“Machine-independent metacode translation” by Wright

  • ©Thomas (Tom) J. Wright




    Machine-independent metacode translation



    Many systems implement plotter device-independent computer graphics by having a system plot package which outputs a plotter-independent code (here called metacode) and having a translating driver for each plotter which uses this code as input. The translator for this code can often be run with greatest efficiency on the computer which hosts the plotter. In NCAR’s configuration, various computers will drive different plotters, making a portable metacode translator a desirable tool. Constructing a metacode translator which can drive the simplest devices and yet provide the potential to use sophisticated plotter hardware features is a stimulating challenge. The design and implementation of such a translator are described.


    1. Ryder, B. G. “The PFORT Verifier,” Computer Graphics, Vol. 4, No. 4 (1974), 359-377.
    2. Wright, T. “A Schizophrenic System Plot Package,” Computer Graphics, Vol. 9, No. 1 (Spring 1975), 252-255.
    3. Wright, T. “SIGCHR–A Portable Character Generator,” Computer Graphics, Vol. 10, No. 4 (Winter 1977).

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