Saturday, April 15, 2006

Back from Oblivion

I have just uploaded a few screenshots of Celesstin 3, a great research project I have been lucky to work on back in 1990. The project, sponsored by IBM and Dassault, consisted in developing an automatic converter from mechanical drawings to the CAD system named Catia.

Entirely written in C, it was running on 5080 graphical terminals, backed by a 9370 VM/SP server (we also run it once on a 3090, where it only took a few minutes to compile instead of the usual 20 minutes). Part of the process was run on 6150 boxes where the inference engine named ATOME was used to make deduction about mechanical elements.

My job was to wire the different parts together behind a graphical interface, which was a brand new endeavor on a 5080 terminal, at that time. One guy of the team was a very talented icon designer and, if you look at the pictures, you will see we did a great job!

Strangely enough I put the menu bar on the right and the main button (equivalent to the lovely Windows Start button) in the bottom right corner. This does look counterintuitive nowadays, does not it?

This was mainly 2D display (you can notice some 3D components in the final interpreted stage of the recognition process) , so to grok the graPHIGS programming interface, I have invested my free time (i.e. after midnight) into developing a 3D roleplaying game a la Dungeon Master.

Unfortunately, I can not put the finger on the screenshots anymore... That is the fate of most of our software realization: hours of hard work that are bound to oblivion.