Linux desktops


Subject: Linux desktops
From: andreas.motl (at) (Andreas Motl)
Newsgroups: nfo.links.computing
Date: Mar 07 2003 16:52:04

mac128.gif (image/gif), smalltalk76.gif (image/gif), xerox.jpg (image/jpeg), perq.jpg (image/jpeg), vision.gif (image/gif)
Linux desktops

[Up: tech] [Robot Wisdom home page]

Linux desktops (GUIs, widgets, window managers, etc)
Jorn Barger November 2002

"It is an unworthy design objective
to aim for anything less
than trying to do to the Macintosh 
what the Macintosh did
to the previous state-of-the-art."
--Bill Buxton [1987]

I'm trying to understand Linux desktops in terms of the big picture of networked
graphics, including Apple's Mac Toolbox, PostScript, OpenGL, etc.

The story starts with Englebart's 1968 mouse, moves to Xerox PARC (1972
Smalltalk and Alto, 1981 Star), then to Apple (1983 Lisa, 1984 Mac), then to MIT
where Project Athena (1983) sought to combine Unix networking with the
Mac-popularised bitmapped graphics, giving birth to X (1984).

PostScript debuted in 1985, SGML in 1986, HyperCard in 1987, Tcl in 1988 (Tk in
1991), and Motif and HTML in 1990.

Linux could already run X by 1992, and XFree86 and Qt were launched that year.
Around this time (in a parallel universe) John Carmack was rewiring the
priorities of videocard designers (accelerated 3D). KDE was begun in 1996, and
GNOME in 1997.

But in many ways, the Linux desktop still lags the Mac c1984, I fear...
(Eighteen years is unacceptable!)

The 'original sin' of X was to treat local programs as if they're running
remotely over Ethernet, and to treat the local display as if it's a
lowest-common-denominator instance of the generic bitmapped workstation. So your
smart fast hi-res personal computer becomes a slow dumb lo-res graphics terminal.

Today, a Linux box with an x86 chip, accelerated graphics, and a CD/DVD-burner,
hooked to the Net via a 56k modem, has become the default platform that software
innovators can commit to...


desktop environments: DMoz, Slashdot thread

window managers: DMoz, how-to-change, flames

miscellanea: metaphors, Debian-list













Be, QNX/Photon, MGR, GEOS, NeWS, and CLIM.


twm (simplistic and ugly)


fvwm, amiwm, icewm, windowmaker, afterstep, sawfish, kwm 

1925: Doug Englebart born in Oregon
1938: Ivan Sutherland born in Nebraska [bio]
1940: Alan Kay born in Springfield, Mass [bio]
1940: John Warnock born
1944: Jef Raskin born [cv]
1945: Vannevar Bush's "As We May Think" 1st knowledge interface design (inspires
20yo Englebart)

1948: first CRT (popular by 1960s)
1951: Bill Atkinson born
1953? Andy Hertzfeld born
1954? Bill Budge born [bio]
1956: James Gosling born in Calgary, Canada [bio]
no-date: CRTs generate vector-graphics using 'display list' of primitive objects
(points, lines, curves) [info]

(the distinction between bitmaps and display-lists persists today in the
Paint/Draw dichotomy, too)

pre-1964? pseudo-teletype (pty) anticipates 'line-oriented' window-manager
[info] (in 4.1BSD by 1981)

1960? 1st video character-generator, for air-traffic control [cite]
1960: SpaceWar played on oscilloscope [cite] [history]
1960: Will Wright born [bio]
1961: development of Simula begun [history] [timeline]
1962: Oct: Doug Engelbart's "Augmenting Human Intellect: A Conceptual Framework"
[etext] [history]
1963: Ivan Sutherland's Sketchpad 1st object-oriented graphics editor [info]
[ideas] [constraints?]

