SUMMARY: re: OW2.x+SunOS4.x, andOW3.0+SOLARIS2.0,etc..

From: Chiaki Ishikawa (
Date: Wed Aug 12 1992 - 00:57:57 CDT


A few weeks ago, I asked the net the following question.

[I would like to ask you questions concerning the difference between
the software system configuration OW2.x + SunOS4.x and OW3.0 +
SOLARIS2.0. Specifically, what are the differences between GUI
programming on the two platforms? Are there good references easily
available to public?]

I have received replies from
        - Edwin Cikan <uunet!!cikan>
        - Basile STARYNKEVITCH <pmcgw!uunet!!basile>
        - Denis Lafont, until October 1992,
          usually at
        - and somebody else.
Thank you for your replies to my questions.

Here is a summary of the responses.

* What's in a name?

First my confusion ought to be clarified. Solaris Version ? is a
group of software consisting of SunOs, Openwindows, Deskset and other
software modules. So Solaris is NOT a new name for SunOs. SunOs is a
part of Solaris. (Got it?)

* Product availability:
(This may be different from a country to another.)

Solaris 1.0.1 - SunOs 4.1.2, Openwindows v2 / v3, Openwindows Deskset
Solaris 2.0 - SunOs 5.0, Openwindows v3.1, Openwindows Deskset

I guess what I will be interested in is Solaris 2.0.

Solaris 2.0 is available : Check with your local Sun office. It may be
that they have Early Access Program available for ISVs (Independent
Software Vendors) registered as CATALYST member, or has already
released the version to general public. The situation may vary from a
country to another.

In Japan, Early Access Program for the Japanese version (whatever that
may be) of Solaris 2.0 Beta is going through Early Access Program now.
(I have asked a local Sun rep so that I can be put on the program.
It seems that somehow we missed the call for participation early this year.)


The news group comp.unix.solaris is a good news group where you can
learn Solaris and problems about upgrading, etc..
(I was looking at only comp.sys.sun.*, and forgot to check comp.unix.*.)

* BEWARE: Solaris 2 is based on Unix SysV R4.

We need to cope with a complete new version of OS. SunOS5.x bundled in
Solaris 2.0 is actually AT&T UNIX System V Release 4 compliant. No
more BSDish OS for better or worse. It looks we need to relink all
our programs with System V libraries. Old K&R C compiler will no
longer be supplied. Finally, we have an ANSI compiler! We need to
convert all our C source code to ANSI C, though.

I myself have a set of program generators that produce C source code.
I will have to investigate the header file organization to make sure
automatically generated code will compile under the new compiler
system. (Looks like a lot of FUN work...)

If you need FREE compiler system, Cygnus is offering support for GNU C
compiler (with G++, C++ compiler system) for Solaris from Free
Software Foundation. They are supposed to be good. I have not tested
it myself, though.

* Features of OpenWin3
Here is a comment on OpenWin3.

- OpenWin3 in Solaris (Actually OpenWin3.0.1) and SunOS4's OpenWin3 is
  not essentially different from the viewpoint of someone who has used
  "If you are concerned with GUI programming on Solaris, get OpenWin 3
  (for SunOS4) and you'll have a pretty good picture." is the message I got.

- OpenWin3 and OpenWin2 are very different.

  OpenWin3 has fixed many problems, and bugs,
  and has better support of standard X11 tools from MIT(eg xscope,
  imake, Xtk, etc are available on OpenWin3, not OpenWin2). These X11
  tools from Sun work fine even if you install X11R5 and not use Sun's server.
  (Of course, they should since they are X11 programs. Someone is
   using Motif with olwm and there seems to be no problem, which was
   probably not quite true with OW2 IMHO.)

  OpenWin3 features:
    - OLIT 3.0 support.
    - support of internationalization (but I have not yet the chance
        to use it, and frankly I myself have not high expectation) and
    - tooltalk and deskset integration utilities (tooltalk is
        something like an object-oriented pattern-matching message
        dispatcher between applications).
    - the NeWS server and protocol has evolved: support of
        "packages"; Tne NeWS Toolkit (tNt) has a stable API, and runs
        well (NeWS is a great language, but very Sun specific- it is
        not X11 protocol, but a superset of PostScript, ie a
        programmable protocol).
    - much more stable than earlier version.


As always books from O'Reilly were recommended for generic X11

"The X Window System", consisting of 7 Volumes (O`Reilly &
Associates, Inc.; Set: ISBN 0-937175-13-7).

But, for OW proper, we need to consult the books/documentation from Sun.
I was told by local Sun rep that a five volume conversion hints/help
to move to Solaris will be provided with Solaris release.

* FTP site for hints/documents
(thanks to Denis Lafont)

You will probably find a lot of answers about Solaris in this docs:
(Use your common sense not to flood these hosts with ftp transfer requests.)

Host (

    Location: /pub/solaris2.0-transition-docs
      FILE r--r--r-- 222307 Dec 4 1991 solaris1191.doc.Z
      FILE r--r--r-- 54129 Dec 4 1991 solaristech2.doc,1.Z
      FILE r--r--r-- 54425 Dec 4 1991 solaristech2.doc.Z
      FILE r--r--r-- 120175 Dec 4 1991 solaristech1.doc.Z
      FILE r--r--r-- 206059 Dec 4 1991 solaris1191.doc,1.Z
      FILE r--r--r-- 118409 Dec 4 1991 solaristech1.doc,1.Z

    Location: /pub
      DIRECTORY rwxr-xr-x 1536 Feb 20 19:26 solaris2.0-transition-docs

Host (

    Location: /pub/documents/solaris
      FILE rw-r--r-- 1005625 Jan 21 11:27
      FILE rw-r--r-- 690639 Jan 21 11:11

ONE CAVEAT: More memory hungry?

The only fly in the ointment (is this the correct English phrase?) is
it seems that we need more memory: to quote "openwin deskset
applications need more memory; to run OpenWin3.0.1 + Solaris 2.0 Beta,
you need at least 20Mb RAM on a Sun4/40 IPC to be comfortable. Running
with 16Mb is very slow (a big lot of swapping)."

One more thing you need CD-ROM Drive for Solaris.

[end of summary]

 Chiaki Ishikawa,  Personal Media Corp.,  MY Bldg, 1-7-7 Hiratsuka,
 Shinagawa, Tokyo 142, JAPAN. FAX:+81-3-5702-0359, Phone:+81-3-5702-0351

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