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Programming IT Technology

O'Reilly Motif Books On-Line and Free 21

Posted by timothy
from the paperless-office-of-the-future dept.
MightyMicro writes "According to the Motifdeveloper community site, the O'Reilly Motif Programming Manual and Reference Guide are now available for free download from Imperial Software's site. As Open Motif is also free for Linux (and xBSD), this looks like a valuable resource."
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O'Reilly Motif Books On-Line and Free

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  • by Adrian Voinea (216087) <adrianNO@SPAMgds.ro> on Monday February 04, 2002 @12:05PM (#2950840) Homepage Journal
    A lot of people are very hesitant to install a whole set of libraries to run only one application -- almost no matter how good the app is -- when there are 'good enough' alternatives for the standard libs they already have.

    Do you feel that NEdit has suffered from not using more popular libraries, and does it matter to you?

    • One more thing...
      Last time I used Motif (about 2 years ago, on Irix) was that it had a working and fairly powerful drag and drop. Granted, they changed the API right in the middle of things, which sucked, but I could (and did) write an application where any user could drag "film rolls" (an object in our system) onto the desktop, and then drag them from the desktop into other programs that knew something about "film rolls" and that program could process the film roll. Programs that didn't know anything about film roll object just got the file name where the film roll was stored, but applications that knew about film rolls got all sorts of other characteristics of the film roll in the drop message without opening the file.

      I haven't figured out how to do similar dragging and dropping on the desktop or between applications with KDE or Gnome. I'm pretty sure it's there, but it doesn't seem as integrated as it did on Irix.

    • A lot of people are very hesitant to install a whole set of libraries to run only one application -- almost no matter how good the app is -- when there are 'good enough' alternatives for the standard libs they already have.

      The main reason that Mosaic was the first mega successful Web browser was that it was the first to use a GUI toolkit that did not look like crap. It was not actually the first Motif browser but it was the first with Motif look and feel. The other browsers looked like science projects.

      Ten years later it is quite possible that Motif's time has come and gone. The Motif look is somewhat dated and the OSF licensing model is certainly dated. Unless it was released as open source sometime I didn't notice you still have to pay for Motif which pretty much rules it out in the Linux world. I don't think that the chances of survival for the non-open source Unix world are very good these days.

      What puzzles me is that these toolkits still need a rack of twenty manuals each of which is six inches thick. Its only a goddam menu system!

      • Unless it was released as open source sometime I didn't notice you still have to pay for Motif which pretty much rules it out in the Linux world.

        You must have been asleep! It's available for free, but under conditions, and RMS doesn't like the licence...

      • The original article is talking about the Motif X Window Toolkit, not the early Web Browser...
  • Truth must be told. (Score:1, Informative)

    by sinserve (455889)
    Motif is poor!

    I know this might sound like a troll, but you can't
    expect a sane developer to ship a GUI on time, with
    nothing but list boxes, dialogs, text fields, menues and labels.

    Some might say that is all you will ever need, or that
    you can assemble any other widgets from those basic
    ones as needed, but why bother do that when other
    toolkits give me property sheets, combo boxes, tabbed views, rich toolbars (dragable, detachable, with animated bitmaps, and even with support for other control embedding.)
    rich text support, and entire grids for spread sheet
    and database applications. Document/View architectures (aka. MVC)
    and rich OO class hierchies.

    Guys, the days of hand coding everything are over.
    MFC gives me all I need on Win32, and Qt on Unix;
    someone else might appreciate Motif, but thank you
    very much, not me.

    This offcourse goes against the longs standing
    trend of clapping for everything new. As always,
    O'Reilly gets my respect (I knew about the books
    for two months, and I was one of the first volunteers to convert them to PDF from the troff
  • Whenever I feel like a good laugh, or reading the work of particularly gifted flamers I fire up /. an do a search for Motif....does ANYONE like it?
    • I'm an experienced Qt programmer, but I am giving serious thought into switching to Motif. Why? Because Qt is becoming a huge bloated monster. Compare the sizes of qt-1.0, qt-2.0 and qt-3.0. The trend is unmistakable. I'd switch to GTK+, but it's not that far behind Qt in the bloat race. There are other suitable toolkits, but only Motif is any sort of standard.
  • by morbid (4258)
    There must be hundreds or thousands of legacy applications out there built to use Motif. Having a reference like this will be invaluable for those poor souls who have to maintain those pieces of code. Just because it's old and there are many more modern alternatives available doesn't automatically make it irrelevant.
  • Motif? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by DGolden (17848) on Tuesday February 05, 2002 @05:07PM (#2958387) Homepage Journal
    Not that I like motif in particular , but one thing that it gets right and that Qt and Gtk suck at is using the X Window System to its full advantage.

    Motif apps, like netscape 4.x, tend to support established X mechanisms for things - like the X resource database (a very good generalised application preferences database, somewhat akin to the windows registry, but less sucky and more human-readable) - they tend to support the editres protocol, they generally integrate better with the X window system Xt infrastructure. Qt and Gtk go off and implement their own half-assed preferences systems and ignore the solid work that exists in X (presumably because Qt and to some extent Gtk are intended to work well on non-X platforms)

    It's almost as if the toolkit authors went off and started implementing their toolkits without bothering to study how X had already solved 3/4 of their problems...

    If you still have ns 4.x or other motif applications around, fire it up, fire up editres, and have a play around - the end-user dynamic configuation abilities are more still more advanced than either Qt or Gtk, and the only other toolkit that I can think of that is comparably easily end-user configurable at runtime is amiga MUI (and xaw, but that starts out looking quite crappy.)

The number of UNIX installations has grown to 10, with more expected. -- The Unix Programmer's Manual, 2nd Edition, June 1972