  "It was not just a tool to draw things. It was a program that obeyed laws that
you wanted to be held true." --Alan Kay [cite]
  "It allowed users to define and draw new shapes by specifying and applying
constraints to standard shapes chosen from a pallette. This system included
point constraints, linkage constraints, and angular constraints and solved these
constraints through an interactive relaxation technique. A user viewed an
animated sequence of the constraint solution as it forced the object to
transform to a desired shape." [cite]

1963: TVEDIT by Brian Tolliver?
1964: Feb: Simula's 'process' concept emerges after multiple stacks added to
Algol [cite] will be renamed 'object'
1964: Ken Knowlton at Bell does 1st computer animation [cite]
1964? OPSER (operator service) program for TOPS-10 [man] uses ptys to allow
multiple jobs active from one terminal (instead of needing one
timesharing-terminal per job)
1964-1966: John McCarthy's Zeus for PDP-1 runs TVEDIT on 8 Philco CRTs
1966: Simula is 1st object-oriented programming language
1966: "By 1966, everyone knew where the silicon was going." --Alan Kay [cite]
1967: Ned Irons' Rand screen-editor for CDC 6600
1967: May: Simula-67 renames activities and processes as classes and objects
[cite] [intro]
1967: Jef Raskin's thesis "A Hardware-Independent Computer Drawing System Using
List-Structured Modeling: The Quick-Draw Graphics System" [info]
1967: Nicholas Negroponte starts Architecture Machine Group (ArchMac) at MIT
(morphs into Media Lab by 1985) [info] to create tools for collaboration between
designer and computer

no-date: Alan Kay reads Sketchpad-thesis and Simula-docs while getting PhD at
Utah under Evans [cite] [history]

  "I suddenly realized that Simula was a programming language to do what
Sketchpad did. I had never really understood what Sketchpad was. I get shivers
now thinking of it. It rotated my point of view through a different dimension
and nothing has been the same since. I suddenly understood the purpose of higher
level languages."
no-date: Alan Kay at SAIL (Stanford)

1968: DEC's TYPESET-8 typesetting system [pic]
1968: Evans and Sutherland founded [history]
1968: Apr: JCR Licklider and Robert Taylor's "The Computer as a Communication
Device" [history]
1968: 09Dec: Doug Englebart demos "Augment/NLS" hypertext-editing sys (w/tiled
windows?) [RealVid] [history] Alan Kay is present

no-date: "In Augment two windows can show two aspects of the same object. A
change to an object via either window may be seen thru both windows." [cite]

1969: Alan Kay and Edward Cheadle design Flex system [cite] windows
(non-overlapping?), tablet for input

1970: Xerox (under CEO Peter McColough) founds Palo Alto Research Center (PARC)
to develop office of the future, under George Pake and Robert Taylor [history]
50 top thinkers hired

1970: Alan Kay joins Xerox
1971? John Carmack born
1971: Ned Irons' Yale screen-editor for PDP-10
1972: 01Feb: Ivan Sutherland receives patent for windowing by clipping [cite]
1972-1978: John Warnock works on flight simulators at Evans and Sutherland [cite]
1972: Xerox launches Alto project [info]
1972: Oct: Alan Kay's Smalltalk-72, for Dynabook project at Xerox [info] written
in Basic, 1000 lines, ported to assembly in December

1972: 07Dec: Rolling Stone article on Kay and PARC by Stewart Brand [etext]

1973: Alan Kay's Learning Research Group includes Dan Ingalls, Diana Merry, Ted
Kaehler, Adele Goldberg, Larry Tesler, and Chris Jeffers

1973: Don Lancaster describes "TV Typewriter" for hobbyists
1973: Muriel Cooper and Ron MacNeil found Visual Language Workshop at MIT [info]
1973: Raskin discusses wp-theory at Xerox [cite]
1973-1975: Bravo wordprocessor at Xerox by Butler Lampson, Charles Simonyi et al
1974: Smalltalk ported to 64k Alto, windowing added
1974? DEC's TYPESET-10 and TYPESET-11 w/video display editing and powerful macro
abilities, letterspacing, kerning, etc. [info]
1974: autumn: Dan Ingalls writes BitBlit rectangle-shifter for Alto
1975: David Canfield Smith's Pygmalion programming environment [info]
1975: John Gaffney working under John Warnock at Evans and Sutherland creates
'E&S Design System' (Forth-like language for 3D databases, leads to PostScript)
[info] [more] Gaffney learned stack-oriented programming on Burroughs at U of

