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dx - start the Data Explorer visualization system. Optionally directly start the User
Interface (dxui), the executive (dxexec), the Data Prompter, the Module Builder or the


dx [ -8bitcmap < private | shared | 0-1 > ]
[ -builder ]
[ -cache < on | off > ]
[ -colors < colors file > ]
[ -connect < host:port > ]
[ -data < path list > ]
[ -directory < dir > ]
[ -display < display name > ]
[ -dxroot < dir > ]
[ -echo ]
[ -edit ]
[ -encode ]
[ -exec < executable > ]
[ -execonly ]
[ -execute ]
[ -execute_on_change ]
[ -full ]
[ -file < filename > ]
[ -help ]
[ -highlight < on | off > ]
[ -host < host name > ]
[ -hwrender < gl | opengl > ]
[ -image ]
[ -include < path list > ]
[ -key < 64bit hex > ]
[ -license < type > ]
[ -local ]
[ -log < on | off > ]
[ -macros < path list > ]
[ -mdf < filename > ]
[ -memory < # of Mbytes > ]
[ -menubar ]
[ -metric ]
[ -modules < path list > ]
[ -morehelp ]
[ -nodeid ]
[ -optimize < memory | precision > ]
[ -outboarddebug ]
[ -processors ]
[ -program < filename > ]
[ -prompter ]
[ -readahead < on | off > ]
[ -script [ < script file > ] ]
[ -startup ]
[ -suppress ]
[ -timing < on | off >]
[ -trace < on | off > ]
[ -trialkey ]
[ -tutor ]
[ -uionly | -execonly ]
[ -verbose ]
[ -version]

dx -prompter ( start the Data Prompter )
[ -full ]
[ -file ] [ < header file name > ]

dx -builder ( start the Module Builder )
[ -file ] [ < .mb file name > ]


dx is the command that starts the Data Explorer Startup Window, and optionally starts the
Data Explorer User Interface, Data Explorer Executive, Data Explorer Data Prompter, Data
Explorer Module Builder or the Data Explorer Tutorial.

The Data Explorer Startup Window is an X windows/Motif based application which allows easy
access to the other subsystemes of the Data Explorer visualization system.

The Data Explorer User Interface is an X windows/Motif based application that provides a
visual programming environment and an interface to the executive. The executive provides
the computational tools and mechanisms to create data visualizations. The

Data Explorer Data Prompter is an X windows/Motif based application that helps users
import data in a variety of formats, and provides general purpose visual programs to
visual imported data, leading to a shortened "time to first picture".

The Data Explorer Module Builder is an X windows/Motif based application that helps users
build their own modules to be included in a custom version of Data Explorer.

The Data Explorer Tutorial is an application that helps users learn to use Data Explorer
by leading them through a sequence of tasks. Users can easily skip around in the tutorial
in order to concentrate on tasks of most use to their work.

For a more complete description of the Data Explorer User Interface and Executive see the
IBM Visualization Data Explorer User's Guide. For a more complete description of the Data
Explorer Data Prompter see the IBM Visualization Data Explorer QuickStart Guide. For a
more thorough description of the Data Explorer Module Builder see the IBM Visualization
Data Explorer Programmer's Reference.


With no options the dx command starts the Startup Window, an X windows/Motif program from
which the other parts of the Data Explorer system can be started. The various command
line options and environment variables listed below can be specified to change the default

Options set by including them in the DXARGS environment variable are placed at the start
of the command line, followed by any options set by environment variables, followed by
explicit command line arguments. When conflicting options are given, the last option has

-8bitcmap < private | shared | 0-1 | -1 >
Overrides the DX8BITCMAP environment variable (see ENVIRONMENT VARIABLES below).

-cache < on | off >
Turn on or off the executive caching system. When the Data Explorer caching
mechanism is enabled the Data Explorer executive automatically caches the
intermediate results generated during its visualization computations. Unlike
standard caching mechanisms, these results are accessed by means of their
functional derivation. This allows for automatic graph optimization and helps to
avoid the recomputation of previously utilized intermediates, especially when the
Data Explorer sequencer is being used. In certain rare instances, a machine with a
small amount of memory may want to disable this caching to conserve memory and
reduce paging. Default = on.

