Moo-Tiff Development Environment

by Bogdan Urma

Moo-Tiff is a new distribution of OSF/Motif 2.0 for Linux, distributed by InfoMagic Inc. in the U.S. and by Lasermoon Ltd. in Europe. (For a more in-depth explanation of Motif, see my review of SWiM and MetroLink Motif in the July 1995 issue of the Linux Journal.) Priced at US$99, Moo-Tiff is so far the cheapest solution for Linux users who want to have a Motif development environment on their PCs.

Moo-Tiff comes on a single CD with installation instructions on the CD sleeve and also on the CD itself. Similar to the MetroLink and SWiM distributions, Moo-Tiff comes with the Mwm window manager, shared and static libraries, header files, the Uil compiler, Mrm, man pages, and source to the OSF/Motif demos.

What it doesn't include is the OSF Motif 2.0 User's Guide booklet that accompanies both the SWiM and MetroLink distributions. This is not surprising, since Moo-Tiff is at least $50 cheaper than the other distributions. The Motif 2.0 User's Guide is, however, supplied in Postscript format on the CD, as is other OSF documentation, including the Motif Programming Guide. Moo-Tiff is geared toward an X11R6 system, but also includes X11R5 libraries for users still running X11R5. Also included on the CD is the complete XFree 3.1.1 distribution, ELF libraries, and an archive of freeware Motif programs. There is also an option to run Moo-Tiff directly from the CD, by mounting the “live” directories from the CD on your system.

Installation involves simply running an installation script, which takes care of everything for you. While poking around in the installation directory, I noticed a striking similarity between Moo-Tiff and SWiM. It seems that the Moo-Tiff libraries are identical to SWiM's. In fact, many of the installation packages were identical to the ones on the SWiM CD. Since Lasermoon is involved with distributing both SWiM and Moo-Tiff, this is not really surprising. There are differences, however, and these lie mainly in the location of the installed components and Moo-Tiff's cleaner installation. Moo-Tiff's installation went by very smoothly, without any errors or quirks. [Lasermoon says that the libraries are on different development paths and may diverge, and there is no guarantee that applications linked with SWiM shared libraries will work with Moo-Tiff, and vice-versa.[Ed]

After installing Moo-Tiff, I fired up Mwm and went straight to the installed demos directory to compile some of the demos and test the product. Using the supplied mxmkmf program, all I had to do was type mxmkmf to turn Imake files into Makefiles, then make to compile. Sure enough, the demos compiled and ran correctly. I also recompiled most of the Motif programs I already had, such as Mosaic, just to make sure things worked okay. They did.

Moo-Tiff seems to be a great product, especially considering its $99 price tag. I have had no problems with it at all, except for one little thing. One of the installed programs, xmbind, is linked with the X11R5 libraries instead of the X11R6 ones, and I couldn't find one linked with the R6 libraries anywhere on the CD. This is not that big a deal, except that I must have R5 shared libs on my system if I want to use xmbind.

Support and update/bugfix information for Moo-Tiff can be had from:

Lasermoon Ltd
2a Beaconsfield Road,
Fareham, Hants
Phone: +44-0-329 826444
Fax: +44-0-329 825936
Infomagic, Inc.
PO Box 30370
Flagstaff, Arizona 86004-0370
Phone: 800-800-6613 or 602-526-9565
Fax: 602-526-9573

Bogdan Urma is studying physics and computer science at Cornell University and hopes to get his BS by next year. He has been using Linux since 1993 and spending way too much time with it. He welcomes your comments by e-mail sent to

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