The Solaris VISUALTM software includes several graphics and multimedia software foundation libraries. Foundation libraries are the lowest-level device-independent layer of the Solaris software. This level of interface is designed to support a wide variety of common functions. You can build higher-level libraries on top of the foundation libraries, or the foundation libraries can be used directly by a software application. These foundation libraries create applications that incorporate 2-D and 3-D graphics, imaging, and digital video. The libraries are the XGL graphics library and XIL imaging library. The new XIL stereoscopic image display feature is described below.
The XIL library is an imaging API that provides a basic set of functions for imaging and video applications. The library provides a strategy for low-level software interfaces (foundation libraries) and enables APIs and API developers to port their code to these foundation libraries.
The XIL 1.4 runtime environment (RTE) should be installed if users at your site are running imaging applications. Whether an application requires the XIL RTE is not always obvious; therefore, you should install the XIL RTE if you are installing either OpenWindows or CDE software, since an application may reference the XIL libraries.
The XIL developer components are now separate from Solaris and are available free of charge on Sun's web site: http://www.sun.com/solaris/xil. The developer components are the following:
The XIL man pages describing use of the XIL API
The XIL Programmer's Guide
The XIL header files for support of the XIL API
The XIL runtime libraries is included to ensure continuing support for applications employing XIL.
The XIL RTE has been improved with the following new functionality.
XIL is adding support for stereoscopic image display. This will initially be supported on the Creator 3D frame buffer. Access to these capabilities is provided by a simple set of API calls. Stereoscopic display enables the presentation of image pairs representing a left-eye/right-eye view of the world. The left and right images are alternately displayed at a frame rate above the eye's flicker frequency. When used in conjunction with electro-optic shuttering eyeglasses, an image display with depth perception, just like normal binocular human vision is produced. Both double-buffered and stereo display can be combined so that stereo updates can be swapped between back and front buffers.