-colors < colors file >
Override DXCOLORS environment variable (see ENVIRONMENT VARIABLES below).

-connect < host:port >
Start a distributed executive only (no user interface).

-data < path list >
Override DXDATA environment variable (see ENVIRONMENT VARIABLES below).

-directory < dir >
Cause the executive to be run in the given directory.

-display < display name >
Set the name of the X display to be used by the user interface and the executive.

-dxroot < dir >
Overrides the default dx root directory.

-echo < dir >
Echo the command lines without executing them.

-edit Cause the user interface to be started with the Visual Program Editor (VPE) window
as the top level window of the user interface (the top level window is denoted by
an anchor in the upper left hand corner). Also see -image, -startup, and

-encode < filename >
Encode the given file into a binary format with a key (which must be specified with
the -key option). For example
dx -encode -key 1234567890abcdef foo.net The resulting file can only be encoded
by the DX user interface when the same key is used. For example
dx -image -key 1234567890abcdef foo-e.net

-exec < executive executable >
Use the given file as a replacement for the executive. This option allows a user
to build and use his/her own custom executive.

Start the executive in remote mode in which it will then await a connection from
the user interface. The user interface is not started with this option. Also see

Execute once after the user interface has made a connection with the executive.

Cause Data Explorer to go into execute-on-change mode at start up. Execute-on-
change mode causes the Visual Program to be executed any time any of the values
(i.e. module inupts, interactor values...) in the program change.

-file < filename >
Start the Data Prompter, Module Builder, or Data Explorer User Interface with the
header file filename.

-full When used with -prompter, starts the full Data Prompter.

-help Print a brief listing of options and usage for dx.

-highlight < on | off >
Turn on or off module execution highlighting. If highlighting is turned on, the
user interface will highlight each module as it is executed. Default = on.

-host < host name >
Override DXHOST environment variable (see ENVIRONMENT VARIABLES below).

-hwrender < gl | opengl >
Override the default hardware rendering choice on platforms where both are
supported. Default is opengl. Sets the DXHWMOD environment variable to either
DXhwdd.o or DXhwddOGL.o.

-image Cause the user interface to be started with the image window as the top level
window of the user interface. Also, control panels that are configured to open
automatically are opened. Also see -edit, -startup and -menubar.

-include < path list >
Override DXINCLUDE environment variable (see ENVIRONMENT VARIABLES below).

-key < 64bit hex >
16 character hexidecimal (64bit) number that is used to encode and decode .net
files. See -encode.

-license < type >
Force a specific license for either the user interface or executive. The following
are valid values for type:

runtime: forces a run-time license (UI or executive).

timed: forces a timed (limited function) license (UI only).

develop: forces a developer license (UI or executive).

-local Override the DXHOST environment variable (if set) and cause the executive to be run
on the local host. In the absence of the DXHOST environment variable, this is the

-log < on | off >
Turn on or off executive logging. If logging is on then the executive logs output
to the file dx.log in the directory where the executive is executing. Default =

-macros < path list >
Override the DXMACROS environment variable (see ENVIRONMENT VARIABLES below).

Start Data Explorer with a menubar as the anchor window. Also, control panels that
are configured to open automatically are opened. See also -image, -edit, and

-mdf < mdf file >
Override the DXMDF environment variable (see ENVIRONMENT VARIABLES below).

-memory < # of MB >
Set the maximum amount of memory, in megabytes rounded up to a two megabyte
boundary, that the executive is able to allocate. Default = the amount of physical
memory minus 8 MB.

Have the ui use metric units when possible, for example for setting the image size
for printing postscript images.

-modules < pathlist >
Set the list of directories to be searched for outboard modules.

Displays this information

print out the node id of the machine that the command is run on. The node id is
used when generating a license.

