Prime software: user interface

A development of large software systems (in particular - the systems for seismic data processing) is usually very time-consuming process. In Prime system, for example, we still use a number of tools which were developed in 80-90 years of the last century.

During such a long period of software development a great number of significant changes has been made both in hardware technology and system software. For example, if the original versions of some of Prime modules worked on single-processor computers equipped with UNIX system, at the present time they are adapted to perform the calculations using clusters with multi-core systems working under Linux.

Graphical user interface has been changed significantly during the past decades.

In 1980-90 years, the main competition among graphical user interfaces libraries took place between Motif, developed by the Open Software Foundation, and OPEN LOOK, developed by Sun Microsystem.

At the beginning of its development Prime software the decision was made to use Motif graphical user interface. Nowadays we may say that we did not have to regret for this decision, because although Motif has not been in active development during the recent years, but, nevertheless, it is still included into the most of Linux distributions and there is a team of software developers responsible for its maintenance and improvement.

But during the last years it became clear to us that Motif started to become a limitation for the future development of Prime. And the main problem was not only the archaic appearance of its interactive applications, but the absence of modern graphical interface elements already familiar to the users, and also a lack of tools for the rapid development of a graphical interface that allows to considerably speed up the software development process.

As a replacement of the Motif we have chosen the GTK+ environment, which is a cross-platform GUI library which can be used on new generations of window systems (such as Wayland) and be distributed under the open source license LGPL.

The internal architecture of Prime software allowed us not only to switch to a new interface while developing the new modules, but also to change the graphical interface of all the existing applications.

The version 2.0 of Prime, which is forthcoming and will be available to our users until the end of 2015 year, will be based completely on modern graphics interface GTK+.

Motif.The image from
Motif.The image from
OPEN LOOK. The image from  "OpenWindows-filemgr" by Source. Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia -
OPEN LOOK. The image from "OpenWindows-filemgr" by Source. Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia -
Screenshot of Prime 2.0, using GTK-2 interface
Screenshot of Prime 2.0, using GTK-2 interface