Smalltalk-76 screenshot

Smalltalk's 'Virtual Image' is portable toolkit of classes for data structures,
graphics and text handling, compiler, decompiler, debugger, viewing and user
interface support ('Virtual Machine' is machine-dependent os-kernel) [cite]

1976: Smalltalk-76 adds inheritance, click-n-drag popup menus [paper] [Horn]
1976? TOPS-20 adds pseudo-teletypes [cite]
1976: Stallman writes first Emacs in TECO (screen-oriented?)
1976-1980: 20 Xerox-Parc researchers use Smalltalk-76 daily
1977: Bill Joy writes vi (screen-oriented)
1977? Borning's ThingLab (Smalltalk simulation app) [docs]
1977: Englebart and Augment move from SRI to Tymshare [cite]
1977? Bob Sproull and William Newman at Xerox create device-independent
page-image description scheme for dot-matrix printers called 'Press format'
[cite] (leads to PostScript)

1978: Jan: Jef Raskin joins Apple, later recruits Bill Atkinson and Bud Trible
1978: John Warnock moves to Xerox, collaborates with Martin Newell on JaM (based
on E&S Design System) [info] [more] JaM ported to Alto and other Xerox

1978? Apple launches $50M Lisa project [history] [Tesler]
1978: 02Oct: IBM applies for patent on 'partitioned screen' [info] (granted 1981)
1979: Mar: Jef Raskin proposes Mac to Mike Markkula [cite] [more]
1979: John Couch heads Apple's Personal Office Systems division
1979: Sep: Markkula greenlights Mac [cite] [doc]
1979: Dec: Larry Tesler at Xerox PARC demos Smalltalk for Apple (at Raskin's
instigation: cite) inspiring windows & mouse for Lisa&Mac

1980: Smalltalk-80 uses model-view-controller architecture [theory]
1980: Alan Kay leaves Xerox
1980: Chuck Geschke forms Imaging Sciences Lab at Xerox [cite]
1980: Steve Jobs adopts Jef Raskin's Macintosh project [hist]
1980: Jul: Tesler moves from Xerox to Apple, manages 20-person Applications
Software Group, defines basic Lisa uif with Bill Atkinson
1980: autumn: 68000 starts shipping in quantity [Byte Jan81]
1980: Andreas 'Andy' Bechtolsheim starts licensing Sun board for $10k [cite]
1980: Oct: 4.0BSD includes Ken Arnold's 'curses' library [bio] (also Elan Amir?
source) [man] [debate] [links] immediately inspires 'rogue' game [history]

(widely misreported as rogue preceeding curses!?)

 Xerox Star [pic source]

"incredibly slow and somewhat clumsy" --Jef Raskin, Bruce Horn [cite]

1981: Apr: Xerox debuts the Star 8010, with mouse, icons, and windows [pic]
1981: Bruce Horn moves from Xerox to Apple [cite]
1981: Simonyi and Brodie move from Xerox to Microsoft [Brodie]

1981: Bill Budge at Apple builds 8-bit object-oriented pinball 'Raster Blaster'

1981: John Henry Thompson [site] at MIT's Visible Language Workshop [site]
(w/Muriel Cooper) and Architecture Machine Group (ArchMac), uses Mac-like
Unix-like workstation? [pic?] [cite] [more] [art]


1981? Xerox-spinoff Perq (offers Unix w/window manager) [info] [more] [more]

1981: Dec: BRown University WINdow manager "BRUWIN: An adaptable design strategy
for window manager/virtual terminal systems" by Norman Meyrowitz and Margaret
Moser [info] "Windows can be transferred thru the mail as a capability." [cite]

1981: Gnosis design-document [multi]

