This application started its life as Mouse Desk by Version Soft, a French company. The authors were Luc Barthelet, Stephane Cavril, Bernard Gallet, Henri Lamiraux, and Richard Danais with contributions by Alexis Gerard, Jim Gerber, Pat Pahl, and J. Bernard. International Solutions, Inc (ISI) was founded by Mark Kvamme to market the Version Soft products worldwide.
Mouse Desk Version 1.5 added Desk "Accessories" (Calculator, Date, and Puzzle) and Mouse Desk 1.6 added the program Selector for mass storage devices.
Desiring a mouse-based solution for the Apple II line, Apple Computer licensed the software and released Mouse Desk 2.0. It was also rebranded as Apple II DeskTop and released as the initial GUI interface on the Apple IIgs System Software disks, before the native 16-bit GS/OS replaced it in later versions. Some members of the Version Soft team also moved to work at Apple.
The application was developed using the MouseGraphics ToolKit by Apple, which provided the graphics primitives for drawing shapes and text to the complex double-hires graphics screen, and the windowing primitives such as events, cursors, menus, windows, scrollbars and mouse support. The library and early versions of Mouse Desk initially adhered to the Lisa interface guidelines before evolving to match the look and feel of the early Macintosh.
Version Soft / International Solutions.
Mouse Desk 1.02 released.
Mouse Desk 1.1 released.
MouseDesk 1.5 and 1.6 upgrades released.
Mouse Desk distributed by Apple with UniDisk 3.5 (outside United States).
Licensed by Apple to provide a mouse-based solution for the Apple II line.
Mouse Desk 2.0 released by Apple.
Apple II DeskTop 1.0 and 1.1 included on IIgs System Disks 1.0, 2.0.
Jay Edwards demos at KansasFest, and publishes a history of Mouse Desk / DeskTop versions on comp.sys.apple2.
Disassembly project starts.
New Show Image File Desk Accessory demonstrated.
New DAs: Eyes, This Apple, Screen Dump, Run Basic Here, Key Caps
New DAs: Flying Toasters, Control Panel, Show Font File.
Apple II DeskTop 1.2 pre-alpha - Release Notes.
New DAs: System Speed, Joystick Calibration, Find Files, Melt, Invert.
Thanks to Antoine Vignau, Jay Edwards, Bill Cleary and John Brooks for history details.