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13 Years Later

13 Years Later

As I hinted a while ago, there was another yak which was shaved, very relevant to the Apple Newton: In an interesting twist of fate, my former employer Nokia got hold of Alcatel, which got hold of Lucent, which owned Bell Labs… which was the birthplace of Unix. And Unix shipped with another Bell Labs invention, C++.

So when Nokia decided to release the source of Research Unix, I dug in to see whether I could find the missing sources for CFront 2.1. And behold, this archive contains what I was missing nearly thirteen years ago!

Getting the sources to compile was another story though. It is again astonishing how little C has aged (for better or worse), and how compatible the supporting tools lex and yacc have stayed, but C++ itself has changed substantially. I initially feared that I had to bootstrap compilation with CFront 1.0, but that was not necessary, and after a couple of days, I was able to pipe C++ sources through cfront, happy to see a /* <<AT&T C++ Translator 2.1.0+ 04/01/90>> */ at the very beginning of the output :)

I have not yet started on putting everything together to actually compile a Newton C++ program into a binary, but how hard can that be ;)

The other open issue is how to distribute the compiler, even though the sources contain a statement that copyright will not be enforced for non-commercial use, it might be safest to just distibute a patch set.