  "There are applications that require direct access to the pixel buffer or at
least the performance equivalent thereof. How is this to be reconciled with
protected windows? By "protected windows" I mean that one application shall be
unable to clobber another or another's buffer by virtue of access to its own
buffer. This is not easily reconciled with current hardware where the pixel
buffers are in contiguous real memory."
1981-1982? Brian Reid and Paul Asente start W window-package to replace V's

1982: Jan: Vinod Khosla recruits Bechtolsheim for Sun [cite]
1982: Bob Sproull, Butler Lampson, and John Warnock at Xerox merge 'Press
format' with 'JaM' to make Interpress (Xerox's version of PostScript) [cite]

1982: Rob Jacob's wm window-manager [net.unix-wizards] and Mark Weiser's wsh
(Maryland Window Shell) [net.unix-wizards] [more]

  "WM manages a collection of windows on a text display terminal. Each window
has its own shell, running in parallel with those in the other windows. This
permits a user to conduct several interactions in parallel, each in its own
window. The user can move from one window to another, re-position a window, or
create or delete a window at any time without losing his or her place in any of
the windows. Windows can overlap or completely obscure one another; obscured
windows can be "lifted" up and placed on top of the other windows." [cite]
1982: Jul: Mark Horton demos revamped 'curses' [info] supports new
terminal-features [tech]
1982: Aug? MIT's NUnix Window System by Jack Test [Google]


1982: autumn: VisiCorp demos VisiOn at Comdex [cite] (Bill Gates is alarmed)
1982: Dec: Adobe founded by 42yo John Warnock and 43yo Chuck Geschke to create
workstation for publishing [info] [profile] [more]

Apple Lisa (LisaDraw was very slow) 

1983: Jan: Apple Lisa introduced [tour] [v3 tour] [links]

menubar, clipboard, trashcan, dragging, doubleclicking, 'revert', 'paste',

Bill Atkinson's LisaDraw is 130k of P-code, reduced to 11k QuickDraw for Mac

'Desktop Libraries' were 100 shared software modules [cite] offered to
developers as Lisa Toolkit [source] [source?] 1st widget set?

classes: TAbilities, TAlertArg, TAlertCounter, TAliasArray, TAlignment, TArea,
TArray, TAuthorArray, TBand, TBodyPad, TBranchArea, TByte, TClassArray,
TClassInfo, TClassWorld, TClickState, TClipboard, TCmdNumber, TCmdPhase,
TCommand, TCursorNumber, TCutCopyCommand, TDialogBox, TDiResponse,
TDocDirectory, TDocManager, TEnumAbilities, TEnumIcons, TFam, TFilePath,
TFileScanner, TFont, THashCompare, THeading, THeap, TIdxArray, TImage, TList,
TMarginPad, TMenuBar, TMethodArray, TMousePhase, TObject, TOctet, TPad,
TPageAlignment, TPageView, TPaginatedView, TPAliasArray, TPane, TPanel,
TPassword, TPasteCommand, TPAuthorArray, TPByte, TPClassArray, TPIdxArray,
TPInt, TPLint, TPMethodArray, TPOctet, LPoint, TPrelude, TPreviewMode,
TPrinterMetrics, TPrintmanager, TProcess, TPrReserve, TPSliceTable,
TPSTableArray, TPUnitArray, TPWords, LRect, TResizability, TRevelation, TSBoxID,
TScaler, TScrollBar, TScroller, TSelection, TSideBand, TSliceTable,
TSTableArray, TTypeStyle, TUnitArray, TUnitsFromEdge, TView, TWindow, TWindowID,

1983: Apr: Microsoft's faked 'Interface Manager' demo (renamed Windows) [cite]

1983: MIT launches Project Athena (networked workstations) to replace Multics
[history] [cite] [info]

1983: 4.2BSD supports pseudo-teletypes

1983? Will Wright's 1st game, Raid on Bungling Bay [cite]

1983: Bill Budge's Pinball Construction Set for Apple II, 1st object-oriented
8-bit? [interview] [more]

1983: SunWindows kernel-based wm [cite]

