Did the computer scientist at Xerox really develop the first graphical user interface, later showing this to both Steve Jobs and Bill Gates?

Just for reference, it is in reference to this story.

closed as too broad by Raffzahn, Wilson, UncleBod, wizzwizz4 Apr 15 at 16:02

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    Define the terminology … when OOP became a thing, the programming group I had been with for years discovered we had been designing and writing OO software on S/360 and S/370 for years, in Fortran. We didn't know somebody was going to invent a catchy name for it and turn into an buzzword - it just seemed like a good way to build big software systems. Of course the syntax got a bit prettier in other languages, but you can use OO in assembler if you want! – alephzero Apr 15 at 14:11
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    @Raffzahn to be fair, we had a few Assembly routines to do the equivalent of Unix "fork" and "exec" dynamically as well, so it wasn't 100% Fortran. – alephzero Apr 15 at 14:27
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    I'm going to VTC as too broad because I do not know which language OP had in mind – Wilson Apr 15 at 14:38
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    Voting for a close. There seems to be at least three questions combined here... Please clarify question. – UncleBod Apr 15 at 15:35
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    This whole question is far too broad. Ask about OOP, LAN and GUI separately please. – wizzwizz4 Apr 15 at 16:02

I suspect this is going to degenerate into an argument about what words mean, but back in 1965 the IBM 2250 graphics terminal had the equivalent of a mouse (actually a light pen) and a keypad with 32 clickable buttons that could be programmed to do anything (and have their functionality redefined depending on the context of what was being displayed on the screen).

Of course people wrote software for it that had a "graphical user interface" - though Xerox didn't invented the term until 1973, which is often considered the beginning of the concept of GUI.

It doesn't meet the OP's criterion though, because it was a commercial product that was actually sold to customers.

I doubt they showed the pre-release version to Steve Jobs, since he wouldn't have reached his 10th birthday at the time.

  • sorry i had the story wrong I was thinking of xerox engineers. – Neil Meyer Apr 15 at 14:59
  • "Graphical user interface" probably means a WIMP application shell (desktop) and application support library in the context of this question. There certainly were user interfaces that were graphical before Xerox PARC built the Altos and the D machines, but I can't think of any predecessor to the Xerox machines that was WIMPy (unless,... maybe the original Lisp machines...?) – Solomon Slow Apr 15 at 15:56
  • This is not an answer to the question. The question asks specifically about the first Object Oriented Programming language, not the applications for which it might have been used. – JeremyP Apr 16 at 8:32
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    Apologies. The question has been severely edited. Your answer no longer answers it. – JeremyP Apr 16 at 8:33

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