Path: utzoo!utgpu!!mailrus!uunet!longway!std-unix
From: (Jeffrey S. Haemer)
Newsgroups: comp.std.unix
Subject: Standards Update, IEEE 1201: User Interface
Message-ID: <455@longway.TIC.COM>
Date: 2 Dec 89 19:26:24 GMT
Sender: std-u...@longway.TIC.COM
Organization: USENIX Standards Watchdog Committee
Lines: 152
Approved: (Moderator, John S. Quarterman)

From: Jeffrey S. Haemer <>


            An Update on UNIX* and C Standards Activities

                            December 1989

                 USENIX Standards Watchdog Committee

                   Jeffrey S. Haemer, Report Editor

IEEE 1201: User Interface Update

Eileen Coons <> reports on the October 16-19, 1989
meeting in Brussels, Belgium:

     "The time has come," the walrus said,
       "To talk of many things:
     Of shoes -- and ships -- and sealing wax --
       Of cabbages -- and kings --
     And why the sea is boiling hot --
       And whether pigs have wings."
               -- Lewis Carroll

The P1201 committee is on a divine mission to define standards for
user interface technologies.  Lewis Carroll would have loved P1201

In keeping with the precedent set by previous P1201 meetings, this
latest get-together was spirited.  The quasi-good news is that, by the
end of the session, not one, but 3 PAR's had been defined, as the
group split into 1201.1 (Application Programming Interface), 1201.2
(Drivability - Look & Feel), and 1201.3 (User Interface Definition
Language). One participant aptly named the proceedings "PAR Wars".

There was agonized discussion over the various sub-group's missions,
and an equal amount of agonized, and at times agonizing, wordsmithing
over the .1 and .2 PAR's themselves.  The .3 group thoughtfully
elected to split off and define itself in private.  The PAR's will be
submitted via proper official channels to be blessed at the January
SEC meeting.

For anyone not familiar with the PAR process, PAR is an acronym for
Project Authorization Request.  An individual or group that believes
some work should be done by an IEEE committee drafts a document
describing the work, which is then submitted to the IEEE as a PAR.


  * UNIX is a registered trademark of AT&T in the U.S. and other

December 1989 Standards Update               IEEE 1201: User Interface

                                - 2 -

Usually the PAR is circulated to the IEEE membership in one of its

The SEC (Steering Executive Committee) reviews the PAR during its next
scheduled session, typically held during a POSIX meeting.  The SEC
votes on the PAR, and if the PAR is approved by the SEC, it is
presented to TCOS (Technical Committee on Operating Systems).  TCOS
decides in which committee the work will be done.  In the case of the
PAR for User Interface, TCOS elected to divorce the work from the core
POSIX effort (1003), and created P1201.

The PAR becomes part of the statement of work and basic charter for
the group doing the work.

Fortunately, at this meeting the group finally created some real
structure for itself.  Ninety minutes into the meeting, the group
decided to define an agenda!  It also resolved that all meeting
attendees should receive minutes of the meeting, e-mail snafus
notwithstanding.  Jim Isaak, the chair of the 1003 SEC, helped with
structural definition by supplying IEEE rules and charter information,
explaining the balloting process, and listing action options open to
the committee.

Seven ballot alternatives were proposed, ranging from submitting a
proposal for immediate ballot, to disbanding 1201, packing our tents,
and going home.  A vote was called, and although there was no
consensus (hardly a surprise), the heavy favorite was a proposal to
adopt Motif's API as the basis for a standard API specification, and
to extend it to accommodate aspects of Open Look's look & feel.

This general direction was unpopular with a vocal minority, however,
so the group took a break then reconvened, discarded the vote and
returned to its original, pre-poll path of action: defining a
specification for an API based on neither Motif nor Open Look, but on
some new API -- probably a hybrid of the two.

[Editor's note: I've heard more than one person express ill-ease about
the restricted range of choices being considered.  Why is there no
mention of NeXT/Step, for example?  A noticeable feeling among people
who aren't on the committee is that it's too early to try to
standardize in this area, and that the answer to the question, "Motif
or Open Look?" should be, "No thanks."

The answer to the implied question, "Why is there a P1201 and why are
we doing this now, anyway?" seems to be is that NIST, the National
Institute for Standards and Technology (the people who bring you
FIPS), is pushing hard for rapid creation of a GUI standard.]

Two presentations were made: one by AT&T, in favor of the joint API
concept, and one by OSF, arguing against its feasibility. In an
unusual and unfortunate departure from Robert's Rules of Order, this

December 1989 Standards Update               IEEE 1201: User Interface

                                - 3 -

was followed by a critique of -- some thought, attack on -- the second
presentation by one of the acting chairs, Clive Feather of X/OPEN.
P1201 may be many things but, so far, staid isn't one of them...

On a more neutral note, several representatives from organizations
working on UIDL technologies made presentations about what they were
doing in that arena, and then went off to form P1201.3.  God bless

The rest of the group broke into the .1 and .2 sub-groups for working
sessions during most of the remaining meeting time.  Each group
reviewed its newly drafted PAR.  P1201.1 also spent time comparing
Motif and Open Look, identifying and exploring the differences between
the two API's, and looking for potential drivability issues that could
be deferred to P1003.2.  P1003.2 took a similar course of action,
comparing the looks and feels of the two technologies.

It's rumored that the .1 group will be meeting Dec. 4 - 5 in
Cambridge, MA to pursue their quest for a merged API.  Interested
parties should contact Betty Dall, AT&T, for more details.  (E-mail, or phone Betty at 201-522-6386.)

There was also a spirited discussion regarding when and where the next
P1201 meetings should be held.  After various alternatives were
explored, and only two (or was it three...?) votes, the group decided
to keep P1201 meetings in the same vicinity and timeframe as POSIX
meetings, since many attendees need, or want, to participate in POSIX
as well.

All in all, it wasn't too bad.  The weather in Brussels was nice, the
Belgian beer was pretty good, and the meeting was, um...,

December 1989 Standards Update               IEEE 1201: User Interface

Volume-Number: Volume 17, Number 83

			  SCO's Case Against IBM

November 12, 2003 - Jed Boal from Eyewitness News KSL 5 TV provides an
overview on SCO's case against IBM. Darl McBride, SCO's president and CEO,
talks about the lawsuit's impact and attacks. Jason Holt, student and 
Linux user, talks about the benefits of code availability and the merits 
of the SCO vs IBM lawsuit. See SCO vs IBM.

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