Rotated Windows

I’d forgotten about this until I stumbled across a reference to it again recently.

This was a little hack I worked on back in 2004, with Mac OS X Tiger (10.4).  Yes, kids, macOS was called Mac OS X back in ye Olden Times.

Rotated Windows example screenshot

Wow, Slashdot looked even uglier than I remember, back then.  Though amusingly my daily reading list hasn’t changed substantially – it still features Slashdot and MacSurfer’s Headline News.

Also… 1024 x 768.  That’s just over 5% of the resolution of my current display (27″ Retina iMac).  It’s nearly as big as my iPhone 6s’s screen.

Man, do I not miss those shitty old monitors.

I don’t recall what the exact impetus was for the project.  I do recall that I was spurred on by Claus Atzenbeck, who was doing some kind of academic work into graphical user interfaces and, IIRC, wanted a way to explore window rotation and general manipulation in a real OS.

Claus’s personal website still exists, all these years later, though alas the link to his relevant research is now broken.

What reminded me of this was finding an attribution to me in a header file that was associated with the project – CoreGraphicsServices.h.  This was something I generated (presumably with the help of class-dump or similar) from the CoreGraphicsServices framework, and then partially reverse-engineered (in the sense of figuring out parameter types, function prerequisites, etc).  It’s what was necessary to find & use the private APIs for doing window geometry manipulation.

And the only reason my name is on it is because I splatted a 3-clause BSD license into the header file I made, which in hindsight seems highly dubious since the APIs themselves are owned by Apple (insofar as one can ‘own’ APIs, I guess…).

A quick web search reveals a few more mentions:

The source & other paraphernalia were originally posted on my La Trobe University student web hosting account, though of course that’s long gone.  Here’s the original StuffIt archive, if you’re interested.  I don’t actually know if it’s the very latest version – I do still have the project in full – but it’s the latest version I ever published, AFAIR.

I leave it as an exercise to the reader on how to decompress StuffIt files in this day and age. :)

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