[Ilugc] Re: about linux GUI development
- From: siva@xxxxxxxxxxx (Sivasankar Chander)
- Date: Fri Jul 2 18:08:22 2004
I remember reading somewhere that windows gui (Not Windows) was
developed by Xerox way back in early 70's The concept of menu
and other many widgets that is seen today was from their reserch lab.
The concept of windowing actually dates back earlier than the work at
Xerox PARC. Sutherland showed some primitive windowing concepts in
Sketchpad (1960?) and Doug Engelbart of SRI actually showed a demo with
video-conferencing, a mouse and windows in 1965. A movie clip of this
demo is around on the web somewhere, and I've also seen it at a lecture
by Engelbart in 2000 commemorating the 35th anniversary of the mouse.
However, the work by Alan Kay's team at PARC beginning about 1970 was
the first polished implementation of a desktop metaphor, with overlapping
windows, menus, and of course, the mouse and mouse pointer. These ideas were
borrowed by both Apple and Microsoft independently, but much later.
Also early to implement this technique was Apple Computers way back in
No, it first showed up in the Apple Lisa (about 1980), followed by the
Apple Macintosh (1984). Microsoft also used similar ideas in Windows 1.0
(1984) and Digital Research in GEM (1984). AT&T Bell Labs developed the
Blit thin client about the same time (1984). Perq computers developed
a machine using a monochrome bitmapped-screen and windowing in about
1983/84 time frame (this machine was imported into India and sold as
the OMC Omega 58000 in 1985).
The watershed year for the desktop windowing environment was therefore
about 1984, when these ideas became widely used.
In India, however, barring the early work in CMC, OMC and some of the
research groups in graphics (primarily IITK, IITM & IITB), most people
remained blissfully ignorant of bitmapped-graphics and windowing
until the early 90s, when Windows 3.1 started gaining traction.
(At a conference in 1988 about objectives for CDACT (later CDAC), there
was not a single mention of graphics or scientific visualization, which
are now the mainstay of commercial scientific supercomputing, provided
by vendors like SGI, IBM, Sun, HP and so on).
Of course Unix has its own called CDE based on Motif during
No, Motif & CDE are much later developments - about 1989 timeframe was
the earliest Motif code, and CDE followed later. Remember, Motif came after
X11 (1989), not earlier.
Then in MIT they began a project to implement GUI for unix based system
in 1984 or so and released a stable one in 1986.
This was X (initially X10, later X11).
It was to augument CDE
and Motiff which were commercial.
Motif and CDE run *on* X, and are not a replacement for it. X is a
Windowing system. Motif one among a number of different window managers
(twm, vtwm, fvwm, ...) for X. CDE is a full desktop environment theme that
originally used Motif, but has also been ported to alternative window
managers like fvwm. I'll be showing a demo of CDE on fvmw2 at the Linux
Fest on 10/11, if time permits.
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