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Subject: CGM free software possibility

(This is resend of previous message, with corrected "Subject" and a couple 
of editorial fixes. -LRH)

CGM Open Members --

This is a complicated topic, about which we should have some discussion.

For some time, I have been thinking about our long-time agenda item, to
make some CGM software freely available to the public.  Specifically we
talked about viewers.  As a result of some recent discussions with eBT (the
reorganized Inso), there is some possibility that the former HSI CGM
software could be made available in the public domain, free of charge..

I have given some thought and discussed this with some CGM Open
members.  There are two main issues:

1.) any CGMO actions should not undermine the business case of vendor members;
2.) and, any level of software release would require some engineering

#2 would require some extraordinary funding to achieve (CGMO cannot afford
it from our dues portions).  About #1, it appears some subset of the
shrink-wrap tools (diagnostic and viewing) would be unobjectionable.

For background, the HSI software includes:

** MDLG (generator toolkit),
** MDLI (interpreter toolkit),

** MetaScript (CGM to PostScript),
** MetaRip (rasterizer, but note its RipCore is licensed),

** CGMconvert (encoding converter),
** MetaFix (CGMconvert variant with on-the-fly 'sed' like capability),
** MetaWiz (C++/MFC Windows drag-drop test case editor/generator).
** HSIview (Window stand-alone viewer).

(HSI does not include the MetaWeb plugin [owned by Ematek] or MetaCheck
[owned by CTS]).

It is the last group of 4 -- CGMconvert, MetaFix, MetaWiz, HSIview in
ready-to-use object code versions -- which would be unobjectionable and
potentially useful.  Although the tool which we would most like to make
publicly available would be a WebCGM plugin, we should consider about the
above potential 4:  do we want to go in this direction?

If the answer were "yes", then we face issue #2.  I believe that we would
need something like a "CGM Software Foundation."  One approach might be to
set up a funded-initiative CSF, funded by contributions from members.  It
would need enough funds to support part of a programmer.   I have no idea
whether any of the CGM Open members would be interested in funding such an

This is complicated, but it could create a lot of energy and interest if it
were done right.  We should discuss briefly in Cleveland.


Lofton Henderson
1919 Fourteenth St., #604
Boulder, CO   80302

Phone:  303-449-8728
Email:  lofton@rockynet.com

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