Motif and X-Windows

Getting Started with Motif

The Motif interface to the VMS operating system lets you divide the workstation screen into windows and design your working environment to suit your needs. You can run multiple applications simultaneously on a single screen and switch between them. This means you can read mail messages in one window, run a program in a second, and edit a file on a different system in a third window. Motif is an extension of a client-server based graphical user interface developed by MIT known as X Windows.

The Motif standard defines the look and feel of the graphical interface. Figure 6.1 shows the initial login screen of a DEC system. Most workstations are part of a particular cluster. To login, enter your username and password for the cluster to which your workstation is connected and then press the key (or use the mouse to point at the [OK] button and then press the left mouse button).

Figure 6.1: Initial Login Screen

After successfully logging in, you will see the Session Manager window (Figure 6.2). The Session Manager window is used to control such things as starting applications and pausing or ending the session.

Figure 6.2: Session Manager Window

Motif makes extensive use of pull-down menus which are accessed by clicking with the left mouse button while the cursor is on top of a word in the menu bar. Figure 6.3 identifies the menu bar and other parts of a Motif window. One of the parts of a window is the pull-down menu. To select an option on a pull-down menu, click the left mouse button while the mouse pointer is on top of the pull-down menu item you wish to select.

Figure 6.3: Parts of a Window

If you want to pause or end a session, select the appropriate pull-down menu item under the Session menu(see Figure 6.2). When you are ready to resume a paused session, press a key or click a mouse button. A dialog box will be displayed asking you to enter your password. When you end a session, a dialog box will be displayed asking you to verify that you really want to end the session.

Another useful menu item under Session is "Work in Progress...". This keeps track of currently running applications started from the Session Manager.

Applications are started by selecting an item in the Applications pull-down menu. Table 6.1 describes some of these applications.

Table 6.1: Motif Applications

The Options menu includes pull-down items for customizing your windows environment (see page 107).

Help is the final item in the Session Manager menu bar; it gives general information and provides a list of topics for more specific information. There is a tutorial available as one of the Help menu items. The tutorial provides a hands-on, windows-based method for learning more about DECwindows. Help is also available within most Motif application windows.*1

Figure 6.1: - Initial Login Screen
Figure 6.2: - Session Manager Window
Figure 6.3: - Parts of a Window
Table 6.1: - Motif Applications

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