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Re: graphics file format

From: Ted Harding
Subject: Re: graphics file format
Date: Wed, 10 Feb 1999 21:15:18 -0000 (GMT)

On 10-Feb-99 Huaiyu Zhu wrote:
> 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.
> 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.

While it may not be the best solution, some consideration should be given
to using "pic" format. ("pic" is the picture-drawing preprocessor for
troff, part of the "groff" suite). This too is basically a programming
language, though it lacks the generality of PostScript; and it has the
advantage over PS of being expressed in a good approximation to English
(e.g. "line from south of 3rd last box to north of 2nd last box",
"for i = 0 to 10 by 2 do { xtick at (xmax*i/10,0) }" and so on).

Also, one of the "term" options for gnuplot is "pic", so it could tie
in with existing facilities.

Once again, the main problem with moving away from gnuplot for octave
is that contouring and syrface drawing routines have to be created within
octave itself: octave so far relies on guplot to do these jobs.


E-Mail: (Ted Harding) <address@hidden>
Date: 10-Feb-99                                       Time: 21:15:18
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