Installation of VisVIP: UNIX Source


The Unix distribution for VisVIP in source code format requires certain supporting software. VisVIP -
  • depends on common Web Metrics resource code; you must install these resources before compiling the VisVIP source.
  • is written in standard C; therefore you will need an ANSI standard C compiler.
  • invokes OpenGL and the GLX library (extensions to X Windows for OpenGL) for 3D graphic output.
  • invokes Xlib for graphic input (mouse, spaceball, keyboard).
  • uses a few Unix system calls (system, getenv).
  • launches a Tcl/Tk process for the control menu. Thus you need a Tcl/Tk implementation installed on your system.
  • exchanges information with the Tcl/Tk menu via generated X events.
  • uses Netscape for text display and to show pages of website.


On your machine, create the standard directory structure for WebMetrics if it does not already exist. Code specific to VisVIP will be stored in $WEB_TOOLS/VisVIP/; its libvip subdirectory contains application-specific functions used by VisVIP.

Go to our NIST Web Metrics download page to download the VisVIP software. Copy VisVIP-source.tar.gz into the $WEBMET_TOOLS/ directory and then do:

   gunzip VisVIP-source.tar.gz   (to produce VisVIP-source.tar)
   tar -xvf VisVIP-source.tar    (to generate the VisVIP tree)

VisVIP Files

The following explains the purpose of the various files in the VisVIP directory. Most of these can be used as is, but a few may require minor editing. The file that will most likely need some modification is Makefile. It contains absolute directory names for various resources which should be changed to reflect their new location on your machine. Look for commented lines containing "MODIFY?" as likely places to edit.
VisVIP directory
contains the main code needed for VisVIP
Should build your system with a little editing - read it for self-documentation. Note especially that the MYPGM variable must be set to the name of your source code file and the RESOURCES variable to the name of your resource directory. The current version of the makefile is interpretable by GNU/make (see For other implementations of make, YMMV.
source code for VisVIP
tk code for VisVIP control window
libvip subdirectory
has application-specific functions used by VisVIP
Used for first-time creation of the library archive.
various functions used by VisVIP
application-specific definitions used by these functions
all definitions used by the libvip functions
tcl subdirectory
application-specific code to support message exchange between the control menu and the OpenGL process
source code for enhanced Tcl interpreter


Here are the steps for building the executable from source code:
  1. Compilation of VisVIP depends on the prior download and compilation of the generic graphics functions, as described on the Web Metrics resources page.
  2. Make sure GNU make is installed (see if you need to download it).
  3. Edit the Makefiles in the VisVIP and VisVIP/libvip directories. Look for the lines with a "MODIFY?" comment and make sure that they point to the proper directories.
  4. Edit the first line of to point to the enhanced Tcl interpreter (this should get built by the Makefile):
  5. cd to the libvip directory and execute the make command (the GNU version) to build the object files and library lib-vip.a.
  6. cd back up to the VisVIP directory and execute the make command (the GNU version) to build the executable visvip.oglx and the special Tcl interpreter xchg-event.interp.
  7. You can delete the original VisVIP-source.tar.gz file to save room, if desired.

Overview | Installation | Operation | Results
Version 2.1
Page last modified: 15 May 2002
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)