Classic AppleWorks: the creation of the world

AppleWorks for the Apple II gave the Apple brand a real chance to take a leading position in offices around the world. The chance of discharge once in a lifetime. To use it was easy: it was necessary only not to disturb. And even better to help. But… Apple would not be Apple.

Such a chance (the only one in my life) had Apple Computer repeatedly. And almost all of them were arrogantly ignored. The very existence of Apple, strictly speaking, unscientific and illogical. Or is life more complicated and diverse than we think.

In the title, the protagonist of the story named a little unusual – he was not a classic, it is simply called AppleWorks. The fact that AppleWorks was the name of three completely different software, in which there was not a single common line of code. While there were only two (AppleWorks and AppleWorks GS), there were no complications.

In 1998, Steve jobs eliminated Claris Inc, turning it into FileMaker Inc., took the part of the software products under the wing of Apple renamed ClarisWorks to AppleWorks. And so arose the need to distinguish between them.

ClarisWorks/AppleWorks and AppleWorks for the Apple II – kind of long and unsightly. But AppleWorks Classic, just AppleWorks and AppleWorks GS, I think it is. If you don’t like, I have nothing to do with the title of Classic AppleWorks didn’t come from me.

In this text always refers to AppleWorks “AppleWorks for the Apple II”.

AppleWorks seduces Apple

AppleWorks developed by Rupert Lissner. When the program was finished (Rupert has developed two versions for Apple II and Apple III), Apple Computer bought source code and all rights to the version for Apple II. The source code and rights to the Apple version III Rupert sold a very profitable company Haba Systems, which released it under the name E-Z Pieces.

During the development of AppleWorks Rupert consulted with a group of UI on Apple and visited the campus of the company. But in those days did not only. The user was interested in only the finished programs.

Although by the end of 1984, AppleWorks no no. In childhood she was called ApplePie, Apple pie.

In 1984, Apple Computer struggled with her own indiscretion. It was charged that the manufacturer of the operating system and computer itself is competing in the software market for its products. It was considered unethical, but the most important program from Apple Computer competitors tore to shreds, it was believed that with them is impossible to compete…

For example, a word processor AppleWrite killed all attempts by the authors to create their own word processor for the Apple II. No one dared.

But resist the AppleWorks company could not, the temptation was too great – she suffered from remorse and has done to the seducer strange things.

Meanwhile, Rupert Lissner – the same independent third-party developer of those who “couldn’t compete with Apple” and for their rights so strongly fought computer community. Just very talented.

It is absolutely necessary to say a few words about the author.

Rupert Lissner, UCSD Pascal and p-Code

It is no coincidence that Apple Computer was getting accustomed to the developments of Lissner. Rupert there already knew.

In 1980, Rupert Lissner he tried to sell a database management system (DBMS) for the Apple III QuickFile III. Sold as it is mediocre how brilliantly designed and programmed.

The program was written in UCSD-Pascal, especially for Apple which was created in 1979, the operating system is Apple Pascal. UCSD-Pascal was a good extension to standard Pascal, transforming this toy language into a real tool for writing complex programs, However, programs written in UCSD-Pascal, distinguished from the rest “brand” being slow.

In computer circles even there was a rumor that supposedly the Apple Pascal (the people did not know that it is not the language and operating system!) not a compiled language and an interpreted.

In other words, instead of having to pre-convert the source code into a code understandable by the CPU but still cutting corners where possible, interpreted languages translate the source code of a phrase-by-phrase, wasting a lot of time in the process of execution of a program. Wasting precious time on yourself.

An interpreted Pascal – exotic. But, oddly enough, to some extent, so it was really less silly. UCSD Pascal compiled source code, but not in the machine language of the processor, and in p-Code generic Assembly language for a nonexistent processor, which was performed in a virtual machine (like Java), which is translated p-Code, phrase by phrase. It is much faster than synchronously to translate from Pascal, but slower than just doing native code.

Do not rush to throw mud at the University of California in San Diego (and all who invented and implemented this concept since 1966), this approach has many advantages, but speed of execution is just a fee for them.

QuickFile III for the Apple III had come to the attention of Apple, the program was incredibly flexible and easy to use – and Apple took over its promotion and implementation. At the end of 1980 or early in 1981 Rupert has developed QuickFile IIe, a version for the Apple IIe, which Apple also took under his wing.

It seems that in QuickFile IIe and QuickFile III it was implemented for the first time: the program files had the same extensions and structure. In other words, the file created in QuickFile III, could be used QuickFile IIe, as if he was her file, and Vice versa. Maybe someone’s already done that – but very often did without such niceties.

Curious to me the way Lissner was able to meet Apple Lisa for a couple of years prior to its publication. Although paranoid protection of secrets in Apple Computer had not yet arrived, and the campus of the company, he was well received.

Familiarity with the Lisa Office System has not passed in vain for Rupert, he thought: and what if to unite in one program the spreadsheet, database and word processor?

Lisa Office System was not an integrated program. It was the interface for end users, graphic and friendly in which the user waited seven programs: LisaWrite, LisaCalc, LisaDraw, LisaGraph, LisaProject, LisaList, and LisaTerminal. According to Apple, it was “all that may need it.” Write in Lisa for Lisa it was difficult, and until the end of the platform it was released only one third-party software.

By 1982, the idea finally matured and turned into a project ApplePie (“Apple pie”).


The idea was too beautiful to kill him slow, especially now that the processor required much more voltage – so the code ApplePie, from the first line to the last, written in 6502 assembler.

The program was written with meticulous care (check made out to Apple Computer, even at a very decent amount did regularly), with attention to the smallest detail.

More precisely, two programs: the options for Apple II and Apple III were much different from one another, due to differences in architecture and the memory management system.

As in the case of QuickFile, extensions and file structure for all types of documents for new programs were made the same. In addition, provided import data from the outside world – several other people for the ApplePie formats (including QuickFile files, ASCII files, spreadsheets and VisiCalc DIF files).

DIF-files (text files of a special organization) are still used for data exchange between spreadsheets of different types. The format was maintained in the early 80s, spreadsheets Excel, Lotus 1-2-3, dBase and many others).

The file “Apple pie” extension (for Apple II and Apple III, and even on a Mac at an early stage of its development, the file type designated by the extension) was:

  • .AWP – word processing documents;
  • .ADB – database documents;
  • .ASP spreadsheet documents, generally supposed to be .ASS, but that would be too provocative.

Another interesting feature – shared clipboard data between all parts of the program…

0 Comments on “Classic AppleWorks: the creation of the world”

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