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September 6, 1988


By CBR Staff Writer

A working group set up within the group of companies known as the X Consortium is drawing up a standard core components offering for X Window. The intention, according to the project manager, Bob Miller from Hewlett-Packard, is to guide the Open Software Foundation’s component selection process for its user interface evaluation meetings, beginning next month. The working group, with representatives from AT&T, DEC, Hewlett, IBM, Kodak, Sony, Tektronix, and the Foundation itself, will base the core component offering on the Xt Intrinsics Release 2 toolkit, based largely on work completed by DEC. The other main elements will be a set of widgets, or functions, provided by Hewlett Packard. Hewlett has developed two sets of widgets, which specify functions for producing graphics such as scroll bars, windows and buttons: a two-dimensional version will be included in the core components specification, while a three-dimensional version will be used for Hewlett’s own systems. On the 3D version, a light border is put at the top a button, and a dark border at the bottom, which change places when the button is pressed. Both versions have the same programming interface. If accepted, the components offering could provide a more solid base for developers of X application software. Ray Anderson, of X specialists IXI Ltd, based in Cambridge, UK, said that such a standard would allow developers to build applications at a higher level, knowing the same components were available on any X machine. The group has set a schedule to have preliminary version distributed by September 15, and after four draft editions, a final specification by June 15 1989.

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