978-1-56592-044-6 / 1565920449

Volume 6C: Motif Tools: Streamlined GUI Design and Programming with the Xmt Library

by Flanagan, David

Publisher:O'Reilly Media



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About the book:

Motif Tools and the Xmt programming library that accompanies it on CD-ROM offer resources that will empower Motif programmers and dramatically speed up application development with the X Toolkit and Motif.

David Flanagan, author of both the book and the library, writes: "The need for a convenience toolkit is something that not enough programmers and managers realize--Motif is too often viewed as a complete GUI development package, when in fact it was designed only to provide a standard base level of functionality. This is where the Xmt library comes in; it provides many of the widgets and functions that are implemented over and over again by developers. My aim was to put programmer ease-of-use first (something the designers of Motif obviously did not do) and create a library that really simplifies GUI development."

The Xmt library contains nine custom widgets and over 250 convenience routines that handle many tricky aspects of GUI programming. The Layout widget, for example, is an incredibly flexible manager widget that makes the confusing and awkward Motif Form widget a thing of the past. And a single Menu widget will create an entire pulldown menu system for your application by reading a special menu description from a resource file or your C code. Other features of the library dramatically simplify the use of Motif XmStrings, automate the transfer of data between the fields of an application's data structures and the widgets of its dialog boxes, and make it possible to automatically create a widget hierarchy completely described in a resource file.

Motif Tools is a complete programmer's guide and reference manual for the Xmt library. But the book is not just a dry volume about programming mechanics; it also describes a holistic philosophy of application design and development. It guides the reader through the development of a complete application: from first conception, through design and implementation, and on to the finishing stylistic touches--the myriad little details that make the difference between an application that looks sharp and one that just looks ordinary, between one that is a pleasure to use and one that is just usable.

Scattered throughout the book, and collected on the CD, you will also find programming tips and tidbits submitted by Motif programmers from around the world. The price of this book includes a single-programmer license to use the Xmt library source code. Additional licenses may be purchased at a nominal cost.

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