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Motif FAQ (Part 1 of 9)
Section - 17) What are the details about new features in Motif 2.0?

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Top Document: Motif FAQ (Part 1 of 9)
Previous Document: 16) Is there a concise features list for Motif 2.0?
Next Document: 18) Is there a concise features list for Motif 2.1?
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[Last modified: Aug 97]

Answer: (See the previous question for a more compact features list.)

    NOTE: This is a posting by Douglas Rand that was composed by
    one of the OSF business managers, Darrell Crow (
    OSF also published a nice technical overview in the X Journal.
    A copy of that report is available on-line at:

 Date: 11 Jul 94 15:49:27 GMT
 From: (Douglas Rand)
 Organization: Open Software Foundation
 Subject: Motif 2.0 announcement
 To: uunet!!motif

The following was composed by one of our business managers, Darrell Crow
(,  questions may be directed to him.


With this posting I hope to answer many questions I've been receiving
regarding what is in Motif 2.0 and how does if differ from Release 1.2.  This
posting contains an overview followed by a bullet item listing of the features
and benefits added to Motif in this release. If I didn't answer your questions
feel free to direct them to me.  At the end, I'll list additional
documentation available from OSF.  If you're also interested in the licensing
and pricing information you can also contact me or the official OSF/Motif
channel:  I hope that this information update is of benefit to

OSF/Motif has become the major Graphical User Interface (GUI) technology for
Open Systems, as well as an IEEE 1295 standard.  On Tuesday, June 21, OSF
announced its next major release of OSF/Motif, Release 2.0.   This release,
which is the most extensive and colaborative release of Motif since Motif 1.0
was introduced five years ago, includes new features organized around four
major themes:
        I.  Extensibility,
        2.  Consistency,
        3.  Improvements and
        4.  CDE Convergence.

Motif 2.0 was a collaborative development effort.  Contributors to this
release include Lotus Development, IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Digital Equipment,
Integrated Computer Solutions, Computer Automation,  Groupe Bull, HaL Computer
Systems and Unix Systems Laboratories.

This release had the goal of allowing developers to easily build new widgets
and with support for C++ .  This required new extensible features such as
subclassing, traits, C++ support and detailed documentation.  Like all Xt-
based toolkits, subclassing requires detailed knowledge, experience and access
to the source code to fully understand Motif's class methods.  Motif 2.0
simplified this process by providing extensive documentation and allowing
subclassing from the Primitive and Manager classes without requiring access to
source code. Documentation of Motif's class methods are included in a new
book, The OSF/Motif Widget Writer's Guide. This book provides all necessary
information to subclass from Primitive and Manager and numerous examples of
subclassing are provided.   Traits are a new feature with Motif 2.0 which
essentially allow a given behaviour to be associated to a widget irrespective
of the widget hierarchial relationships. The number of applications developped
in C++ is rapidly growing and C++ programmers are now able to derive new
subclasses and still have those C++ widgets usable as regular widgets with the
standard API in Motif 2.0

CDE (Common Desktop Environment) convergence.  The previous version of
OSF/Motif (Release 1.2) introduced major new features such as
internationalization, drag-and-drop and tear-off menus. Those features were
intended to allow application developers to produce interoperable, easy to use
applications for a worldwide market. As a result, this technology was selected
to become the basis of the Common Desktop Environment jointly developed by HP,
IBM, Novell and SunSoft, proposed to become an X/Open standard. These features
as well as the GUI extensions added to the CDE specifications have been added
to Release 2.0.

