Windows/OpenGL Graphics FAQ
Question: Why can't I make a GIF image from the Builder or Calculation Viewer?
Answer: The answer to this question depends on the platform you are using. For Suns with Creator3D graphics, you must have the latest version of OpenGL from Sun (minimum version 1.1). Sun's OpenGL is installed with the OpenWindows package so you must have it set up on your machine regardless of which window manager you use. For SGIs, attempts to export a graphic (eg. a chemical system or molecular orbitals) may produce only a black box. This problem is believed to be related to the OpenGL patch level of the machine whose console you are running on. Since SGI supports a true distributed OpenGL, it is the console you are on, not the machine running the application that is important. The correct patch depends on the hardware, operating system, and grahics engine of your machine. The best way to find out what you might be missing is to find a similar machine and compare patches. To see the list of patches type "versions | grep -l opengl" at a shell prompt. For new hardware, this problem must be pursued through SGI support.
Question: Why can't I run some ECCE applications on an SGI displaying to a Sun console as an X server and vice versa?
Answer: ECCE visualization applications such as Builder and Calculation Viewer rely on OpenGL. OpenGL is a networked graphics library similar to X so that the OpenGL implementation of the console you are running on is responsible for the display. Unfortunately, the SGI and Sun implementations are not compatible so you cannot sit at an SGI console and run the graphics applications on a Sun or vice versa. This is true only if you are using hardware graphics. If you use a software implementation of OpenGL (via X windows), it will work. The drawbacks to this solution are that the performance is much slower and special software licensing is required. ECCE currently does not support software rendering due to these drawbacks.
Question: Why does drag and drop sometimes cause a crash?
Answer: This seems to be attributable to dropping on a drop site that is not ready--usually because it is still processing the last drop. Furthermore, dropping on two or more tools at once before processing has completed for the initial drop may also cause crashes. It is important to wait for a drop to be completely processed (the watch cursor in the drop destination tool tells you it is processing) before doing another drop within ECCE.
Question: I'm trying to run ECCE remotely from another machine, but nothing shows up on my display. Why?
Answer: Most likely the remote machine is not authorized to display to the local console. ECCE, like other X windows applications, when executed on a different machine than the machine being used for the display (such as via telnet) requires the user to issue a "xhost +" command on the display machine for it to accept non-local X clients.
Question: Why do the ECCE user interfaces sometimes display improper colors making them unreadable?
Answer: This commonly occurs when ECCE is run at the same time as other colormap intensive applications (e.g. netscape without the "-install" option). Color allocations may fail resulting in unreadable text, garbled pixmaps, etc. If possible, exit out of any unnecessary applications freeing up X windows colormap entries. Much work has gone into making ECCE conserve colors. However other applications that display graphics beyond the control of the application (e.g. web pages) allocate many more colors exhausting the colormap.
Question: Why do the ECCE user interfaces all look messed up?
Answer: In rare case there may be conflicts between ECCE X Window resources and a user's X resources. Make sure known conflicting entries do not appear in ~/.Xdefaults or ~/.Xresources using the following shell command: egrep "borderContext|borderWidth" ~/.Xdefaults ~/.Xresources. Remove any conflicting resources.
Question: Why does my machine sometimes lock up while using the Calculation Viewer and how do it fix it?
Answer: If you have an animation in progress (eg normal modes or geometry steps) and at the same time try to resize one of the windows in the left pane of the Calculation Viewer, your X server may lock up. There are three ways to get out of the problem:
- telnet into the workstation and enter the 'shutdown' command (shutdown -y -i6 -g0).
- telnet into the workstation and kill the X process, then log back in.
- if telnet options are not available, turn off the workstation.
Question: Why do the graphics applications sometimes not refresh properly on my Sun?
Answer: If you are running ecce on a Sun by telneting to another Sun, you may experience refresh problems. This problem seems to be fixed with OpenGL 1.1.1 or higher. To force a refresh, click in the viewer while in manipulator mode (hand icon).
Question: Why am I having problems displaying graphics in ECCE from a PC using Exceed3D?
Answer: If you run ECCE from a PC using Exceed3D, you will not be able to generate images at your desktop. We have tested versions 6.0 and 6.1 and neither of them work. If you need access to a Unix box to generate the images, the machines in the EMSL Graphics and Visualization Lab can be used. Send account requests to email@example.com.
Question: Why are the Calculation Viewer left-hand side property displays being clipped and not sizing to fill the width of the entire panel?
Answer: When the third party X Window Widget set used for holding the property displays was upgraded for ECCE V1.4.2 several resizing problems cropped up. These have proven very elusive to track down and the vendor has yet to issue a fix. The workaround is to resize the entire left-hand side property panel by dragging the sash near the bottom of the vertical separator a few pixels. This will force all the property displays to resize.