|The NEXTSTEP/OpenStep FAQ
There is additional information available for the following topics: mouse pinouts, monitor cable pinouts, common addresses, mousepointer patch, windowmanager patch.
These inforamations are not included in the written FAQ, because they are considered rarely referenced resources and of not much use for the written FAQ. However you'll get these information when you download the whole FAQ via FTP or HTTP as a package for your computer. Please look at http://www.peanuts.org/FAQ/ for further information.
If you run into a problem, first read the FAQ of course :-) Second you might consider asking NeXT directly through the electronic service: email@example.com. Send an e-mail with subject: ascii help index to start.
If all fails, post to the newsgroups concerning NeXT related topics: comp.sys.next.*, de.comp.sys.next.
Contacting NeXT, Inc.
Address of NeXT, Inc.
NeXT, Inc. can be reached under the following addresses.
USA: NeXT, Inc.
900 Chesapeake Drive
Redwood City, CA 94063
Voice: 800-848-NeXT (Redwood City)
Japan: NeXT marketing div. of Canon Japan
UK: Technology House
Phone: (44)-1628 535222
Fax: (44)-1628 535200
Note: numbers abroad are listed with the country codes first. You will need to dial the international access number of your long distance carrier before proceeding to dialing the country code, area code and phone number.
The FAQ mentions a lot of software packages which you might find useful. In general there are two big sites serving Europe and the US. These sites keep most of the software available and do mirror themselves to keep up to date (although the structure of the archive differ). If the software isn't on one of these sites, the appropriate site is listed in the text.
If you get slow connections you might want to consider contacting a mirror of the both sites. For the Peanuts archive (Europe) the WWW pages http://www.peanuts.org give you links to an updated list of mirrors and other FTP sites.
The addresses are:
There are currently two CD (sets) which serve you with NEXTSTEP/OpenStep software:
Nebula. Nebula is published by Walnut Creek and mostly contains actual recompiled software for all supported hardware platforms. It might be the best choice for those who don't own a compiler. A big font collection and a developer section complete the disk. http://www.cdrom.com/
Peanuts Archive Disks. The Peanuts FTP Archive in Munich distributes their complete NEXTSTEP/OpenStep archive on CD. This currently brings you 4CDs full with software. Although the software isn't compiled for each hardware (it is provided 'as uploaded') it is the most complete software and information resource available on CD. (It includes the NeXTanswers published by NeXT). http://www.peanuts.org/, firstname.lastname@example.org
Fatted Calf CD-ROM. The Fatted Calf CD-ROM is published by Ensuing Technologies, LasVegas, Nevada. Currently I don't know it's special contents.
Big Green CD. Selected software for NEXTSTEP. Also this software is on any other CD, too. It might be a good startes collection. http://skylee.com/BGCD.html, email@example.com
Font Garden for NEXTSTEP CDROM. Some more fonts for computers running NEXTSTEP. These fonts should be capable of the NEXTSTEP encoding sheme. However we got noticed that only very few are ISO-LATIN_1. So it is possible of most interested to English speaking countries. http://www.cdrom.com/
Clips for QuickTime. Quicktime is NeXT's native format for movies, so some samples might be quite nice. Note: On the latest Peanuts Archive, you'll get about 200MB of quicktime movies which might be enough, too. http://www.cdrom.com/
The third production version 3.3, has been released for Intel Processors (i486 and higher) as well as for NeXT hardware (not manufactured any longer but still supported), HP workstations and Sun workstations.
OpenStep versions are announced and will be available this year (1996) for Windows NT, Windows 95, Mach, Solaris and hopefully HP-UX. The status for DEC machines and their OS (OSF/1, OpenVMS) is unknown. At least it is uncertain that there will be a port to OSF/1 or even OpenVMS, because DEC is doing the port alone. At least you can run OpenStep on DEC machines running Windows NT in the near future. For Sun's Solaris systems OpenStep will probably be part of the NeoDesktop.
