Oberon is one of those interesting nodes on the computing history graph that I read about fairly often, but I have no real experience with other than I know it’s an outgrowth of Wirth’s continuing work on languages like Modula-2.
I’ll read the paper, but I’m curious on what people’s perspectives are on this tech - what makes it unique and notable?
Here is s document by Wirth on their vision for software with a section on Oberon that should make it clear:
Wirth and his people didnt have a practical system to a UNIX degree because they never stuck with one thing. They constantly built new languages and did Oberon updates trying to find just the right mix of high-simplicity & expressive features. Wirth et al eventually built a simple, RISC CPU on a FPGA to replace the obsolete CPU from original system. Latest is on a website laid out like a book (whole system in a book = Oberon):
That’s updated one based on original (I think…). The students also built a graphical one with networking called A2 Bluebottle.
The UI has interesting properties - the text editor and shell environment are one in the same, similar to Acme or MPW. You write commands and can execute them inline by clicking on them.
Acme, and its predecessor “help” were basically attempts to get Oberon’s interface on top of Unix, according to the original paper.