Keeping SC2 alive

i have been working with SuperCollider 2 for a while now, and as much as i appreciate SC3, i have grown quite fond of SC2. i enjoy working with Mac OS 9 in general, and find SC2 to be an amazing asset to the OS9 community — i think it is possibly the best way to make music on this OS. the support for OSC means ive been able to seamlessly integrate SC2 into my live setup together with more modern systems, which makes me very happy.

still, SC2 has bugs and shortcomings. some of these can be fixed by editing the class library, others would need work on the C/C++ side…

so i am wondering, is there any possibility of open-sourcing the codebase? :slight_smile:

i cant find it now, but i vaguely recall seeing some discussion about this in the past, and i think it was mentioned that some parts of the code were from a third party that would not permit publishing as open source. i am curious about the details of this — might this situation possibly have some sort of expiry date, or alternatively, would it be feasible to publish just the unproblematic parts? then perhaps some retro-/permacomputing enthusiast(s) could try to reimplement the missing bits… (i myself happen to have a working CodeWarrior installation just waiting for an exciting project to tackle)

my questions are primarily for @asynth, but i am also interested to hear others thoughts on this, and whether anyone else is still running OS9 :slight_smile:


Never forget we use “SuperCollider Server” , there was never a “supercollider 3” only a prototype for SuperCollider 3d5

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If I recall correctly, it was MacZoop (a framework for object-oriented programming).

I think I first heard of MacZoop because it was apparently used for the first versions of the SuperCollider audio programming language. The SuperCollider 2 code is not released, supposedly because the MacZoop license forbids redistribution of modified versions or something like that. Maybe someone should send some e-mails to see if that still holds, the old SuperCollider code would be fun to have. But I digress.

… which doesn’t give any details about the license, but at least confirms my memory.


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I think the license stayed “contact the author via email” because, for some time, there was proprietary code internally.

I remember that because he said he could not yet release the entire source code in the interview with Dartmouth students. At the time, it was partially available (UGens, for sure, as I remember from the interview).

I wonder what happens when one signs a contract with Apple (especially at that time, now it’s not so strict in some areas).

This, as I recall, is one of the main drivers for SC Server’s GPL status: specifically to keep Apple’s grubby hands off of it. JMc also had to step back from active development of SC when he took that job.


Yes, but how about SuperCollider 2 and 3d5?

As I understand it, the IP clause is roughly that any outside, independent development done by Apple employees while employed at Apple becomes the property of Apple.

JMc had already abandoned sc3d5 before starting that job. SC2 couldn’t be said to be “abandoned,” precisely, but SC Server took over JMc’s time and I don’t recall active development on SC2 after SC3/SCServer went open source.

This IP clause is already a bit outrageous, but it would be incredibly outrageous if it applied retroactively to any development work that the employee had done before joining the company. “Everything you wrote in the past is ours now” … would that even be legal? Apple has no claim to SC2 or sc3d5 because they were already in the rearview mirror at that time.


I even doubt they would commercialize any of those projects. I suspect it was part of the patents “war”, in a strategy to gain leverage against other evil capitalist monopolies. The world of software patents makes no sense,

ah yes MacZoop, thank you for the reminder!

fwiw, the author of MacZoop appears to have published it under CC BY-SA at some point, though the download link is dead now: Code Resources

The Internet Archive seems to have a version of the site when those links were still alive.

yes, it is also archived on the Mac abandonware sites.

anyway, it seems this would allow the redistribution of a modified MacZoop, also under CC BY-SA. im not sure if the share-alike requirement would then extend to the entire SC2 codebase though, and whether that might be a problem… still, the main question is whether @asynth has any interest in this :slight_smile:

I have SC1 and all the Curtis Roads patches he shared with me. Some work ,Some don’t. I also love turbosynth. I’ll put them up on google drive soon.

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