Problem: ARC/INFO interface looks different in version 7.1.x on Sun Solaris platform

Solution or Workaround


After loading version ARC/INFO version 7.1.x on Solaris version 2.x, the menu interface of ARC/INFO looks significantly different. Fonts and colors have changed, and the widgets look different and have moved. What has caused this change? How can the interface be made to look more familiar?


In 7.1.1, ARC/INFO uses the Motif libraries for its menu interfaces, as opposed to the OpenWindows look used in earlier versions on Sun operating systems. This means that the ARC/INFO interface will have a Motif look and feel, even if the OpenWindows environment is used or if the application was developed under the OPENLOOK version of ARC/INFO Version 7.0.x.

Esri made the decision to use the Motif look and feel, based on Sun's decision to move to the Motif interface. Sun Microsystems, Hewlett-Packard and IBM developed and adopted a common desktop environmentr (CDE) in an effort to create a consistent interface to increase portability between these platforms. In accordance, Sun now provides Motif (CDE) as part of the Solaris operating system. In Solaris 2.6, CDE is the default desktop. More information about CDE is available on Sun's web page.

In general, Esri does its best to follow industry standards and trends. With Sun's new commitment, Esri can now provide consistency across all the Unix platforms supported for ARC/INFO by using the standard Motif (CDE) interface. OPENLOOK is considered a legacy environment.


At 7.1.x, fonts and colors in menus are controlled through the use of the 'Arcinfo' file in the user's home directory. This is a change for Solaris users, though not for Motif users. A sample ArcInfo file is available in the $ARCHOME/Xenv directory. This file, when copied to the $HOME directory, can be edited to contain the fonts and colors to use for menu forms and widgets. The Arcinfo file provides more versatility in controlling menu fonts and colors than provided under the OpenWindows environment.

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