USO adopts UNIX International roadmap

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- JANUARY 23, 1990 -- AT&T's UNIX Software Operation today formally accepted UNIX International's "Roadmap" for the evolution of UNIX(R) System V and said that it would continue to make enhancements to UNIX System V Release 4 available to the industry through UNIX International's "Early Access" program.

The UNIX Software Operation also introduced several new source code products, including an enhanced performance release of the OPEN LOOK(TM) Graphical User Interface, and announced its intent to release OSI protocol products aimed at making UNIX System V the operating system of choice for standards-based network computing.

"We will respond in detail to the Roadmap after we've had a chance to review it in more depth and nail down our development plans and schedules," said Larry Dooling, president of the UNIX Software Operation. "But it's clear that the Roadmap gives the industry, for the first time, a very good idea where UNIX System V is going, and that provides tremendous stability to everybody in the open systems market. UI should be congratulated for a superb job."

The first code to be shipped under UI's Early Access program will be work in progress on a security enhancement for UNIX System V Release 4. Early versions of the software, being developed with the assistance of Amdahl and Motorola, will be shipped to UI beginning in February.

The company also said that UNIX System V Release 4 source code for the Intel 386(TM) and i486(TM) microprocessors is now generally available and that a source code port for the Intel i860(TM) processor will be available early in the third quarter of 1990.

Additional UNIX Software Operation products announced or demonstrated for the first time at the Uniforum trade show here included:


The new OPEN LOOK Graphical User Interface (GUI) Release 2.0 source code delivers faster on-screen performance. At the same time, the new release reduces the system memory required to run the interface and applications. For example, the OPEN LOOK interface, the Workspace Manager, the File Manager, the Window Manager, the UNIX operating system and two substantial applications will now run in 6 megabytes of RAM on an Intel 386 based system. In addition, the math coprocessor recommended for the previous release of the OPEN LOOK GUI is no longer required.

The improved performance of the interface is due primarily to new ways of reducing the amount of memory required by interface objects. In some cases, replacing traditional "widgets" with common industry "gadget" technology reduced memory usage up to 25 percent. More significantly, development of new "flattened widget" technology produced up to 75 percent reduction in memory use compared to widgets.

The File Manager in OPEN LOOK GUI Release 2.0 goes well beyond the "file list" of other GUIs, providing icons for files, letting users "drag and drop" data files or their icons into a running application, and providing file naming conventions that enable users to double-click on a data icon and automatically invoke an appropriate application program. The OPEN LOOK Workspace Manager enables a user to tailor the windowing environments from within the interface, without having to drop out of the interface and edit a preference file with a standard text editor.


Release 3 of the XWIN Graphical Windowing System, based on Version 11 Release 3 of MIT's X Window System, includes device driver support for Ethernet and StarLAN local area networks, a STREAMS interface to these LANs, EGA and VGA display support, and many bug fixes to the MIT code. The 80387 coprocessor, recommended for earlier releases, is no longer required.

In the new implementation, both narrow and wide line drawing are approximately 100 percent faster; stippling is 500 percent faster, point drawing is 87 percent faster. The new release also includes a new version of the "saveunder" feature, used to repair the parts of a screen temporarily covered by menus, that is approximately 20 times more memory efficient than the standard X Window System "saveunder" feature.

The XWIN Graphical Window System is written in ANSI standard C language and utilizes STREAMS technology. It supports any X toolkit and is compatible with UNIX System V Release 3.2.1 and above.


In response to growing interest in OSI network communications protocols, the UNIX Software Operation also announced its intent to license a portable, STREAMS-based implementation of the middle and upper layers of the OSI protocol stack. Designed specifically for UNIX System V, the software provides a standard implementation of common ISO and CCITT protocols.

The product will be designed to meet the needs of vendors who wish to comply with requirements of industry standards organizations.

Called the AT&T OSI Communications Platform - Release 1, the product will be available in a variety of packages targeted at requirements of different markets. The first product, Transport Level 4 Connection Oriented Network Service, will be generally available in May. All other components will be generally available by the third quarter. Early versions of the full OSI Communications Platform code will be available to a limited number of vendors under a "Controlled Availability" program beginning in February.

Modular elements of the OSI Communications Platform include two Transport Packages, one supporting OSI Layer 4 Connectionless network service, the other supporting OSI Layer 4 Connection Oriented services; an Application Program Library Interface - Layers 5, 6, and 7 that includes operation, administration and maintenance capabilities; File Transfer, Access and Management (FTAM) libraries; Common Management Information Service Element (CMISE) libraries; an Abstract Syntax Notation (ASN-1) Compiler that helps developers build applications for OSI networks; and a Network Management Protocol (NMP) Common Communication Platform that provides complete support of the OSI Network Management Forum message sets.

Dick Muldoon
201-829-7212 (office)
201-635-6699 (home)

John Skalko
201-898-3764 (office)
201-729-8202 (home)