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Definition

Motif

Contributor(s): Majid Tajamolian and Jethro Waanders

1) Motif is a graphical user interface ( GUI ) guideline and development toolkit for the X Window System . As such, it defines the rules and tools for the "look-and-feel" in the graphical user interface of most UNIX -based operating systems and their applications. Developed in 1989 by the Open Software Foundation (now part of The Open Group ), Motif corresponds to IBM's Common User Access (CUA) guideline for its OS/2 Presentation Manager and to the guidelines built into the Microsoft Windows application programming interfaces, including the Microsoft Foundation Classes ( Microsoft Foundation Class Library ) for user interface objects (often called widget ).

The Motif Toolkit, also known as "Xm," ensures consistency with the Motif guideline and is used with the X Toolkit Intrinsics ("Xt"). In turn, Xt is built on the lowest-level application program level, X library ("Xlib"). The Motif Style Guide, which describes how to conform to the guideline, is published as an industry standard (IEEE 1295, orderable from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers ). Motif is the base graphical user interface toolkit for the Open Group's Common Desktop Environment (CDE).

2) Motif is also the name of a Microsoft Windows program object for a sound sequence or musical motif (short theme or iconic sound). Motifs are also known as Microsoft Interactive Music Controls.

This was last updated in April 2005

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