If you typed the name of a command, such as ls or sort or cc, and then typed an ellipsis (…) it invoked Commando which would put up a dialog box for constructing the command.
The dialog box would have check boxes or radio buttons for the various available flags, text boxes for arguments, buttons to invoke file choosers for stdin, stdout, and stderr, and probably more that I'm forgetting. These things would be organized into sensible groups.
For complex commands like cc, there would be buttons that invoked subdialogs such as a dialog for code generation settings, a dialog for warning/error settings, and so on.
The Commando dialog would show you the command being constructed, and if you accepted it that would be entered into your terminal.
 A/UX had three ways it could run. (1) Console only, which used your Mac display as one big terminal, (2) GUI using X, which used the Mac display as as an X server, and (3) System 7, which ran a modified Mac System 7 on top of Unix, with System 7 having control of the GUI, and had a Mac terminal program that could run Unix processes.
Part of how it works – on Unix, command arguments are just a list of strings, and any option parsing (etc.) has to be done by the code of each command. By contrast, on IBM i, there is a declarative language used to define the syntax of the command (allowed options/arguments, what values are allowed for each, etc.) The declarative command definition is compiled into binary form and installed into the system. When you run a command, the operating system uses the installed command definition to parse and validate the parameters and marshal them into a memory block. If the parameters are invalid, then the OS produces the error and the command executable never even starts. If the parameters are valid, the memory block gets passed to the command's code. These same declarative command declarations are what gets used to generate the fill-in form UI.
Just to set the record straight though, while the options in UNIX programs are very different from program to program, good UNIX programmers know to use getopt(3C) libc function and not invent their own custom parser. All programs which use getopt(3C) have a uniform, consistent option parser and command line behavior. https://illumos.org/man/3c/getopt
> good UNIX programmers know to use getopt(3C) libc function
Well, when writing in C. People don't really use this from other languages.
We're also primarily a UNIX shop at work, so that might be part of it.
It just invokes your $EDITOR on the command you are typing/editing.
But the best environment ever is Acme under 9front/plan9, as a "shell/editor/mail client/music player/kitchen sink" powns both vi, ed and Emacs. It has structural regular expresions, full mouse support (and far better than gvim), an embedded terminal and a plumber, which is like xdg-open on steroids, crack and LSD at once.
Using plan9port is not the same, 9front/plan9 has a lot of additions on top of that.
Our internal code name for the project was "Pigs in Space", Apple's was "Eagle", when theirs leaked to the press we were in the clear
I am looking for the Apple A/UX Device Driver Kit (APDA M8037/B), which should include a book titled “Building A/UX Device Drivers”. I am specifically interested in driver source code.
Here is an incomplete list of A/UX software and documentation of which I am aware. Helping preserve any of the missing items would be highly appreciated.
My contact information is in my profile.
I've always thought it would be amazing if somebody developed an ethernet interface for the 100-series powerbooks. It would certainly make it easier to transfer files to and from my trusty Powerbook 180.
I'm not sure if it would be possible to redesign the card to fit in a Powerbook 100-series though. The Powerbook 180 appears to have a modem expansion slot but that doesn't give access to the processor bus AFAICS.
The 3Com Ethernet driver looks very similar to the one from the 4.2 BSD distribution.
So I'll need to see if I can emulate how drivers are linked in and probed.
(We did both V7 and SIII ports to the Lisa)
I can probably help with drivers if you get stuck. (bearing in mind that it was 30 odd years ago)
I got some old Mac software (some games, and an old release of Netscape), and some GNU ports (gcc 2.8 ish I believe?). It was interesting what could have been - there is a simplicity in System 7 UI that OS X doesn't have. But after a while it became kind of boring, another dated Unix machine that can't run a lot of recent things.
The most dated thing I remember from the time was it didn't support DHCP.
Microsoft definitely learned some lessons from classic Mac in that regard but they still weren't able to promise 100% compatibility with the switch to 32-bit without compromises. Windows NT could run 16-bit apps in a rock-solid way but not all apps would run: some APIs were just incompatible. Windows 95 could run just about anything but had infamous reliability problems.
