Re: [NTLK] Bounty on 2010 time/date bug?

From: Michael J. Hu▀mann <michael_at_michael-hussmann.de>
Date: Sun Feb 15 2009 - 09:17:37 EST

rjwade@gmail.com (rjwade@gmail.com) wrote:

> I don't know who the developers were. Can we find them and ask them if
they
> signed an NDA in regard to Newton development? If yes, when does it
expire?
> Would any of them consider contract work? If they can't/won't do the work,
> can they be hired for a consultation?
>
> It could be useful to have somebody, who has had their hands in the code,
> tell us "we were aware of the problem at the time and were planning to
> address it by doing 'this', 'this' and 'this' in the next NOS release".
> Might not be a fix, but it might be something we could take to Paul G.
(for
> instance) and pay *him* to implement.

I don't see this as a realistic scenario. For one thing, the Newton OS
most likely was never developed with 2010 in mind. If it had been, its
developers would have implemented a more future-proof system in the
first place. If the Newton hadn't been cancelled, the NOS would have
undergone a major rewrite, as Jon has explained. Many existing apps
would have been incompatible with NOS 3.0, but it wouldn't have
mattered, as their developers would have come up with new versions
adapted to or rewritten for the new NOS. But alas, that isn't an option
now. We live with legacy apps that haven't been supported for more than
a decade, but still see daily use; we cannot afford some change that
would break existing apps. In the 90s, nobody would have foreseen this
situation we are now in.

And even assuming we would find someone from the original development
team who would sympathize -- these people have long moved on to other
projects, with other employers (some have gone to Microsoft, for
example). Would they remember any details of some code they had written
like 15 years ago? They wouldn't even have access to their own code now.
And just for the sake of the argument, let's suppose Apple would hand
the code over (which they wouldn't): Just setting up a computer for NOS
development would be some feat nowadays, as we would be dealing with
software written in a long obsolete development environment, running
under an obsolete OS on obsolete hardware.

So I think something very much like Avi's fix is really the best we can
come up with. It keeps changes to a minimum, trying to avoid breaking
apps, and now that we know about the remaining issues with Avi's code, I
suppose it can be improved to a point we can install it on our Newtons
without fear. But I don't see any kind of serious development happening
based on the original NOS source.

- Michael

Michael J. Hu▀mann

E-mail: michael@michael-hussmann.de
WWW (personal): http://michael-hussmann.de
WWW (professional): http://digicam-experts.de

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Received on Sun Feb 15 09:17:42 2009

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