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Clascal Reference Manual for the Lisa (1983) [pdf] (mirrorservice.org)
49 points by tosh 6 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 5 comments

Note: it's clas-cal, not classical, as my brain auto-corrected it to. Clascal is a set of object-oriented ("clas") extensions to Pascal.

A couple of the things that were interesting about Clascal and its successor Object Pascal:

1. It really didn’t add much to the version of Pascal that Apple was already using as a systems programming language. That made it easy to teach and learn and easy to add to their toolchain.

2. It used relocatable, handle-based objects rather than pointer-based objects. This was thought to be necessary for the very memory constrained systems of the day, but it had serious performance and stability impact. (You essentially can’t persist a dereference across a sequence point, since it might cause the handle to move.)

1. this is banal dismissal.. Object-oriented programming was current research at the time.. and why is "easier to teach" not worth anything at a time when there were precious-few programmers available..

2. your Serious Performance and Stability problems environment was the home of Microsoft Word 1.0 and Aldus PageMaker, as I recall.. not persisting a handle means that you cant dereference that and then hold only the reference.. in practice, people coming from other code bases wanted to write a thin cover on their own ptr-based mem management.. and that did not work ... native programmers had far less trouble.. and the calls that may move memory were documented, if you looked far enough..

The way the document looks made me nostalgic. When we started to be able to edit documents like that it looked like science fiction.

I programmed the Lisa in college. It blew my mind. I've tried to stay away from UI work ever since :-)

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