The first meeting of X/Open Co Ltd’s new expanded desktop working group in Santa Clara, California, has resulted in the drawing up of a broad work plan for the next couple of years and the formation of two working sub-groups. One will prepare the Common Desktop Environment specifications for fast-tracking by the fourth quarter, while […]
The first meeting of X/Open Co Ltd’s new expanded desktop working group in Santa Clara, California, has resulted in the drawing up of a broad work plan for the next couple of years and the formation of two working sub-groups. One will prepare the Common Desktop Environment specifications for fast-tracking by the fourth quarter, while the other aims to establish standards to facilitate desktop applications’ navigation for users and improve inter-communication between applications. The latter will start developing a generic method for documenting a framework or desktop User Service Description from July. Some 25 organisations attended the meeting, including non-X/Open members such as Network Computing Devices Inc, the X Consortium Inc, Independence Technologies Inc, and Globetrotter Software Inc, plus Apple Computing Inc, Taligent Inc and Microsoft Corp. They were each invited to express their views on the most pressing issues, such as how appropriate is the British Standards Institute code of practice to security, and how applicable the Common Desktop Environment style guide is to users outside the Unix world. The working group, provisionally called the Desktop+ Group, also had preliminary discussions about the need for a future interface to incorporate touchscreens, notepads, television set-top boxes and virtual reality machines, enbling users to access any data without fear of incompatibility in systems, applications or stored information. The Desktop+ Group also started drafting a revised work programme description, which will be published as part of the X/Open Technical Programme, detailing all of the organisation’s planned projects. The group’s role is as a steering body to co-ordinate and ensure that specific work programmes are in place, and it aims to work with and adopt the work of other groups inside and outside of X/Open. The organisation hopes to establish dialogue with such bodies as the Interactive Media Association and the Japanese Common Open Software Environment special interest group on issues such as internationalisation and Japanisation. Special working sub-groups will be set up, as required, to lay down specifications. The Desktop+ Group is to meet another three times this year, and will respond to the requirements laid down by the Desktop Requirements Group, soon to meet again in Stockholm, and discuss such issues as what exactly is meant by the term cross-platform interoperability.