Mac System 7 Software

Voice Card  -  Volume 13  -  Paul Card Number 5  -  Tue, Mar 20, 1990 12:19 AM

From: nilesinc@well.sf.ca.us (Avi Rappoport)
Subject: Re: BMUG preview System 7.0?
Date: 7 Mar 90 19:13:50 GMT
Organization: Niles & Associates, Inc.
Lines: 747

OK, everyone wants to see this, so here it is. STOP MAILING ME!

Disclaimer: these notes were taken by Raines Cohen (on a Portable, of course) and edited by me. Spell-checking by Thunder, which did a great job, and should not be blamed for any remaining errors.


BMUG Mac'90 Expo keynote talk: Macintosh System 7

7:30 PM, Wednesday, 31 January 1990
Wheeler Auditorium, the University of California at Berkeley

Minutes by Raines Cohen, co-Founder, BMUG. Not responsible for any errors or inaccuracies. Opinions contained herein are not necessarily his, BMUG's, or anybody else's. Edited by Avi Rappoport, but I'm sure I didn't get it all!


We are now pleased to introduce Chris Espinosa, System Software Evangelist for Apple computer.

[Steve Goldberg suggests sacrificing an IBM to get the projector working.]

I don't claim to be the next best thing to a demo. I've been around for a while. I'm the marketing guy - Normally, I would have 250 PowerPoint slides to bore you for 2 hours.

It is rare that I get I get an opportunity to talk to so many people about an unannounced product.

We called this stuff "big bang" - a lot of stuff in System 7 that we knew was going to make a big difference in the Macintosh community. At our WorldWide Developers Conference last May, we started to get the info out in advance so developers could make their stuff compatible with it.

We didn't know back then that OS/2 would continue to have all the problems it's had - too big, incompatible, etc.

We're doing two things with developers:

  1. Testing with developers.
  2. Make sure they're developing for the new features.
So that when it ships, on day 1, there are applications that can take advantage of it. If the application developers can beat us to market with the functionality, they should go for it.
  1. System 7 is Macintosh made better. We are not completely rewriting the OS from the ground up. Fixing some things, extending some things, adding some new things. Not throwing out the baby with the bathwater, not throwing out much bathwater.
  2. System 7 is a new platform. It will allow you to do things with your Mac that you couldn't do before.
  3. System 7 is going to be within your reach. Asks how many people have 2 megs or more in their machines. 90% [hands raised]
If Excel will run, anything will run, right. On the latest Alpha it runs once, then you have to re-install it.

We want to get it out very widely and aggressively.

Last May we talked about some core technologies to our developers - told lots of people. 7 core technologies. now 7 plus or minus 2. 3 of the core technologies and a new one:

  1. Finder 7.0 - rewritten in object programming language C++. Cleaning up a lot of the crap that's gotten into the Macintosh over the years. November 1983 - we created "Font/DA Mover" [hiss] so people could pare down the fonts and DA's in their system file to fit it on a 400K floppy. Not the most intuitive program on the Mac - so it is no longer necessary. How do you add them in? Drag them. We want you to be able to do more without having to learn more.

    [Note from Raines: Font/DA Mover didn't come out until May 1984, Don Brown of CE Software wrote the first DA-moving utility.]

    Extra functionality but not lots more features.

    You can double-click applications, documents, folders, hard disks. In the new Finder, a lot more. A CDEV - opens straight into the Control Panel. Much faster, more direct - without having to enumerate. A demo of the Finder - you're going to see a lot of those new features.

    The Finder actually has a "Find" function. Finally, a Finder that Finds. [laughter]

  2. Macintosh FileShare - announced last December. When we saw how it was proceeding, we knew it had to go together. Both sides of AppleShare built in. Client side just the same as it's always been - Chooser, Fileserver, just like a hard disk. No longer a separate installer. Nicer - server side also built in. Doesn't take up a lot of extra memory - 10 bytes of RAM in the System heap if it's not in use. Set startup or double-click to open up your machine - it runs a background process that's a fileserver. Publish any folder as if it were a fileserver - even share with System 6 machines, IBM PCs running AppleShare PC.

