This project arose out of the observation that graphics, OSI and other standards are generally being developed in isolation, and that insufficient attention is being paid to the special needs of applications whose requirements span several standards. As distributed computing becomes the norm, the requirements for interworking between graphics and networking standards become more acute.
The objectives of the project are to advance the state of the art in the transfer of graphical information across international networks and to improve the quality and applicability of standards in this area. The project has devised a classification scheme for applications in terms of their requirements for graphics and networking services. As a result of this a prototype application was selected for an application demonstration which will show how the computer graphic metafile (CGM) and file transfer access and management (FTAM) standards can be used together to enable remote access to individual pictures within a CGM. This uses a CGM FTAM document type developed within the project, which is now being standardized. The project has also contributed to an EWOS technical guide defining a mapping of the X-Window system onto an open system interconnection (OSI) stack. An ASN-1 description of the CGM standard's functional description is also defined within the project.
As distributed computing becomes the norm, the requirements for interworking between graphics and networking standards become more acute.
The project provided a forum in which European input to the development of graphics standards can be coordinated, requirements for future standards ascertained, and information on usage collated. Participants in the project engaged in national body and International Standardization Organization (ISO) standardization activities specifically related to the harmonization of graphics and networking standards.
The project produced the computer graphic metafile file transfer, access and management (CGM FTAM) document type and introduced this into the standardization process. The project contributed to the development of the EWOS Technical Guide on X over OSI mapping. The consortium also began work on an ASN 1 coding for computer graphic metafile (CGM); although this was not completed it created an opportunity for collaborative work between ISO International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) working groups in OSI and computer graphics and imaging. The classification of applications was successfully completed and reported on in the USA and Europe.
A route planning application was demonstrated which ran on heterogeneous hardware and transferred graphical information from sites in 4 Community member states. 3 European implementations of the file transfer, access and management (FTAM) international standard and 2 European implementations of the CGM international standard interworked to transfer the data. Implementations of the CGM FTAM document type developed in the project were used.
ARGOSI acknowledges the work that already exists in standardisation bodies. The project will provide a forum in which European input to the development of graphics standards can be coordinated, requirements for future standards ascertained, and information on usage collated. Participants in the project will engage in national body and ISO standardisation activities specifically related to the harmonisation of graphics and networking standards. This will enhance Europe's contribution and influence in these areas, and strengthen the position of the industrial partners in the consortium in terms of their ability to offer commercial products, both at the infrastructure and at the application levels, which are soundly based on international standards. The project expects to organise a number of workshops on graphics and networking to obtain a broad spectrum of views.
A wide range of applications will be classified in terms of their needs in terms of graphics, networking and other required services. The extent to which these can be satisfied by existing or emerging standards will be assessed. Recommendations to standards bodies will then follow.
The project will construct one major demonstration of graphics and networking services for a carefully chosen realistic prototype application. The demonstration will concern a geographical application where a user will be able to consult distant graphical data over a map. The demonstrator will be implemented on Unix-based workstations to allow for the easy dissemination of the results amongst the partners and other computer users. It is expected that the implementation of the graphics and networking standards developed in the project (enhanced where necessary to establish interworking) will emerge as commercial products. These results will also be fed into the standardisation process.
The geographic distribution of the partners is an important consideration in the project. A public OSI network exists in the five countries represented. ARGOSI will use these public facilities for the demonstrator across the different countries and this will be a useful experience and experiment in communication between the member states represented.
OX11 0QX Didcot
CB4 4FY Cambridge
NR4 7TJ Norwich