To the Source: On the net

In the advocacy group, programmers have been fighting about whether NeXT should license its source code. "We don't need no stinkin' sources!" cry hundreds of postings, claiming that third-party applications are actually more reliable and have a better chance of surviving an OS upgrade if clever developers can't look inside NeXT's bag of tricks and make use of un-documented features that might disappear. Others argue that, without source, it's impossible to verify the behavior of NeXT's objects except by trial and error.

All in all, it's a far cry from the early days of UNIX, when you couldn't get the operating system in anything except source-code form. The good news, though, is that NeXT will now start shipping source code for the GNU compilers.

"Re: Another NS/FIP success story . . . YES!!" is beginning to be-come more commonplace, although there are many complaints that NeXT isn't supporting enough hardware brands. One thing that NEXTSTEP does seem to support is the "Cyrix CPU" equipped with a '386 floating-point coprocessor, despite NeXT's claims that NEXT-STEP FIP only runs on genuine Intel '486 and Pentium processors. Another reader ("A Pentium Story, Pentium Sorry") found a source for a Pentium daughterboard, which plugs the 64-bit processor into a 32-bit '486 socket, then complained that the bastard child wouldn't give Pentium's promised 100 MIPS performance. Better find a source for a new motherboard, people advised.

Lastly, "Fat NewsGrazer or other GUI News readers?" summarizes a problem that many net-heads are having with the move to Intel: NewsGrazer is available only for NeXT's proprietary Motorola architecture. It has been rumored that NeXT may release an Intel version or the source. That's not likely, now that Millennium has an-nounced plans to market Newsgrazer Pro.

by Simson L. Garfinkel