PC Consistency has been a major theme of this release.  This includes
improvements and completions to the toolkit that was begun with Motif 1.2 as
well as the addition of seven new widgets (Container, Notebook, icon gadget,
spinbox, combobox, CSText and thermometer) common to this environment and
finally a new Style Guide.  Extensive work has been expended to ensure the
convergence of the Windows, CUA, CDE and Motif style both in technology and
terminology into a single document.  The work for this book will be submitted
to the X/Open Fast Track process for incorporation into the X/Open set of

Improvements to the OSF/Motif toolkit are far too numerous to adequately list
here.  However a brief mention of a few of the major improvements includes the
addition of the Unified Transfer Model that simplifies data transfer by all
Motif's previous methods,  XPM support (ability to read colored icon file for
pixmap resources), ScrolledWindow partial scroll and autodrag,Toggle
checkmark, indeterminate state, documenting the input methods API for
internationalization, upgrading UIL to support 64-bit architecture, platform
independence, and support of the new extensibility features and widgets, and
finally the Motif Window Manager support of virtual screen, workspace
management protocol and root menu additions and etc.

This release brings together the most requested features from development
community with the single purpose of extending application developers' mission
of producing portable, consistent and interoperable applications to the open
systems  community.

Listing of the OSF/MotifR 2.0 Features and Benefits


Easier application development to meet new business opportunities and deploy
applications faster...

Benefit Allows easier extensions to Motif for custom user

*  New, formal Xme API for integrating custom widgets interfaces,
   without access to Motif source code
*  All extensions using Xme API are "full citizens"
*  Widgets may be added to off-the-shelf Motif products, without
   recompiling Motif source code
*  Manager and primitive widget subclassing
*  C++ base classes provided for C++ widget development
*  C++ is used for inheritance, but X intrinsics are used for other
*  Trait mechanism for OSF/Motif widgets, allowing "multiple
   inheritance" of C class methods
*  Extensibility fully documented in Widget Writer's Guide, and
   Reference documentation
*  New OSF training: Widget Writing with Motif 2.0
*  Examples of custom widgets in C and C++

Makes it easier for C++ developers to use Motif

*  Motif source code compilable by C++ compiler
*  Ability to integrate C++ widget extensions (above)

Allows easier exploitation of Motif features for end user benefits

*  Subclass of XmManager
*  Organizes children into pages, tabs, status area and page scroller
*  Subclass of XmManager
*  Manages IconGadget children
*  Subclass of XmManager
*  Combines capabilities of a single line
        XmTextField and XmList
*  Subclass of XmManager
*  Manages multiple traversable children
XmScale (thermometer) widget
*  Subclass of XmManager
*  New resources added for thermometer behavior
*  Subclass of XmPrimitive
*  Provides facilities which parallel XmText, but using XmString

Uniform transfer model for primary transfer,
*  secondary transfer, cut and paste, drag and drop
        Uniform API (with backward compatibility)
        2 new callback functions for target identifcation

Misc. toolkit enhancements:
*  Menu system
        Simplified programming of popup menus
        Source code reorganization
*  X pix map (XPM) format, with multicolor icons

Misc. toolkit enhancements (continued):
*  New rendering characteristics for XmString:
        renditions (fonts, color), tabs, localization
        components, parsing
*  List -- Quick navigate
*  Traversal -- drawing area traversable via keys,
        virtual key associated with multiple real keys
*  Visuals (in addition to Toggle Button)
*  XmScreen resources
*  Resolution independence -- unit conversion

UIL enhancements:
*  Support for new and custom widgets
*  UID files -- platform independence
*  64-bit architecture support

Updates to documentation: Programmer's Guide, Reference

Updates to OSF training:
*  Introduction to Programming
*  User Interface Design
*  2.0 Technical Update

Allows easy integration of applications with Common Desktop
Environment (CDE)

*  Contains foundation GUI for CDE
*  Client-command interface allowing other clients to add commands to
MWM menus

Allows easy migration of applications to Motif 2.0

*  Upward binary compatibility of Motif 1.2 toolkit API
        (Motif 1.2 applications need only re-link)

Makes applications easier to troubleshoot & maintain

*  Overall quality improvements in Motif
*  Default density lower than 0.5 DPKLOC


Ease of use by individual computer users... at the application user
interface level...

