Chris Hanson cmhanson at eschatologist.net
Sun Jan 5 17:06:24 CST 2020

On Jan 5, 2020, at 12:56 AM, Jeffrey S. Worley via cctalk <cctalk at classiccmp.org> wrote:

> Does Talingent Pink sound familiar?  OS/2 was ported to powerPC, and so
> was Netware iirc.  The field was quite busy with hopeful Microsoft
> killers.  OS/2 was to be morphed into a cross-platform o/s, to wean
> folks from dos/x86..... Then PPC kills the x86 and we all get a decent
> os.  That was the plan anyway.   I never saw OS2 for PPC or Netware for
> OS/2, thought I know both to have shipped.

Pink was the C++ operating system project at Apple that became Taligent. I know a couple of people who did a developer kitchen for Pink pre-Taligent, and I also know a number of folks who worked on the Taligent system and tools—and have personally seen a demo of the Taligent Application Environment running on AIX.

I’ve even seen a CD set for Taligent Application Environment (TalAE) 1.0 on AIX, and I have a beta developer and user documentation set. Unfortunately my understanding is that the CD sets given to employees to commemorate shipping TalAE were all *blank*—the rumor I’ve heard is that IBM considered it too valuable to give them the actual software that they had worked for years on. (Maybe there were tax implications because of what IBM valued the license at, and the fact that it would have to be considered compensation?)

Taligent itself was only one component of IBM’s Workplace/OS strategy, which was a plan to rebase everything atop Mach so you could run AIX and OS/2 and Taligent all at once on the same hardware without quite using virtual machines for it all. The idea is that Apple would do pretty much the same with Copland and Taligent atop NuKernel rather than Mach.

It would be really great to actually get the shipping Taligent environment and tools archived somewhere. While only bits and pieces of it are still in use—for example, ICU—a lot of important and influential work was done as part of the project. For example, the design of most of the unit testing frameworks today actually comes from *Taligent*, since Kent Beck wrote SUnit to re-create it in Smalltalk, and JUnit and OCUnit were based on SUnit’s design and everything else derived from JUnit…

  — Chris

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