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MacPaint, QuickDraw code goes to Computer History Museum

updated 01:35 pm EDT, Tue July 20, 2010

Tech underlies modern art programs

Apple has donated two related pieces of software -- MacPaint and QuickDraw -- to the Computer History Museum, located in Mountain View, California. MacPaint was launched with the original Macintosh in 1984, and is often considered the archetype for modern illustration programs, having introduced concepts like paint buckets and lasso selection. Another novelty was creating images that could be used in other apps.

QuickDraw is said to underlie not just MacPaint, but all of the original Mac interface and a third of the first Mac OS' source code. The last version of MacPaint was v2.0, released in 1988; it continued to be available for sale until a decade later.

The attempt to get the MacPaint source code public has had a troubled history. Efforts first began in 2004, and through connections eventually reached Nancy Heinen, at one time Apple's general counsel. Although Heinen is said to have explained that Apple would be "delighted" to donate MacPaint to the Computer History Museum, a stock backdating scandal forced her to resign, and six further attempts to get the code released were denied. A breakthrough came only in January of this year, when the champion of the idea, Andy Hertzfeld, managed to get in touch with Apple CEO Steve Jobs. Less than a day later, Jobs asked current general counsel Bruce Sewell to approve the action.






by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -9

    Supposedly

    QuickDraw is said to underlie not just MacPaint, but all of the original Mac interface and a third of the first Mac OS' source code.

    I like that. They don't even know that is was they complete underpinnings of the OS, the writers have to make it sound like they were told by informed sources (identities withheld, of course).

    The last version of MacPaint was v2.0, released in 1988; it continued to be available for sale until a decade later.

    And what is sadder, that Apple last released it in 1988 with nary an update afterwards, or that they had the gall to continue selling it for another 10 years? At least, I guess, it was 32-bit clean....

  1. Jonathan-Tanya

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +2

    from the Computer History Museum

    "When the Lisa team was pushing to finalize their software in 1982, project managers started requiring programmers to submit weekly forms reporting on the number of lines of code they had written. Bill Atkinson thought that was silly. For the week in which he had rewritten QuickDraw’s region calculation routines to be six times faster and 2000 lines shorter, he put "-2000" on the form. After a few more weeks the managers stopped asking him to fill out the form"

    I don't know if the story made it clear what giving the code to Computer History Museum does, but
    It's copyright Apple, and released to the public for non-commercial use.

    I.E. to study what very well written code, looked like in those days, although it is written in Apple Pascal and Assembler.

  1. ff11

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +1

    re: Supposedly

    Why pull a product if it works well and people still want to buy it?

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