1983: Bjarne Stroustrup's C++ (for implementing distributed systems: cite)
offers threads instead of true simulation [cite] [history]

  "The concurrency required for separate threads in one address space, for
different processes in a computer, for distributed computing across a local area
network, and for distributed computing over a wide area network, differ. There
are different kinds of constraints on the work, depending on whether you're
doing a high reliability-- such as financial or life-critical-- transaction, or
some Web stuff that is allowed to fail. My feeling is that nobody has come up
with a set of concurrency primitives that serves all the major application areas
well." [cite]
1983: summer: Paul Asente ports W to 4.2BSD using slow interprocess
communication [cite]

1983: Oct: VisiCorp's VisiOn for pc [tour]
1983: 10Nov: offical announcement of MS Windows [cite]
1983: 20Nov: Borland Turbo Pascal 1.0 offers 'TurboVision' (1990? below)
text-windowing IDE [info] [impact]

original Windows design used Multiplan/Word-style menu at bottom

1983: Dec: Byte magazine article on MS Windows [multi]
1984: Jan: Apple intros Macintosh (design team: Andy Hertzfeld, Chris Espinosa,
Joanna Hoffman, George Crowe, Bill Atkinson, and Jerry Manock: more) [origins]

64k ROM includes Hertzfeld's gui 'Mac Toolbox' API, w/QuickDraw, Text Edit,
Device Manager, Window Manager, Menu Manager, Font Manager, Resource Manager,
Event Manager, Control Manager, Dialog Manager, Desk Manager [tech] [credits]

windows, menus, scrollbars, icons, scrapbook, desk accessories?

Bruce Horn designed 46k Finder, 3k Resource Manager, Dialog Manager [cite]

1984: Jan: System V.2's 'job control' resembles wm [thread] 'shl' allows 7
layered ptys [cite] differences between jc and wm [post]

1984: 29Feb: IBM applies for patent on 'distributed menu' system [info]

1984: 15Mar: 1st PostScript manual shipped [cite] [theory] [links]
1984: 25Apr: Xerox abruptly decides to release Interpress specs [cite]

1984: Apr: David Cheriton's "The V kernel: A software base for distributed
systems" [cite] [info] [more] [most]

includes VGTS display server? [cite]

1984: Paul Asente's "W Reference Manual" at Stanford (also Brian Reid and Chris
Kent) [cite] "W provides graphics windows based on a simple display-list

W, derived from V, will inspire X

1984? Asente sends W tape to MIT [cite]

1984: Jun: Robert Scheifler extends W and calls it X (v1) [GooJa] [ditto] [crit]

1984: Jun: survey of wm's includes Nunix, WINDX (Peter Collins), BRUWIN

1984: Open Unix Club becomes 'X/Open' to avoid wrath of AT&T [cite] (name from
open-standards, not open source, and just uniX, not X-windows)

1984: SunView uif toolkit [cite]

1984: Gosling joins Sun, starts NeWS? (Network Extensible Windowing System)

1984: MacroMind founded in Chicago by Marc Canter with programmer Jay Fenton and
Mark Pierce (will become Macromedia) [history] SoundVision (for Mac) is 1st
animation-tool [more]

1984: Nov: Fenton separates VideoWorks player from authoring-tool [cite]

1984: late: X has reached v6

no-date: Bill Budge gives up idea of 'Construction Set Construction Set' [cite]

c1985: John Thompson clones QuickDraw for 8086 TelePaint [cite]

1985: Jan: MS's Mac expert moved to 2-years-late Windows [cite]

1985: Jan: ANSI standard for window management undertaken [annc]

1985: 18Jan: Rob Jacobs announces rewrite of wm [net.unix-wizards] uses curses
and ptys

1985: early: IBM's TopView for pc [pic]

1985: Apr: Andrew window manager from CMU [info] later adds portable graphics
layer [thread]

1985: Apr: AT&T 7300 has 'wmgr' window-manager [cite]

1985: CMU's 'SPICE' project creates Sapphire window manager [cite]

