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LISP: The root of Newton Toolkit
Author: Maurice Sharp
Date: August 1992
Characters: Larry Tesler, Maurice Sharp, ZZ Zimmerman
Topics: NTK, Third Party Developers
Summary: Newton ToolKit started life as a LISP prototype that was used in early Alpha 3rd party developer kitchens

In the latter part of 1992 it was time to start figuring out how to get some third party developers creating applications for the still secret Newton. By then, NewtonScript was the way to develop, but there were no easy tools for developers to use.

At that point Larry Tesler was in charge of Newton and had an idea that a development tool could be created using Macintosh Common LISP. At about that time Maurice Sharp, an intern in the Advanced Technology Group was looking to extend his internship tour. He knew LISP very well, having spent many hours programming Symbolics machines.

In August of 1992 he moved over to Newton as an Intern and began working on a prototype of what would be re-designed in C++ as the Newton ToolKit (Norberto Menendez... where are you?)

This LISP version first saw use early in 1993 when the first external developers were brought in for very early kitchens. In the morning, Maurice got a list of Must Fix, Good to Fix, and Nice to Have. By 2pm he delivered a version with everything done. Even the C stalwart and original Newton DTS Engineer ZZ Zimmerman commented that he could grow to like LISP.

The MCL version continued to be used until early stable versions of the NTK product were available for use. In the meantime, Maurice Sharp ended up moving from intern to employee, becoming an early member of Newton DTS.

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