This consists of several facilities offering different levels of control, but all (except IDI) are based on the ISO standard Graphics Kernel System (GKS).
- [SUN/88, SUN/90, MUD/59]
An extensive suite of high level graphics utilities originating from the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado. SNX contains some Starlink-produced extensions to NCAR.
- [SUN/15, MUD/61]
A high level package for plotting x-y plots, functions, histograms, bar charts, contour maps and grey-scale images. The version in use on Starlink uses GKS for its low-level graphics input/output.
- NAG graphics
The NAG Graphics Library (formerly the Graphical Supplement) was originally seen as a way of plotting data associated with the numerical routines which make up the main NAG library. However, it can be used quite independently of the main library for plotting graphs, functions, and contours, though most people now prefer to use NCAR or PGPLOT.
A `simplified' graphics facility which provides most of the commonly needed basic graphics functions in a convenient form. The primary simplification over GKS is that, while several workstations can be open simultaneously, only one can be active at a given time. It has been designed so that calls to its routines can be freely interspersed with those of GKS. Specialised GKS functions are not reproduced in SGS.
- [SUN/83, MUD/27]
The basic set of `implementation' routines. It is a fairly powerful low-level graphics facility, and is the international 2-dimensional graphics standard.
A standard for displaying astronomical data on an image display. It complements, rather than replaces, GKS, and should be used where intimate control of the image display device is required, and for functions which are outside the scope of GKS.
A database system which stores information about plots on a graphics device. This enables a program to relate to plots produced by other programs.
Almost every Starlink graphics program will need the name of a GKS or IDI device. GNS -- the Graphics Name Service -- allows the programmer to choose a device from a reasonably `friendly' series of names, which is then translated into the GKS `workstation type'. Unless you are opening GKS workstations directly or making specialised enquiries about devices, you are most unlikely to need to call GNS yourself.
ADAM The Starlink Software Environment