[TUHS] X and NeWS history (long)

Jon Steinhart jon at fourwinds.com
Thu Sep 14 02:01:16 AEST 2017


Richard Tobin writes:
> > The rest of your story is great, just one small correction.  SunView started
> > as something Sun specific but it pretty quickly became a library on top of
> > X11.  I'm not sure if it ever worked on X10, I think it did but I'm not sure.
> 
> As I recall it, SunTools (the original Sun window system) was renamed
> SunView, and the API was ported to X11 under the name XView.
> 
> > Source: I've hacked up GUI interfaces for the SCM I did at Sun in Sunview.
> > This would have been around 1990, is that still X10 or X11?
> 
> X11 came out in 1987.  I The first version I remember using is X11R3,
> which came out in 1988.
> 
> See https://www.x.org/wiki/X11R1 (and .../X11R2 etc)

Yes, it was originally SunTools and was renamed SunView.  But, XView was a
bit different although my memory of it all might be fading.

XView was a library that mapped SunView calls into X.  But, I have a faint
memory that there was more to it than that.  I think that there was a
conversion program that one had to run on the source code as part of the
conversion, and that that processor put flagging comments in for things
that couldn't automatically be converted.

My only clear memory of it is that it didn't work well right off the bat
because of the transition from 68K machines to Sparc.  Warren ??? hired
me on an emergency contract to fix it.  Turned out to be piles of pointer
alignment errors.  In what was typical for Sun, I fixed it promptly but
it took months to get paid.

The reason that that part sticks in my mind is that I got an IRS audit at
the time because it was right when they started looking at people claiming
to be contractors when they weren't.  I remember the IRS guy asking me for
the dates of work and payments.  I remember telling him when I worked for
Sun and having him respond with something like "oh yeah, for xxx dollars"
and realizing that he had all of the info that I did so I'd better be
accurate.  And I remember telling him "yeah, I worked on those dates and
billed for that amount but still haven't been paid."


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