OpenMotif 2.3 vs. 2.1.30 Argument - Motif

This is a discussion on OpenMotif 2.3 vs. 2.1.30 Argument - Motif ; Hello everone, I am a bit confused about the versioning of OpenMotif. I noticed that the OpenGroup still says that 2.1.30 is the official version, as does IST. Howeer, on MotifZone, there is an OpenMotif 2.3. Now, in reading around, ...

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Thread: OpenMotif 2.3 vs. 2.1.30 Argument

  1. OpenMotif 2.3 vs. 2.1.30 Argument

    Hello everone,

    I am a bit confused about the versioning of OpenMotif. I noticed that
    the OpenGroup still says that 2.1.30 is the official version, as does
    IST. Howeer, on MotifZone, there is an OpenMotif 2.3. Now, in reading
    around, I noticed something on IST's website that indicates that
    OpenGroup does not “approve” of the OpenMotif versions 2.2 and 2.3. I
    also checked out the MotifDeveloper site and again found a lot of
    references to versions 2.2 and 2.3 being solely ICS releases that are
    not “Official?”

    However, on the OpenGroup's site, I could not find any official
    statement as such. Is there some kind of official word on this stuff?

    --
    Aaron Hsu
    http://www.sacrideo.us


  2. Re: OpenMotif 2.3 vs. 2.1.30 Argument

    Aaron Hsu wrote:
    > Hello everone,


    > However, on the OpenGroup's site, I could not find any official
    > statement as such. Is there some kind of official word on this stuff?


    I am not aware of any publicly available statement of OpenGroup
    about the official version current version of OSF/Motif

    Since I follow this topic, I can point out to this references:
    - ICS is the official maintainer of OpenMotif, you can see
    that by clicking on link "Motif maintenance partner"
    http://www.opengroup.org/openmotif/
    So OpenMotif 2.3 is definitely official.

    We also all know of the mostly well deserved
    criticism of OpenMotif 2.2
    http://www.motifdeveloper.com/tips/Motif22Review.pdf

    And some related posts:
    http://www.motifdeveloper.com/Bullet...t?fID=2&tID=91
    http://www.motifdeveloper.com/Bullet...?fID=4&tID=808

    I think the choice boils down to:
    - if you have a legacy application in pure maintenance mode,
    then use version 2.1.30
    - if you need any of the new features (UFT-8, Antialiased fonts,
    support of PNG/JPEG, transparent icons), then your only
    option is OM 2.3

    You can see the antialiased transparent icons (RGBA), which OM 2.3
    enables me to implement, in the following screenshots.
    http://www.arahne.si/tutorial08.html
    As a developer, I need to be pragmatic and go with the path
    which allows me continued development. Luckily, my programs
    do not kill people on crash, so my choice is easier.

    Best regards,

    Dušan Peterc
    http://www.arahne.si

  3. Re: OpenMotif 2.3 vs. 2.1.30 Argument

    On 2008-02-24 16:23:31 -0600, arahne said:

    > Aaron Hsu wrote:
    >
    >> However, on the OpenGroup's site, I could not find any official
    >> statement as such. Is there some kind of official word on this stuff?

    >
    > I am not aware of any publicly available statement of OpenGroup
    > about the official version current version of OSF/Motif


    Here is the closest that I could come to an official statement [1]:

    The Open Group has indicated to IST that there are a number of
    technical issues surrounding Open Motif 2.2 that will cause it to
    re-classify this release as 'experimental'. In particular, it has
    been pointed out that this release was only ever an OPEN Motif
    release which means that its license for use was only ever valid on
    Linux and FreeBSD, and on no other operating system. Open Motif
    2.1.30 remains the current supported release.

    And then, searching some forms (sponsored by IST) [2], I found:

    ICS released 2.2 without consulting any of the Motif partners, not
    OSF, IST, Sun, SGI, KLG, INT, Microlink. They released without peer
    review, test. Not even the manager in charge of Motif at the OSF was
    notified.

    There are two camps. ICS, which is on its own, and everyone else,
    who continue to insist that OSF 2.1.3x is the official version. Sun
    and SGI immediately strip 2.2+ off of their linux offerings.

    Let us be clear here. ICS's Motif is not open. Its not in source
    forge but ruthlessly controlled on their own machines. They have
    denied write access to those such as myself who in conjunction with
    SGI and OSF tried to resolve the political and technical issues.
    Redhat continue to ship in sheer ignorance.

