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Encyclopedia > Taligent

Taligent was the name of an object-oriented operating system and the company dedicated to producing it. Today, both are gone. In computer science, object-oriented programming, OOP for short, is a computer programming paradigm. ... An operating system (OS) is an essential software program that manages the hardware and software resources of a computer. ...


Pink and Blue

What would eventually become Taligent started in a roundabout way in 1988. After Apple Computer's latest effort to develop a new Macintosh had culminated in the Macintosh II, a new version of the Mac OS had been developed to support it, System 5.0. At this point, the OS developers had a meeting in which they decided what they should be doing in the future, and started writing down their ideas on index cards. Ideas that were simple and could be included in a new version of the existing software were written on blue colored cards, those that were more "far out" were written on pink cards. 1988 (MCMLXXXVIII) was a leap year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Apple Computer, Inc. ... The first Macintosh computer, introduced in 1984, upgraded to a 512K Fat Mac. The Macintosh, or Mac, is a line of personal computers designed, developed, manufactured, and marketed by Apple Computer. ... Macintosh II was the first personal computer model of the Macintosh II series in the Apple Macintosh line. ... Mac OS, which stands for Macintosh Operating System, is a series of graphical user interface-based operating systems developed by Apple Computer for their Macintosh line of computer systems. ...

And so was born Pink, which would slowly develop into a quest for a new operating system that would be the best in the world. The idea was to produce an object-oriented OS on top of a new microkernel, which was likely inspired by what Steve Jobs was doing at NeXT Computer. Unlike NeXT, however, the Apple team would use the C++ programming language, and the system would run existing Mac OS programs as well, much like the eventual architecture of NeXT-based Mac OS X. Graphical overview of a microkernel A microkernel is a minimal form of computer operating system kernel providing a set of primitives, or system calls, to implement basic operating system services such as address space management, thread management, and inter-process communication. ... Steven Paul Jobs (born February 24, 1955) is currently the CEO of Apple Computer and is a leading figure in both the computer and entertainment industries. ... The NeXT logo, designed by Paul Rand. ... For a WikiBook on programming with C++, see Wikibooks: C++ Programming. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...

By this time, however, the team writing the system based on the blue cards (now known as the "Blue Meanies") were well advanced on what would be released in 1991 as System 7. The problem was that System 7 was so large it would barely fit into any existing Macintosh, meaning that if Pink were going to run Mac OS programs by emulating System 7, it would basically have no room left over for itself. The Blue Meanies of Apple Computer was an engineering group primarily responsible for the architecture of System 7 during the early 1990s. ... System 7 (codenamed Big Bang) was a version of Mac OS, the operating system of the Apple Macintosh computer. ...

Meanwhile, corporate immune response within Apple essentially doomed Pink. To those working on Blue, Pink was seen as a project that might steal mindshare from their own work. As the turf war grew, engineers started to abandon Pink to work on Blue, and whole projects were brought into one group or another in a huge flurry of empire-building. Turf war is a term that describes a common problem in larger companies when two divisions fight for access to resources or capital. ... Empire building is a business term that refers to a common problem in larger organizations, in which mid-level managers attempt to gather more control and funding in order to make themselves more powerful within the organization. ...

Magazines throughout the early 1990s showed various mock-ups of what Taligent would be like. One true innovation of the system was the People, Places and Things metaphor that attempted to provide the user with tools to easily move documents around between people and things (like fax machines) as easily as they could print them using current technologies. The system also added a component-based document model that was similar to Apple's OpenDoc. This concept was missing from OpenStep, which modelled a document as merely "a file on the disk." OpenDoc was a multi-platform software componentry framework standard for compound documents, inspired by the Xerox Star system and intended as an alternative to Microsofts object linking and embedding (OLE). ... OpenStep is an open object-oriented API specification for an object-oriented operating system that uses any modern operating system as its core, principally developed by NeXT. It is important to recognize that while OpenStep is an API specification, OPENSTEP (all capitalized) is a specific implementation of this OpenStep developed...

Apple continued to talk about Pink as if it were to be the future Mac OS, but by 1993 or so it was clear they were no longer serious.


As development dragged on, Apple eventually entered the AIM alliance with IBM and Motorola. IBM had extensive experience in object-oriented programming, notably their well-respected VisualAge Smalltalk programming system. They also had experience in microkernel design as a side-effect of their Mach based Workplace OS efforts. AIM was an alliance formed in 1991 between Apple Computer, IBM and Motorola to create a new computing standard based on the PowerPC architecture. ... International Business Machines Corporation (IBM, or colloquially, Big Blue) (NYSE: IBM) (incorporated June 15, 1911, in operation since 1888) is headquartered in Armonk, New York, USA. The company manufactures and sells computer hardware, software, and services. ... Motorola (NYSE: MOT) is an international communications company based in Schaumburg, Illinois, a Chicago suburb. ... VisualAge was the name of a family of computer integrated development environments from IBM, which included support for a few popular (and not so popular) computer Programming_languages. ... Smalltalk is an object-oriented, dynamically typed, reflective, programming language designed at Xerox PARC by Alan Kay, Dan Ingalls, Ted Kaehler, Adele Goldberg, and others during the 1970s, influenced by Sketchpad and Simula. ... Mach is an operating system kernel developed at Carnegie Mellon University to support operating system research, primarily distributed and parallel computation. ... Workplace OS was to be a new computer operating system from IBM, planned as its attempt to move several of its operating system products to a common microkernel to improve portability and reduce maintenance costs. ...

