>Could someone explain the difference between Tom Gaskins' two books:
> o PEXLIB Programming Manual
> o PHIGS Programming Manual
>Why would I want to buy one book vs the other book? I have an 80386
>running SCO UNIX (X11R4) on my desktop, a SUN IV/360 in my lab, and
>access to a variety of other systems (Alliant FX/2800, Cray Y/MP) on
>the network. Mostly, we would like to do 3D modeling/visualization
>of rat, rabbit, monkey, and human brain structure.
Rather than decide which book you want to buy, you need to decide which
programming interface you want to use, then buy the appropriate book.
I wrote an article for the X Resource which discusses the differences
between PHIGS and PEXlib (it will appear in Issue 6 which should be out
pretty soon). But here's a brief summary...
PHIGS is a graphics API which was designed to be portable to many
devices. Most implementations support the X Window System and take
advantage of a 3D extension to X called "PEX". PEXlib is a slightly
"lower" level API which was designed to efficiently support the PEX
extension to X.
Some advantages of using PEXlib...
- Integrates with Xlib,Xt,Motif,etc. better than PHIGS
- Provides immediate mode capabilities
- Is free of "policy"
- PEX supports PHIGS, but is currently being extended to support
features not found in PHIGS (like texture mapping, anti-aliasing).
PEXlib will give you access to all of these features.
Some advantages of using PHIGS...
- Support for multiple devices, not just X based ones
- Support for archiving, metafiles, hardcopy output
- PHIGS has predefined input devices to make input easier
- PHIGS can handle exposure events and resizing for you
- PHIGS can help you with colormap selection/creation.
If you're working strictly in X and don't care about things like
archiving, I would go with PEXlib. Either way, you will find that
both API's have a lot in common.
MIT X Consortium