ISO/IEC 8632 provides a file format suitable for the storage and retrieval of picture description information. The file format consists of an ordered set of elements that may be used to describe pictures in a way that is compatible between systems of different architectures, compatible with devices of differing capabilities and design, and meaningful to application constituencies. This picture description includes the capability for describing static images.
The elements specified provide for the representation of a wide range of pictures on a wide range of graphical devices. The elements are organized into groups that delimit major structures (metafiles, pictures, and application structures), that specify the representations used within the metafile, that control the display of the picture, that perform basic drawing actions, that control the attributes of the basic drawing actions, that allow application-specific structuring to be overlaid on the graphical content, and that provide access to non-standard device capabilities.
The metafile is defined in such a way that, in addition to sequential access to the whole metafile, random access to individual pictures and individual context-independent application structures is well-defined. Applications which require random access to pictures and/or context-independent application structures within pictures may, within the metafile, define directories to these pictures and/or context-independent application structures. The metafile may then be opened and randomly accessed without interpreting the entire metafile.
In addition to a functional specification, two standard encodings of the metafile syntax are specified. These encodings address the needs of applications that require small metafile size plus minimum effort to generate and interpret, and maximum flexibility for a human reader or editor of the metafile.
This part of ISO/IEC 8632 describes the format using an abstract syntax. The remaining parts of ISO 8632 specify standardized encodings that conform to this syntax: ISO/IEC 8632-3 specifies a binary encoding; ISO/IEC 8632-4 specifies a clear text encoding.
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Information Technology - Computer Graphics - Metafile for the Storage and Transfer of Picture Description Information - Part 1: Functional Specification (Adopted ISO/IEC 8632-1:1999, second edition, 1999-12-15)