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Section - 110)! Where can I get a WYSIWYG interface builder (or other shortcuts)?

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A release of the DIRT interface builder by Richard Hesketh works with X11R5
and includes some support for the Motif widget set. It generates WCL-1.1
code. DIRT is known to be outdated. It is available through comp.sources.x

The InterViews 3.0.1 C++ toolkit contains a WYSIWIG interface builder called
ibuild. ibuild generates code for an InterViews application complete with
Imakefile and an X-resource file. Documentation is /pub/papers/ on (

Quest Windows's (408-496-1900) ObjectViews C++ package includes an
interactive building tool.

Druid (Demonstrational Rapid User Interface Development) runs on SPARC
machines using OSF/Motif 1.0; it is intended eventually to be a full UIMS but
apparently now has only support for creating the presentation components, for
which it generates C/UIL code. Info: Singh G, Kok CH, Ngan TY, "Druid: A
System for Demonstrational Rapid User Interface Development". Proc. ACM
SIGGRAPH Symp on User Interface Software and Technology (UIST'90). ACM, NY,
1990, pp:167-177.

The XF builder (version 2.3.n) is a TCL/Tk builder; versions are on You may subscribe to a mailing list by sending "sub
xf-l <Your name>" to

There are several TCL/TK tools which act as interface builders; see the
comp.lang.tcl FAQ for details.

ADEW in the Andrew User Interface System supports WYSIWYG user interface
construction with the full selection of AUIS insets, including text, rasters,
tables, and the usual interactors.  Semantics can be coded in C or in Ness,
the AUIS extension language.

Camel, a generic IDT for Xt widget sets, is available from


In addition, these commercial products (unsorted) are available in final or
prerelease form [the * following the product name indicates that the product
is known to allow the designer to specify for each widget whether a
particular resource is hard-coded or written to an application defaults file,
for at least one form of output]. Some are much more than user-interface
tools; some are full user interface management systems; information on most
is not up-to-date:

Product Name		Look/Feel	Code Output		Vendor

HP Interface		Motif 1.1	C(Xm)			HP/Visual Edge
 Architect/ UIMX	
OPEN LOOK Express	OPEN LOOK	C(Xol+ helper lib)	AT&T /
								Visual Edge
UIMX 2.0 *		Motif 1.1	C(Xm + helper code)	Visual Edge
								& distributors
Ada/UIMX 2.9		Motif 1.2	Ada			Bluestone
X-Designer 3.2 *	Motif 1.2	C(Xm); C/UIL; C++	Imperial
								Technology, Ltd
							      (+44 734 587055)
XFaceMaker2 (XFM2) * 	Motif 1.0	C;C/script (C-like procedural 
							(33 1 43 36 77 50)
Builder Xcessory 3.5 *	Motif 1.2	C(Xm); C/UIL[r/w]	ICS 
					Ada; and reads GIL	(617-621-0060)
Builder Xcessory 2.6 *	Motif 1.1	C(Xm); C/UIL[r/w]	DEC
					[VMS; OSF/1]		(1-800-DIGITAL)
iXBUILD			Motif 1.1	C(Xm); C/UIL		iXOS Software
TeleUSE 2.1 *		Motif 1.1.5	C(Xm); C/UIL[r/w]	Alsys(TeleSoft)
							in Germany: in GmbH,
							+49 7531 65022,
ezX 3.2			Motif 1.1	C(Xm +helper lib);C/UIL;Ada
Snapix			Motif		C/Xm			ADNT
								+33 1 3956 5333
OpenWindows Developers	OPEN LOOK 	GIL [-> C/XView]	Sun
Guide 3.0				GIL [-> C++/XView]
					GIL [-> C/OLIT]
					GIL [-> C/PostScript for TNT]
ExoCode/SXM		Motif		C(Xm)			Expert Object
ExoCode/Plus		OPEN LOOK	XView			708-676-5555
TAE Plus v5.3		Motif 1.2;	C, C++ , Ada 	Century Computing
			Data Objects			1-800-823-3228
MOB, XSculptor		Motif; OpenLook	C/Xm,UIL; C/Xol		Kovi
PSM			PM, MSW 3.0,	C/UIL			Lancorp
			Motif 1.1.2,Mac				Pty Ltd.
								+61 3 629 4833
								Fax:  629 1296
MOTIFATION *		Motif 1.1.x|1.2	C(Xm)			PEM Stuttgart
						       +49 (0) 0711/713045
						       +49 (0) 0711/713047 fax
UIB			Open Look/Motif	C++(OI)			ParcPlace (?)
								+1 303-678-4626
								1 415 390 9000
XVT-Design		Motif,OL,Windows,&c			XVT
Mimex			Motif 1.2	C(Xm); C/UIL[r/w]	Kernex
Xad			Motif 1.2				ACC,
						800-546-7274, 203-454-5500,
XVP 1.5			Motif
lxb 0.4			Motif
SNAPIX 			Motif

Look for magazine reviews for more complete comparisons of meta-file formats,
documentation, real ease-of-use, etc; Unix World and Unix Review often carry
articles. See also SunExpert 5/93.

