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OPEN SOFTWARE FOUNDATION LAUNCHES NEW MOTIF INITIATIVES

 OPEN SOFTWARE FOUNDATION LAUNCHES NEW MOTIF INITIATIVES
 CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Aug. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Open Software Foundation (OSF(tm)) today announced the kick-off of a broad set of initiatives for expanding and enhancing the highly successful OSF/Motif(tm) graphical user interface (GUI). These efforts, representing the first steps leading to the next level of innovation for Motif(tm) are: the GUI Application Interoperability Architecture (GAIA) project, a structured graphics initiative, and a request for widgets.
 "These new Motif efforts leverage OSF's resources, along with those of the entire industry, to continue to advance GUI technology in areas of importance to end users," said Cathy Betz, OSF/Motif business area manager.
 The GAIA project will be initiated with a workshop Aug. 18-19 in Cambridge, Mass. Through this project, OSF seeks to provide an architecture and API to support data interchange and application interoperability on the X Window System(tm) and between X and non-X information environments. This workshop will help determine whether a request for technology (RFT) will be issued.
 Implementation of this technology will be through OSF's open process, in which OSF employees consultants professionals on sabbatical from their companies, and prospective suppliers of key components work cooperatively. The resulting technology will support relevant industry standards, as do all OSF technologies.
 Among the topics to be addressed at the workshop is the role of the Object Management Group's (OMG) Common Object Request Broker Architecture (CORBA) specification as a potential base standard for the GAIA. Other topics include transparent format conversion for data exchange, dynamic updating between applications, shared GUIs (to support cooperative groupware), embedded applications, object linking, and scripting services for open systems.
 The GAIA industry workshop is open to business and engineering representatives of any company in the computer industry and is not restricted to OSF members. After initial presentations, small teams will work to develop a business model, identify relevant issues, define technical requirements, and propose preliminary architectural frameworks. OSF plans to use this input to define technology to complement the next release of the OSF/Motif GUI.
 The GAIA workshop occurs on the heels of two other initiatives by OSF: a July workshop held in Houston on structured graphics, and the issuing of a request for widgets by OSF, also in July.
 The Houston workshop, hosted by the Petrotechnical Open Software Corporation (POSC), explored Motif's potential for the graphics arena. A structured graphics module for Motif would allow developers to integrate application graphics with their user interfaces. Said Glenn Breed, POSC VP of Research & Technology, "Organizations involved in the exploration of oil and gas, as well as users in other fields, have a requirement to standardize on graphics functionality integrated with Motif." The workshop included presentations given by POSC, CAD Framework Initiative (CFI), and a number of graphics products vendors to a group of more than 50 attendees representing firms heavily involved in graphics applications.
 In an innovative extension to its open process, OSF has invited suppliers to propose widget technology. The results of this effort will enable integration of new interactive objects for rich text and PC-like user interface controls into a future Motif release. Requested widgets fall into two categories: a rich text widget to support editing of text with various typefaces and colors, and control widgets. Control widgets, which provide equivalent functionality to PC user interfaces, include: container, notebook, combo box or drop down list, spin button, field stepper, and thermometer slider. Submissions are due to OSF by September 4.
 The industry can participate in ongoing Motif efforts in a number of ways. The first is by submitting widget technology proposals to OSF. Another is by attending industry workshops, which can be done on a member or non-member basis. OSF membership allows input in the development process and conveys the right to license snapshots of the technology as it is being developed. Organizations also may participate by allowing their employees to work directly with the OSF technology team at the Foundation's Cambridge headquarters on a short-term, sabbatical basis. Workers on sabbatical remain employees of their own organizations. For more information on any of these activities, call 617-621-7232.
 The Open Software Foundation is a not-for-profit research and development organization that supplies software to make computers easier to learn and easier to use, while also making them work better together. To accomplish this, the OSF has created a coalition of vendors and users working together to develop the industry's leading technical agenda and the software essential for creating a comprehensive, open systems computing environment. OSF uses an innovative open process for finding and implementing the best technology from organizations throughout the world. Headquartered in Cambridge, OSF has over 350 members and 280 employees worldwide.
 OSF, OSF/Motif, Motif and Open Software Foundation are trademarks of the Open Software Foundation, Inc.
 X Window System is a trademark of Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
 -0- 8/7/92 R
 /CONTACT: Diane Rezendes of Open Software Foundation, 617-621-8772/ CO: Open Software Foundation ST: Massachusetts IN: CPR SU:


TM-PB -- NE001 -- 7967 08/07/92 11:03 EDT
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Date:Aug 7, 1992
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