Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 30th Aug 2012 09:16 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems Just driving yesterday's point home some more: "The Lilith was one of the first computer workstations worldwide with a high-resolution graphical display and a mouse. The first prototype was developed by Niklaus Wirth and his group between 1978 and 1980 with Richard Ohran as the hardware specialist. [...] The whole system software of the Lilith was written in Modula-2, a structured programming language which Wirth has developed at the same time. The programs were compiled into low-level M-Code instructions which could be executed by the hardware. The user interface was designed with windows, icons and pop-up menus. Compared with the character based systems available at that time, these were revolutionary metaphors in the interaction with a computer." Jos Dreesen, owner of one of the few remaining working Liliths, wrote a Lilith emulator for Linux.
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RE[2]: And...
by whartung on Thu 30th Aug 2012 17:43 UTC in reply to "RE: And..."
whartung
Member since:
2005-07-06


As I understood it, the point of these articles isn't to say that Xerox/Apple did nothing but copy others. It is to show, using clear evidence from the time, that GUIs were a convergent trend across the entire industry and that it was merely a question of months, if not weeks, of when they'd spill on the grand scene. The technology had matured enough, the need was there and skilled developers tend to come up with similar ideas given the same set of problems.


It's also from a time when the IP landscape was quite different, and from a more open culture (academia). Back then, the creators did not have and/or chose not to utilize or enforce the mechanisms of IP protection that are available and mature today (notably design patents, and software patents).

WHETHER YOU AGREE WITH THOSE PROTECTIONS OR NOT, they are available, and Apple et al are leveraging those protections for their designs. Apple, specifically, has obvious experience with seeing it's work taken by others. That experience likely fueled their drive to protect the IP that they feel "make Apple Apple". As Jobs said, and I paraphrase, "We patented the crap out of this." Apple has zero motivation to fuel a market of clones and copycats.

Now much of this is being challenged, and we get to wait and see how much of it sticks.

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