Pink was then spun off from Apple as a joint project known as Taligent. Here the original Apple team was expanded with the addition of a number of IBM engineers, as well as a new CEO from IBM, Joe Guglielmi (apparently to the distaste of many of the Apple people). They then spent much of the next year trying to figure out what their new OS should do, and started a massive project surveying their customers, only to find the customers had no interest in a new OS at all. The Taligent team then decided to change focus. Instead of creating an object-oriented operating system, they would deliver an object-oriented programming system running on any modern operating system.

The result was CommonPoint. CommonPoint consisted of more than a hundred object-oriented frameworks and nearly two thousand classes. It ran on top of AIX, HP-UX, OS/2, Windows NT, and a new Apple OS kernel called NuKernel (which didn't yet exist). This made Taligent essentially equivalent to OpenStep, the target system they had originally planned to one-up. AIX (Advanced Interactive eXecutive) is a proprietary operating system developed by IBM based on UNIX System V. Before the product was ever marketed, the acronym AIX originally stood for Advanced IBM Unix. ... HP-UX (Hewlett Packard UniX) is Hewlett-Packards proprietary implementation of the Unix operating system. ... OS/2 is an operating system created by Microsoft and IBM and later developed by IBM exclusively. ... Windows NT is a family of operating systems produced by Microsoft, the first version of which was released in July 1993. ... NuKernel was a microkernel developed at Apple Computer during the early 1990s. ...

A combination of C++ and IBM and Apple's names on the project suggested that it might prove to be more successful than OpenStep. Early in 1994, Hewlett-Packard became a Taligent partner as well, which was odd considering that HP decided in the same year to produce OpenStep on their platforms. Several existing OpenStep customers stated they would move to Taligent as soon as it was ready. The first versions of CommonPoint shipped for AIX and OS/2 in mid-1995, but were met with a lukewarm response in terms of sales. The Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE: HPQ), commonly known as HP, is a very large, global company headquartered in Palo Alto, California, United States. ...

By 1995, Apple still didn't have an OS capable of running Taligent, and while work continued on the fabled Copland (which was designed to run Taligent), it was fairly clear to all involved that Apple had lost all interest in Taligent. Financial concerns at HP also caused their interest to wane. In early 1995 Guglielmi left Taligent for Motorola, and founding board member Dick Guarino became the new CEO. Guarino, though also from IBM, started Taligent on a new course as an object technology supplier in an effort to remain an independent company. Copland was a project at Apple Computer to create an updated version of the Macintosh operating system. ...

Death of the project

In the fall of 1995 Guarino died of a heart attack one Sunday afternoon while jogging, and that loss spelled the end of Taligent as a joint venture. There was a reduction in force at the end of 1995 when it was decided that Taligent would become a wholly-owned subsidiary of IBM, focusing on developing technology and leaving the marketing to IBM.

IBM used parts of Taligent to create the Open Class class libraries for VisualAge for C++. IBM spawned an open source project called International Components for Unicode from part of this effort. Taligent also created a set of Java- and JavaBeans-based development tools called WebRunner, a groupware product based on Lotus Notes called Places for Project Teams, and licensed various technologies to Sun which are today part of Java, as well as to Oracle Corporation and Netscape. After two years as a wholly-owned subsidiary, Taligent was dissolved in January 1998 and the engineering teams became IBM employees. International Components For Unicode (ICU) is an open source project of mature C/C++ and Java libraries for Unicode support, software internationalization and software globalization. ... The Enterprise Java Beans specification is one of the several Java APIs in the Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition. ... IBM Lotus Notes 7 customized Welcome Page. ... Sun Microsystems, Inc. ... Java is an object-oriented programming language developed by James Gosling and colleagues at Sun Microsystems in the early 1990s. ... Oracle Corporation (NASDAQ: ORCL), one of the major companies developing database management systems, tools for database development, enterprise resource planning software, customer relationship management software (CRM) and supply chain planning (SCM) software. ... Netscape Communications Corporation was the publisher of the Netscape Navigator web browser as well as many other internet and intranet client and server software products. ...

External links

  Results from FactBites:
Taligent - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1126 words)
Taligent was the name of an object-oriented operating system and the company dedicated to producing it.
Early in 1994, Hewlett-Packard became a Taligent partner as well, which was odd considering that HP decided in the same year to produce OpenStep on their platforms.
By 1995, Apple still didn't have an OS capable of running Taligent, and while work continued on the fabled Copland (which was designed to run Taligent), it was fairly clear to all involved that Apple had lost all interest in Taligent.
The Taligent Effect (584 words)
The Taligent effect is what happens when a group of people put adherence to a software trend first and lose sight of the value of shipping software that people will actually use.
Taligent was started as a joint Apple/IBM venture to build a brand new operating system from the ground-up using object-oriented technology.
Taligent software became a layer on top of existing operating systems such as AIX, Windows NT, etc. This set of common application frameworks was called CommonPoint.
  More results at FactBites »



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