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411 And A Joke

Posted by editor on August 31, 2007 at 10:30 AM PDT

Vintage video of Duke, Gosling, and "Green"

While it's the topic-du-jour to mock Nokia's iPhone rip-off, as well as others, some of those doing the joking seem to assume that it was Apple that brought touchscreens and animation to the mobile communications device. As it turns out, the iPhone was a little late to the party.

Like, 15 years late.

In a new weblog, James Gosling takes us back to check out The Green UI:

I was having a conversation the other day with someone about touch screens, gesture languages, physics in UI actuators, transition animations, and all sorts of other cool stuff in the iPhone UI. It got me cranked up about a project we had done at Sun years ago. Fortunately, we had made a video of it in 1992 that I managed to find a copy of.

His blog embeds and links to a 1992 video that discusses and shows off the GUI. It's a 141 MB MPEG-1 file, so those of you with slow connections -- say, anyone trying to read it with an iPhone over the AT&T Edge network, ironically enough -- will have to do without (I also imagine that the IT department is going to have a coronary when they get the bandwidth bill for all these random blog readers pulling a 141 MB file, but I digress).

It's certainly novel to see the expressiveness of the Duke-centric GUI, and while the form factor they show isn't much better than that of a brick, it's clear they had some neat ideas in this project, whose development eventually produced what would become Java. More info on this in A Brief History of the Green Project, part of the open-source Duke project.

Also in today's Weblogs,