ANN: IPAD v0.7.1 (IPAD-Pro derived: Intelligent vector drawing package)

ANN: IPAD v0.7.1 (IPAD-Pro derived: Intelligent vector drawing package)

Post by Sergio Masc » Sat, 04 Jul 1998 04:00:00



        *********************************************************
        Products available (built using IPAD-Pro core):
                IPAD  - Intelligent vector drawing package
                ZMech - Interative state machine development tool
                XEBOT - Visual form builder
        *********************************************************

IPAD is the multiplatform front end to a special tool to be
completed some time in the future (see ZMech and XEBOT details
below). It currently provides most of the functionality of an
interactive GUI vector drawing package, together with some bit
mapped image handling. It allows easy editing across files using
multiple overlapping windows. The graphics objects drawn and
edited by IPAD have built in intelligence. They react to the
mouse and each other so as to maximise user productivity and
reduce tedious repetitive setup sequences.

With most other packages an object must first be selected and
placed into one of many modes in order for the package to
provide handles through which the object must be manipulated.
With IPAD however, simple rules govern the behaviour of an
object depending on what other objects it is touching and how it
is approached and grabbed.

Any object may be picked up and moved or its shape changed
without it first having to be selected, and if its edges are
touching any other object, IPAD will intelligently manipulate
those objects in order to reduce the knock on effects of the
change even where there are recursive dependencies. With most
other packages a simple change can require a lot of rework.

A very powerful feature of IPAD is the way it is able to
manipulate groups of selected objects. A group is not just a
collection of objects, it has properties of its own. A group can
be edited like any other object. Objects can be very easily
picked up or dropped from a group. Groups can also be opened and
their contents edited in their own windows.

IPAD also has a catagory system that allows the user to define
the properties of an object and to override those properties in
a derived object. Complex objects can thus be built by grouping
simpler objects and assigning them properties. This makes it a
very simple matter to create a set of component objects which
can be held in a template window, copied across into the working
drawing and the properties modified to suit the working drawing.

IPAD supports printers using PCL 5 (most HP), ESC-P2 (most
Epson), PostScript and anything else via ppm or png. It has been
designed from the ground up to be fast and responsive. The base
system is a 486DX 33MHz + 8MB RAM + ISA video card.

IPAD will (in the future) provide a mechanism to drive third
party backend software (e.g. code generators, state machine
generators etc.) For now you are restricted to just drawing with
it. Since IPAD is a COMMERCIAL product, its source code will not
be made available.

IPAD currently provides the same GUI interface on SPARC Solaris 2.5,
Linux 2.0.x (X11 and SVGALIB), MSDOS 6.2, OS/2 Warp, Windows 3.1,
Windows 95, and Windows NT 3.51.

The Linux version is distributed as two seperate ELF executables,
one being the SVGALIB exacutable (which handles the screen directly)
and the other being the X11 R6.3 executable. The SVGALIB executable
will only run on machines that have an SVGA card that is supported
by SVGALIB 1.2.10. Anyone having problems with ELF, SVGALIB or X11
R6.3 that would like to take a look at IPAD is advised to look at
the MSDOS version.

    *****************************************************************

    *   ZMech is an interative state machine development tool.
        It allows highly complex state machines to be:

            *   interactively described through a state diagram.

            *   translated into a form suitable for direct
                execution by an embedded micro controller or
                other event driven system (such as a GUI
                system).

            *   interactivly debugged by running it against a
                state diagram.

            *   highly extensible (add features you want).

            *   customizable code generator.

    *   XEBOT is a Visual form builder that helps you build
        forms and dialogs in a manor similar to that of Visual
        Basic. These forms can then be used as part of your
        IPAD-Pro derived app or to allow your externaly compiled
        C or C++ code to directly interact with the IPAD-Pro GUI.

    *****************************************************************

IPAD is available from

    primary (high availability) site
        http://www.demon.co.uk/titan

    secondry sites
        sunsite.unc.edu  (and mirrors - linux distributions only)
        pub/Linux/apps/graphics/draw

        hobbes.nmsu.edu  (and mirrors - OS/2 distribution only)
        pub/os2/apps/graphics/draw

ZMech can be obtained from:
        http://www.demon.co.uk/titan/ZMECH

XEBOT can be obtained from:
        http://www.demon.co.uk/titan/XEBOT

Annimated demos at:
        http://www.demon.co.uk/titan/DEMO

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