Satisfies rising user expectations for ease of use, leveraging
experience with other user interfaces

User interface capabilities equivalent to those on PCs:
*  Notebook widget
*  Container widget
*  ComboBox widget
*  SpinBox widget
*  Scale (thermometer) widget
*  Availability of formatted editable text
        Compound String text widget
        Compound String enhancements to support color, tabs, multiple
          fonts, etc.
*  Auto Scrolling
*  Vertical Paned Window
*  Update to User Guide

Ease of use by individual computer users... at the desktop level...

Allows easier integration with the desktop

*  Contains foundation GUI for Common Desktop Environment (CDE)
*  Tear-off menu support of mwm's root menu

Allows more natural organization of users' work

*  Virtual screen (desktop panning) support
*  Workspace management protocol
        (for third party workspace management solutions that
        allow users to switch computing context "rooms" for
        different tasks)


Easier integration of Motif  and Motif applications into the
enterprise computing environment...

Increases consistency of user interface style across platforms &
applications; increases user skill portability

*  Motif 2.0 Style Guide work Technical and terminology convergence
        among Motif, CDE and CUA
*  New widget support of converged style
*  Increased similarity to Windows & CUA behavior:
        Check marks and crosses in Toggle Button
        Indeterminate state in Toggle Button
        Ctrl Button 1 takes focus
        Menu unpost behavior
        Quick navigate in list

Increases consistency of a complete user environment across open

*  Consistency with the X/Open CDE specification, including virtually
        all CDE Motif vendor extensions:
        XmCascadeButton activation via BMenu
        Enhanced XmFileSelectionBox
        Default XmNshadowThickness to 1
        Thermometer-style XmScale
        Color pixmaps in XPM format
        Additional virtual key bindings
        SpinBox, ComboBox
        Message catalogs for toolkit error messages
        Other items controlled by a global resource:
          ColorObject (standarizes colormap allocation for
           applications, to enable use of Style Manager application)
        BSelect and BTransfer integration
        Dragging non-selectable items disabled
        Use of TAB key -- XmPushButton navigation
        Visual additions to XmToggleButton
        Visual modifications to menus (etched in)
        Visual modifications to default button in dialogs (focus
          highlight outside of default visual)
        Visual modifications to MWM
        Additional drag icons
*  Compliance with IEEE 1295 standard
*  Consistency of Motif vendor implementations:
        AES Rev D for API stability
        Validation Test Suite 2.0 for certification
        Updated Quality Assurance Test Suite for consistency in
*  Continued support of the X Window system (based on
*  X11R5; tested also with X11R6 )

Ease of integrating Motif and PC environments

*  Favorable licensing terms to support:
        PC client-server computing
        Deployment of PC applications using Motif DLLs
*  Style convergence to support hybrid user environments


Even more acceptable as the preferred user interface for Open Systems,

Applicable to a wider range of computer users

*  Internationalization enhancements:
        New API for widget writers to make use of input methods
        Higher level of internationalization for Middle Eastern
        Bi-directional layout -- left-to-right/right-to-left geometry
        Bi-directional text editing -- left-to-right/right-to-left,
          single level (unsupported)
*  64-bit architecture support
*  Favorable licensing terms to support:
        Single user systems
        Embedded systems
        Cross-vendor Motif upgrades
        Shared library distribution with applications
*  Performance
        Memory usage
        Start-up time, for list widget
        Decreased X resource usage
        Various optimizations

        OSF/Motif 2.0 Datasheet
        OSF/Motif 2.0 Price List
        OSF/Motif 2.0 Licensing Kit
        OSF/Motif 2.0 Laymen's Explanation
        OSF/Motif 2.0 FAQ
        X/Journal July-August Feature Article on Motif 2.0

AT: (617)621-7300; email:

OSF and Motif are registered trademarks of the Open Software Foundation, Inc.

 [end of message from Darrell Crow (]

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Top Document: Motif FAQ (Part 1 of 9)
Previous Document: 16) Is there a concise features list for Motif 2.0?
Next Document: 18) Is there a concise features list for Motif 2.1?

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Last Update March 27 2014 @ 02:11 PM