing in objective c remotely like “hello”.reverse or myArray = {$0.widgets[0]}. Also things like optional, which is everywhere in any swift code, is completely foreign to anyone who codes in a c-like language.
  14. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    The article said "replaced the Pascal tabs with spaces" so I have to assume it was mostly written in Pascal. C would have been un-common back in the early 1980's The book describing the C language was problised in 1978 an by 1983 only people working with UNIX used C.

    This still might be true. C is still associated with UNIX but now Mac OS, Android, Linux, IOS and so on are all UNIX based (more or less)
  15. jweinraub macrumors 6502


    Jun 26, 2007
    Sol III
    That brought me back to my high school days of coding in Pascal and adding assembly for fun. Back then there was no programming teacher so they had the geometry teacher teach us...and it was just fun....mainly doing anything graphical that was more advanced than pascal's turtle graphics was done in assembly with some amazing tutorials i had what a memory trip that was!
  16. cmaier macrumors G4

    Jul 25, 2007
    Turbo Pascal was the first real language I learned after BASIC and assembler.
  17. chucker23n1 macrumors 68000


    Dec 7, 2014
    It was called Mac OS starting with 7.6.
  18. ImBuz macrumors 6502


    Oct 23, 2014
    My Lisa Purchased in 1982,had both drives.
  19. neomorpheus macrumors regular

    Dec 17, 2014
  20. ThunderSkunk macrumors 68030


    Dec 31, 2007
    Colorado & Ontario
    It probably runs better than ios11...
  21. VulchR macrumors 68020


    Jun 8, 2009
    I was there when one was unboxed at Princeton. The reaction was mostly puzzlement. ;)

    Seriously though, Lisa was hampered by what seemed to be a limited ambition for it - to be used only as an office machine. I used a Lisa for about 6 months but found it boring, for it essentially acted as a graphic word processor and not much else (or at least it seemed that way given the configuration we had).

    The real excitement can with the Mac and the possibility of using affordable accessible programming tools to create custom applications. And those programming tools weren't just available in esoteric Pascal....
  22. SystemHasFailed macrumors member


    Dec 5, 2007
    Except the Amiga and AmigaOS came out later. Microsoft and Apple were already entangled in their love/hate relationship by that point. Bill was probably aware of Amiga but not concerned with them as they were already 'too late' to the game. Remember when Bill was in college and saw the Altair on the cover of a magazine he told his classmate Paul Allen; "We're already too late!" Bill was thinking *that* far ahead.
  23. djjaes macrumors member


    Jan 24, 2015
    US South
    The interesting thing will be, 30 plus years from now, what the computer tech world and commenters will think of computers today.
  24. cmaier macrumors G4

    Jul 25, 2007
    Yeah, logo brought turtle graphics. I have vague recollection of some flavors of pascal adding the feature when it was in vogue, but it will always be associated with logo.
  25. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California

    Even if you don't understand an code at all, there is a visual difference. Pascal is filled with begin/end and C uses {}. Logicaly they are the same but they give the source code files a different look. And then the visual difference in the most common statement, assignment we have := vs =. Just make it look different

    Then the subtle difference that you don't see unless you know both Pascal and C. I think there number on is that Pascal is NOT using printers for everything. And Array is a type but a pointer and offset to a base type. Pascal is more like a C++ array then a C array

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