There will be no NEXTSTEP 4.0, because NeXT changed the naming conventions. NEXTSTEP 4.0 (also sometimes referenced as 'Mecca') is now named 'OpenStep for Mach'
Yes, there is a project by GNU. The so named GNUStep is available in pre-alpha state from the archive sites. Be aware that it is not fully functional and currently requires Motif.
In its current state, GNUStep is on it's way to port the FoundationKit completely. This alone makes it worth to give it a try.
Yes there are. OpenStep for Mach will include all the well known features from NEXTSTEP (Services, Filters, SoundKit, ...) which the other implementations will lack, due to the underlying OS.
To get all the benefits which is offered in NEXTSTEP today, you need to go for OpenStep for Mach.
NeXT, Inc. now operates an automatic e-mail response system. Send e-mail to "firstname.lastname@example.org" with the subject
"ascii help index"
If you do have access to the world wide web, you even want to try the following URL: http://www.next.com/NeXTanswers/.
NeXT did (and probably will) change their naming conventions a lot. E.g. NEXTSTEP is the current correct spelling for their operating system. With the shipping of OpenStep, there will be no more NEXTSTEP, but OpenStep for Mach/Solaris/HP-UX/Windows95/WindowsNT.
Incorrect spellings are: NeXTSTEP, NeXTstep, NeXTStep.
A common shortcut used in the newsgroups is: NS for NEXTSTEP.
NeXT user groups
To start a user group, just send e-mail to email@example.com.
No, there are no differences beside the DSP, which is a hardware feature of NeXT computers. On other hardware platforms you have to buy additional hardware.
There are too many to list them all, so are here are just a few.
MIT GNU: aeneas.mit.edu
MIT X: export.lcs.mit.edu
Every NeXT machine owner has access to manuals to a degree. Network and System Administration (NSA), for example contains answers to many of the questions asked to comp.sys.next. Some of the important man pages are reproduced in the NSA as appendices.
User manuals were shipped with every NeXT. Additional copies available from NeXT (N6002/N6003/N6014/N6026) $25.
The following books are available directly from NeXT:
Unix man pages, which are included in the online docs.
- Operating System Software
- NeXTstep Concepts
- NeXTstep Reference, v. 1
- NeXTstep Reference, v. 2
- Development Tools
- Sound, Music, and Signal Processing: Concepts
- Sound, Music, and Signal Processing: Reference
- Writing Loadable Kernel Servers
- Technical Summaries
- Supplemental Documentation
BSD unix documentation (MISC, PS1, PS2, SMM, USD). Available from to USENIX site members. A lot of this has been integrated into the NeXT documentation. Some of this is sorely missing. The SMM Unix System Manager's Manual is really useful!
2560 Ninth Street, Suite 215
Berkeley, CA 94710
USA +1 510 528 8649
fax +1 510 548 5738
The SMM and the rest of the berkeley documentation are also available directly and for free via anon ftp e.g. from
- PS1 = Programmer's Supplementary Documents, Volume 1
- PS2 = Programmer's Supplementary Documents, Volume 2
- SMM = System Manager's Manual
- USD = User's Supplementary Documents
To format them properly for viewing and printing on the NeXT use nroff with the package indicated by the file suffix (e.g. to format the documentation file 0.t use nroff -mt 0.t).
Adobe documentation. Available machine-readable by e-mail from firstname.lastname@example.org. Hardcopy available from Adobe Developer Support Line +1 415 961-4111 for a nominal charge. NeXT last shipped these as part of the 1.0a release; hardcopies appeared in 0.9 Technical Documentation, were omitted in 1.0, and have returned in updated form in Supplemental Documentation of the 2.0 Tech Docs (which is not available on-line).
Get NextAnswers for Digital Librarian from NeXT. The current versions are actually on ftp.next.com or available via the mailserver at email@example.com.
Get NeXT Support Bulletin from the archives. It is meant for support centers.