1985: Quarterdeck's DesQ for pc [pic]

1985: DRI's GEM for pc [pic]

1985: Jun: earliest incarnation of Director is called VideoWorks [history]

1985: $7k Apple Laserwriter is 1st PostScript printer [info] Warnock predicts
Adobe will peak at 50 employees [cite]

1985: Jul: comparison of wms [post]

1985: Aug: Matt Lennon and Tom Truscott's 'wm' source posted [mod.sources]

1985: Sep: George Nelan's 'wms' for 4.2BSD posted [net.sources]

1985: Sep: X v9 distributed as free [cite] cf Andrew [Gettys]
1985: X/Open Portability Guide [cite]
1985: Oct: Amiga 1.0 [info]
1985: 20Nov: Windows 1.0 ships [tour]
1985: Dec: Clayton Elwell's Portable User Interface Library project [GooJa]

1985: Dec: X v10r2 [annc]

  "X is a portable network transparent window system for bitmap displays.
Applications can be run from any machine in a local area network via stream
connections (currently TCP and Unix domain are supported). X is a fully
hierarchic window system intended to be very flexible. Manipulation of existing
windows is done with an external window manager; if you don't like ours, write
your own. Applications include a terminal emulator (~VT102 and Tek 4010), load
monitor, clock, imagen previewer, and several window managers among other
no-date: Windows 2.0 clones Mac interface; withdrawn and tweaked to avoid
lawsuit? [cite]

1986: Jan: DEC announces VAXstation with X
1986: Feb: X v10r3 [annc]

1986? early window-managers include xnwm, uwm, xwm

1986: Jun: 4.3BSD includes 'window' wm [cite]

1986: X v10r4

1986: Bob Lewis's Galadriel display-list-based window-manager [paper]

1986: highschooler Jonathan Gay (with Mark Stephen Pierce) writes
bestsellinggame 'Dark Castle' for Mac (will go on to create Flash) [history]

1986? Raskin's Swyft interface [2002-docs]

1986: 10Jul: Nigel Holder's 'grotwin' text-window-manager [source]

1986: Aug: Adobe IPO
1986: Oct: Sun introduces NeWS [cite]
1986: Nov: X v10r4

no-date: MS licenses NeWS? [claim]

no-date: toolkits for NeWS include 'Lite' and 'GoodNeWS/HyperNeWS' [cite]

no-date: uwm = universal window manager [source]

1987: 01Feb: newsgroup [early posts]

1987: Feb: list of wms mentions xnwm, uwm, xwm, Viewpoint, XDE, Bridge,
Interlisp, PNX-WMS, Flex, Oriel, and Rob Pike's wm [mod.computers.workstations]

1987: Mar: Oliver Laumann's 'screen' text-window-manager [info]
1987: Apr: newsgroup] NeWS vs X [flamewar] "X is like vi while
NeWS is like EMACS" or 'X is a jeep and NeWS is a DeLorean'

1987: Mac II uses Color QuickDraw
1987: Jef Raskin's Canon Cat [passim]

1987? Star Trek: The Next Generation will (eventually) do some animated graphics
using Macromedia Director [info]

1987: Jun: debate about multiple screens vs windows for Unix [thread]
1987: Jul: comparison of curses and 'smg' screen-management routines [thread]

1987: summer: Macromedia creates 2nd-ever Mac CD-ROM with VideoWorks animations

no-date: Macromedia's VideoWorks Interactive uses Tiny Basic scripting, never
formally released [cite]

1987: Aug: HyperCard
1987: Sep: X v11r1 (incompatible with v10) designed in haste by MIT and DEC

1987: Sep: 27yo John Henry Thompson moves from Lucasfilms Droidworks (digital
editing system) to Macromedia (will add Lingo to Director) [history] [resume]
[interview] starts with VideoWorks Accelerator

1988: 04Jan: twm = tiny window manager [annc]
1988: Jan: X Consortium formed
1988: Jan: MIT X Windows Conference [report]
1988: 20Jan: twm = Tom LaStrange's wm [annc] [GooJa profile] [info] [Hopkins]

twm [pic source]

