Are there still Apps being created for NeXT platform?

Started by NeXTsociety, January 22, 2010, 06:23:03 am

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NeXTsociety

Is there still any activity this day and age in software being created for the NeXT platform?

Just curious what the state of the NeXT platform is.  I know it is long obsolete but like any old platform, many times the community keeps it going.  In the Amiga world, such great work is being done and even OS updates.

So, is the NeXT platform basically dead or is there still anyone in the world still creating for it?

Just curious.

tj

gctwnl

Quote from: "NeXTsociety"Is there still any activity this day and age in software being created for the NeXT platform?

Just curious what the state of the NeXT platform is.  I know it is long obsolete but like any old platform, many times the community keeps it going.  In the Amiga world, such great work is being done and even OS updates.

So, is the NeXT platform basically dead or is there still anyone in the world still creating for it?

Just curious.

tj
I think it is dead wrt new apps. I think some stuff is still being maintained by enthusiast users.
NeXT Collection pictures: http://bit.ly/wdltRI

RacerX

Are you asking about professionals or hobbyist?

Most of the professionals moved on along with the platform as it transitioned and evolved. I use many of the same application titles in Mac OS X that I use in both Rhapsody and OPENSTEP, but the newer apps leverage aspects of the newer operating systems and would be difficult to make backward compatible to NEXTSTEP/OPENSTEP.

It would be nice to have some new apps... though the only thing I can think of would be a newer browser (though the Omni Group did release the source code for their HTML rendering engine, so it could be updated and built into a new browser). But for the most part I know that I have nearly all the apps I need to be productive.

Was there a particular type of app you were looking for? Most application development on older platforms is done to fill a need, so if you have a need that would be universal across most of the community, I'd bet that someone might step forward (assuming it isn't so complex as to make it unfeasible for a hobbyist to build).

NeXTsociety

Quote from: "RacerX"Are you asking about professionals or hobbyist?
Was there a particular type of app you were looking for? Most application development on older platforms is done to fill a need, so if you have a need that would be universal across most of the community, I'd bet that someone might step forward (assuming it isn't so complex as to make it unfeasible for a hobbyist to build).


I think I was just thinking for anyone, pro of hobby.

Things I wonder if NeXTSTEP and Openstep can do now or if they can one day...  

#1  More up to date web browser.  We live on the web so we need that.
#2  Watch YouTube videos.  Can that be done today?
#3  Listen or watch streaming audio/video.
#4  Twitter Application?
#5  VOIP application like Skype or ??

Just some things that I do on modern system that would be nice to do on NeXT.

tj

bkmoore

Society,

I don't think we'll be doing You-Tube video, or live streams on original NeXT hardware.  Maybe on a dimension, but I'm pretty sure not on a slab.  It just lacks the processing power.  Same probably goes for Skype.  That being said, a more modern web browser would probably be possible if someone with the skills had the time and desire to invest in porting or developing one.

Most NeXT users use other, more modern Operating Systems alongside NeXT, so there hasn't been a huge demand for these more modern features.   Owning a NeXT is a lot like owning a classic car.  You drive it on the weekends for pleasure when the weather is nice, but you have a more modern car as a daily driver.

Brian

RacerX

Quote from: "NeXTsociety"Things I wonder if NeXTSTEP and Openstep can do now or if they can one day...  

#1  More up to date web browser.  We live on the web so we need that.
#2  Watch YouTube videos.  Can that be done today?
#3  Listen or watch streaming audio/video.
#4  Twitter Application?
#5  VOIP application like Skype or ??

Just some things that I do on modern system that would be nice to do on NeXT.


The other thing to keep in mind is that most of the apps types you listed are based on things that are in a constant state of flux. Application development on new systems is moving along with the changes in the formats of those areas, but when you are talking about development for older platforms like NeXT, it's like trying to hit a moving target. If you know what all those formats will be like in one year you could aim new apps at that, and those apps might be good for 6 months to a year after they come out, but would soon fall back behind the development curve.

When asking for applications that require a significant amount of work, it is best if they are based around a format that will be stable for extended periods.

A good example of an app that might be helpful is a PDF reader that can deal with newer versions of the format. The old readers are showing their age after 10 years, and newer versions might get us another 10 years. Or a word processor that makes use of a new long term format like ODF. A browser would be nice, but it should use a modular rendering engine that can be replaced as the web standards change... but things like Flash are just changing too fast to keep up with. Java support would be nice as well.

But anything based on formats that are constantly changing would be difficult for anyone. And if there is one thing I've noticed it is that most people aren't willing to buy software for NeXT systems. I use my systems a lot so investing in TIFFany 3 and Create 5 were worth the money for me (specially as I can use them in both OPENSTEP and Rhapsody), but not the average NeXT user.

