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HP GKS (Graphical Kernel System) for OpenVMS Alpha and Integrity servers

HP GKS for OpenVMS Alpha and Integrity servers is a two-dimensional and three-dimensional graphics support system that provides a set of programming functions for creating both interactive and non-interactive graphics applications. As a development tool, GKS is a solid base for portable, device-independent applications that define and display graphical images, using a variety of graphics devices.
HP GKS version 7.0 for OpenVMS Integrity servers (development and runtime)
HP OpenVMS Engineering is pleased to announce HP GKS version 7.0 for OpenVMS Integrity servers version 7.0, including both development and runtime environments. It is scheduled to begin shipping in June 2006.
GKS is device-independent. The same program can generate graphical output on different devices without modification to the source code.

The graphical output formats supported by DIGITAL GKS include:

  • CGM (Computer Graphics Metafile)
  • DDIF (DIGITAL Document Interchange Format)
  • Hewlett-Packard Graphics Language (HP-GL)
  • Hewlett-Packard Printer Control Language (HP PCL)
  • PostScript

GKS provides four language bindings in which graphical data can be created and managed. These bindings are: C, ISO FORTRAN, GKS$ (a two-dimensional, language-independent binding), and GKS3D (a three-dimensional, language-independent binding).

GKS is a subroutine library packaged as a set of shareable images with which application programs are linked. The shareable images are activated at run-time as needed.

NIST certification

The two-dimensional subset GKS has received certification from the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology in December 1994. Since then, GKS has been the only certified GKS implementation in the industry. Besides conforming to the ISO 7942, ISO 8805, and ISO 8806/1 (Fortran binding) standards, GKS satisfies the requirements of FIPS (PUB 120-1).


GKS for OpenVMS provides support for both IEEE and VAXfloat floating point formats. It supports output to PEX version 5.0 and PEX version 5.1 servers. For OpenVMS, the PEX server extension and the PEXlib object library are available as part of the Open3D library in OpenVMS.

Output nodes

With DIGITAL GKS, you can describe a graphical object using either segments or immediate mode. A segment is a set of output primitives that are created, manipulated, and deleted as a group, but are not modifiable. GKS manages segments internally and automatically redraws them if the display is damaged (for example, if the display window is obscured and then exposed). In immediate mode, primitives are rendered directly to the display surface without being stored internally in GKS. This mode is useful when graphical data is temporary, or will be refreshed by the application.

Viewing operations

GKS allows you to specify views of three-dimensional objects and define the "working" or world coordinate system used in these views. World coordinates can have any scale. For example, one application might have a maximum range from 0 to 1000.0; another application might limit the range from 0.01 to 0.1.

You can control multiple, simultaneous views of the same objects on one or more display surfaces, as well as the position and size of the image on the surface. For example, one application program can display an image of a cube in one window on a workstation, and at the same time, the program can display a detail of the back of the cube in another window (on another workstation, if required).

Conformance to standards

GKS is designed to conform to the following standards:
  • NIST Certification -- GKS has obtained this certification and satisfies the requirements of FIPS (PUB 120-1)
  • ISO 8805 standard GKS for Three Dimensions (GKS-3D)
  • ISO 7942 standard GKS
  • MIT X Window System version 11 Release 5 (X11R5)
  • PEX version 5.0 and 5.1

The FORTRAN binding conforms to the ISO (DIS 8806/1) FORTRAN binding to GKS-3D.