ParcPlace is making freely available its popular ObjectBuilder and Object
Interface (OI) products for the Linux operating system [Note! these may now
be owned by Pure Software.]. ObjectBuilder is a GUI builder written
completely in C++, that enables UNIX C++ developers to apply the principles
of object-orientation to the development of user interfaces. OI, a C++ class
library, provides the toolkit foundation for ObjectBuilder. OI implements the
look-and-feel of both Motif 1.2 and OPEN LOOK. OI is built directly on top of
Xlib and is unencumbered by runtime royalties to any party.  ObjectBuilder
and OI are very extensible, actively facilitating the use of subclassing to
create new, reusable, user interface components.  Sources are on in /pub/linux/packages/OI and available from ParcPlace (+1 408
481 9090).

Neuron Data (1 415 321-4488) makes Open Interface, a
window-system-independent object toolkit which supports interfaces which are
or resemble (supersets of) Mac, Windows, and Motif and Open Look; the package
includes an interface builder.

The GRAMMI builder supports the development of Ada/X applications using its
own set of objects which have Motif look and feel.  GRAMMI is written in Ada
and generates Ada specs and stub bodies.  Call 1-800-877-1815 or send mail to with subject "send grammi" [without quotes].

In addition, these non-WYSIWYG but related products may help for goals of
rapid prototyping of the application interface:

WCL: the Widget Creation Library. Basically describes the widget hierarchy
and actions in a resources file; available from fine archive servers
everywhere, including ( in pub/. Wcl
provides a very thin layer over Xt without any internal tweaking. Version 2.7
is in[gz] [12/94]. (A
tutorial on WCL is available by telnet'ing to and using
"search iap292".)

TCL/TK: TK is a Motif-like object set for use with the TCL scripting
language. There is also a package tclMotif on which may be used to
add TCL scripting to Motif programs; version 1.4 was released 4/95.

WAFE: Wafe is a package that implements a symbolic interface to the Athena
widgets (X11R5) and OSF/Motif.  A typical Wafe application consists of two
parts: a front-end (Wafe) and an application program which runs typically as
a separate process. The application program can be implemented in an
arbitrary programming language and talks to the front-end via stdio.  Since
Wafe (the front-end) was developed using the extensible TCL shell, an
application program can dynamically submit requests to the front-end to build
up the graphical user interface; the application can also down-load
application specific procedures into the front-end, which can be executed
without interaction with the application program.  Wafe 1.0 is available from [7/94].

XGEN: a scripting language which can be used to prototype Motif environments;
available on

WINTERP: an Xlisp-based Motif toolkit (by Niels Mayer) allows for rapid
prototyping and interpretive programming. Its interactive application
development and delivery environment features a high-level object-oriented
interface to the OSF/Motif Widgets and Xtoolkit, a high-level object-oriented
2.5D graphics/animation widget based on Xtango's path-transition animation
paradigm, and facilities for communicating with other Unix processes and
data.  WINTERP's interpreter is "serverized" so that other applications can
communicate with WINTERP-based applications via unix domain sockets, or
optionally, through internet domain sockets. WINTERP's built-in interpreter
is based on XLISP-PLUS, which is a small, fast, portable, C-implemented
interpreter providing a subset of Common-Lisp functionality and a
Smalltalk-inspired object system.  A major new release, WINTERP 2.03, is on
the X11R6 contrib tapes; version 2.03 [7/94] is on in
contrib/devel_tools/. Info: See also .

IXI Visual TCL extends Tcl 7.3 to support OSF/Motif 1.2. Available from* or // [5/95]

The Serpent UIMS permits the building of user-interfaces without specific
knowledge of coding but with an understanding of attributes being set on a
particular [Motif] widget.  Beta Release 1.2 is available from ( and can be found in /pub/serpent.  Serpent is
also available on ( in /R5contrib/serpent. Email questions
can go to A commercial version of Serpent is available
as "Agora" from ASET, 221 Woodhaven Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15228.

Garnet is a Common Lisp-based GUI toolkit. Information is available from

MetaCard is a hypertext/Rapid Application Development environment similar to
Apple/Claris Corporation's HyperCard ( MetaCard is
available via anonymous FTP from,, or (Mailing list:

XForms, at as /pub/xforms, is a graphical user interface
toolkit and builder based on Xlib.  It includes a set of Xlib-based objects,
configurable to look like Motif, and permits interactive placement of them.
See also and and the mailing list available
through Version V0.81 was released 9/96.

MARX is a quasi-C interpreter with special extensions to write GUI in X
windows.  It has features such as dynamic linking, shell script invocation,
event-based I/O and simplified client/server via sockets.  Information is at [4/96].

DtScript version 3.0 is a GUI builder based on UIM/X technology from Visual
Edge Software. The resulting application generated by DtScript is a dtksh
shell script that runs in any COSE compliant environment. See for more info. [8/96]

Articles comparing these tools include:
	UnixWorld 5/92; SunWorld 12/92; LAN Computing 12/92; SunExpert 5/93.


David B. Lewis

		"Just the FAQs, ma'am." -- Joe Friday 

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