UNIX (character-based applications)

The UNIX operating system is regarded as one of the most powerful, versatile, and flexible operating systems (OS) in the computer world. Its popularity is due to many factors, including the ability to run on a wide variety of machines, from micros to supercomputers, and its portability - all of which led to its adoption by many manufacturers.

UNIX was a multi-organizational development project that dates back to the early 1960s. The joint effort was not successful, but a few survivors from Bell Labs tried again, and what followed was a system that offers its users a work environment that has been described as "of unusual simplicity, power, and elegance...."

The system also fostered a distinctive approach to software design - solving a problem by interconnecting simpler tools, rather than creating large monolithic application programs. Its development and evolution led to a new philosophy of computing, and it has been a never-ending source of both challenges and joy to programmers around the world.

There are multiple flavors of UNIX the most popular being:

  • AIX (IBM)
  • HP-UX (Hewlett-Packard)
  • Linux (Open Source)
  • Solaris (Sun)
  • UnixWare (SCO Group)

Some less familiar flavors include:

  • IRIX (Silicon Graphics)
  • Minix (public domain)
  • Tru64 (Hewlett-Packard)
  • QNX (QNX Software Systems)
  • OSF/1 (Hewlett-Packard)

Integrating charcater-based UNIX Applications

Many applications developed for UNIX platforms provide only a character-based interface which can be accessed through either a terminal emulator or a physical terminal device. The transport of information to and from the terminal and the UNIX server would utilize what is referred to today as a terminal data stream. MitemView utilizes this data stream as the application interface. There are many different terminals that can be configured to UNIX platforms but the most common use the VT data stream (VT52, 102, 220, 320, etc). Other common terminal types include Wyse 50, 60 and ADDS.

This means that applications which run on UNIX platforms (and that only have a character-based interface) can now be integrated, non-invasively and in real-time, with new applications, whether they are composite applications, packaged or web-based.

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