CGM Open Formation Announced

CGM Open Formation Announced

ANNAPOLIS, MD. August 27, 1998.

The CGM Open Consortium, an organization of users and vendors of CGM software tools, was incorporated recently in the state of Delaware, the organization's board of directors announced Thursday.

The mission of the consortium is to accelerate the further adoption of the Computer Graphics Metafile (CGM) format, the international standard for open interchange of structured graphics.

``CGM is already the acknowledged standard for technical graphics in many industries such as aerospace, automotive, defense, and petroleum, yet it's not well known in others. We'd like to change that,'' noted Lofton Henderson, director of Advanced Graphics Development for INSO Corporation's Electronic Publishing Solutions division, and president of the CGM Open Consortium.

The other officers of the consortium are John C. Gebhardt, chief scientist of InterCAP Graphics Systems Inc., and Dieter Weidenbrueck, president and CEO of Itedo Software.

Attendees at early meetings of the consortium have included not only the major CGM software vendors, but also representatives of large corporations that are major users of CGM software tools, including Airbus Industrie, Boeing, Bombardier, and Xerox.

``We have been very pleased with the interest and participation of industry users in the work of CGM Open,'' said board member John Gebhardt. ``Their commitment is critical to its success.''

One major barrier to wider acceptance of CGM has been the subtle differences between vendor software products that have caused file interchange problems. The CGM Open Consortium provides a forum for vendors to discuss and resolve these issues.

Board member Dieter Weidenbrueck said, ``We have already achieved significant consensus among CGM technology suppliers on steps leading to the elimination of interoperability problems. With a growing list of software vendors joining CGM Open, this progress should continue.''

Its members have recently developed a profile for CGM in Web-based electronic documents and are working toward its acceptance as a recommended practice of the World Wide Web Consortium.

Compact, non-proprietary CGM files are ideal for use on the Web, and the WebCGM profile supports a robust array of features, including hotspots and hyperlinking, layering and hierarchical structuring of pictures, and text search within graphics.

The consortium has also initiated several cooperative educational programs with OASIS, the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards, which promotes the SGML and XML text standards.

CGM Open members participated in OASIS summer workshops in San Diego in July, and will sponsor several presentations at the XML '98 conference to be held in Chicago in November, including a CGM tutorial and a case-study session.

The next meeting of the CGM Open Consortium will be held in Manchester, England, on October 1, 1998, in concert with the fall meeting of the Air Transport Association's Graphics Working Group. The CGM Open Consortium's web address is


Ronn D. Wiehler, 410/224-2926