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17.2.7 Integrated Visualization Model


Support for graphics is currently the most elaborate sector of the Open Systems software. It is also the sector which varied most vigorously during last years. The current standard environment, based on a collection of subsystems such as X, Motif/OpenLook, PHIGS/PEX/GL, and AVS/Explorer, offers broad functionality and diversity of visualization tools, but it is still difficult to use in application programming. The associated C libraries are huge and the C-language-based development and integration model generates severe compilation/linking time bottleneck. The most extreme case is the PHIGS library, which is on an order of 8 Mb and generates binaries of that size even for modest three-dimensional graphics applications. Furthermore, the competing subsystems, grouped in the list above-for example, Motif and OpenLook-are typically available only in exclusive mode on a particular hardware platform and hence the associated C language application codes are nonportable.

Guy Robinson
Wed Mar 1 10:19:35 EST 1995