1988: Feb: random windows-flame [thread]
1988: Mar: X v11r2
1988: May: Open Look gui [overview]
1988: John Ousterhout designs Tcl (Tool Command Language) at Berkeley [hist]
begins Tk [GooJa]

1988: NeXT chooses Mach kernel

no-date: Director 1.0 is not interactive? [cite]

1988: MacroMind's VideoWorks Interactive becomes Director 1.0; John Thompson and
Erik Neumann add Lingo control language [history] or 2.0? [cite]
object-oriented, originally written in Pascal, inspired by Smalltalk, Lisp,
Objective C, and HyperCard [more]

  "any variable can hold any value and Lingo can programmatically inspect and
evaluate it"
1988: DECwindows [tour] [GooJa]

1988: Sep: early PR from Adobe about Display Postscript [post]
1988: Oct: X v11r3
1988: 17Oct: newsgroup Byte first-look [etext]

  "Embedded inside the Window Server is the Display PostScript interpreter,
which acts on the PostScript commands passed to it... several libraries of
ready-to-use objects, called kits... around 34 objects... known as the
Application Toolkit... Interface Builder..."
1989: CDE (Xi Graphics' Common Desktop Environment) started by Open Group: IBM,

1989: 27Mar: Mike Smedley's CXL (C eXtended Library) 5.0 windowing library does
menus, forms, string manipulation [readme] [source] [GooJa]

1989: OpenWindows with XView (based on SunView), Open Look Window Manager
(Olwm), and X11/NeWS [cite]

no-date: NeWS Development Environment (NDE) beomes The NeWS Toolkit (TNT) [cite]

1989? (not 1979!): Marc Porat at Apple starts Pocket Crystal project [cite]

1990: Jan: FAQ
1990: Jan: X v11r4

1990: May: Hertzfeld and Atkinson found General Magic [profile]

1990: 22May: Windows 3.0, supports 386 [cite]

1990: Smalltalk redesigned to run under other window-managers (ObjectWorks)

1990: Don Libes builds Expect in 3 wks using Tcl [cite]

Xt toolkit?

1990: OSF (Open Software Foundation) creates Motif

1990: Carmack explores EGA's limits [history]

1990: Nov: UltraWin text-windowing library for DOS Pascal [GooJa] 1st mention of
Borland's TurboVision? [GooJa]

1990: Nov: window-managers for dumb terminals include SCO MultiView and
Facet/Term [thread]

1991: Be, Inc [pix]

1991: 13Mar: 1st release of Tk [GooJa]

1991: Carmack's Hovertank [history]

1991: 30Jun: end of Project Athena at MIT [cite]
1991: Aug: X v11r5

1992: 25Feb: Authorware and MacroMind-Paracomp merge to form Macromedia [cite]

1992: Mar? Orest Zborowski [GooJa] [more] adopts Linux for X386 (later XFree86)
[alt.os.linux] [history]

1992: Apr: Linux 0.96 can run X-Windows
1992: May: Wolfenstein 3D [history]
1992: Jun: Claude Lecommandeur's ctwm [info] [site] [GooJa profile]

1992: Qt project begun in C++ (GUI toolkit, pronounced 'cute') [cite]

1993: XFree86 released

1992: Sep: text-windowing options for DOS include CXL, Windows BOSS, and Borland
Application Frameworks [thread] [source]

1993: Jan: Jonathan Gay starts FutureWave Software, writes SmartSketch with
Robert Tatsumi [history]

1993: MS-DOS text-windowing experiment [info] another 'twin' [info] [SourceForge]

1993? CXL sold, expanded, renamed TCXL [annc]

1993: Adobe Acrobat

1993: Robert Nation's fvwm [info] [GooJa profile]

1993: summer: Rob Glaser electrified by Mosaic [cite]

1993: Oct: Novell gives Unix name-rights to X/Open [cite]

