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March 01, 2006

UNIX software and the Free desktops

Has else anyone noticed that despite growth and popularity of Free desktops like GNOME, KDE, and XFCE on X11 that traditional UNIX Software vendors like Mentor Graphics, Mathworks, and Synopsys continue to stick with old technology (Motif, etc.)?

I know the EDA world has been much more centered on proprietary UNIXes in the past than on BSDs and Linux. But the open UNIXes are becoming more popular and the proprietary UNIXes are becoming more open. Even Sun has already open sourced Solaris and replaced CDE with JDS (re-branded GNOME) on Solaris. But the expensive UNIX software continues to ancient toolkits. These expensive programs are really starting to look dated. Now I'll admit the versions of Synopsys and Mentor Graphics software that I use a re a few years old but even then the advantages of a modern toolkit should have been clear and I am using the current version of MATLAB. I see a few posts relating to Gtk+ and Qt on DeepChip.com but nothing big, there seems to be no serious movement toward modern toolkits. There also doesn't seem to be any word coming from synopsys.com of a move toward modern toolkits though there are a few job postings that mention Qt.

I realize that the majority of the time people don't use the GUIs for these tools but maintaining one that really sucks seems to be a waste of energy. Is this just a case of "if it ain't broke don't fix it" where they see no need to migrate existing tools or are the vendors actively avoiding these technologies?

Posted by ajc30 at March 1, 2006 12:00 PM

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