    Another process running... Share Folder on the file menu. Popup has "who to share it with" - users and groups. What privileges: read-only, write-only (you'd be surprised at how useful that is), private, drop box, whatever. Appears just like a fileserver on the whole network. People can get the files off of your fileserver. You can choose performance for the network or for yourself - real clean Macintosh techniques.

    Some neat synergies - Aliases. Similar to UNIX links. A document can be in two places - not two copies. Name is in italics. "I'm not the real thing, I'm just an alias", shows in the "Get Info" box. You can make an alias of a lot of things - a document, a fileserver - an alias copy of that on your local hard disk - double-click it and it logs on, goes down hierarchy, opens it up in one double-click.

    Q: Gonna help applications that are concerned about where files are?

    A: [to system software team] I'm giving away all your secrets, guys. [laughter] Apple menu folder - put applications in this special folder. "where is..."? You can alias application from where its preferences, dictionary, etc. are. Put the alias wherever you want.

    Q: Will it work backwards - what if someone changes the original?

    A:The person holding the alias has a choice - a whole hierarchy of things the Alias manager remembers. It can do a pretty good job before it breaks down.

    Q: Will original know where aliases are?

    A: You open the original when you click the alias. Also the Administration side of Macintosh fileshare - double- click users and groups see faces of people and groups. "AppleShare Admin" using object-oriented techniques - looks just like the Finder but a different application.

  3. Apple Outline fonts. Anybody heard about outline fonts? [laughter] They're best demoed.
  4. Virtual Memory - use the PMMU in the 68030 or optional on Mac II to extend memory onto disk so that programs you're running think they have more than installed. 4K pages are swapped from RAM to the disk drive. I'm oversimplifying, so someone will probably tell me I'm wrong. It makes virtual memory transparent enough so that the app doesn't know that things are getting swapped.

    Q: Virtual Memory and IPC. 40% of applications envisioned could take advantage later?

    A: Nothing to do with each other that interferes.

With all these 4 pieces, these work with your existing applications. No rewriting necessary, and that's our goal.

What you have when you install:

  • New Finder
  • AppleShare
  • Outline Fonts: increase the quality of type in documents on screen, "everybody's favorite devices:" The LaserWriter II SC, ImageWriter LQ, FAXmodem get increased type quality, faster performance, a larger selection of fonts.
IAC (Inter-Application Communications) architecture, Database Access Manager.

IAC - data or commands sent to each other. Appications need to be rewritten to take advantage. PPC sits way down in the OS lets applications post messages to be delivered to applications - if running or not running. Local or not running. Immediate or store-and-forward. Locally or remotely.

The pipeline isn't worthwhile unless the applications have something to say to each other. Typically - 2 applications work together. And same application talks to many copies of itself. This is the way mail applications are built. Most PPC architectures have no way for A to talk to B.

Copy and paste - with Macintosh, we've solved a lot of that problem. TEXT and PICT, and a whole lot of other things these days.

Editions Manager - on top of PPC. Info now exchanged through clipboard can now do something called "live copy-and-paste." Now can select something, publish a piece of text or picture - goes into a file on disk somewhere. Other applications, on network, wherever can subscribe to it - change original - copy is updated automatically. immediate or store-and-forward next time you open it up. Locally and across machines. We already do this well - copy and paste. relatively easy to implement in current applications. Clear Access from Claris already incorporates something like it.

We want to have a lot of applications doing live copy-paste.

The next interesting thing about IAC is to send commands, not data. The application will hopefully obey commands, send results back. It should have the consistency of Macintosh - open, close, save, save as, copy, cut, paste, print. file and edit menu common. AppleEvents - a language for this stuff. developers: act as though the user had chosen this stuff. Wingz has own scripting language, as do FoxBase & HyperCard. What we hope this will do is let applications drive other applications and collaborate.

There's a missing gap in the middle - between totally customized and totally generic commands. so we're getting the developers together to create and define events for different categories of applications. How many have been following MS Word? How many features do they add per version? We hope that application developers can add functionality without adding code by sending messages. You should be able to say "go out, find a spreadsheet, crunch these numbers, give the numbers back."

