The Carboniferous period (Carboniferous) in the history of Apple

11-12 may in computer, media reported that Apple Computer had broken with the legacy of NeXT and Rhapsody will not, and what NeXT was acquired solely for the return of Steve jobs in his own company.

In fact, you guessed it (or maybe just know), the Rhapsody project, no closed, Carbon was the brilliant and outrageous dangerous stunt, and most likely, it was the only way out of the situation.

Rather, the idea was proposed by Evie Tevanyan, thought out and discussed in the circle of senior executives of the company, and for five or six months, in an atmosphere of unprecedented privacy, has become a reality.

Why that title? English Carbon is transferred as coal, carbon, black diamond – and another is the name of one of the geological periods of the Paleozoic era. In Russian, this period is called the Carboniferous, or “Carbon”. A significant part of the major coal deposits on the planet was formed then. In the late Paleozoic.

Carbon in Earth’s history lasted approximately 60 million years, and ended, again roughly, 300 million years ago.

Carbon release in Apple’s history began on 11 may 1998 (20 years ago), it ended recently, leaving behind a relic of the technology, still live. Some of them, for use in Swift, has changed beyond recognition and has found a second youth – but on the Swift talk sometime later.

This is the third part of a series about the transformation of Apple in the NeXT Apple. Previous parts:

  1. NeXT Apple.
  2. Apple chooses the path.


Of all the WWDC conference this special. For me personally. It is the only OS where I was. The rest failed to attend. Expensive, far away, not enough time or the companies where I worked, it just didn’t have the money.

Over time, I realized that this is not necessary: all the fun at these conferences, you can watch the videos. On the CD, and some time on the Apple website for developers. Everything else – the surroundings, motion and other stuff – agree, interesting. But without them, it is possible to do. Moreover, according to veteran of these conferences, they are getting worse and worse fed.

In the time of Jean-Louis Gasse fed (by Apple!) delicacies. Can be well that in 1998 things were simple French cuisine I (after France and Belgium) was afraid.

In addition, to get directly to all sessions of the conference that are interesting and necessary, there is no way: often two or three, most are held at the same time.

Some sessions are held twice, but the Apple does not always coincide with our opinion – so, in any case, for a close and detailed acquaintance with the above during the conference material alternatives view them in record no.

WWDC-1998 important because it was there, may 11, 1998, Apple Computer announced a plan that turned the company into what it has become now. Scary to imagine what would be if…

In the last part I talked a bit about the intractable and insurmountable problems, which almost all young and very interesting computer platform of the late 80’s and early 90’s, was on the rocks and disappeared.


About the revolutionary change of plans, reported Steve. He began with the fact that likened Apple UK. He called Mac OS “jewel of the crown Apple.” In the UK, this term was designated India, during the time when the Kingdom never came, the sun.

Telling that she is still very popular, and generally the best in the world, albeit outdated. It would be a mistake to dump her. But the Foundation of the system and its library was written (in a past geological era – I from myself) for a long time, and is incompatible with what is called “modern operating systems”.

But what exactly is incompatible? In the classic Mac OS, as of may 11, 1998, was little more than 8000 APIs.

API (application programming interface) is, in the classic Mac OS, procedures and functions in libraries of the operating system used by programmers to interact with the operating system and the hardware of the computer that executed programs.

Check all these thousands of API compatibility – task is very time consuming and difficult. It turned out that 6000 API can be used in modern operating system. The rest of 2000 require replacement with modern counterparts.

The analysis of tens of apps for Mac and led to more encouraging conclusions: incompatible with modernity API 2000, a large part belonged to the ancient layers of the operating system and popular applications in 1998 was used. These APIs were kept in libraries exclusively for compatibility.

All vital to Apple’s programs was compatible with modern OS 85-90% (80 to 94, but most fit into 85-90). If the transfer of these programs in Rhapsody was impossible, they had to design and create again, and to spend a year or two (at least), but now their shift, according to Steve and Evie of Tevanyan, shortened to 1-2 months…

Logic programs, however, remained. To rewrite the “10% program” is real and feasible. However, depending on the subject area and needs of the program, the 10% was different (from almost 0% in some cases up to half of the critical code), but these are details, which we will discuss in the next section.

Apple has released CarbonLib for classic Mac OS, a complex of libraries “compatible” with even a non-existent environment Carbon. Now the programmer could test the fruits of your hard work on the compatibility with the future… Which, as you know, has not been yet been fully determined.

Utilities developed in the process of checking the system and application compatibility with modern OS, was posted on the Apple website, in the form of a web application, Carbon-Dater. And now the authors of all of these programs can check the compatibility level of the software.

The app worked before the end of WWDC.

But the interest of ordinary developers was nothing more than a side effect of the solution. It was a life preserver for Apple and its new operating system. In the final part of the presentation, Evie Tevanyan presented evidence health a new approach by inviting to the stage the heads of engineering services of the three important Apple companies, who for two or three weeks before the event provided CarbonLib, for samples.

CarbonLib and using the whole Apple, including DTS (Developer Technical Support) and engineers who worked on the creation of Carbon.

CarbonLib and support was provided to 12 companies, of which only three (Microsoft, Macromedia and Adobe) has been able to cope with the task and performed on the stage of WWDC. As you know, this fact was not made public at the time and remained secret until very recently.

But what about Rhapsody?

Development strategy of the operating system, from the height of bird flight

Now it was not about two versions of the operating system, similar to Windows 95 and Windows NT. The names of the new operating system is not, in my opinion, even there was some voting on this subject, in which I participated. I offered CalvadOS.

I do not believe that the proposed option was Mac OS X, where X is 10, not “x”. But c 11 may 1998 she was called that way.

On the enlarged flowchart Mac OS X on low level layers (microkernel, Darwin – based operating system, OpenBSD, with best of the other variants of BSD and Linux ov) was three rectangles.

BlueBox (reserve of antiquities, the classic environment with OS, “improved compared to its current version”), YellowBox (this is what used to be Rhapsody) and Carbon. Soon, I think in 1999, YellowBox was renamed Cocoa, and BlueBox in Classic. No more Boxing, ladies and gentlemen!

Shaded rectangles were, respectively, blue, yellow and light grey color.

People fantasized about the appearance in the future, “RedBox”, which will run applications for Windows NT, and other s Box (BeBox?) but Apple has taken the decision on inexpediency of giving to other platforms “living space” in Mac OS X. While it did not focus – it is considered unimportant.

Later, Steve confirmed that the main goal of isolationism was to provoke people to write original software for the new system, otherwise it will use a program written for Windows NT.

To be continued

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