CMU Andrew system (and wm) preservation

Don Stalkowski dstalk at
Sun Sep 6 16:10:52 CDT 2020

On Sun, Sep 06, 2020 at 12:21:56PM -0700, Chris Hanson via cctalk wrote:
> Back before X11 took off, IBM funded CMU's development of Andrew, which had its own complete window system represented by its "wm" window manager. One of the many things that led to X's prevalence was that to get ahold of Andrew and wm, you had to license it from IBM, whereas X was licensed freely by MIT and available via FTP, tape, etc.
> When I was at CMU in the early through mid 1990s, the CMU Computer Club continued to maintain a fork of "wm" called "wmc" that was available to club members, including source code. While I'm pretty sure I have an archive of this code on a Zip disk somewhere, I thought I'd put out the call to the community to see if anyone else had preserved early Andrew bits since they're both historically important and architecturally interesting.
> What's architecturally interesting about them? Among other things, CMU created their own shared library mechanism for Andrew, and their own object oriented dialect of C (implemented via a separate preprocessor) that was surprisingly similar to Objective-C. The entire Andrew system was also component-oriented, such that it supported embedding components for handling different media types within each other, while keeping the embedded ones editable -- most of what developers got later with OLE and OpenDoc.
> So it'd be great if this stuff was archived in such a way that it could be used with contemporary systems, whether emulated or real hardware. Has anyone done any of this yet?
>   -- Chris

Forgive a dumb question, but is this somehow related to the Andrew Tool Kit
or the Andrew User Interface System?


More information about the cctech mailing list