    And then I found a bit of a larger rant [3]:

    IST's OpenMotif 2.1.3x is strictly compliant with the last official
    OSF release. Fully thread safe, and compatible with the major
    operating system vendors releases.

    ICS's OpenMotif is their own variant which isnt. It succeeds in
    breaking all thread safety, API, binary compatability, and most
    seriously breaks every Ada binding on the planet.Open Group, on its
    release, commissioned a report into the release, found it so
    wanting, that all official sanction for it was removed. Redhat in
    sheer ignorance continue to ship, but I wouldnt recommend it under
    any circumstances. Sun and SGI's Linux offerings explicitly strip
    the ICS motif off of the box and replace with an official OSF
    2.1.3x.

    We at IST looked at making a 2.3 release in conjunction with SGI.
    But we came to the conclusion very fast that the only thing that
    really matters isnt bells and whistles to make the toolkit appear
    tick-list functionally capable when compared with newer features of
    other toolkits, but strict compatability cross platform. Nothing
    else matters at all by comparison, and anything which breaks this is
    a very serious mistake.

    Besides, its entirelty possible to make Motif do all kinds of
    things: from simple things like making the text have multiple
    coloured selections or providing tooltips, through to UTF-8 font
    support and section 508 accessibility can be done via shared library
    plug-ins without modifying the Motif 2.1.30 sources one jot.Motif
    2.1.30 is a mighty powerful release. It doesnt need new widgets: the
    ones it has are perfectly fine and generic, and anything else tends
    to be domain specific, which isnt what a GUI toolkit is about. And
    since there are plenty of plug-in components that are compatible and
    mature that can be had from a variety of sources, anything domain
    specific can be downloaded easily enough. Nor does it need two
    comboBoxes, two panes, two toggles, ..., despite what ICS may think.
    Any additions simply turn the toolkit from a platform-independent
    vendor-neutral generic toolkit into one fit for only one specific
    purpose and platform, or work with only one proprietry GUI builder.

    And this is a huge mistake: if it doesnt work for all application
    domains, X-servers, and platforms with a single constant API, nor
    work with all third party widget providors and GUI builder vendors,
    then Motif is well and truely dead.And if you do use it, sure as
    eggs is eggs, you will find yourself up a blind alley tied to one
    specific vendor and platform whether you like it or not. Be not
    persuaded that Motif needs the additions which ICS have added: I
    find them entirely useless, ill conceived, redundant, and missing
    the whole point. I cannot stress enough: Motif 2.2 and 2.3 from ICS
    are serious mistakes.

    And finally [4]:

    There are two sets of issues.

    The technical ones may or may not have been addressed, although
    there are more and more serious things coming out of the woodwork as
    time progresses. The trouble is,

    OpenMotif isnt, its rigorously controlled by ICS, and was released
    without knowledge of the Open Group. It was not a bloodless coup.
    The manager at the OSF has lost his job, and poor old andrew josey
    who was conned into accepting the release originally was hauled over
    the coals and damn nearly sacked twice. The OSF have withdrawn all
    support for the release.

    A report was commissioned by the OSF, as indicated. Thereafter,
    Acting with SGI as mediator and with full knowledge of the OSF, an
    attempt was made to resolve differences and to patch up the release.
    To the utter astonishment of SGI, ICS refused all write permission
    to myself, at the time the only engineer in the whole world
    professionally maintaining Motif for any of the major operating
    system vendors, in the most insulting terms.

    Since then, no attempt has been made at abridgement. This isnt about
    Motif, but ICS, who are claiming to all who will listen that this is
    an official release and that it is open. It is nothing of the kind.

    For technical issues, the release did break all thread safety, and I
    do believe some work has been done in this area. But as I say, there
    are more and more serious issues surfacing. Nobody who works on the
    toolkit seems to have the slightest idea of the real issues or how
    to construct the Motif library. For example, the release simply
    plonked "new" resources for the EPak widgets slap bang into the
    exising Motif 2.1 strinbg table, without any thought for side effect
    or order. The result is catastrophic, for at a stroke it renders all
    Ada bindings on the planet volatile. I acted as consultant to
    Lockheed a year or two ago, following catastrophic failure of a
    helicopter controls: they deadlocked on the pilot, and down she went
    toweards the drink with 13 souls on board. This had a Motif
    interface. I was horrified to discover that they had cross compiled
    from Linux a Motif Ada binding into VxWorks without realizing the
    side effect of cross-compiling the string tables which now have the
    wrong offsets. All those poor people.

