Seahaven Towers
Haniport Levee
Angeline Crossing
Delvenor Beacon






Grafiker, a Guildhall tools applet

Once upon a time I worked for a fruit company. Actually several of them, all located in pear country in Southern Oregon. But the most interesting job involved apples. Specifically Apple Computer (as it was first called). Anyone remember the Apple IIgs? That was my first project at Apple, and I arrived just after the departure of Steve Jobs and the great debacle between Apple and Microsoft over Basic and access to Apple's patents. In fact, my first week I was treated to a scream fest as various Apple execs discovered that an Apple senior executive had sold the farm out from under them against their explicit recommendations. My cubicle was right next to the executive VP's office and oh was it exciting. Of course at the time I had no idea what was going on, but years later I happened to work with someone who had been close to the exec team at the time of the great giveaway and he explained it all to me.

But back to Grafiker. My first job at Apple was to work on Apple IIgs regions. A region is a data structure that Bill Atkinson patented for Apple that is used to describe arbitrary collections of pixels. Bill's teachings showed how such data structures could be quickly manipulated to construct overlapping windows. They were first used in QuickDraw on the Lisa computer.

Once I had regions working for the IIgs, there was more work on graphics, and if you're going to work on graphics you've got to have some way to test your work. It's fine to write dedicated tests, but throwing a lot of random values at a graphics package can also uncover some edge cases. So I invented a demo application and called it Spinnaker, because it was colorful.

Soon after it was time to get the first color Mac to market, and I got to help with that. Spinnaker came along to help me test out the Palette Manager. Then the Pink project got started, and of course Spinnaker had to be one of my first test applications for the Albert graphics project.

Then Pink became Taligent, then Taligent went away, and I made the decision to rebuild what I needed of Pink's underlying frameworks to run on top of Macs, and then on top of Windows, and of course I needed something to test the graphics APIs, and the algorithms from Spinnaker were still fresh in mind. I changed the name to Grafiker because at the time I had this obsession about 8 letter, 3 syllable names (Seahaven, Haniport, Angeline, Contessa, - okay maybe I still do).

I added a bunch to it, some of which got added just because it's still pretty to watch in idle moments. And whenever a graphics issue pops up, I still go back to it to add more random demos to figure out where things have gone awry. Here are a few sample screens.

random rectangles demo

macrame demo

kaleidoscope demo

florascope demo

curvette demo

clipping demo

Next Steps

  • None planned. New Grafiker features are ruled by serendipity.


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