-optimize < memory | precision >
Select whether to minimize memory usage or produce more color-accurate images.
When memory is optimized, image objects are generated with 24 bits/pixel instead of
96, and ReadImage will produce delayed color images if supported by the format. The
default is precision.

Enable user to start outboard modules manually for debugging when they are called
in a visual program.

For Data Explorer SMP, sets the number of processors to use.

-program < programname >
Start the user interface with the visual program filename.

Start the data prompter.

-readahead < on | off >
Specify whether or not the executive reads ahead in its input stream before
executing the commands it receives from the stream. If this is turned off, then
the executive will execute each command line as it is received. This is useful for
certain debugging purposes, such as memory leak detection. Default = on.

-script [ < script file > ]
Run just the executive in script mode. If a file name is provided then the
executive reads and executes commands from the given script and then terminates.
If a file is not provided then when the executive starts up it enters interactive
mode where it waits for script commands. Also see -execonly.

Start Data Explorer with the startup window as the initial window. This is the
default. See also -image, -edit, and -menubar.

Do not open any control panels at start-up. This is used in -image mode and
-menubar mode only.

-timed Start DX using a timed license.

-timing < on | off >
Turn on or off the executive timing mechanism. If enabled, then when the executive
exits it will list on standard output or the logging file timing statistics for
each module that was used during the course of execution. Default = off.

-trace < on | off >
Turn on or off the executive trace mechanism. When tracing is enabled the
executive displays informative messages about the execution sequence on either
standard output or the log file if logging is enabled. Default = off.

Determines the information necessary for generating a trialkey.

-tutor Start the Data Explorer tutorial.

Cause the user interface to be started without making a connection to an executive.

Echo commands in the dx script as they are executed.

Print version numbers of various executables.


The following environment variables provide an alternate way to set certain of the command
line options, or alter the default behavior of Data Explorer in some way. Options set with
environment variables are overridden if the same option is also specified on the command
line. Options set with DXARGS are overridden by both environment variables and explicit
command line options.

When Data Explorer displays images in 8-bit windows, it makes every effort to
create an accurate representation of the image using the default colormap shared
among applications using 8-bit windows. If the colors required by Data Explorer
are not present in the colormap and there are not enough free color cells available
in the shared color map for their allocation, Data Explorer will find
approximations among the colors that are available. However, in certain
circumstances, the difference between the desired color and the approximation is
found to be too great to be acceptable. In such circumstances, DX will allocate a
private colormap for more accurate results. In this case, depending on your X
server, you may need to move the mouse to select the Image or Display window in
order for the correct colors to appear. The -8bitcmap flag sets the level at which
the change to using a private colormap is made. The value of this parameter should
be a number between 0 and 1, or "private" or "shared", and it repressents the
Euclidean distance in RGB color space, normalized to 1, for the maximum allowed
discrepancy. If you set this parameter to 1, then a private colormap will never be
used. If you set it to -1, then a private colormap will always be used. The default
is 0.1.

DXARGS This contains the default set of arguments used by the dx script. The arguments
are prepended to those given to dx on the command line. This variable allows for
the dx command to be easily customized.

Sets the number of digits in axes tick labels at which a switch to scientific
notation is made. The default is 7.

This contains the name of an alternate file that contains mappings of color names
to red, green, blue triplets in a format like that of the default color file found
in /usr/lpp/dx/lib/colors.txt.

DXDATA This contains a colon separated list of directories in which the executive will
search for data files. Also see the -data option.

If set to anything other than 0, enables ReadImage to create delayed color images
if the image is a tiff format image saved in a byte-with-colormap format or a gif

DXEXEC Specifies an executive to be run at start-up.

If DXFLING is set to 1, then for hardware-rendered images, in rotation mode and
execute-on-change mode, if you drag the mouse across the image, and release the
mouse button outside the image, the object in the image will begin to rotate, and
will continue to rotate until you click inside the image. The direction and speed
of the mouse motion before release will affect the rotation direction and rotation
speed of the object in the window.