Applications cooperate more, freely exchange this language on all 3 levels - basic, category-specific, really-customized - we hope. provides the capability for a great scripting language on top of that. like HyperCard system wide - driving your applications. That's probably not going to happen on day one. An opportunity for people to get in and program their word processors, their databases.

How many people need to get at mainframe data? [A few raise their hands] Good. We bought network innovations, with CL/1 language. They write back-ends - servers - run on DB2 machines, Vaxes. We're building the front-end into system 7 and macintosh to provide consistent interface to all that. Database access manager built into the toolbox - spreadsheet has a query function - run this query on that database - doesn't care what database it's talk to - your one Excel spreadsheet will be able to deal with data from a variety of information sources.

There's a mini-application called Clear Access that uses CL/1 now. It uses live copy/paste, updates at intervals. Data from the outside world in through 1 mac, interpreted, spreading it through mac applications on the macintosh network. To get the data from where it is to where you can use it on your network.

Applications controlling each other, sharing data, cooperating, making use of outside data.

  1. what you get when you upgrade
  2. after
  3. how do I get it?
System 7 - we are really designing to be useful to everybody. I'm trying to fix the upgrade price so people can get up to Mac Plusses and 2 megs.

Right now the ETA is summer 1990. You know software. It's in Alpha, tight seeding. You know it's true, you've seen a copy right? We'll have a large beta. Want to run on a many Macs as possible.

$49.95 default. 8 floppies for whole package. Alright, so you don't want to schlep in 8 floppy discs. On CD-ROM.

We're going to make it possible for you to install system 7 from a network... go get a long cappucino, and you come back, and it has upgraded your system 6 machine to system 7, with current fonts, DAs, one-button install.

On networks as well. Fairly big. Small footprint in memory.

So, now you get to see it. Thanks very much.

---John Meier and Nick Klesk.

John - I work on the Finder. My name used to be in the About box - it is gone now.

[this was the demo]

About this Macintosh. One of the first things you'll notice - my name's not on it. Your name is --, and This Macintosh's Name is. Because fileshare is integrated.

Copyright Apple 1983-90.

Finder Script folder.

Looks like the Finder you're already running - not a whole lot different. There are some differences though in what you can open up.

I can open up a folder - same as always.

This is the puzzle DA [double-clicks it and it shows up]. We didn't have to change the code or anything.

Q: What's the new menu - help...?

"what is help" is the only kind of help it has so far. Point at things and it tells me, via a cartoon-like speech bubble. Point to a title bar - displays window's name. zoom box, explanation, etc.


Q: [on performance]

This is a 2.5-meg SE. System 7 is still slower than we want it to be on an SE, a lot of what we plan to do is to optimize for these machines.

Help doesn't change your Macintosh - doesn't lock you in to "help mode" or whatever. [system software team chants "modeless!"]

It displays the extra information whenever I pause.

Q: What's the triangle on the title bars?

A: It's a hierarchical menu symbol - same as in standard file [the Open... and Save as... dialog boxes], lets you scroll up to select a higher-level folder. We're gonna make it look a little better. [shows it]. [applause]

You can make an alias to the system file - open it up. [Double-clicks system FILE, and it opens. Cursor becomes a watch for about 10 seconds.]

Fonts and sounds in system file.

A bunch of things here - outline fonts and folders for old bitmap fonts. Open up a font - see a sample, go direct to keycaps via a button. Looks like a get info box. It really works just like any other icon in the finder. If you want to copy/delete, just drag to the trash.

I'll open up some sounds... that's kinda fun. [opens sounds folder inside system file, holds microphone up to mac]. We just made it work like it seemed like it should be.

[Opens the control panels folder, opens general control panel (CDEV) - no bar at left]. Works just like normal. didn't actually have to modify control panels, just added something around them.

So that shows a you a little bit about more of the things you can open up.

Making things easier to find.

Finder isn't good at finding things... before...