Another good source of information is the archives of previously posted notes from the comp.sys.next.* newsgroups. Note that since the split of comp.sys.next, there is a group archive maintained at ftp://ftp.peanuts.org/peanuts/GeneralData/Usenet.
NeXTstep Advantage book is available electronically from the archive servers.
The file name is NeXTstepAdvantage.tar.Z; (its compressed size is about 1.3 megabytes; uncompressed, it's about 9.5 megabytes). It is a good introduction to the NeXT programming environment.
FTP, e-mail access
Some ftp sites are configured as an e-mail archive server. This means you can upload and download files via e-mail.
Send mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
(with the subject line help and you will get a complete description of this service)
Submissions: Mail should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject of 'submission' (no ticks) if a person is submitting material to the archives. They need to include a 1-2 sentence description of the submission, the OS release the product runs on, and if it is source, binary, newsletter, etc.
Objective-C and other useful Object-oriented programming references:
Budd, Timothy, An Introduction to Object-Oriented Programming (Addison-Wesley) [It discusses Smalltalk, Object Pascal, C++ and Objective-C]
Cox, Brad J., Object Oriented Programming: An Evolutionary Approach ISBN 0-201-10393-1. (Addison-Wesley) [Note: 2nd edition - ISBN is 0-201-54834-8 and has coauthor A.J. Novobilski]
Huizenga, Gerrit, Slides from a short course on Objective-C available via anonymous ftp from: sonata.cc.purdue.edu: /pub/next/docs/ObjC.frame.Z, ObjC.ps.Z, or OldObjC.wn.tar.Z
Meyer, Bertrand, Object-Oriented Software Construction (Prentice-Hall).
NeXT Technical Documentation:
Pinson and Weiner, Objective-C: Object-Oriented Programming Techniques (Addison-Wesley). 350 pages, ISBN 0 201 50828 1, paperback.
User Reference Manual for Objective-C which is available from Stepstone Corporation. (203)426-1875. Note: There are some differences between Stepstone's Objective-C and NeXT's.
Since NeXT has become for now the platform of choice for much of the computer music composition and research community, the newsgroup comp.music is one good place to find people with information and interest in music on the NeXT.
There is also a mailing list specifically for NeXT music. For posting to the dist list: email@example.com
To subscribe, unsubscribe, change addresses, etc.: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please send any announcements of upcoming NeXT-related events to email@example.com
These events will be posted to comp.sys.next.announce. Be sure to send your announcement in plenty of time to have it posted prior to the event. One to two weeks in advance would be a good idea.
Since postings will be carried across many networks, commercial announcements may be edited down to reflect network usage policies.
Look for current guidelines posted weekly in the newsgroup.
Of course! NEXTSTEP is design to plug and play with existing NeXT installations. NeXT has addressed interoperability between NEXTSTEP systems in the following ways:
With the shipping of NEXTSTEP 3.x binaries are distributed FAT. This means, that a binary might include different versions of the executable for each hardware platform NEXTSTEP is running on. On the archive sites you might easily recognize the supported hardware by a key letter: N = NeXT computers, I=Intel based, H=HP hardware, S=Sun hardware. A FAT binary is runable by every supported hardware listed in the binary file. NeXT ships tools to examine such a fat binary and to add/strip different hardware modules to/from a binary.
- NEXTSTEP systems share identical networking capabilities.
- NEXTSTEP systems share the same Distributed Objects.
- NEXTSTEP systems use the same system and network administration services.
- NEXTSTEP systems use the same mass storage format. Yes, you can take a external SCSI drive, removable media (e.g. Bernoulli etc) or floppy disk and use it interchangeably between NeXT Computers running NEXTSTEP.
The correct spelling for a fat binary is: MAB binary (multi architecture binary) but most commonly 'fat' is used.
With the shipping of OpenStep this will change. OpenStep applications are only sourcecode compatible and have to be recompiled for each architecture. This implies that you need a compiler for future PD/SW/FW-software, although OpenStep for Mach will still support FAT binaries and NEXTSTEP 3.x applications will continue to run under OpenStep for Mach.