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Technical Data Presentation for End-Users and Developers

Gsharp is a technical data presentation tool that provides a broad range of visualization functionality in 2D and 3D. With Gsharp, any number of datasets can be displayed using more than 20 standard graph types, combination of graphs, or by creating custom graph layouts. All graphs created with Gsharp can be displayed on the screen and printed as high-resolution, scalable hardcopy to more than 200 output devices.

Gsharp has been designed to address requirements ranging from interactive data presentation to production charting. ASCII and binary data contained in files or embedded in reports can easily be imported. Its point and click Motif user interface allows fast, intuitive interactive operation while its powerful command language facilitates development of production application scripts.

Gsharp provides a comprehensive set of graph types spanning the range from basic 2D charts and graphs to sophisticated 3D, 4D, and multi-dimensional data displays. All graph types can be freely combined. By defining additional viewpoints, or adding, overlaying, or projecting other graphs onto the current display, users can easily view multiple datasets using sophisticated graph combinations.

Creating advanced data presentation formats should not require advanced user skills. To ensure that new or infrequent users can work efficiently, Gsharp guides the user through graph creation. Icon indicators highlight required information and intelligent defaults are calculated from the user data for graph resources not specifically set. All Gsharp graphs, including combinations of graphs, can be output to hardcopy and metafile or saved as command language scripts.

Direct Graph and Object Manipulation

Interactivity is a key element in designing an intuitive user interface. For graphic applications, intuitive operation means allowing the user to work directly with the graph objects as opposed to operating exclusively through command menus.

Gsharp has an interactive display area that enables users to directly manipulate graph objects and viewing perspectives. Objects can be selected, positioned, resized and edited with point and click operations. The perspective of 3D graphs can be interactively changed by clicking on the display and rotating the view angle along two axes.

Working directly with graph objects provides shortcuts to many menubar commands, such as popping up a resource editor for a selected object or initiating a hardcopy print. Techniques such as these contribute to ease of use, which in the end translates to greater user productivity.

Users with different skill levels may require different interface features to feel comfortable working with sophisticated graphic technology.

Gsharp acknowledges this need by providing user interface features for both novice and experienced users.

Interface features which assist the novice user:

Interface features which assist the experienced user:

Data Handling

Reading data from a variety of file formats and sources is an issue of concern to many application users. For data presentation applications, smooth data import is a requirement for efficient operation and user productivity.

Gsharp addresses the issue of data handling by providing an integrated component, called the Data Manager, that lets users interactively import, edit, interpolate and transform data. Binary or ASCII data from different sources can be selectively extracted and filtered during import.

Gsharp has more than 150 built-in data operators. Data operators are commands and functions that can be applied to data to perform a variety of operations, such as:

The Data Manager makes data handling easy for users of all experience levels. Interface techniques such as drag and drop, toolbars, and a function wizard provide user friendly access to a suite of data import, analysis, and manipulating operations.

Increasing throughput with command language processing interactively laying out graphs can be useful for initial viewing, but can also be a bottleneck if required every time. Users often have standard graph layouts that they wish to apply to changing data sources. Command language processing can offer a more efficient way of generating graphs where little or no human interaction is required.

Using command scripts for background processing is a way of automating the graph creation function. To operate in this mode the application must be controlled entirely from its command language. Creating data presentations in a production environment requires command language functionality and operational flexibility. With Gsharp, this is provided through its ability to:

Gsharp has a structured command language that provides program control of all Gsharp functionality. The command language can be used to create functions (macros) which can be invoked by interactive users, or it can beused to operate Gsharp as a non-interactive process.

Key Gsharp command language features include:

Gsharp command language can be created using a text editor, or it can be recorded during the interactive session. Using Gsharp's recorder tool, command sequences of any duration can be logged. At any time during the interactive session the current graphics display can be saved as a command language script.

Peter Kelly, AVS/UNIRAS Ltd
Montrose House. Chertsey Boulevard
Hanworth Lane. Chertsey
Surrey KT16 9JX
Tel: +44 1932 566608
Fax: +44 1932 568842