Typeselect in standard file. Type the letter Q, goes to appropriate folder. This is true of any window in the finder: font window, control panels, DAs etc. arrow keys work like you'd expect hem to. Helps you find things if you can't see it.


[autoscrolls to get more.]


It's just easier to move around with it.

The real find part that we added, I'll have Dave Pelman come up and explain because he did a lot of the work on it.

Command-F: Find: type "System" - goes and searches entire disk. - scrolls and selects. Find Next. Will go through all volumes, showing you all things that match. Available as a standard HFS call so any application can make a call. [applause] As an added bonus, because it is in the file system, with a Mac II and 80 MB disk that's full, a little over 3 seconds to search the entire disk.

Another performance feature - also been added to AFP - a server does a find on itself, sends results across network. a machine running fileshare - 2 minutes using Find File DA: using Finder's Find - 4 seconds. [applause] It happens to allow you search on any criteria on file... name, type, all resource files > 10 bytes created before 1962.

[ back to John ]

Outlining -

View: by Outline. - don't treat icons as separate windows - make part of same window. Opens up chapter 1 - shows sub-items [big applause] - multi-level. [yeah! cute! more applause]. This is a window like anything else. move from one folder to another. Select I and select all...

Edit menu.

Customize views.

Select all files whose: name contains "ad" Highlights just parts - even in large outline. One of the uses for color - not just to change the color of the icon but to add a coding.

You can change the colors, but also the labels. Can change orange to BMUG, assign a label. select a file, pick off color menu, add a label.

Networking: FileShare.

Users & Groups: our first extension.

got an error.. application couldn't be found... did a find.

At first, only a guest icon. File menu bottom: new user: new group, icons of person, stacked people. Open the user, assign to groups. password, "IAC enabled". Same functionality as AppleShare administrator, built in to the rest of the Finder.

One other network related thing: desktop printers: Create a printer from the chooser -

Drag a printer into desktop printer. In old Finder, would have opened application - set printer to whatever chosen, told to print. Gives a way to easily to drop documents.

Q: Any solution for bridging. EtherTalk and AppleTalk?

A: Set your bridges up so the user doesn't know.

Can have aliases to everything - don't have to know more than once or somebody give me the aliases.

A folder shows up: aliases alias - in italics. Open up that folder. Inside have an alias to an application - can alias trash can. An alias to a folder is nice - same as dropping into original.

Drag icon into alias - shows up in folder.

end of demo

[crash at shutdown]

David Feldman
Dave Harisson
Chris DeRossi - System Software quality

Q: I've come to love a number of INITs and CDEVs - double scroll bars, boomerang, come back to where you're at in SFgetfile?

A: Standard file has a little bit of a new look - to correspond to changes made in Finder. We don't plan to include all functionality, leave to third-party developers.

A: You can travel through aliases in standard file - put aliases to directories at desktop level. Warp over to that location.

Q: Can you read full names in standard file?

A: We use compressed text if the name is too long.

Q: Is the find file going to force you to page through all occurrences one by one or display all in 1 window like FF does now.

A: There will be some way of getting a list. Up in the air - extension of select feature or a DA.

Q: Open a doc with another application by dragging a doc into an application? Can you open applications with utilities like ResEdit?

A: At the moment you can drag any icon onto an application. If same creator, will just do it. If not, will warn you, give you option.

Q: Suggestion - application that can open other application?

A: New applications can publish lists of what you can drop on it.

Q: Cosmetic - when somebody's using Public folder, the cursor goes everywhere. A B D extensions? And what's Q2?

A: Personal AppleShare runs very smoothly in the background. Your cursor never jerks.

A: Internal version numbering scheme that should neve see the outside world. Several builds, to become an official version. q = quicklook, the version that the engineers see.

Q: Find File will allow you to do automatic aliasing? Like move to desktop.

A: 2 issues here. HFS primitive can be used by anyone to do anything they want. Finder - very simple clear easy-to-use find command. I'm sure someone will write a utility to do it. Chris: "We are leaving that as an opportunity to 3rd party."

Q: TOPS? More system crashes than 6.0?