    Since then, I have no idea what other butchery lurks. But one can
    envisage all kinds of issues surrounding the 2.x "tooltip". If you
    must plonk static data into a widget reference, it mustnt be the
    widget instance itself. The result here is, you have a component
    that is instantiated once on a sp[ecific screen and visual, so at a
    stroke this is going to break multi-screen operation. Its a
    seriously crap widget anyways, and should have been built along the
    XmScreen lines. But nobody there is bright or experienced enough to
    know this.

    So carry on with 2.x if you wish, but you are selling your soul to
    the devil.

    The official release is Motif 2.1.30 from OSF. It isnt that from
    ICS. And if you believe or have been told this is not so, you have
    been conned.

    I note here that all of these comments were made after the beta release
    of OpenMotif on MotifZone. Now, ICS may be maintaining the Bug database
    for Motif, but it seems to me that there are a lot of companies that
    have a hand in Motif. IST and ICS are both listed on the "Other
    Organizations" pages of the Open Group site [5], but it says that the
    Open Group "does not endorse any of the work performed by these
    companies." Now, this would seem to be in contest with one
    interpertation of the term "Motif maintenance partner."

    I have sent an email to the Open Group about this, but I have not heard
    back from them. Now, I assume that the Open Group's page would
    logically have some authority on everything, but I find that the FAQ of
    their page [6] indicates that "Version 2.1.30 is the stable production
    version" of Motif. Along with this, they state, "At present there is no
    organization supporting the collection and integration of Open Motif
    enhancements," which seems to conflict with your interpretation of ICS
    being the sole maintenance partner for Motif.

    Now, IST states that "the OpenMotif (2.2 or 2.3) distribution that is
    supplied with many Linux distributions has been classified as
    'expiremental' by the Open Group. [7]" IST continues to imply that by
    expiremental, the Open Group means to imply that they do not
    necessarily indicate the direction in which future Motif Development
    ought to tend. So, while ICS seems to have some kind of endorsement
    from the Open Group, it does not seem that anywhere I can see evidence
    that the ICS has the right to deem some release of Open Motif Stable
    and Officical. It seems that the status of OpenMotif 2.3 from what I
    can see can only be reliably interpreted to be "code released by an
    organization officially affiliated with the development of OpenMotif."
    However, I am quite confused by the seeming contradictions of the Open
    Group's site and MotifZone. If indeed the Open Group's site is just out
    of date, this is a series issue.

    > And some related posts:
    > http://www.motifdeveloper.com/Bullet...t?fID=2&tID=91
    > http://www.motifdeveloper.com/Bullet...?fID=4&tID=808


    I have quoted what seems to be the relevant parts above.

    > I think the choice boils down to:
    > - if you have a legacy application in pure maintenance mode,
    > then use version 2.1.30
    > - if you need any of the new features (UFT-8, Antialiased fonts,
    > support of PNG/JPEG, transparent icons), then your only
    > option is OM 2.3


    It would seem that right now this is partialy a choice, but as [2],
    [3], and [4] would seem to suggest, some of the features supposedly
    introduced into version 2.3 were already available in the 2.1.30
    release. :-S Of course, I have not seen the evidence that everything in
    2.3 is possible in 2.1.30, but I would like to see that. Still, what I
    don't understand is whether the Open Group has indeed classified 2.3 as
    an expiremental release, despite ICS insisting that it is a stable
    release, and, if so, whether the Open Group will push development to a
    different direction than that of 2.3. If this does happen, I would be
    worried that code using 2.3 may in fact prove to be unsupported in a
    future release. Additionally, is 2.3 once again a sole effort of ICS,
    and is IST simply not willing to work with ICS, or is it ICS who is
    unwilling to work with IST? It seems that from the MotifDeveloper
    forums, ICS is not cooperating, and produced a different version of 2.3
    than the possibilities examined by IST and SGI. Again, I am not sure.

    So, this all just leaves me very confused.

    > As a developer, I need to be pragmatic and go with the path
    > which allows me continued development. Luckily, my programs
    > do not kill people on crash, so my choice is easier.


