NeWS, NeXT, VMS, and Windows NT … connections


Quick note…

As you may recall in the past, I’m late to the game in noticing that WNT was 1 letter off from VMS.

Well, as I was thinking about a neat old windowing system (more on the great history on the web later…) called NeWS… I noticed something.

It was developed at Sun around the same time that NeXT computer was forming… (late 1980s … LATE 1980s!!! Has it been that long!)

Here is another parallel.

Sun made Workstations. NeXT was making a workstation. The NeWS system was based on PostScript. The NeXT system was based on Display PostScript. Hmm, I can’t think of any other companies attempting to use PostScript as their graphics engine!

Similar technology choices and an un-canny similarity in naming! Which came first? NeXT or NeWS? Notice that ‘WS’ is 1 letter off from ‘XT’?

James Gosling worked on NeWS. James was the architect of Java. Arthur van Hoff worked on NeWS for James. He built a SimCity clone on their interface toolkit called HyperLook. Arthur was part of the original Java team that left to start up Marimba. He formed another ‘stealth’ company after that which sold Java tech to Tivo for their platform.

The initial magic numbers on a Java class file are ‘0xCAFEBABE’.

I remember working on NeXTSTEP / OpenSTEP on Intel and ALSO seeing that signature. A quick search reveals that I wasn’t crazy. The question now is: who came up with it first? NeXT or Sun??

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