Keeping its promise to come to a decision on the user interface component of its open operating environment by the end of 1988, the Open Software Foundation chose December 30 for the announcement of the final technologies chosen – from DEC and the Hewlett-Packard Co-Microsoft Corp collaboration (CI No 1,085). And the Foundation has also […]
Keeping its promise to come to a decision on the user interface component of its open operating environment by the end of 1988, the Open Software Foundation chose December 30 for the announcement of the final technologies chosen – from DEC and the Hewlett-Packard Co-Microsoft Corp collaboration (CI No 1,085). And the Foundation has also expressed its intention to make the technology available on AT&T’s rival Unix System V.4 implementation in addition to its own environment, and as an unbundled offering. From the 23 submissions that passed the requirements of the Foundation Request For Technology issued in Juky last year, it used its open process of member evaluation to select a combination of the DEC and Hewlett submissions namely the style guide, window manager and some of the toolkit widgets from Hewlett’s Common X Interface, CXI, product shown at Comdex in November along with the toolkit Application Program Interface and User Interface Language – but not the screen presentation and style guide – from DECwindows. Conformant interfaces will retain the three dimensional appearance and OS/2 Presentation Manager-compatible behaviour of the Hewlett product, according to the Foundation’s announcement. A team of DEC and Hewlett engineers will work to complete the development, which includes the integration of features from the DEC window manager, such as icon grouping, into the Hewlett product, and Software Foundation members will receive snapshots of source code by the end of January, with a fully tested and supported version scheduled for the summer of this year. Hewlett-Packard said it would use the Open Software Foundation interface as the basis for its NewWave product on Unix hardware – it also has NewWave offerings for MS-DOS using MS-Windows and OS/2 using Presentation Manager. Ray Anderson, managing director of IXI Ltd, Cambridge, which submitted the X.desktop graphical shell, said that the Foundation had held back from standardising on a specific desktop – and may never do so. It was felt that members were not yet ready to standardise in this area. According to Anderson, the choice of the feel of Presentation Manager is a good one. The only party with its nose seriously out of joint might be AT&T, with its rival Open Look product. But DEC might also have to change its tack over DECwindows if it wishes to support the Foundation decision fully – DEC spokesman Chuck Malkiel said that DEC was happy with the decision. The bulk of the work has been preserved, and third parties can continue development. When the OSF product comes out we will take a look and evaluate it, he concluded.