Sun/IRAF Site Manager's Guide

Sun/IRAF Site Manager's Guide

5.2. Graphics plotters

The current IRAF system comes with several graphics kernels used to drive graphics plotters. The standard plotter interface the SGI graphics kernel, which is interfaced as the tasks sgikern and stdplot in the PLOT package. Further information on the SGI plotter interface is given in the paper The IRAF Simple Graphics Interface, a copy of which is included with the IRAF installation kit.

SGI device interfaces for most plotter devices already exist, and adding support for new devices is straightforward. Sources for the SGI device translators supplied with the distributed system are maintained in the directory iraf/unix/gdev/sgidev. NOAO serves as a clearinghouse for new SGI plotter device interfaces; contact us if you do not find support for a local plotter device in the distributed system, and if you plan to implement a new device interface let us know so that we may help other sites with the same device.

The older NCAR kernel is used to generate NCAR metacode and can be interfaced to an NCAR metacode translator at the host system level to get plots on devices supported by host-level NCAR metacode translators. The host level NCAR metacode translators are not included in the standard IRAF distribution, but public domain versions of the NCAR implementation for UNIX systems are widely available. A site which already has the NCAR software may wish to go this route, but the SGI interface will provide a more efficient and simpler solution in most cases.

The remaining possibility with the current system is the calcomp kernel. Many sites will have a Calcomp or Versaplot library (or Calcomp compatible library) already available locally. To make use of such a library to get plotter output on any devices supported by the interface, one may copy the library to the hlib directory and relink the Calcomp graphics kernel.

A graphcap entry for each new device will also be required. Information on preparing graphcap entries for graphics devices is given in the GIO design document, and many actual working examples will be found in the graphcap file. The best approach is usually to copy one of these and modify it.