Anaheim, CA Ð Although it is hard to find even friends at a SIGGRAPH conference, a few NEXTSTEP exhibits managed to catch the attention of some of the 40,000 attendees at this year's show.
Keith Ohlfs, the artistic wizard behind NEXTSTEP, gave "tours" of the NEXTSTEP interface by tracing the visual history of such staples as windows (when they were 1-bit designs on a Sun workstation), scroll bars (which used to have a last-position button), and the file recycler (alternatively a shredder and black hole).
Visitors unfamiliar with the NEXTSTEP interface often likened design features Ð the Dock, shelves, and inspectors Ð with other, post-NeXT interface designs such as Windows 3.1, Motif, and ParcPlace's VisualWorks.
Cambridge Animation Systems rolled out the first commercial release of Animo, a professional cartoon-animation package for NEXTSTEP. Unlike many other animation packages, Animo uses resolution-independent Bezier splines to model all of the objects in the system, allowing exceptionally smooth inbetweening.
Animo was highlighted in Steve Jobs's keynote address at this year's NeXTWorld Expo, in the creation of the South Bank Show NEXTIME clip.
And Paris-based IRCAM demonstrated MAX, a visual programming system for real-time musical applications, which was recently ported from the Mac to a NeXTcube with an IRCAM-designed board with two Intel i860 processors. IRCAM also works with NEXTSTEP for Intel.