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O'Reilly Open Source Convention
Sheraton San Diego Hotel, San Diego, CA
July 23-27, 2001

News Coverage


Tcl/Tk Extensions for Visualization of Large Data Sets

Neil McKay

Track: Tcl/Tk Conference
Date: Thursday, July 26
Time: 4:45pm - 5:15pm
Location: Fairbanks A&B

This presentation describes some extensions to Tcl and Tk that were used to implement tools for the analysis and visualization of large data sets. Such tasks require efficient manipulation of large numerical arrays, and convenient display of three-dimensional data. These goals were realized by providing Tcl and Tk with five interdependent extensions.
  • The most fundamental of these extensions provides Tcl with "tensor" objects, which allow efficient storage and manipulation of large numerical arrays.
  • A second package is for creating and manipulating display lists; this package is display-independent, so that display lists can be manipulated offline via tclsh, without using Tk.
  • The third package implements a 3D viewing widget in Tk; its most important features are a built-in interpreter for OpenGL commands, and the ability to dynamically load rendering code written in C.
  • The fourth package uses this dynamic loading capability to render the aforementioned display lists inside 3D display windows.
  • Finally, the fifth extension provides commands for converting between tensor objects and Tk photo images, so that tensor objects can be used to perform image-processing functions in Tcl.

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