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LinuxProgramming: Reviewing Open Motif 2.1.30

May 17, 2000, 05:35 (4 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Eric Foster-Johnson)

[ Thanks to Kevin Reichard for this link. ]

"Motif is a C-language API (a library) for creating graphical applications under the X Window System. Motif acts as a layer above the X Toolkit Intrinsics and the low-level X Library. That probably seems like old hat or ancient history to many readers."

"When the X Window System first came out, it provided one of the few cross-platform graphics systems. I remember being amazed at seeing the Cray Research (back then there was a Cray Research) demonstration room filled with workstations from every UNIX vendor, all running the same graphical software. Of course, the Cray folks were trying to highlight that you could use their supercomputers with a wide variety of computers. Instead, I saw true cross-platform portability and became an instant convert, dropping HPwindows, SunView, and other proprietary windowing systems like the plague."

"At the time, the main X API was the low-level X Library, or Xlib. Programming in Xlib is just a few steps below programming using only the Win32 API; it's very low level. The main abstraction layer on top of the Xlib was the X Toolkit Intrinsics, or Xt. The Xt library added the concept of a widget, a user interface element such as a menu, push button, or scroll bar. Remember, all of this was written in C before C++ gained widespread acceptance. Even so, Xt provides an inheritance system with the ability to overload methods, using C language function pointers."

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