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January 24, 1989


By CBR Staff Writer

Dublin, Ireland-based software house Glockenspiel Ltd’s long gestating Common View object-orientated application framework for X-Window System and Presentation Manager is now available – and looks like an important breakthrough in software development tools. Common View presents a common, portable interface to the user, regardless of which windowing environment is being addressed, and it can significantly reduce the amount of code ordinarily required to write an application. Common View sits on top of both X-Window and Presentation Manager, and users writing applications to the Common View interface using C++ can run their results on either system, with no resulting differences in appearance. C++ can reduce the amount of C code ordinarily required to write an application by up to one fifth, and at the system call level Common View compresses X-Window’s 400 functions into about 30 classes. The package includes C++ compilers for OS/2 and MS-DOS, the Common View package itself, and a data object library – which can be replaced by a database if necessary. At present only the beta test version is available, customers buying Common View now will receive a free upgrade to the final version later this quarter. Common View layers only over Presentation Manager and X-Window at present, but X11 and Sun NeWS portability will be added later in the year. One enthusiastic user is Siemens in the UK, which is working on Common View at its Woodley, Berkshire software development centre to implement its own Collage user interface on top of MS-Windows under MS-DOS and X under Unix. With the continuing proliferation of user interface standards, the idea just could catch on. Cost is UKP400.

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