A great thing to have would be the ability to use wireless cards. The standard 802.11 has been stable and it would be nice (for me) to be able to use my ThinkPad without a physical connection to a network (I would take the time to get a new battery for it if I had wireless networking).

Otherwise, you mainly have to aim at apps that do things you need rather than interact with standards that are a moving target. I make web pages on my systems because HTML is pretty standard (and I want my web pages to display correctly on these older systems... a NeXT site that isn't viewable on a NeXT system seems pointless to me), I do graphic design and page layout, but I can turn any of that into PostScript and then to PDF, so that isn't an issue for moving things around. Those are the types of things that would be worth the time and effort in development. Development for a standard that will most likely be out dated by the time the app is finished is worthless other than as a personal exercise in application development as no one will want it when it is finished anyways.

helf

There is a twitter client talked about HERE. You can also stream audio via THIS APP

@ RacerX

You could glue one of THESE to your thinkpads lid and hack power to it from the laptop ;)
*INACTIVE*

tjallen

The vector graphics editing app, Cenon.app, is still being developed.  It's available for OPENSTEP 4.2, as well as, Gnustep and Mac OS X.  You can find it at http://www.cenon.info.  This app will edit PostScript files graphically, just as Tailor.app does, but Cenon.app is not as feature rich as Tailor in editing PostScript, but more feature rich than Tailor in that it will also edit HPGL, Gerber, DXF, and DIN files, too.

oneNeXT

Quote from: "NeXTsociety"
#2  Watch YouTube videos.  Can that be done today?
#3  Listen or watch streaming audio/video.
#4  Twitter Application?


It's not impossible.

Morgon

Quote from: "RacerX"
A good example of an app that might be helpful is a PDF reader that can deal with newer versions of the format. The old readers are showing their age after 10 years, and newer versions might get us another 10 years.


I made a partial NeXT port of xpdf which supports newer PDF formats. Maybe I will put it online sometimes when I found the time to make my port based on poppler instead of xpdf. Until then there is no way I will bring that app to the public.

Beside xpdf and poppler not supporting all of the features (poppler some more than xpdf) in the newest pdf specifications my port is even more limited since I haven't spend any time on features beyond pure display of the pages and bookmarks and making the links clickable. Biggest problem are files with embeded or missing fonts which will get better once I base the app on poppler instead of xpdf.

After all it is capable to display about 90 percent of the pdf files we get in our company (yes, we are still using OpenStep in our office).

Morgon

pl212

For those of us interested in 'new' software, I can think of one fun way to bring that about: go to your local library and borrow (or request through inter-library loan) a copy of Garfinkel's Nextstep Programming. I just built the first example in it tonight (Tiny.m) on Nextstep 3.3 Developer and it's a lot of fun!  Who knows what you'll end up creating eventually?

The same book was revised for Cocoa and OS X, so you'll even be learning a bit of stuff that could help you code for bigger markets...

Mike_H

Quote from: "pl212"For those of us interested in 'new' software, I can think of one fun way to bring that about: go to your local library and borrow (or request through inter-library loan) a copy of Garfinkel's Nextstep Programming. I just built the first example in it tonight (Tiny.m) on Nextstep 3.3 Developer and it's a lot of fun!  Who knows what you'll end up creating eventually?

The same book was revised for Cocoa and OS X, so you'll even be learning a bit of stuff that could help you code for bigger markets...


The author also has the book online in PDF format.  It looks like a good reference for writing new apps.

http://www.nextcomputers.org/forums/viewtopic.php?t=58
Mike

iDork

That is a nice book, indeed (I have the PDF and the hardcover), but the code won't compile in OPENSTEP. Learning to program for OPENSTEP would be better (I'd say) since code is much easier to port to/from Rhapsody and Mac OS X.
By the way, the original edition of "Cocoa Programming for Mac OS X" by Aaron Hillegass a very good book and most of the code will compile in OPENSTEP, Rhapsody and even YellowBox. It was written in the Mac OS 10.1 days when ProjectBuilder and InterfaceBuilder were very similar to the pre-OS 10 versions. The original "Programming in Objective-C" is another OS X book that could be useful to beginner OPENSTEP programmers.
NS TurboColor,  SparcStation 5, Ultra 10, Octane SSI, HP 9000 C110, AlphaStation 200, Apple IIgs|IIe|IIc, Amiga 500+|600|1200, Commodore 64|128

RacerX

Sun/Oracle still has a number of references on their site (here) for application development.

Aside from the HTMLEditor tutorial that used to be on the Stepwise site, I've never really attempted any programming... mainly because I never had any ideas for applications that were compelling enough to care to spend any time attempting to put them together.  :oops:

pl212

Speaking of which, does anybody have a mirror or archive of that HTMLEditor tutorial from Stepwise? (Assuming there isn't anything problematic about resurrecting Scott's content from that site...)