Preliminary versions of the application programming interfaces to OpenStep, promised by June 30, are available from NeXT Computer Inc over the Internet at ftp.next.com. A final set of OpenStep applications programming interfaces – the operating system-independent version of NeXT’s object-oriented NeXTstep environment – are now expected by the end of September, following a review that is being conducted in conjunction with NeXT partners, including SunSoft Inc, Digital Equipment Corp and Hewlett-Packard Co. NeXT, which worked with SunSoft on the specification, says it does not expect there to be any major changes to the applications programming interfaces – which it owns – but has promised other partners an opportunity to review the specifications and recommend changes. NeXT will offer the completed specification to X/Open Co Ltd. SunSoft and DEC are putting OpenStep up over Solaris and OSF/1 respectively, Hewlett-Packard already offers the entire NeXTstep environment natively, with NeXT’s underlying Mach microkernel, and will take NeXTstep 4.0 and the Macintosh implementation of OpenStep that NeXT is preparing for summer 1995. NeXT expects 95% of applications should run with only minor changed across all three systems. SunSoft and DEC have licensed parts of the NeXT user environment too, which means that the NeXTstep desktop functions such as electronic mail should be compatible between all the various implementations.
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