NextSTEP 3.1

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NeXTSTEP was an object-orientedmultitasking operating system developed by NeXT in the late 1980s and early 1990s. It was initially used for its range of proprietary workstation computers NeXTComputer, NeXTcube and NeXTstation. It was later ported to several other types of computer, see version list below.
In 1996, NeXT was acquired by Apple and NeXTSTEP and OpenStep formed the basis of the Unix-based architecture of Mac OS X (now macOS) — a successor to the classic Mac OS. Unix derivatives incorporating NeXTSTEP would eventually power all of Apple's platforms.
The strap line for NeXTSTEP was: The premier object-oriented software that dramatically simplifies developing and deploying client/server business application.
NeXTSTEP was built on the Mach kernel (developed at Carnegie Mellon University by Richard Rashid and Avie Tevanian and derived originally from 4.3BSD to support operating system research) and the UNIX-derived BSD (Berkeley Software Distribution, BSD is a discontinued operating system based on Research Unix, developed and distributed by the Computer Systems Research Group (CSRG) at the University of California, Berkeley.
  • It was initially built on 4.3BSD-Tahoe.
  • It changed to 4.3BSD-Reno after the release of NeXTSTEP 3.0.
  • It changed to 4.4BSD during the development of Rhapsody
Mach's derivatives are the basis of the operating system kernel in GNU Hurd and of Apple's XNU kernel used in macOSiOSiPadOStvOS, and watchOS. Richard Rashid founded the Microsoft Research division and Avie Tevanian was head of software at NeXT, then Chief Software Technology Officer at Apple.

NeXTSTEP (sometimes NeXTstep, NeXTStep, and NEXTSTEP) comprises:

  • a Unix operating system based on the Mach kernel, plus source code from BSD
  • Display PostScript (DPS) and a proprietary windowing engine.  DPS is a 2D graphics engine which uses the PostScript (PS) imaging model and language (originally developed for computer printing) to generate on-screen graphics. To the basic PS system, DPS adds a number of features intended to ease working with bitmapped displays and improve performance of some common tasks
  • the Objective-C language and runtime a general-purposeobject-oriented programming language that adds Smalltalk-style messaging to the C programming language. In addition to being used by  NeXTSTEP it was the standard programming language used by Apple for developing macOS and iOS applications using their respective application programming interfaces (APIs), Cocoa and Cocoa Touch.
  • an object-oriented (OO) application layer, including several "kits"
  • development tools for the OO layers.

NeXTSTEP is a preeminent implementation of the latter three items. The toolkits are the prime development system for all of the software on the machine. It introduced the idea of the Dock (a toolbar-like application launcher) and the Shelf ( used as a repository to store links to commonly used files, directories and programs, and as a temporary "holding" place to move/copy files and directories around in the file system hierarchy).

NeXTSTEP also originated or innovated a large number of other Graphical User Inteface (GUI) concepts which became common in other operating systems: 3D "chiseled" widgets, large full-color icons, system-wide drag and drop of a wide range of objects beyond file icons, system-wide piped services, real-time scrolling and window dragging, properties dialog boxes called "inspectors", and window modification notices (such as the saved status of a file). The system was among the first general-purpose user interfaces to handle publishing color standards, transparency, sophisticated sound and music processing (through a Motorola 56000 DSP), advanced graphics primitives, internationalization, and modern typography, in a consistent manner across all applications.

A preview release of NeXTSTEP (version 0.8) was shown with the launch of the NeXTComputer on October 12, 1988. The first full release, NeXTSTEP 1.0, shipped on September 18, 1989.The last version, 3.3, was released in early 1995, by which time it ran on not only the Motorola 68000 family processors used in NeXT computers, but also on Intel x86Sun SPARC, and HP PA-RISC-based systems. NeXTSTEP was later modified to separate the underlying operating system from the higher-level object libraries. The result was the OpenStep Application Program Interface API, which ran on multiple underlying operating systems, including NeXT's own OPENSTEP, Windows NT and Solaris. 

