[NTLK] Historical Newton Article Clarifying John Scully's Thoughts

Maurice Sharp msharp at pobox.com
Sun Dec 26 23:12:23 EST 2010

A good article (and it brings back memories :-) And it is missing all history on the development language used by third party developers. I do not know what it was before Dylan (since that was before my time), but it was supposed to be Dylan. Then, as the article mentioned there were issues with Bob Dylan. However, Dylan was found to be too inefficient for the device.

Walter Smith created a NewtonScript (based on Self) as the way for developers to create software for Newton devices. By the time I joined the group (1992, soon after they moved into Infinite Loop), there were a handful of developers. All of them were using the ARM based NuBUS development boards with the emulator environment. Larry hired me as an intern to create the prototype of the Newton Developer ToolKit using Macintosh Common LISP (really.) That was a lot of fun and a lot of hours. But it was used by the early third party developers. The shipping toolkit was created in C++ later. I eventually joined as a Developer Technical Support Engineer.

I do remember the alpha, no beta, no alpha, no beta, nope, shipping time. And it was still a great thing to have been a part of it. I was there until Steve came back and it was clear he was going to kill the project. In some ways I am sad he did, but I can see why he needed to. Apple had to focus or there would be no Apple today. As it is, some of the technologies are around today (as are the engineers that created them.) You can see it in the recognition of addresses and events, and in many other places.

Maurice Sharp
Ex-Newton DTS Engineer and Manager

On Dec 25, 2010, at 12:11 AM, Knowledge Navigator wrote:

> Hello Newtontalkers!
> As a bit of a gift for the season, I was searching through my Newton 
> folder trying to clean up the hundreds of files located there and found 
> this excellent article written in 2006 on the original Apple Newton and 
> how it came to be what it was as well as the challenges that were faced 
> by the Newton development team.
> You can get it here:
> http://www.newtonsales.com/NewtonHistoryArticle.htm
> Merry Christmas!
> Sincerely,
> Knowledgenavigator
> www.newtonsales.com
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