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OpenHSF Version 8.0 Supports XML

OpenHSF v8.0 Specification Released by the OpenHSF Advisory Council

First Membership-driven Extension for Document/Assembly Structure Included

Oakland, California and Westminster, Colorado, USA. December 17, 2002.

The OpenHSF Initiative announced today the availability of v8.0 of the openly published HSF specification. This latest specification also includes the first open extension to the specification, which was proposed, reviewed and ratified by the OpenHSF Advisory Council (OAC). Thus it delivers on the OpenHSF Initiative's promise to not only establish a common format for visual interoperability but, through the cooperation of the membership, to "raise the bar of interoperability" beyond simple visual information.

The OpenHSF Initiative ( was launched in Q4 2001 to establish an open, common visualization format for the efficient exchange of rich 2D/3D and meta-data between disparate applications and includes many leading engineering software and end-user organizations. The core HSF format contains 2D/3D & textual data for visualization, while the OpenHSF membership defines and implements open extensions that allow software developers to embed additional meta-data within their HSF files and exchange this information seamlessly with other HSF-compliant applications.

The Document/Product Structure extension consists of XML tags, which describe the structure of assemblies, parts or drawings that may be embedded within an HSF file. These tags are fully associative with the graphical objects. This extension is of particular value to applications wishing to express how a particular assembly is structured and how sub-elements of the assembly and drawings relate to one another.

In addition to the Document/Product Structure extension, highlights of the latest HSF specification include:

  • XML Tags to facilitate the embedding of XML data directly into an HSF file
  • New PolyCylinder primitive, which is of particular value for applications that deal with many pipe-like objects such as power plants or factories
  • Support for scale-independent lines, edges and marker-weights for embedding information into a scene, which maintains its size, independent of the scaling of other geometry in the scene
  • Additional Transparency options
  • Descriptions of compression algorithms for 2D and Raster data

Brian Harrison, Director of Visualization Technologies for SolidWorks, stated, "We were heartened to see how smoothly and efficiently the OpenHSF Advisory Council worked. A team of interested members came together, used its collective CAD/Viewing expertise to design and propose the document structure extension, which was then reviewed by the OpenHSF membership before ratification. This flexible model will allow us, the members of OpenHSF, to rapidly innovate and extend the format. We look forward to adding this extension to our HSF support in the SolidWorks product family."

Added Gavin Bridgeman, Technical Evangelist for OpenHSF, "This first extension is a great example of bringing together focused, interested parties with specific expertise to define official extensions for the meta-data that so many vendors and users need to see along with the visual description. We look forward to facilitating the other extension proposals which are currently underway and to delivering on our commitment to bring the community together to enhance the value of HSF beyond simple visual exchange."

About the OpenHSF Initiative

The OpenHSF Initiative supplies the complete solution for engineering visualization interoperability. It is an industry-wide effort to establish a common, open and robust format for sharing visualization data between users of disparate engineering applications through the publishing of the HOOPS Stream Format (HSF) specification. With the publication of the OpenHSF Specification document, the entire industry now has complete access to the robust HOOPS Stream Format (HSF), which allows for the intelligent, stream-capable sharing of visualization data between disparate engineering applications. The OpenHSF Advisory Council has been established to ensure the OpenHSF Specification continues to address the needs of the OpenHSF community and remains open and available to all interested parties.

OpenHSF Membership includes software vendors such as SolidWorks, Dassault Systems, PTC, MSC.Software, ANSYS, TranscenData, Actify, Informative Graphics, Hitachi Zosen, COADE, CADKEY and dozens of others. End users who help to drive requirements include Boeing and Daimler Chrysler, with input and support from others such as Intel, AMD and the Web3D Consortium.

To find out more about the powerful HSF format, the OpenHSF Initiative and view sample streaming files, visit


Chad Sanderson
Tel: +1 303/544-2932

Prepared by Robin Cover for The XML Cover Pages archive.

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