1993? X v11r6

1993: Dec? GNUstep project begins [GooJa]

1993: Dec: Doom, for VGA [history]

1994: Feb: Rob Glaser leaves MS and founds Progressive Networks [history] to use
new media to promote politically progressive content

1994: Adobe buys Aldus

1994: IDG publishes Unix-Haters Handbook [extracts] [toc] [review] [crit]

1994: May: Ousterhout moves to Sun [cite] "to evolve Tcl into a universal
scripting language for the Internet"

1994: 22Jul: Landay and Myers' SILK tool for sketching uifs [paper]
1994: summer: NeXT publishes OpenStep specs [cite]

1994: Trolltech founded [cite] by Eirik Eng?

1994: Jim Fulton: X font service protocol

1994? Director 3.0 goes crossplatform, requires much rewriting [cite]

1994: Oct: Doom II [history]

1995: Apr: Progressive streams RealAudio at 14.4k [cite]

1995: CDE innovates 'frontpanel' (dock) [info] [more]

1995: May: 1st commercial release of Qt [cite] [intro] [multi] [tutorial]

menus, context menus, dockable toolbars, balloon help, drag and drop

3.0 widgets: QButtonGroup, QCanvas, QCheckBox, QComboBox, QDateTimeEdit, QDial,
QFileDialog, QGLWidget, QGrid, QGridLayout, QGroupBox, QHBox, QHBoxLayout,
QIconView, QLabel, QLCDNumber, QLineEdit, QListBox, QListView, QMenuBar,
QMessageBox, QProgressBar, QPushButton, QRadioButton, QRegExp, QScrollBar,
QScrollView, QSlider, QSpinBox, QSplitter, QStatusBar, QTabDialog, QTable,
QTextEdit, QToolBar, QValidator, QWizard [cite]

1995: summer: FutureWave begins adding animation to SmartSketch (becomes
FutureSplash Animator) [history] [screenshots]

1995: autumn? Netscape promotes API for plugins

1995? Macromedia rebrands Director player as 'Shockwave'? [cite]

1995: 30Oct: Macromedia demos Shockwave plugin [annc] released Dec [post]

1995: Dec: Progressive begins turning FreeVu into RealVideo [cite]

1996: KDE project started by Matthias Etrich (mostly Europe-based) [docs]

1996: May: FutureWave ships FutureSplash Animator (will become Flash) [history]
1996: Jun: Quake [history]

1996: Aug: Rob Burgess reorients Macromedia to Web [cite] [more]

1996: Aug: Microsoft adopts FutureSplash for MSN site-debut [history]

1996: 01Nov: Linux Journal overview of Qt [etext]

1996: Dec: Macromedia buys FutureWave, adds interaction and scripting to
FutureSplash and renames it 'Flash' [history] $250

1997: Feb: Progressive debuts RealVideo [cite-popups]

1997: Stallman objects to KDE's use of Qt [history]

1997: Miguel de Icaza starts GNOME project (GNU Network Object Model
Environment) [cite] GTK


no-date: Macromedia Director generates '.DCR' Shockwave files [cite-popups]

1997: May: confusing Macromedia comments about Shockwave vs Flash [post]

1998: Jan: Ousterhout leaves Sun and starts Scriptics [cite] name changed to
Ajuba, sold to Interwoven

1998: 13Apr: Macromedia publishes specs for Shockwave Flash (SWF) [Cnet] [intro]
Flash is higher res, Shockwave adds audio? [passim]

1998: Apr: macromedia.director newsgroups and macromedia.flash newsgroup

1998: Nov: TrollTech creates non-profit KDE Free Qt Foundation to manage Qt
licensing [cite] Qt Public License

1999: Dec: Quake III [history]

2000: 17Mar: PicoGUI project started by Micah Dowty [FAQ]

2000: Sep: TrollTech gpls Qt [annc]

2002: 28Jun: OpenGL 2.0 [Slashdot thread]

2002: Remote Java Foundation Classes [long paper]

2002: Jef Raskin launches 'Humane Environment' open source project [info]



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