Network Working Group Steve Bunch
RFC # 472 ILL-ANTS
NIC # 14801 March, 1973
Illinois' reply to Maxwell's Request for Graphics Information,
NIC Document 14925.
This is a reply to Craig Maxwell's (UCLA-NMC) "Request for graphics
information" of 3/7/73. Further details can be obtained by contacting
To date, our work in graphics has been primarily centered about support
for several applications groups. To make the generation of beam-
oriented graphics as painless as possible for these groups, our policy
for supporting this type of graphics has been to emulate as closely as
possible the CALCOMP plotter support package on the host machine, but
with NGP0 output. (Presently, before the resulting NGP can be sent to
some of our peripherals, e.g., Gould 4800, it must be converted to
device specifics. With the advent of ANTS MARK II and a PDP-11/45, all
conversions will be handled locally, so all graphics flowing into our
system will be NGP). We find this approach very labor-saving, even at
the present slightly kludgey level.
We also have some grey-scale work taking place on our GOULD and IMLAC.
One group is processing satellite pictures on Illiac and will soon need
grey-scale output, another is producing natural-resource maps, and a
third is generating holograms. No standardization plans have been made
for grey scale work, but if an acceptable standard is established, we
will most likely use it.
A small group, including myself, is currently planning an interactive
graphics system. The system will use multiple hosts, possibly using a
remote E&S machine for rotation, scaling, etc. We have a number of
large hurdles that have to be jumped before we can do anything, though.
Several of these are not graphics-specific, such as process-controlled
FTP, inter-process coordination among hosts, and others. We had
intended to let efficiency dictate the format of intermediate results
shipped via the Net, with standardization being applied where it is
helpful for minimizing effort. Since the system will be highly
interactive and will also manipulate grey-scale data, we will need a
higher level of graphics protocol to handle the user interface. A
"proto-prototype" system is being used now to do some simple
manipulations of meteorological data (e.g., contouring, 3