The Common Desktop Environment is a graphical user interface for UNIX® in its various flavors (AIX, HP/UX, SolarisTM, UnixWare, and so forth). UNIX is a powerful and portable operating system. The desktop now brings unparalleled ease of use to UNIX.
The desktop has been jointly developed by Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Novell and Sun Microsystems. It is being adopted as a standard operating environment by these companies and many others in the UNIX workstation market.
The desktop interface brings greater ease-of-use and a consistent interface to UNIX. This provides many advantages to both end users and application developers. Among these advantages are:
An easier to use interface enables users to learn the system quickly and use it efficiently.
Consistency between UNIX platforms enables users to move from one computer to another with minimal difficulty. It also enables programmers to write a single application that can be compiled for each platform, significantly reducing development effort.
The desktop provides as much consistency as possible with the Microsoft Windows and IBM OS/2 environments. This enables users to easily move between these environments and the desktop.
Unlike many competing operating systems, several built-in productivity applications enable the desktop user to be productive before buying application software.
The desktop specifications have been submitted to the X/Open standards organization, ensuring that desktop is "open" and will not tie the user to proprietary solutions.
The desktop user interface follows the Motif guidelines. Motif, however, does not define a desktop, only the basic behaviors for applications and widgets. The Style Guide and Certification Checklist defines the guidelines that enable an application to integrate well with the desktop. Thus, to write a desktop-conforming application, you should follow both the CDE 2.1/Motif 2.1 Style Guide and Glossary and the Common Desktop Environment: Style Guide and Certification Checklist.
Compliance with the desktop interface guidelines is voluntary and self-regulated. There is no formal certification process. Applications that meet all the required guidelines in this style guide and the CDE 2.1/Motif 2.1 Style Guide and Glossary can be considered desktop compliant.
CDE 2.1/Motif 2.1 Style Guide and Glossary is part of a set of style guides for Motif that are available from The Open Group (www.opengroup.com). This book set replaces the OSF/Motif Style Guide, although there are few differences in the actual guidelines.
In this book, priorities have been assigned to each guideline: Required, recommended, and optional.