Motif (widget toolkit)

From Academic Kids

Motif (or capitalized MOTIF) is a graphical widget toolkit for building graphical user interfaces under the X Window System on UNIX and other POSIX-compliant systems. It emerged in the 1980s as UNIX workstations were on the rise, as a competitor to the OpenLook GUI.

It is also an industry standard by the name IEEE 1295 (in which case it should better be referred to as the Motif API in order to avoid ambiguity). It was and still is used as the basic building blocks for the Common Desktop Environment. As of version 2.1 Motif supports Unicode which has made it widely used in several multilingual environments.

Motif is distinguished by its use of square, chiseled, three dimensional effects for the various user interface elements — menus, buttons, sliders, text boxes, and the like. This was in vogue, however, as Microsoft Windows 3.x had added a 3D effect and Motif on UNIX was increasingly seen as a competitor to Microsoft on Intel personal computers.

Many argue that it is practically obsolete when compared to GTK+ or Qt (a key indicator is that the major Motif user Sun Microsystems have declared that they will switch over to GTK+ and GNOME), but it is still used in many legacy systems.

Motif was created by the Open Software Foundation (and was sometimes even called OSF/Motif) but is nowadays owned by The Open Group.

There are a few implementations of the Motif API. Motif the toolkit is the first. There is also Open Motif which is a release of the "original" Motif under more liberal licensing terms. Finally, the LessTif project has been working hard to implement the API under the LGPL license.

See also

External links

de:Motif es:Motif it:Motif

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