Motif (widget toolkit)
|Stable release||2.3.4 / October 23, 2012|
|License||Proprietary (before 2.3.4)
GNU LGPL (2.3.4 on)
In computing, Motif refers to both a graphical user interface (GUI) specification and the widget toolkit for building applications that follow that specification under the X Window System on Unix and other POSIX-compliant systems. It was the standard toolkit for the Common Desktop Environment and thus for Unix.
Motif emerged in the 1980s as Unix workstations were on the rise, as a collaboration between Digital Equipment Corporation, Hewlett-Packard, and other companies to provide a common interface toolkit for the X Window System, to compete with the OPEN LOOK GUI. The independent group formed to maintain and develop the software went through several manifestations: from X/Open through Open Software Foundation (and Motif was sometimes even called OSF/Motif) to its current name, the Open Group.
Motif is the basic building block of the Common Desktop Environment, which is the standard desktop for commercial Unix.
The Motif look and feel is distinguished by its use of square, chiseled, three-dimensional effects for its various user interface elements — menus, buttons, sliders, text boxes, and the like. Motif's operation was designed to correspond closely with the then-familiar Microsoft Windows and OS/2's Presentation Manager interfaces, and Microsoft played a key role in designing the original style guide.
Motif was originally made available under a licence requiring royalty payments. A version called Open Motif (substantially the same codebase under a different license) was released under a license allowing royalty-free distribution of Open Motif if the platform upon which it is used is Open Source. The name was criticised for likelihood to mislead people into thinking it was proper open source or free software. The initial release of Open Motif was version 2.1.30 in May 2000; Open Motif 2.3 was released in June 2007, followed by a 2.3.1 bug fix release in September 2008 and a 2.3.2 bug fix release in March 2009.
During the time when Motif was closed source software, the LessTif project was created with the aim of creating a free software implementation, under the LGPL.
See also 
- Lori Houston (2000). "Is Motif Dead? No Way! An Interview with Antony Fountain Co-author of Volume 6B: Motif Reference Manual, 2nd Edition". O'Reilly. Retrieved October 2012.
- "1295-1993 - IEEE Standard for Information Technology--X Window System--Modular Toolkit Environment (MTE)". IEEE Computer Society. Retrieved 2012-01-23.
- Open Motif Frequently Asked Questions "For the current stable 2.1.30 release, aside from some different copyright and license statements, both Motif and Open Motif share the same functionality and source code. The primary difference between Open Motif and the commercial product is the software license."
- Richard Stallman. "The Motif License".
- "ICS MotifZone". October 2012. Retrieved October 2012.
- ICS MotifZone (current)
- Motif source code distribution at SourceForge
- Motif homepage at Open Group (not updated since 2.1)
- The Motif FAQ (Kenton Lee)
- Motif: Volumes 6A and 6B (O'Reilly and Associates, free PDF downloads)]
- Motif for OpenVMS