Sets the gamma correction for software-rendered images displayed to the screen
using the Display and Image tools. The default value is 2, except for 8-bit
windows on the sgi architecture.

DXGAMMA_12BIT, DXGAMMA_24BIT sets the gamma correction factor for software-rendered
images for the windows with the indicated window depth. Overrides the value set by

DXHOST This contains the name of the host machine that will run the executive. If this is
not set then a default of "localhost" is used, unless the local host is a PVS
console in which case the default is to run the executive on the PVS. Also see the
-host, -local and -server options.

Sets the gamma correction for hardware-rendered images displayed to the screen
using the Display and Image tools. The default value is 2.

Specifies the name of the hardware rendering library to use when more than one is
supported. Should be either DXhwdd.o or DXhwddOGL.o.

This contains a colon separated list of directories in which the executive will
search for "included" scripts. Also see the -include option.

This contains a colon separated list of directories in which the user interface
searches for macros that will be automatically loaded. When running in script mode
one must "include" all the macros by hand prior to referencing them. Also see the
-macros option.

DXMDF This contains the name of a module description file (mdf) that contains user
defined modules for a customized version of the executive. Also see the -mdf

sets the amount of memory (in megabytes) that can be used by the executive.

This contains a colon separated list of directories in which the executive searches
for outboard modules. Also see the -modules option.

For faces, loops, and edges data, if set, allows loops other than the enclosing
loop for a face to be listed first. However, there is a consequent decrease in
performance if this environment variable is set.

If set to anything, disables framebuffer readbacks. Setting this environment
variable may improve performance of interaction with hardware rendered images,
especially for machines for which readback is slow. The default behavior is that
framebuffer readbacks are enabled. If you set this environment variable, not that
some interactions using the Image tool will result in a black image while
interaction is taking place. However, if you are not using the Image tool, it is
strongly recommended that you set this environment variable.

sets the image type to either 24-bit color images or floating-point-based 96-bit
images (the default). This affects the behavior of Render and ReadImage. This
variable can be set to either DXByte (24 bits) or DXFloat (96 bits). Setting this
variable to DXByte will result in images taking up less memory.

Sets the number of processors to be used for Data Explorer SMP.

DXRSH Specifies the remote shell command to use when connecting to other systems (such as
those when using distributed execution). The default is the the path to rsh.

Prevents the remote "invoke dxexec" script from being written with a full carbon
copy of the local environment (only DISPLAY is set).

DXROOT Specifies the top-level directory for all the files and directories needed by Data

If set to anything other than -1, forces shared memory to be used (if allowed by
the architecture). If set to -1, (if allowed by the architecture) will cause the
data segment to simply be extended. Please see Appendix C of the Data Explorer User
Guide for more information.

Allows the user to specify the size of the send and receive buffers for the socket
connection between the UI and the exec. This value is clamped to the max allowed by
the system. This can fix a problem where the executive and UI hang involving a
deadlock situation in the socket communication. The value assigned to it is passed
as the parameter to setsockopt for SOL_SNDBUF and SOL_RCVBUF. A typcial increased
value may be 262144.

Specifies a file containing user interactors for use by the SuperviseState and
SuperviseWindow modules.

Under UNIX specifies the web browser to launch for viewing the HTML documentation.
Under Windows and MacOS X setting this environment variable will launch the systems
default web browser.


The next few examples assume that none of the DX environment variables have been set.

1. To start both the user interface and the executive with the network named cfd.net:
dx -edit -program cfd

2. To start and execute the visual program cfd.net in image mode with /usr/users/me and
/usr/data as data directories:
dx -image -execute -data '/usr/users/me:/usr/data' cfd

3. To run just the executive on the script named f15wing:

dx -script -file f15wing

4. To start the user interface and execute the user customized executive named mydxexec
containing user defined modules described in custom.mdf:

dx -edit -mdf custom.mdf -exec mydxexec

5. To start the Data Prompter :

dx -prompter

6. To start the Module Builder :

dx -builder
7. To start the Tutorial :

dx -tutorial

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