[lsb-discuss] Thinking about future LSB features

Robert Schweikert robert.schweikert at mathworks.com
Fri Feb 13 11:41:14 PST 2009

Jiri Dluhos wrote:
> Hi everyone,
> Just my 2 cents of thoughts... please don't take me too seriously...
> On Wed, 11 Feb 2009 19:13:05 +0100
> "Dallman, John" <john.dallman at siemens.com> wrote:
>>> What would make LSB more useful to you?
>> The lack of Motif support is what kills it for most of my employers' 
>> apps. I understand the reasons, but while there is no Motif, many 
>> people don't see any point in doing the work to be otherwise LSB-
>> compliant.
> Wouldn't the simplest solution be to simply link the Motif library
> statically into the application, or bundle it with the executable? I
> think it is not so big...
I don't think Motif is LSB compliant, but I might be wrong. If it is not 
that could of course be the alternate solution.
>> And they really don't like the idea of switching to a 
>> Motif substitute, unless it claims to be a complete replacement, up 
>> front, with someone who'll fix deficiencies, and they don't see an 
>> adequate gain in re-writing huge amounts of complex GUI in Qt, or 
>> something else. It would be man-decades of work, at a conservative 
>> estimate.
> I understand it's lots of annoying work, but man-decades are, IMO, way
> overstated. When considering that the graphical interface is only
> a part of the whole code, I have problems imagining a software project
> so huge to justify man-decades; IMHO that would suffice to rewrite the
> whole UNIX from scratch.
If you look at large systems, such as a CAD UI with tons of dialog boxes 
and behavior nuances the effort is very large. Scripting can help, but 
just the re-qualification effort of the new UI is tremendous.
>> No, these people don't have any ideological commitment to Linux. 
>> To them it is just another UNIX platform. So far, customers only 
>> seem to want the products (big expensive CAD and PDM software)
> A big expensive CAD programs with a Motif interface?
Yes, these systems existed before anyone ever thought of Gtk or Qt and 
before Linux was viable as a desktop or server platform for the enterprise.
>  Don't the
> customers consider the GUI, well, a bit dated? 
Most customers probably do. However, there is a good chance that these 
same customers are also still running HPUX or other Unix flavor 
workstations they bought a while ago.

In this market changes are very slow and a vendor will not gain new 
business by converting to a new toolkit. If given the choice between a 
conversion of the interface to a more modern look and feel or new 
features customers would most likely want the new features.

> Although Motif might be
> excellent in its time, the current user interfaces are much better not
> only in look, but also in comfort and usability.
> Best regards,
>     Jiri Dluhos
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Robert Schweikert                       MAY THE SOURCE BE WITH YOU
(robert.schweikert at mathworks.com)                 LINUX
The MathWorks Inc.
Phone : 508-647-2042

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