    Indeed, that makes things easier, and I don't have any one who will die
    if my code fails, but I do have people who really do need very reliable
    software, and it has to be reliable and maintainable over a long period
    of time. So far, 2.3 seems to indicate that it is not quite the stable
    system that 2.1.30 touts itself as being, and I am worried that with
    the apparent factionism, there may be issues with future
    maintainability of my code. The reason I use Motif for development is
    that it provides reliability and maintainability. It's stable, in other
    words. So, I really wish the Open Group would just make a statement on
    all this to give some developers like me some indication of what to
    expect in the future. :-/

    [1] http://www.motifdeveloper.com/tips/tip22.html
    [2] http://www.motifdeveloper.com/Bullet...t?fID=2&tID=91
    [3] http://www.motifdeveloper.com/Bullet...?fID=4&tID=236
    [4] http://www.motifdeveloper.com/Bullet...?fID=4&tID=808
    [5] http://www.opengroup.org/openmotif/other.html
    [6] http://www.opengroup.org/openmotif/faq.html
    [7] http://www.ist.co.uk/DOWNLOADS/motif_download.html

    --
    Aaron Hsu
    http://www.sacrideo.us


  4. Re: OpenMotif 2.3 vs. 2.1.30 Argument

    Aaron Hsu wrote:

    >> - if you have a legacy application in pure maintenance mode,
    >> then use version 2.1.30
    >> - if you need any of the new features (UFT-8, Antialiased fonts,
    >> support of PNG/JPEG, transparent icons), then your only
    >> option is OM 2.3

    >
    > It would seem that right now this is partialy a choice, but as [2], [3],
    > and [4] would seem to suggest, some of the features supposedly
    > introduced into version 2.3 were already available in the 2.1.30
    > release. :-S Of course, I have not seen the evidence that everything in
    > 2.3 is possible in 2.1.30, but I would like to see that.


    I can assure you that the 2.3 features I have mentioned are
    not possible in 2.1.30.
    I think the cited references state that backwards compatibility
    is of paramount importance, and that those new features could
    be implemented as plugins (probably by another mid-level library).
    Maybe some internal work in that direction has been done by IST,
    but I have never seen the source or an official public announcement
    of such a development by IST.

    Version 2.1.30 is the same old Motif from 10 years ago, with some
    bug fixes.
    Version 2.3 contains new features and new development. Anyone who
    develops software knows, that a version, which brings new features
    is less stable than a pure bug fix release. I wish I could have
    both the stability of 2.1.30 and new features of 2.3, but I can't.

    On the other hand, developers do fix bugs OM 2.3
    http://cvs.motifzone.net/cgi-bin/cvs...y=date#dirlist
    So it is gradually getting better. Probably it will not be
    as good as 2.1.30, but if crashes are fixed, and new functionality
    works properly, it is good enough for me.

    As I understand, OM 2.3 is used mainly on Linux and OSX.
    I develop Linux applications for the last 10 years, and
    I can assure you Linux programming interfaces break all
    the time, in the name of the "progress". And that everything
    on Linux is experimental and buggy. The latest blow is
    Qt3 -> Qt4, which is totally incompatible. We are not
    talking about a recompile, like from 2.1 to 2.2 or 2.3,
    we have missing functionality, no automatic migration tool,
    practically a rewrite. The teenage "I can't understand it,
    let's rewrite" approach is all over Linux.

    So OM 2.3, by Linux standards, is both bug free and compatible
    with earlier releases - since only a recompile is needed,
    with no source changes.

    > So, I
    > really wish the Open Group would just make a statement on all this to
    > give some developers like me some indication of what to expect in the
    > future. :-/

    Good luck with that.

    In any case, if IST does make a superior version of Motif
    with the new features (as "plugin" or any other way), it is not
    difficult to jump ship, the new features only affect about 1% of code.

    The OM 2.1.30 / 2.3 schism does look like a fork, but in practice
    it is an informal split between stable and development release,
    not two really competing branches.

    My hunch is that ICS would like to sell the license
    for OM 2.3 to the remaining Unix workstation vendors
    (Sun, IBM, HPC, SGI?), once it reaches the level of
    stability, that those vendors require. This would also
    partially explain the persistence of the broken OM
    open source license. And this would explain why ICS
    doesn't want any IST involvement. I do not know anyone
    and this is a pure speculation of mine.

    Personally, I would much more prefer OM 2.3 being hosted
    on one of the normal open source sites, and that all
    competent developers, especially Antony Fountain would
    have write access.

    Best regards,

    Dušan Peterc
    http://www.arahne.si

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