Chapter 9. Version History

Descriptions of the latest revisions to Vis5d+ can be found in the online release notes or in the included NEWS file. Below, we describe the revision history of the original Vis5d.

This is a summary of the versions of Vis5D

1.0 (December 1988)

This was the original version of Vis5D for the Stellar GS-1000. It was used to give demonstrations at the ECMWF in December 1988 and at the AMS conference in Anahiem in January 1989. It had the following features:

  • Depict time series of multivariate 3-D grids by animated isosurfaces and horizontal contour line slices.

  • World topography map with map boundaries.

  • Wind trajectory tracing with the traj5d program.

2.0 (Fall 1991)

This version was only available for the Stellar GS-1000/2000 and introduced the following features:

  • Faster isosurface generation.

  • Horizontal and vertical slices moved interactively with the mouse.

  • Colored slices.

  • Interactive wind trajectory creation.

  • Ribbon trajectories.

  • Label / text annotations.

  • "Pretty" rendering option.

The format of the compressed grid file was changed slightly with version 2.0. Specifically, the trajectory files of version 1.0 were eliminated, trajectories are now stored in the compressed grid file itself. Also, the internal storage representation for surfaces and slices has been changed.

2.1 (February 1992)

This is the first version of Vis5D available for the SGI and IBM workstations. It was also modified to use less memory during isosurface generation.

2.2 (April 1992)

This version of Vis5D runs on the base SGI Indigo with 8-bit color though some features not available. It also has the following improvements:

  • The -box option for changing the proportions of the 3-D box (SGI and Stardent only).

  • User topography files. Vis5D now uses the EARTH.TOPO file instead of TOPOHRES to make the map.

  • The maketopo.c program shows how to make new .TOPO files. (SGI and Stardent only)

3.0 (August 1992)

This version features the following improvements:

  • Horizontal and vertical wind vector slices.

  • Improved SAVE and RESTORE functionality.

  • New trajectory widget options.

  • Separate map and topography controls.

  • CLONE option added.

  • Simultaneous colored and contour line slices.

  • Improved transparency, PRETTY option on SGI.

  • Same source code for SGI, Stardent, and IBM.

  • Improved portability and porting guide added.

  • New video and hardcopy convenience features.

3.1 (July 1993)

New features:

  • User-written analysis functions.

  • SAVE PIC button to save window image to a file.

  • Perspective viewing mode.

  • New contour line options to draw dashed negative lines and restrict contouring to a specific range of values.

  • Data Probe mode.

  • Topography color editing.

  • Grid compression done layer-by-layer.

3.2 (August 1993)

New features and changes:

  • Volumetric rendering on SGI systems with VGX, VGXT, VTX, RE, or RE2 graphics hardware.

  • User-contributed software directory.

  • 2-D contour function rewritten in C.

3.3 (January 1994)

Vis5D ported to HP, DEC, Sun, and Kubota (DEC Alpha) workstations. The most important part of this work was the enhancement and integration of the VOGL library. This work was done by Simon Baas and Hans de Jong for the Dutch Meteorological Institute, KNMI. Porting to the Kubota Denali graphics system was done by Pratish Shah of Kubota Inc. Thanks guys!

New features:

  • wdpy option now creates a window on the widget display which can be used to move and interact with the 3-D view using the widget display's mouse.

  • SAVEPIC button let's you save the window image in PostScript or color PostScript formats (SGI only).

  • wind2 option added to specify a second set of U,V,W variables for the second set of wind vector slices.

  • texture option added for a texture mapping an image onto the topography (SGI only).

  • user functions are computed faster on SGI multi-processor systems by computing time steps in parallel.

4.0 (December 1994)

New features:

  • Map projections and new vertical coordinate systems.

  • Type-in formulas for computing new variables.

  • Time sequences of satellite images can be texture mapped onto the topography for visual comparison with model data.

  • Data may be displayed over a spherical Earth.

  • File caching: compressed grid files which are too large to read into memory in their entirety are read in piece-by-piece as needed, a least-recently-used replacement policy is used to purge data when memory is full.

  • New compressed grid format. New format allows new header information to be added in the future, currently stores additional projection information. Also allows control of data compression.

  • New command line options: -geometry, -trajvars, -projection, -vertical, -area, -sequence

  • External functions can query the probe position and values with PROBEPOS and PROBEVAL functions.

  • Interactive control over animation rate (using F and S keys)

  • When the "GRID #'s" button is turned on, the probe/trajectory cursor snaps to discrete grid points.

  • New utilities for .v5d files: v5dinfo, v5dstats, v5dedit, comp_to_v5d, and gr3d_to_v5d.

4.1 (May 1995)

New features:

  • Rotated map projection.

  • Improved widgets.

  • Stored-frame animation.

  • Better 3-D rendering in software using Mesa instead of VOGL.

  • Vis5D files defined as a World Wide Web medium for exchanging model output.

4.2 (April 1996)

New features:

  • Wind streamlines.

  • Colored isosurfaces and trajectories.

  • Scripting with Tcl.

  • UVW variable widget.

  • Pressure vertical coordinate system.

  • programmer's API between Vis5D and its user interface.

  • v5dSetLowLev function allows fields to occupy any sub-interval of vertical levels.

  • physical units can be specified for each variable in a v5d file.

  • v5dimport program.

4.3 (April 1997)

New features:

  • Vertical sounding window.

5.0 (July 1998)

New features:

  • Display multiple v5d datasets in one window.

  • Display multiple v5d datasets side-by-side in multiple windows.

  • Link user interface controls in 'groups' of windows.

  • Type-in formulas can combine fields from multiple data sets.

  • Open or create new datasets during a Vis5D session (v5dimport embedded in Vis5D).

5.1 (March 1999)

New Features:

  • Slice Linking - slices can be linked together so that the status and movement of all the slices in the link are synchronized. Horizontal slices can not be linked with vertical slices.

  • Vertical Slice Flipping - the two corners of a vertical slice are flipped as needed so that the contour numbers will never be draw backwards.

  • Circular Clock - using the command line option -circle will draw a circle around the analog clock.

  • Probe Var Selection - the number and type of variables can be controlled when using the probe. Usefule for data sets with many variables. Transparency in Legends - the legends now reflect the transparency of the color map.

  • User Data - user specified formats can be used in loading grid data, topography data, and map data.

  • Surface Graphics - horiz. contour slices, horiz. Wind slices, horiz. Stream lines slices, and the map can now be resampled to the topography and displayed on top of the topography.

  • Horz. Slice Sliders - GUI sliders have been added to control the level at which slices are displayed.

  • Changing Map Height - a user can select the level at which the map is displayed at. A GUI slider has been added to control this.

  • Volume Rendering for PEX

  • New Sounding Features - the look of the sounding has changed. Temperature lines can be displayed. The sounding data is also clipped at the level of the topograpy.

  • TopoBase - a solid base can extend below the topography.

  • Animation Dwell - a pause can be inserted between timestep=Numtimes and timestep= 0.

  • Time Derivatives - the 'time' command can be used in the formula for creating new variables.

  • More Formats in Saving Pictures - when ImageMagicks's convert program is installed more formats are accepted, and better save quality.

  • Probe and Trajectory Can Be Coupled

  • Offscreen Rendering

5.2 (December 1999)

New Features:

  • Irregular Data and Text Plots