A: We don't expect we'll break TOPS or that it will cease to run. It doesn't negate functionality you already have. It has advantages - runs on more system than AFP does.

A: We have 2 advantages with System 7 that we rarely have. We are a client of our own System Software - Finder routing out bugs long pre-alpha. Because we've decided to let this out to the world early, we started seeding in December, getting feedback on what to do, what to do differently.

Q: What features of concurrency and multitasking supported?

A: The same as previous systems.

A: MultiFinder built in to System 7. ALWAYS ON. [some applause, some hisses]

Q: Why are folder sizes not shown in Finder window?

A: They can be. I didn't go into all the things there. "Customize views" if you don't like by name or by icon because we didn't show folder sizes or comment...

Q: Change fonts in display?

A: Yes.

Q: VM and IAC - no relationship between the two. Medical setting - telemetering on patients in a hospital. foreground a nurse's station. instructions for IAC - only let us know if telemetering reaches these new parameters, a crisis develops. If HD craps out, no notice.

A: VM - you can turn it off/on. If you're worried about continual function. If you're worried about real-time conditions throughout the system, you'll most likely leave it off.

A: If HD with backing store fails, machine crashes.

Q: Seed developers widely - even small partners?

A: We intend to make beta versions available to all Apple Partners and Associates [applause] something we've never done before - important.

Q: Zoombox?

A: In case more applications than fit. Especially with VM on, you might be running 10, 20 applications.

Q: Trashcan in lower right or stay where you put it?

A: Alias the trashcan.

A: It will stay wherever you put it.

A: Will also stay full across application launches, until you tell it to empty, across restart - more levels of undo.

Q: Network features? I already have problems with programs that deal with copy protection by informing serial numbers, etc. It almost seems to me that minimum setup here for running this is EtherNet.

A: [bug eyes]

A: More traffic is more traffic. AFP servers the same - now more of them.

Q: Such enthusiasm - before some control.

A: Poor performance tends to dampen enthusiasm. We'll see. I'm running LocalTalk - running System 7 on our network - running fine.

Q: Selected user seed?

A: Yes. Not just software developers.

A: No, not going to bring the first version up here and give it to your software librarian.

Q: Will there be a CL/1 server for DBF files?

A: Our biggest priority now is DB2 because like half the planet's data is stored in DB2 files.

Q: Communications Toolbox?

A: We're looking at it - haven't done any concrete things yet.

Q: Subscribe/publish - MultiFinder functionality before? Eliminate it?

A: We're in the process of doing that. You'll notice under the Apple menu: no more about Multifinder or mention of it. The functionality is still there.

A: Not substitutes, an enhancement.

more demo by Steve Goldberg

Q: Who's SlimFast, Spielberg?

A: An old tradition from Steve Capps - to tell right away. Some movie came out. All started wtih "S".

Reset some demos - from color.

apple outline fonts - mathematically described - scaled to any size.

Q: How do we know you're not running ATM?

A: Some people have asked us if we have special software in System 7 to seek out and destroy ATM. No. Also much faster.

Zooming in using MacDraw.

performance is actually quite good - continuing to render it, even on an SE.

Chris: Pride of the 68000 MicroProcessor.

MacWrite: makes a point.

a graphic - BMUG Mac 90.

stretching still looks good, prints good.

doing a non-proportional stretch.

Q: How many fonts will you ship?

A: Apple to ship core set. Lots of other companies to ship fonts. Should be 100s, then thousands.

Today - you have to think - what point sizes do I have? Now, I don't really have to care anymore - make it fit exactly what I want. Over the long term - the benefit is exact sizing - concentrate

Chris: We're seeding little guys like Casady & Greene - the little guys as well as the big guys - the formats. Jim Gabel the product manager is personally converting San Francisco.

We're not looking at being in the type business - selling you the computers, not the fonts. High quality and quantity fonts. We licensed this to Microsoft for inclusion in OS/2. Larger installed base, type houses will be able to print great on both.

Q: I spend an awful lot of my time housekeeping my machine - diagnosing INITs, spend more time computing what can I do - are you doing anything?

