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Re: graphics file format

From: Huaiyu Zhu
Subject: Re: graphics file format
Date: Wed, 10 Feb 1999 12:15:36 -0800 (PST)

On Wed, 10 Feb 1999, S.Hefti wrote:

> > >BTW, is there a good file format that can store simple graphics
> > >information in an intuitive manner?  xfig is too cryptic, postscript is
> This is interesting. In my opinion, xfig is /the/ graphics format.
> I think it is a very clever design to store complicated information,
> and it is portable too. If you have xfig installed, you might
> find the the documentation at:
> file://localhost/usr/X11R6/lib/X11/xfig/html/fig-format.html

I was not aware of this format manual so I peeked at the fig files of
simple drawings to learn the format.  It all makes sense now.  Thanks. On
the other hand, there seems to be two limitations of fig as compared to
postscript (maybe that's my lack of understanding):  (1) compound objects
do not have the same status as the basic objects, (2) there is no way to
define repetition.  This makes it not easy to define, say, an axis as an
object composed of a line and a repeated pattern of ticks.  It should be
possible to relax these restrictions without making it a full-fledged
programming language as postscript is.

In any case I'd agree that it's very desirable for octave to be able to
output graphics in fig format.


> Actually, I am working at a Octave Toolbox (I think that's
> what it is called) which writes xfig files directly. I am
> impressed of the capabilities I have with this approach.
> The nice thing is that you can post-process your plot
> using a nice GUI-program and add lables, strange symbols
> and whatnot. You may find the current snapshot (1.27) at:
> As soon as I have time, I will compile a couple of
> examples and set-up a web page for olh/hgi.
> Regards,
> Simon.
> -- 
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
> Simon Hefti, Ph D                                     address@hidden
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------

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