From: "G. Branden Robinson" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: [TUHS] OLIT, MoOLIT, and NeWS (was: X11 Conservancy Project)
Date: Sun, 25 Dec 2022 14:51:51 -0600 [thread overview]
Message-ID: <20221225205151.x3kflt7qrjc3b7i4@illithid> (raw)
[-- Attachment #1: Type: text/plain, Size: 3619 bytes --]
At 2022-12-25T10:15:19-0800, Michelangelo De Simone wrote:
> The X11 Conservancy Project (X11CP) pulls together the disparate set
> of programs which were being written between the very late 80s, and
> early 90s -- usually for Unix and Linux.
It looks like this must have just gotten started. All that is present
is xtartan. Which I do at least remember. :)
Library support is going to be an issue for a lot of X11 legacy apps.
I remember that the XForms widget library used to be proprietary, and I
recall that it had been freed, but not that this had been done 20 years
ago now...albeit still too late to have made itself the center of
the Linux desktop environment, as it could have been if only the
copyright holders had not clung so tightly to The Precious.
Motif and XView similarly got freed (the latter quite early in fact, as
I recall...but night had already fallen for the SunView UI).
But two tooklit variants I've heard of, I've never found out if they
ever made their sources freely available: OLIT and MoOLIT.
As I understand it, OLIT was XView, but written on top of the X Toolkit
Intrinsics library (Xt) as opposed to bypassing it and going straight to
And MoOLIT was, apparently, some kind of shim--whether it supplemented
OLIT or replaced it, I am not sure--that, like XForms and Java's AWT,
allowed you to to write a "look-and-feel-neutral" application.
As I recall, such efforts often failed because they abstracted only the
intersection of available features rather than the union of them, so
except for very simple UIs, programs didn't look or behave
I'd be curious to hear people's recollections of these and especially to
learn of any pointers to source.
Ranging a bit farther afield, I wonder similarly about Sun's NeWS, which
I never saw in the flesh.
Nowadays its web site does not even mention its proprietary past.
 Before that relicensing, I was part of a team at Progeny Linux
Systems that was contracted by HP to port xforms (and a lot of other
stuff) to IA-64. xforms was given to me because I was "the X guy"
on staff. I don't remember it being difficult--just the usual
long/int punning issues. I don't recollect now whether xforms had
already been ported to Alpha or SPARC V9; it seems to me that it
should have been by 2001, or would have been, had it been FLOSS.
Great merriment was had in those days dogging on IA-64, but the more
I learned about that ISA the more I liked it compared it to x86,
though that may be damning it with faint praise. But apparently
IA-64 made novel demands with respect to instruction sequencing that
caused compiler writers--or perhaps more accurately the people who
would have to pay compiler writers--squeal like pigs in hot oil.
Intel had a similar "fiasco" with the iAPX 432 fifteen years before;
that was the ISA for which, infamously, "Ada [was the] intended
primary language for application programming." Ada was also
reviled, ostenisbly because it was too damn hard to write a compiler
for it, but probably also because its keyword inventory more closely
resembled Pascal than C, which was already starting to eat the world
in the mid-1980s. Strangely enough, as I understand it, the
compiler innovations demanded by Ada and IA-64, respectively, came
to be standard and expected, and their benefits enjoyed unthinkingly
by x86 and C advocates. Thus do we reward innovation in this
[-- Attachment #2: signature.asc --]
[-- Type: application/pgp-signature, Size: 833 bytes --]
next prev parent reply other threads:[~2022-12-25 20:53 UTC|newest]
Thread overview: 11+ messages / expand[flat|nested] mbox.gz Atom feed top
2022-12-25 18:15 [TUHS] X11 Conservancy Project Michelangelo De Simone
2022-12-25 19:16 ` [TUHS] " segaloco via TUHS
2022-12-25 19:57 ` Michael Kjörling
2022-12-25 20:51 ` G. Branden Robinson [this message]
2022-12-25 21:03 ` [TUHS] Re: OLIT, MoOLIT, and NeWS (was: X11 Conservancy Project) Brad Spencer
2022-12-25 21:38 ` josh
2022-12-25 21:47 ` Ron Natalie
2022-12-26 6:26 ` arnold
2022-12-26 19:37 ` Jon Steinhart
2022-12-26 4:18 ` Warner Losh
2022-12-26 9:59 ` [TUHS] Re: X11 Conservancy Project Lars Brinkhoff
You may reply publicly to this message via plain-text email
using any one of the following methods:
* Save the following mbox file, import it into your mail client,
and reply-to-all from there: mbox
Avoid top-posting and favor interleaved quoting:
* Reply using the --to, --cc, and --in-reply-to
switches of git-send-email(1):
git send-email \
* If your mail client supports setting the In-Reply-To header
via mailto: links, try the mailto: link
Be sure your reply has a Subject: header at the top and a blank line
before the message body.
This is a public inbox, see mirroring instructions
for how to clone and mirror all data and code used for this inbox;
as well as URLs for NNTP newsgroup(s).