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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And...
by henderson101 on Thu 30th Aug 2012 13:25 UTC
henderson101
Member since:
2006-05-30

... standing by what we discussed yesterday - nice achievement, but it's hardly on a par with what Xerox was doing, and then Apple with the Lisa and Mac. Again, no one said Xerox invented the idea of a user interface, they didn't. I've sat in front of enough BBS and Mainframe's to verify that the UI was alive and well in the early 70's. And don't think of these UI as being just text, they were amazingly graphical in their own ways.

The modern concept of a Graphical User Interface with bitmapped (or vector, or whatever) graphics is the next logical step, but this is a proto-GUI. It is mainly text based. The pointer is there to direct input, but as with the Blit yesterday, it is not a GUI as we define today (windows, xwindows, aqua, whatever), it harks back to the earlier terminals driven by keyboard and NCurses.

Reply Score: 3

RE: And...
by saso on Thu 30th Aug 2012 14:53 in reply to "And..."
saso Member since:
2007-04-18

... standing by what we discussed yesterday - nice achievement, but it's hardly on a par with what Xerox was doing, and then Apple with the Lisa and Mac.

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.

This is to counter Apple fanboy statements that Apple and Steve are the most inventive minds in the whole world of computing. In fact, they simply were a product of their time and general mindshare. Nobody here has a problem with Apple taking credit for the markets they helped build. What we object to is if they subsequently turn around and use underhanded legal tactics to prevent anybody else from following them. We all stand on the shoulders of giants.

Reply Parent Score: 9

RE[2]: And...
by Alfman on Thu 30th Aug 2012 15:55 in reply to "RE: And..."
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

saso,

I agree, common development is inevitable since most of our technology evolves in lockstep. It's pathetic that a player should take credit for the whole enchilada. Being at the forefront should be enough of a reward. It's tough enough for new players to join an oligopoly market, but when bloodthirsty suits are screaming "all your base are belong to us" in court, that discourages competition and innovation.

I think we have become over dependent upon litigation. It should be applied in exceptional cases rather than become routine business. Over a 50 year interval, US population has grown 78%. Over the same interval, the number of lawyers has risen 350%.


http://i.imgur.com/ZuE8n.png

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: And...
by whartung on Thu 30th Aug 2012 17:43 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.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: And...
by tupp on Thu 30th Aug 2012 15:19 in reply to "And..."
tupp Member since:
2006-11-12

... standing by what we discussed yesterday - nice achievement, but it's hardly on a par with what Xerox was doing, and then Apple with the Lisa and Mac. Again, no one said Xerox invented the idea of a user interface, they didn't.

The Lilith was just one of many GUIs that came out before any Apple GUI. In the late 1970s and early 1980s computer world, there was considerable excitement about GUIs.

Other players had more sophisticated GUIs, including the Perq (mentioned in the BLIT thread). The Perq had all the elements of a modern GUI, and it first appeared in 1979 -- four years before the first Apple GUI.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: And...
by henderson101 on Thu 30th Aug 2012 22:03 in reply to "RE: And..."
henderson101 Member since:
2006-05-30


The Lilith was just one of many GUIs that came out before any Apple GUI. In the late 1970s and early 1980s computer world, there was considerable excitement about GUIs.


Which is surely what I said?

Other players had more sophisticated GUIs


Which, again, no one is denying, next?

including the Perq (mentioned in the BLIT thread). The Perq had all the elements of a modern GUI


[Citation needed]

To me, it looks on a par with the early versions of Windows on a monochrome monitor. But, its hard to tell, given the lack of info containing any graphical screenshots that are not blurry.

and it first appeared in 1979 -- four years before the first Apple GUI.


No. Firstly, it as only announced in mid 79. It didn't ship till 1980. Bear in mind, the Lisa was 2 years in to development by that point, and was was released very late. Then compare this "complete" GUI to the Lisa (and Alto/Star) and then tell me, straight faced, you're still serious.

Reply Parent Score: 1