IMHO the takeaways are:
1) Platform transitions can be difficult, especially if you haven't done one before and don't know what will bite you about your current platform
2) Compatibility is key. Where you can't maintain binary compatibility offer source compatibility. If you can't offer 100% source compatibility, then offer as much compatibility as you can. Every little bit helps.
"Macintosh II emulator that runs A/UX (and A/UX only)."
Probably worth noting that this post is from 2018.
I know people have made attempts as Mac-like interfaces, but it would be a huge task to make one with as much attention to detail and consistency as the original. And then you might be infringing anyway.
*Like, I'm not colorblind, but changing the traditional hieroglyphic window controls to bubbles distinguishable only by color signified an attitude/culture change that irritated me.
It's interesting to compare even MacOS 1.0 with contemporary imitators. Windows 1.0 looks horrific, and GEOS has an uncanny resemblance, but everything is clunkier and uglier in subtle ways. Susan Kare is a genius.
If I could use Linux with a pixel-perfect System 7-like window manager I'd be delighted. It would probably be necessary to rewrite a suite of everyday applications to really take advantage of the look-and-feel and have internal consistency, but that could be its own fun project.
I find this theme quite pleasing to use whenever I'm using a Linux desktop. However, it's not yet pixel-perfect, and this also doesn't address the fact that GTK and GNOME applications are written under a completely different set of UI guidelines than classic Mac apps were, and so it's still largely a Mac OS 8-like veneer over the Linux desktop.
Even so, this theme looks like an excellent foundation for a suite of GTK applications that employ the mid-1990s Apple Human Interface Guidelines. What would be tantalizing would be forks of AbiWord and GIMP that look and feel like Microsoft Word 5.1 and classic versions of Photoshop, respectively.
There were three iterations (that I recall) of the interface on color Macs - the first one had window controls that were black and white, the second had a subtle 3d effect, and the third (which I think you mean by "Platinum") had more depth and was mostly gray.
I personally preferred the second. Attempts at imitating grayish metal on screen don't appeal to me, and I thought OS X got even worse when they switched to the brushed metal look.
But I really liked the design theme for the physical cases that was also called "Platinum" even though I think it's generally considered an uninspired period for Apple. And I have nothing against the aluminium or titanium Mac cases either.
The one change I would make to a "neo-Mac" window manager would be to have handles on all sides of a window for resizing. Although I like the Mac approach of having scrollbars and a lower right resize control that are substantial and obvious, I also like the ability to resize from all sides like most other interfaces have. I know there were Mac programs for the classic OS that did implement something like that, but it was never universal.
And finder clone, with GTK1.
Modern GTK2 fork:
On the software crashes, please, use the forked ones from github, they are fixed and patched to work on modern systems.
Netbsd says it supports the VAXstation 2000, which debuted in 1987.
As info for others,
I didn't find out until this year that I could have replaced the 1MB modules with 4MB ones, and have 32MB.
Is there a way to perform a completely automated, unattended installation of A/UX over the network, like Solaris' JumpStart(TM), redhat's Kickstart, SuSE's AutoYaST, or SGI's roboinst?
One of the major focuses of pre-OS X Apple was empowering the user not only with a well designed UI with a set of guidelines that third-party software consistently abided by, but also further empowering that user with programmability, with projects such as AppleScript and HyperCard. I feel that Apple has lost this particular focus, and while I personally find macOS more pleasant than Windows 10, I wish Apple had continued on its 1980s and 1990s quest of remaining “the computer for the rest of us.”
I think there’s demand for a “back-to-basics” desktop operating system that has a classic Mac OS-inspired interface and a suite of applications that complied with its guidelines.
I believe A/UX had both of these things, although it ran all the System 7 applications inside a single address space. I suspect that without this measure, many native Mac apps would not have worked.
This seems to have some details:
The issue at the time is the typical Unix/X11 graphical application was not really impressive compared to what you could get with native System 7. (Which is still mostly true with modern MacOS vs Linux.) So AU/X gave you some commandline stuff... Graphical apps you wanted Mac.
Also the story is that A/UX mostly existed because of government purchasing requirements that a computer had to be POSIX-capable. Often it was never removed from the shrinkwrap.