Computer Graphics Metafile (CGM): Procedures for NIST CGM Validation Test Service

Lynne S. Rosenthal
Jacki A. Schneider February 1994 


1 Introduction
1.1 Purpose
1.2 The CGM standard
1.3 Scope of validation
1.4 Definitions
2 General procedures
2.1 Validation by testing
2.1.1 Overview
2.1.2 Validation Test Software, Generator and Interpreter Test Suite
2.1.3 Renewal of a Certificate of Validation
2.1.4 Validation Summary Report (VSR)
2.2 Registration
2.2.1 Overview
2.2.2 Eligibility for registration
2.3 Miscellaneous
2.3.1 Pricing
2.3.2 Cancellation
2.3.3 Disputed and withdrawn tests
2.3.4 Validated Products List
2.3.5 Documentation
2.3.6 Publication
3 Interpreter testing
3.1 Objective
3.2 Testing steps
3.3 Pricing
3.4 Registration of interpreter environments


The Computer Graphics Metafile (CGM) standard defines a file format for describing 2-dimensional pictures in a device independent, computer readable format. As a data interchange standard, CGM is suitable for the storage and exchange of graphical data (i.e., pictures) among different computers, graphical devices, and applications.

This document provides general procedures for the National Institute of Standards and Technology's (NIST) CGM Validation Test Service. The NIST CGM Validation Test Service provides a way of determining the degree to which an implementation conforms to the CGM standard (Federal Information Processing Standard 128-1, Computer Graphics Metafile) and the Air Transport Association Specification 2100. The goal of the NIST Test Service is to maximize the probability of successful interchange of CGMs between conforming systems.

Conformance testing is a functional and fiscal advantage to the vendor and end user. The end user will be provided with increased product confidence and expanded freedom in the market place. The vendor will benefit from the test service by providing a validated product, thus stimulating sales to both government and industry.

Computer Graphics Metafile (CGM), conformance testing, graphics standards, validation, metafile, interpreter 

1 Introduction

1.1 Purpose
The testing of Computer Graphics Metafiles (CGMs) to determine the degree to which they conform to the federal standards may be required by government departments and agencies in accordance with Federal Information Resources Management Regulation (FIRMR) 201-20.303, 201-20.304, 201-39.1002, the associated Federal ADP and Telecommunications Standards Index, and as specified by FIPS 128-1.

As part of its mission, the Information Technology Laboratory (ITL) provides a validation service for Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) in support of government departments and agencies procurement requirements. This document provides the operating procedures for administering the CGM validation service.

The CGM validation service provides testing to the FIPS 128-1 and ATA Specification 2100.  The ATA profile is used to define and improve data interchange in technical manuals, publishing applications, and visualisation within the commercial airline industry. The specification facilitates parts development and manufacturing consistency by reducing the amount of technical documentation throughout the life-cycle of the part.

1.2 The CGM standard
The Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) Publication 128-1, Computer Graphics Metafile, adopts the American National Standards Institute/International Organization for Standardization (ANSI/ISO) Computer Graphics Metafile, ANSI/ISO 8632.1-4:1992. ANSI/ISO 8632.1-4:1992 defines three versions of the Computer Graphics Metafile. FIPS 128-1 adopts all three versions.

Additionally, the FIPS 128-1 requires the use of application profiles. In particular, the FIPS 128-1 requires the use of the model profile or other CGM application profile.

1.3 Scope of validation
Validation is the process of testing an implementation for conformance to a standard. In particular, current CGM validation is the testing of the interpreter for conformance. If compliance is demonstrated, a Certificate of Validation is issued.

For interpreters, the validation focuses on testing the CGM interpreter and its ability to correctly and completely parse a CGM in compliance to Version 1 CGM as specified in the FIPS 128-1 and the ATA CGM AP.

1.4 Definitions
The following terms are used throughout this document.

Certificate of Validation -- a certificate that acknowledges compliance of an implementation to a FIPS.

CGM interpreter or interpreter -- the program, process, or product that can correctly and completely parse a CGM and produce the intended picture.

Client -- anyone requesting conformance testing.

Compliance -- the state of the implementation for which correct test results were obtained using the applicable version of the test suite.

Computer system environment or operating environment -- the combination of computer hardware, software, graphics applications, programs, etc., used during the testing process to support the interpreter.

Conformance testing -- the tests to evaluate the adherence or non-adherence of an implementation under test to a standard.

Control board -- the body of CGM and/or validation experts who resolve disputes concerning the correctness of the test suite with respect to the CGM standard and application profile. The control board is composed of testing laboratory members.

Implementation -- For metafile testing, the metafile is the implementation. For interpreter testing, the  interpreter is the implementation.

Implementation under test (IUT)-- For interpreter testing, the implementation under test is the combination of CGM  interpreter, and the computer system environment required to support them.

Registered Report -- the VSR, once all validation processing steps have been completed. As a Registered Report, the VSR is entered on the Validated Products List.

Test laboratory -- the laboratory performing the validation, in this case, NIST.

Validated Products List (VPL) -- the list published by NIST of computer products that have been validated for conformance to specific FIPS.

Validation -- the process of testing for conformance.

Validation Summary Report (VSR) -- the document which presents the test results and other information relevant to the tests. 

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