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Frontier 4

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Year released:
[www].se [ftp].se [mirror].us [mirror].de
Aretha_Beta_1.sit (623.25 KB)
MD5: eb530ab468b5e0c95a3c1834afbf56f0
For System 7.0 - 7.6 - Mac OS 9
[www].se [ftp].se [mirror].us [mirror].de
Userland_Frontier_4.0b4.sit (1.38 MB)
MD5: a53263beeac37f29cdbdafa25db129fd
For System 7.0 - 7.6 - Mac OS 9
[www].se [ftp].se [mirror].us [mirror].de
Frontier-42-img.sit (2.06 MB)
MD5: 4f86b99bb399bfe37b8f068503e00d70
For System 7.0 - 7.6 - Mac OS 9
[www].se [ftp].se [mirror].us [mirror].de
Frontier_4.2.1_Upgrade.sit (145.53 KB)
MD5: 4849da933e22bdcfc33d98a662c21b85
For System 7.0 - 7.6 - Mac OS 9
[www].se [ftp].se [mirror].us [mirror].de
Frontier_4.2.3.sit (2.66 MB)
MD5: f14f0760f3c43b2cc56dac050158d58c
For System 7.0 - 7.6 - Mac OS 9
This app works with: Mini vMac II

Frontier, an AppleScript like software, began to be developed in the late 1980s. Based on Pascal syntax, and having much integration with the Finder, UserLand had attempted to have Apple acquire Frontier. However, terms could not be agreed upon. In the end, Apple and UserLand decided to create separate, but compatible, scripting based products. - With the release of Macintosh System Software 7.5, Apple has bundled AppleScript in with each new OS release from then onwards. UserLand struggled to compete with the freely available AppleScript, and had difficulties trying to keep their product compatible with AppleScript, something Apple gave little support to.

UserLand responded to Applescript by re-positioning Frontier as a Web development environment, distributing the software free of charge with the "Aretha" release of May 1995. In late 1996, Frontier 4.1 had become "an integrated development environment that lends itself to the creation and maintenance of Web sites and management of Web pages sans much busywork," and by the time Frontier 4.2 was released in January 1997, the software was firmly established in the realms of website management and CGI scripting, allowing users to "taste the power of large-scale database publishing with free software."

Excerpt: Wikipedia.

Later in 2004, Frontier was released as Open Source Software under the GPL license. Now called the Frontier Kernel Project, Frontier versions can be found for both Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X, as well as Windows. UserLand still exists, and continues to develop Manilla and Radio UserLand, both web publishing products.

See Also: AppleScript: The Beta Release, AppleScript 1.1, AppleScript 1.8.3, AppleScript Language Guide (PDF), FaceSpan 2.1, FaceSpan 3, FaceSpan 4.3, Frontier 1, Script Debugger 1.0, Script Debugger 3.0, Smile

Architecture: 68k PPC

Macintosh or Power Macintosh

All downloads have been tested as working OK with Mini vMac II. - Yet to try other emulators, but my guess is they will be fine, too.


MikeTomTom's picture
by MikeTomTom - 2019, April 22 - 1:07am

Thanks for the 4.2.3 addition, mrdav.

Yes, it seems they were happy with version 4.1 of Frontier not to update it across subsequent revision updates, the Frontier root file being the engine received all of the updates. So when you do a version check on the executable, it always come up as 4.1 (so far).

The read me file in vers 4.2 also adds: "We didn't change its version number because there were no changes in the app."

mrdav's picture
by mrdav - 2019, April 21 - 8:55am

I have uploaded what is supposed to be v. 4.2.3. However, I cannot see anything in it that mentions v. 4.2.3. The ReadMe states:

"Note: 4.2 is a root-only upgrade. That means that the UserLand Frontier
application was unchanged in this release. It's exactly the same program
that shipped with 4.1.

Certainly the application is v. 4.1 as it is in the upload for v.4.2. Presumably the root is updated but it has no version number. However, the creation date for Frontier.root in v.4.2.3 is later than that for v. 4.2 so I expect it has been updated.

MikeTomTom's picture
by MikeTomTom - 2019, April 21 - 5:56am

The final 4.0 and 4.1 released versions would be nice additions, if anyone comes across copies.

Kitchen2010's picture
by Kitchen2010 - 2015, August 31 - 10:41am

I have added Frontier 4.0b4 from MacsRUS's archive.