The Computer History Museum (CHM), the leading museum exploring the history of computing and its impact on the human experience, today announced the public release and long-term preservation of Adobe’s PostScript source code as part of its Art of Code series.
Launched in 1984, PostScript was Adobe’s first product, and it became an essential ingredient in the desktop publishing industry, accelerating computing’s transformation of printing and driving Adobe’s growth as a renowned software company. Led by Adobe cofounder John Warnock, Adobe assembled a team of programmers to create this new programming language for high-quality printing, allowing text and images to be scaled, rotated, and moved to the users’ liking.
PostScript technology led to the creation of the flagship digital document format, PDF, in the 1990s, and is the worldwide standard printers rely on to this day. Further fueling much of its momentum, PostScript contributed to the development of digital typefaces and the fonts that comprise them.
David C. Brock, director of curatorial affairs at the Computer History Museum, said, “The story of PostScript has many different facets. It is a story about profound changes in human literacy as well as a story of trade secrets within source code. It is a story about the importance of teams, and of geometry. And it is a story of the motivations and educations of engineer-entrepreneurs. The Computer History Museum is excited to publicly release, for the first time, the source code for the breakthrough printing technology, PostScript. We thank Adobe, Inc., for their permission and support, and John Warnock for championing this release.”
About CHM Software Source Code
The Computer History Museum has the world’s most diverse archive of software and related material. The stories of software’s origins and impact on the world provide inspiration and lessons for the future to global audiences—including young coders and entrepreneurs. The Museum has released other historic source code such as APPLE II DOS, IBM APL, Apple MacPaint and QuickDraw, and Adobe Photoshop. Visit our website to learn more.
The Computer History Museum’s mission is to decode technology—its computing past, digital present, and future impact on humanity. From the heart of Silicon Valley, we share insights gleaned from our research, our events, and our incomparable collection of computing artifacts and oral histories to convene, inform, and empower people to shape a better future.
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