A: How many people have zapped their parameter RAM within the last week? [10 raise hands] Oooh - not necessary a lot of the time. Because you wanted to or needed to? I wanted these guys to see it.

A: Doing nothing directly about INIT clashing - some organization inside the system folder - Startup folder, Extension folder, Temporary folder, preferences folder - organize it better.

Q: Anything in system architecture to make mac less vulnerable to viruses?

A: A lot like copy-protection - it simply makes it a juicier target to go after. If we built one, there would be just one to circumvent. It's an on-going thing, has gotta be responsive.

A: Nothing that we're adding in System 7 is going to be a viral vector. Do require standard AFP validation to log onto the server - nothing that we provide will be a mechanism to download code. The first time I described AppleEvents a friend said "great - can I send select all and drag to trash on a friend's machine?

Q: Apple fonts work well at small point sizes?

A: One of the reasons - we looked around at a number of different formats - none optimized for a personal computer. Why it uses quadratics - faster than cubics. Part of the font is a set of hinting instructions. The hints allow the outline font to be tailored to look really good at small point sizes. A char looks really good at low resolutions. No bitmaps at all.

A: Adobe's Type 1 format was designed quite a while ago - 82-83 when 300 dpi was considered low resolution. 16 Mhz 68000 considered low speed. 8 pages per minute considered rapid. They can't change it - less optimal. Pretty type at big sizes is just part of the problem. And works on 68000's.

Q: Recent ad in Publish magazine for HP Laserwriter - kit would increase resolution from 300 dpi to 1000 dpi. without changing engine.

A: LaserMax - 6 megs of RAM. all processing done in card. Non-shareable device. absolutely incredible - clean and crisp. 3x faster than NTX. $8000. does PostScript. QuickScript.

Q: Desktop file? color icons?

A: I forgot to show off fancy icons. Application can export cicns, 4 or 8 bit, 32x32 or 16x16. Can also for any specific document any icon that you as a user choose. Will show later.

A:Desktop file is no more [massive applause], porting over Desktop Manager functionality - fast, etc.

Q: Plans to let arrowkey move cursor around?

A: Easy Access - added with System 5. Lets you do that. Have tested with System 7. SoftPC first thing tested with System 7 - we have a better compatibility box than OS/2.

Q: Possible to control how icons are distributed on desktop?

A: Clean-up algorithms. LAYO resource - same ability part of new finder. slightly different format twiddlable with ResEdit or changeable with Custom View mechanism. Not much more extensive than existing mechanism.

Q: What about high-res output devices, rotating text. What can I do with an outline font?

A: PostScript output devices - works with the outline font. QuickDraw devices - will do what you want.

A: applications that rotate bitmapped text will be able to rotate outline fonts. No built-in ability. Manual will still work. As bitmaps, not outlines. "they look good"

Q: Programmers documentation?

A: A lot [gestures]

A: And that's the CD-ROM version, you should see the paper.

A: Preliminary at last year's developer's conference

Q: Will new system support CDEV to change CPU clock speed?

A: We're software guys. That's hardware stuff.

A: Short out pins 1 and 2 with the screwdriver really frequently.

Q: Hiding windows of applications when switching?

A: They won't automatically hide, under user control can hide application coming from, all other applications. "Hiding" rather than "Set Aside" for obscure user interface reasons. You can option-select something on the Apple menu to hide the application you're coming from. Hide 's windows - option -> Hide all others. We're working on this a little bit. In user testing, the most common use for hiding is to go back to the desktop for a moment.

5 more questions

I see no hands with $10 bills in them yet.

Q: Is help do anything on system bomb ID = 02?

A: No, help won't do that. We're changing the dialogs. It says "address error", which is at least a step in the right direction.

Q: Text views - click on name have it view by name like DiskTools and DiskTop?

A: No.

Q: Possible to use just part (NuFinder) in System 6?

A: Integral whole piece of System 7 - $63 for a meg is all we ask.

Q: Does that mean Apple RAM is going to come down in price?

A: System error ID 25 now says "buy more RAM."

We're just trying to do some great product on all Macs