SunSoft's OpenWindows Directions

From: Pierre Bedard (pierre@stendhal.Eng.Sun.COM)
Date: Tue Jan 26 1993 - 14:58:56 CST

Please find attached a copy of a Windows direction statement
which was presented at the X Windows Technical Conference
last week.

cut here---------------------------------------


SunSoft recently entered into an agreement with Adobe
Systems to license the Display PostScript System (DPS)
for Solaris. This message is intended to clarify
SunSoft's OpenWindows directions in light of our
partnership with Adobe and our commitment to MIT's X
Window System.

Since 1989, Sun has supported MIT's X protocol in its
OpenWindows product. SunSoft will continue its commitment to
MIT's X Window system by shipping an OpenWindows product
based on the MIT source code. The last release of Solaris
featuring X11/NeWS and TNT will ship in mid 1993. Subsequent
releases of Solaris will incorporate MIT's X11R5 coupled
with Adobe Display PostScript Level 2 as well as other
imaging and geometry libraries.


The mid 1993 release of Solaris will feature major
improvements in the OPEN LOOK Intrinsics Toolkit (OLIT)
based on X11R5 intrinsics. A candidate for IEEE
standardization, you can easily port applications
developed with OLIT to European and Asian versions. You
can dynamically customize OLIT applications at runtime,
allowing better control of fonts and colors. Sporting the
same look and feel of applications developed with
SunSoft's popular XView toolkit, OLIT is an intrinsics-
based alternative.


Starting in 1993, OpenWindows will use MIT's source code as
its foundation. Though the switch from an X11/NeWS based
server to an X11R5 server will impact applications which
depend on NeWS technology, SunSoft believes developers and
users will reap major benefits. Improvements in server
quality and performance, as well as a more standard X
implementation will benefit all Solaris users. All programs
written using the X protocol and libraries will run on
the new X11R5-based server. In addition, SunSoft will be
standardizing on ddx for the writing of graphics frame
buffer device drivers. This, along with the adoption of
a standard Xinput extension mechanism, will lower the
cost of bringing hardware peripherals to market.


For information about X server issues:

Pierre Bedard (pierre.bedard@Eng.Sun.Com)
Bill Brown (bill.brown@Eng.Sun.Com)

For information about SunSoft's toolkits:

Jim Mukerjee (jim.mukerjee@Eng.Sun.Com)

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ---------------------

Q. What versions of Solaris will this new OpenWindows
server run on? When will this new server ship?

A. This server will run on Solaris 2.x systems only. The next
release of Solaris will feature the last release of X11/NeWS.
All releases after this release will support the X11R5 server
only. No dates have been set for this release.

Q. What about XView?

A. SunSoft recognizes that many of our customers use the
XView toolkit. You do not need to port applications from
XView to OLIT. You can maintain your present applications
on XView until you feel comfortable moving to an object
environment or you need functionality not available on

Q. Will all the applications that now run on X11/NeWS work
on this new window system? Will Drag and Drop and ToolTalk

A. If an application conforms to X protocol, it will run. As
an example, Deskset (except PageView which uses NeWS) runs
on MIT's X11R5 with no code change. Applications using the
ICCCM Drag and Drop protocol and ToolTalk will also work.

Unfortunately, applications using the NeWS Toolkit (TNT) or
NeWS imaging will not be supported. Applications using NeWS
imaging must be ported to Display PostScript. We recommend
that applications using TNT be ported to OLIT.

Q. How long will X11/NeWS and TNT be supported?

A. Support for X11/NeWS and TNT will continue to be
available. Source code for the latest release of
OpenWindows will also be available at a reasonable price.

Q. What is DPS?

A. The Display PostScript System provides a device-
independent imaging model for displaying information on
the screen. By allowing you to use PostScript to display
text, graphics, and sampled images, it frees you from
display-specific details such as screen resolution and the
number of available colors.

In September 1992, SunSoft entered into a long-term
partnership with Adobe Systems to provide Solaris users with
the Display PostScript System. SunSoft will feature DPS as
an integral part of Solaris.

Q. Is DPS a standard?

A. Though DPS is not a sanctioned standard, it is fast
becoming a de facto UNIX standard. All major Unix platform
vendors (SGI, IBM, DEC, NCD, etc.), except Hewlett-Packard,
support the DPS extension to X.

Q. What do you mean by compatibility?

A. All X applications written for Solaris which conform
to the X protocol should run with the X11R5 server.
Developers should be able to leverage one source base for
multiple UNIX platforms.

Q. What about NeWSprint?

A. NeWSprint will continue to be an integral part of
Sun's printing solution. The windows direction has
no adverse impact on NeWSprint. In a separate agreement
with Adobe, SunPics has licensed Adobe technology for
inclusion into future printing and imaging products.
NeWSprint, an environment of many modules, enables
customers to print on heterogenous networks. One of
the modules will be Adobe's PostScript imager or RIP
which will be shared with SunSoft's Solaris OpenWindows
window system. This will enrich NeWSprint by enhancing the
RIP module with industry-standard Adobe PostScript.

Q. How much better is performance?

A. End users will see immediate improvements in server
bootup time, application launch speed, and window snap.

Q. Is product quality that much better?

A. We believe OWV3 is a high-quality product. By moving
to an MIT source base we will be able to deliver an even
higher quality product. MIT has issued many public
patches since the release of R5, containing over 1,300
bug fixes. Patches are issued every few weeks. Moving to
the MIT X source base allows SunSoft to leverage all
engineers working on X Window Systems throughout the
world. SunSoft can also be more proactive in donating
work to the X community at large.

Q. You say you are based on standards? Is OLIT a standard?

A. Not yet, though OLIT is now the basis of a IEEE working
group P1295.2 the Open Toolkit Environment (OTKE). OTKE
is standards work which has been proposed in the IEEE
Computer Society. This work will establish a toolkit
standard based on OPEN LOOK.

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