The object oriented cake

Aboutnext SplashWhile writing my latest post on NeXT, i remembered one of my favorite videos on programming ever: the 1992 demo presentation of NeXTSTEP 3 by, whom else, Steve Jobs. If you haven’t seen it yet, please take a look below, and keep repeating yourself that this was 1992, and that that machine had a clock under 50 MHz! One wonders what on Earth have we been doing during the last fourteen years.

I was about to write a brief overview of the amazing things demoed by Jobs, but the fine guys and gals of Rixstep have already done it for me: The object oriented cake is a guided tour for those of you lacking 35 minutes to see the movie. But i bet you’ll see it anyway after reading that article. More than once!

All these wonders where made using Objective-C. One would say that there’s something to OOP. Definitely, but there’s more than objects at play: Objective-C is a dynamical language, with a living runtime and powerful reflection capabilities. Despite its C-syntax (almost any C snippet is also an Objective-C snippet), its spirit is far closer to Smalltalk, and the right way to use Objective-C is to use it as a dynamically typed language. I’m convinced that these language traits were key to make the marvellous NeXSTEP system a thriving reality.

For the really curious among you, here‘s a bit more about the platform; and one can also take a look at the NeXTstep 3.3 developer documentation.


17 Responses to “The object oriented cake”

  1. ddp Says:

    What have we been doing these last 14 years? Well, we’ve been millking the 4.4 BSD code drop for all it’s worth, myself included Fortunately the new breed of massive multi-core chips on the horizon ought to do what 10,000 Computer “Science” instructors couldn’t. Then perhaps we can get back to figuring out how to actually engineer software instead of just reciting Java, Ruby, or Python “design patterns”. (Step back and study Multics, there’s much to be learned there.)

  2. 1992, 50 Mhz | Says:

    […] Diesen Artikel habe ich heute gefunden: Das war 1992. Auf einem <50 Mhz Computer. Ich wiederhole nochmal: 1992. Was habe wir eigendlich in den letzten 14 Jahren gemacht? Geschlafen? […]

  3. Ken Says:

    I did not see the full video, but I loved the initial part. Too good..

    thx for sharing…

  4. dnb Says:

    Just to be a bit more specific… I used to work at a university at the time the NeXTstations and stuff were in their heyday. The machines around the NeXTSTEP 3.3 timeframe were actually 25MHz 68040s, and if you were lucky enough to have a NeXTstation TURBO, it was 33MHz. Shortly after that, they concentrated on the Intel version of NeXTSTEP and dropped hardware production… but the Cubes and ‘pizza boxes’ never went above 33MHz.

  5. jericbilo Says:

    Jobs sure know how to market his stuff.

  6. phall Says:

    Wow – it looks like mac OS X – 9 years before it was released!

  7. alec Says:

    God, that’s beautiful.

  8. Damian Cugley Says:

    Fantastic stuff. Steve Jobs is great at presenting this stuff—I could watch him for hours. NeXT is a great example of how engineering brilliance means very little in the computing world next to the herd mentality that guides most computer procurement. As Jobs says in the video, a lot of systems ape the drag & drop application-development environment, but since they don’t have the right OO underpinnings they can’t really make it work.

  9. Möhrenfeld Says:

    Was haben wir die letzten 14 Jahre gemacht?

    Ein nettes Video mit Steve Jobs gibt es hier zu sehen. Steve stellt NeXTSTEP 3 vor, ein Rechner der weniger als 50 MHz an CPU-Power hatte. Man muss sich klar sein, dass zu der Zeit gerade Windows 3.1 erschien. Langer Film, aber definitiv sehenswert!

  10. Party Like It’s 1992 » somewhere the raven shudders » Archive » Party Like It’s 1992 Says:

    […] blog home page two archives Home / Archives / Party Like It’s 1992 1 minute ago NeXTSTEP 3 demo with Steve Jobs (1992) I came across this video clip by chance today and was blown away by the NeXT platform. Do check it out if you haven’t already. At the very least, view the first few minutes. I’d heard of the NeXTSTEP operating system, the CUBE! (a precursor to a ‘never-had-yet-lost’ love of mine – the Mac G4 Cube) and famous for being the place Jobs went to after being fired from Apple (and consequently returned from). The video is about 35 minutes long. A few things that came to mind: […]

  11. blaze Says:

    This is a little bit scary. What the hell have we been doing?

  12. saotome Says:

    Apple’s philosophy has always been to maximize performance out of the existent resources. I have heard some pretty interesting interviews with Steve Wozniak on the twit network, where he describes some of the things they use to do back in the day when they were starting.

    Steve jobs is one of the most brilliant IT minds of our generation.

  13. سردال » مرحباً بك في بيت المدونين Says:

    […] نظام ماك الذي تنتجه شركة أبل ليس بجديد، أنظر إلى نظام ماك قبل ما يزيد عن عشر سنوات، كان اسمه نكست ستيب، وكان يعمل على حاسوب سرعته 50 ميغاهيترز فقط. […]

  14. Web 2.0 Announcer Says:

    The object oriented cake: 1992 demo presentation of NeXTSTEP 3 by Steve Jobs


  15. chmeee Says:

    The really sad thing is that in the video, NeXTSTEP was doing things that can’t even be done on OS X. Rendering a rotating cube in real-time behind a semi-transparent image, without any slowdown? Unheard of for any system today without top-of-the-line graphics cards, and 2GHz CPUs. And this was done 15 years ago! What’s happened in the last 15 years that simple demos like that cause huge problems? Apple should really be ashamed at just how pathetic OS X is compared to NeXTSTEP, on hardware nearly 100x faster, with 200x as much RAM (I believe standard then was 8MB, maybe I’m wrong), and a blazing graphics card. We need a modern NeXTSTEP, not X+Cairo/Glitz+OpenGL+whatever, or Quartz, or whatever Windows offers.

  16. BeOSBOSS Says:

    Steve Jobs has always been great at marketing, but he’s no tech genius. He’s always relied on other peoples brains for that. Like “The Woz”! Wozniak is the one that created this stuff. Jobs even rips off his own people’s ideas like iPod.

    3rd parties are beginning to learn he’s all mouth and continually putting his hand in others pockets to get rich and never saying “Thank You”, when he’s done it!

    He’s a fake jerk, never been anything more than a average used car salesman reaching behind your back to take your wallet!

    Where’s NeXT NOW? Not in OS-X and he really blew it by blowing off BeOS the Multi-Media Object Oriented OS EVER! …but never fear, for Khronos OpenGL ES Mt Evans w/Halti Object will be here for embedded devices in 2010!!! …. OpenGL , OpenKode, etc will end Jobs, Balmer’s, and Gates throat hold their proprietary ignorance and dominance!

  17. Samantha Atkins Says:

    What bugs me is that modern Apple OSX isn’t this good in many ways. How come?

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