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Re: Slide Show

Tom Ritch wrote:

> On Wed, Jun 16, 1999 9:28 PM, Rafe B. <mailto:rafeb@channel1.com> wrote:
> >What Mac owners don't like to admit is that Apple
> >stole "mice" and "windows" from Xerox PARC.  But
> >that's another story.
> Nope.  That's ill-informed "disinformation" propagated by Microsoft
> apologists.
> Apple _licensed_ Xerox's technology _demonstration_ systems as a basis
> which, with a great deal more work by Apple, led to a very innovative
> product.  Xerox was done no harm, and Apple's actions were legal.
> In contrast,  Microsoft _stole_ Apple's patented _product_ ideas to make
> Windows.  There is a big difference between using legitimate methods to
> develop an experimental system into a product, and illegally copying an
> existing product.
> As you note this is another story, and it is probably too far off the
> topics of "slide show" or Epson printers to continue here.  You can read a
> more detailed discussion here:
>         http://www.MacKiDo.com/Interface/ui_history.html

    Actually, the URL you note has a story that wouldn't even appear factual
to Steven Jobs -- it seems to be a fairy tale.
    Probably much more factual is the story told by the woman who ran PARC at
the time, and the story as told by Jobs himself, both of which seem to agree.
    Jobs requested that he be allowed to visit the PARC facility (against her
wishes, but she was overruled by Xerox "tonerhead" brass who thought she was
overwrought when she told them it would be "giving away the farm"), and saw
the GUI in its essential form there. Some of it wasn't working; overlapping
windows were apparently shown as a screen capture, but weren't really
functioning at the time, and it was indeed Apple engineers that made them work
first. It was the idea of the GUI and the form it took that Jobs walked away
with, regardless of the licensing of "development systems" later, which had
little to do with anything.
    Jobs also saw, while he was there, Ethernet and Object Oriented
Programming, and probably the core of Postscript, but was so blown away (in
his words) by the GUI that he missed them completely.
    Whether Microsoft saw the Mac (well, actually the "Lisa") and stole it is
moot; every manufacturer of operating systems was working on
windowing/pulldown menu/mouse pointer systems and just because Jobs had a run
on the others doesn't mean that the ideas were his to own. But that was for
the courts to decide, and it did not go in Apple's favor, as I recall.
    There are and have been a LOT of different versions of windowing systems
developed over the years, all of which owe much to Xerox PARC and at least
something to the Lisa/Mac, but while the Mac's remains fairly elegant, thus
far it has been the Unix variants which have used it most effectively, and
these days it is the Mac which follows, picking bits and pieces that routinely
appear on other systems to include in its own.


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