Tag Archives: CDE

How the Operating System Got Graphical

By Dave Lounsbury, The Open Group

The Open Group is a strong believer in open standards and our members strive to help businesses achieve objectives through open standards. In 1995, under the auspices of The Open Group, the Common Desktop Environment (CDE) was developed and licensed for use by HP, IBM, Novell and Sunsoft to make open systems desktop computers as easy to use as PCs.

CDE is a single, standard graphical user interface for managing data, files, and applications on an operating system. Both application developers and users embraced the technology and approach because it provided a simple and common approach to accessing data and applications on network. With a click of a mouse, users could easily navigate through the operating system – similar to how we work on PCs and Macs today.

It was the first successful attempt to standardize on a desktop GUI on multiple, competing platforms. In many ways, CDE is responsible for the look, feel, and functionality of many of the popular operating systems used today, and brings distributed computing capabilities to the end user’s desktop.

The Open Group is now passing the torch to a new CDE community, led by CDE suppliers and users such as Peter Howkins and Jon Trulson.

“I am grateful that The Open Group decided to open source the CDE codebase,” said Jon Trulson. “This technology still has its fans and is very fast and lightweight compared to the prevailing UNIX desktop environments commonly in use today. I look forward to seeing it grow.”

The CDE group is also releasing OpenMotif, which is the industry standard graphical interface that standardizes application presentation on open source operating systems such as Linux. OpenMotif is also the base graphical user interface toolkit for the CDE.

The Open Group thanks these founders of the new CDE community for their dedication and contribution to carrying this technology forward. We are delighted this community is moving forward with this project and look forward to the continued growth in adoption of this important technology.

For those of you who are interested in learning more about the CDE project and would like to get involved, please see http://sourceforge.net/projects/cdesktopenv.

Dave LounsburyDave Lounsbury is The Open Group‘s Chief Technology Officer, previously VP of Collaboration Services.  Dave holds three U.S. patents and is based in the U.S.

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