History

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) marketed the VersionSoft 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 based on 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.

1985

1986

  • MouseDesk 1.0 reviewed in A+ Magazine and InfoWorld (most of the limitations pointed out were addressed in 2.0)
  • Licensed by Apple
  • Mouse Desk 2.0 released by Apple
  • Apple II DeskTop 1.0 and 1.1 included on IIgs System Disks 1.0, 2.0

2003

2017

2018

  • New DAs: Eyes, This Apple, Screen Dump, Run Basic Here, Key Caps

2019

  • New DAs: Screen Saver, Control Panel, Show Font File
  • Apple II DeskTop 1.2 pre-alpha - Release Notes

2020

  • New DAs: System Speed, Melt,

Thanks to Antoine Vignau, Jay Edwards and John Brooks for history details.