The December 2022 issue of IEEE Spectrum is here!

Close bar

The Network Not Taken

Raskin's Mac could have spawned the Internet

2 min read

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Apple Macintosh, the first widely used personal computer with a graphical user interface. Less well known is that the Mac was designed from the start as much for communicating as computing. In fact, in 1979, four years before the adoption of the Internet protocol, Jef Raskin, the man who designed the Macintosh, anticipated almost all of the contemporary uses of the Internet. He even proposed that Apple build an "Internet" of its own. However, Apple failed to capitalize on his vision and instead chose to implement a simpler network protocol suitable for connecting only a few dozen office computers and printers.

IEEE Spectrum asked Raskin about the path not taken.

Keep Reading ↓Show less

This article is for IEEE members only. Join IEEE to access our full archive.

Join the world’s largest professional organization devoted to engineering and applied sciences and get access to all of Spectrum’s articles, podcasts, and special reports. Learn more →

If you're already an IEEE member, please sign in to continue reading.

Membership includes:

  • Get unlimited access to IEEE Spectrum content
  • Follow your favorite topics to create a personalized feed of IEEE Spectrum content
  • Save Spectrum articles to read later
  • Network with other technology professionals
  • Establish a professional profile
  • Create a group to share and collaborate on projects
  • Discover IEEE events and activities
  • Join and participate in discussions

Why Functional Programming Should Be the Future of Software Development

It’s hard to learn, but your code will produce fewer nasty surprises

11 min read
A plate of spaghetti made from code
Shira Inbar

You’d expectthe longest and most costly phase in the lifecycle of a software product to be the initial development of the system, when all those great features are first imagined and then created. In fact, the hardest part comes later, during the maintenance phase. That’s when programmers pay the price for the shortcuts they took during development.

So why did they take shortcuts? Maybe they didn’t realize that they were cutting any corners. Only when their code was deployed and exercised by a lot of users did its hidden flaws come to light. And maybe the developers were rushed. Time-to-market pressures would almost guarantee that their software will contain more bugs than it would otherwise.

Keep Reading ↓Show less