The dogcow, named Clarus, is a bitmapped image designed by Apple for the demonstration of page layout in the classic Mac OS. The sound she makes is "Moof!", a portmanteau of "moo" and "woof". Clarus became the archetype of surrealistic humor in the corporate culture of the original Macintosh group, particularly as the mascot of Apple’s Developer Technical Support as officially documented in Technote #31.
In 1983, the dog icon had been created by Susan Kare as the glyph for "z", as part of the Cairo font. Later, when redesigning the classic Mac OS "Page Setup" print dialog box for the LaserWriter, an example image was required. According to HCI engineer Annette Wagner,
For the LaserWriter there was a print dialog with checkbox options that could all be mixed with each other. We needed some kind of graphic that would show flipping horizontal, flipping vertical, 2% reduction, mirror effects, six or eight kinds of effects. We had this typeface of crazy symbols that came off the Macintosh that Susan Kare had originally done, that had all these craze critters inside it. I had to alter the dog image pretty significantly, not only to make it larger but to give it a clear front, clear back, clear top, clear bottom, and I had to change the spots on the dog specifically so that when the 2% reduction was in effect you could clearly tell the difference.— Oral history of Annette Wagner
The new dog graphic had a more bovine look.
Did they have a heated conversation and holler "Dog!" "Cow!" "Dog!" "Cow!" back and forth? We may never know. But one thing is clear, Mr. Zimmerman finally gave in and said, "It's both, OK? It's called a 'dogcow.' Now will you get out of my office?"— History of the Dogcow, Part 1
On October 15, 1987, the term "dogcow" was coined by Scott Zimmerman. She was later named Clarus by Mark "The Red" Harlan, as a joking reference to Claris, Apple's business unit for office software at the time.
Apple's Developer CD Series of the 1980s features a dogcow logo on the discs.
The latest references to the dogcow came in the documentation for the Swift programming language, which uses the word "dogcow" as an example of the use of Unicode characters to name constants and variables; and in a sticker pack in Messages.
There is a life-size picture of a dogcow conveniently located in the Finder. Look under "Page Setup..." Now look under "Options." Walla [sic], there is the dogcow in all its raging glory. Like any talented dog, it can do flips. Like any talented cow, it can do precision bitmap alignment.— Apple Technote 31
Some people say that the dogcow hails from the sunny shores of the Middle of Nowhere. This location in the south Atlantic can be found in the Map control panel; simply type "Middle of Nowhere" and click Find. (For a small fee, these same people will tell you where they last saw Elvis.)— Develop magazine
The disappearance of the Icon Garden and of Clarus from Apple's products is seen by MacWorld as a symbol of the draining of culture and character from, and an increase in blankness and austerity in, Apple's products over the years. In a 2015 retrospective, the magazine said Clarus "came into being through quirkiness and serendipity, and you could say it has no business in a grown-up, commercial operating system. It makes no real sense, and wasn’t really there on merit or through strategic planning" and represented a company that was "kooky", "idiosyncratic", and not dominated by rules.
- "Technote 31 - The Dogcow". Apple, Inc. February 2, 2004. Archived from the original on February 2, 2004. Retrieved September 11, 2017.
- Phin, Christopher. "We miss you, Clarus the dogcow". MacWorld. Archived from the original on April 7, 2017. Retrieved April 6, 2017.
- Oral History of Annette Wagner by the Computer History Museum Retrieved and transcribed January 31, 2023
- "History of the Dogcow, Part 1". Develop (17). Archived from the original on October 4, 2017. Retrieved October 3, 2017.
- "The Moof! in Mind!". Archived from the original on April 20, 2018. Retrieved September 11, 2017.
- "History of the Dogcow, Part 2". Develop (18). Archived from the original on October 4, 2017. Retrieved October 3, 2017.
Somewhere along the line I baptized the dogcow "Clarus". Of course she's a female, as are all cows; males would be referred to as dogbulls, but none exist because there are already bulldogs, and God doesn't like to have naming problems.
- "MACINTOSH Q & A: MACINTOSH DEVELOPER TECHNICAL SUPPORT". Develop (13). Archived from the original on October 4, 2017. Retrieved October 3, 2017.
- "The Swift Programming Language (Swift 3.1): The Basics". Apple Inc. Archived from the original on June 22, 2017. Retrieved May 5, 2017.
Constant and variable names can contain almost any character, including Unicode characters: let π = 3.14159 let 你好 = "你好世界" let 🐶🐮 = "dogcow"
- Reisinger, Don (July 5, 2016). "The First Apple Emoji Sticker Packs Are Blasts From the Past". Fortune. Archived from the original on October 1, 2017. Retrieved September 30, 2017.
- "Clarus Returns Home". Shadowfacts. Retrieved 2022-06-14.
- "Clarus the dogcow has been reborn in an iPhone keyboard easter egg". AppleInsider. Retrieved 2023-01-18.
- "iOS Keyboard Suggests Dog and Cow Emoji When 'Clarus' is Typed". 512 Pixels. 2022-03-30. Retrieved 2022-06-15.