The NeXTSTEP versions shipped with the NeXT Computing Platforms are shown here:

Year

Model

Processor

Manufacturer

Clock Speed

MHz/GHz

Operating System

1989

NeXTComputer

68030

Motorola

25

MHz

NeXTSTEP 1.0

1990

NeXTcube

68040

Motorola

25

MHz

NeXTSTEP 2.0

1990

NeXTstation

68040

Motorola

25

MHz

NeXTSTEP 2.0

1992

NeXTcube Turbo

68040

Motorola

33

MHz

NeXTSTEP 2.2

1992

NeXTstation Turbo

68040

Motorola

33

MHz

NeXTSTEP 2.2

Our Version 3.1 NeXTSTEP is shown in the following  NeXTSTEP Version History

Version

Date

Notes

0.8

October 12,1988

NeXTStep Digital Webster, Complete Works of William Shakespeare, netboot, NFS

1

1989

 

2

September18, 1990

Support for the NeXTstation, NeXTcube (aka m68040 cube). Support for floppy disk, CD-ROM, Fax modems, and colorgraphics. Workspace Manager now has the Shelf, copies performed in background, black hole is replaced by recyclericon. Terminal.app. Dynamic loading of drivers.

2.1

March 25,1991

Support for the NeXTdimension board. TeX, Internationalization improvements. New machines bought with 2.1 includedLotus Improv.

2.2

 

Support for the NeXTstation Turbo

3

September 8,1992

Project Builder, 3D support with Interactive RenderMan, Pantone colors, PostScript Level 2, Object Linking andEmbedding, Distributed Objects, Database Kit, Phone Kit, Indexing Kit, precompiled headers, HFS, AppleTalk, and NovellNetWare.

3.1

May 25, 1993

First release for the Intel i386 architecture, introducing fat binaries. A fat binary (or multiarchitecture binary) is a computer executable program or library which has been expanded (or "fattened") with code native to multiple instruction sets which can consequently be run on multiple processor types.[1] This results in a file larger than a normal one-architecture binary file, thus the name

3.3

Feb-95

Support for the PA-RISC and SPARC architectures added, introducing Quad-fat Binaries. Last and most popular versionreleased under the name NEXTSTEP. Referred to as NEXTSTEP/m68k, NEXTSTEP/Intel, NEXTSTEP/SPARC.NEXTSTEP/PA-RISCDelivered on 2 CDs: NeXTSTEP CISC and NeXTSTEP RISC. The Developer CD includes librariesfor all architectures, so that programs can be cross-compiled on any architecture for all architectures.

4.0 beta

1996

Very different user interface. Notable as being a precursor of many ideas later introduced in the macOS Dock.Allegedly dropped due to complaints of having to re-teach users but not for technical reasons (thenew UI worked well in the beta).

4

Jul-96

Support for the PA-RISC architecture dropped. Support for m68k, i486, and SPARC architectures. Initial Release ofOpenStep for Windows.

4.1

Jan-97

Support for m68k, i486, and SPARC architectures, and OpenStep for Windows, under OPENSTEP Enterprise (NT only).

4.2 Pre-release 2

Sep-97

Pre-release 2 circulated to limited number of developers before OpenStep and Apple acquisition.

AppleRhapsody

August 31,1997 -October 27,2000

While released after the Apple merger, these versions are still very close to NeXTSTEP/OPENSTEP. Arguably closer toNeXTSTEP than to Mac OS X. For example, they can still be used as remote display via NXHost.

 



Platform : NeXT
Format : Disk 3.5
Publisher : NeXT
Authors :
Date : 1993
Product Code :

Other Software by NeXT:

Item Manufacturer Platform Format Date
Disk Caddy Containing Many NeXT Discs Next NeXT 3.5 Disk Unknown
Pages by Pages 1.0 and 1.5.1 Next Step NeXT Disk 3.5 Unknown
Impact! The Next Frontier Corporation Commodore Amiga 3.5" floppy disk 1985
Auto Route The Intelligent Map Next Base PC 3.5 Disk 1988
Acorn CD-R Pre-Production Disc Next Early CD-R CD-R 1990
CDTV Work In Progress Next CDTV CD-R 1990
CD-ROM Sampler for Archimedes Next Technology Acorn Archimedes CD-ROM 1990
AutoRoute Express UK & Ireland 3.04 NextBase PC Windows 16-bit 3.5" Floppy Disk 1992
Autoroute Express Next Base PC 3.5 Disk 1992
NextSTEP 3.1 NeXT NeXT Disk 3.5 1993

Information About NeXT:

Item Manufacturer Date
NeXT Computers 1985

 

 

 

This exhibit has a reference ID of CH54806. Please quote this reference ID in any communication with the Centre for Computing History.
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