Re: pblplus and Solaris 2.3

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We are about to migrate away from satellite reception of difax and over to the 
idd completely.  Having looked at the Unidata home page and noted the solutions 
for printing difax charts.  So I went out and picked up the pbmplus utilities 
and am trying to build them on our system (a SPARC20 running Solaris 2.3) using 
Suns C compiler.


Last spring I tried to use netpbm utilities to convert the DIFAX maps that we 
receive via IDD in g3 (FAX) format to postscript, with unsatisfactory results. 
Many of the images were chopped off, and most were too small. I experimented 
with all of the command-line options described in the netpbm man pages, to 
little effect. At that time, Mark Franklin of Alden was also on the trail of a 
satisfactory method to do the conversion, but he doesn't seem to have succeeded 
either, in spite of his vow to get to the bottom of the problem--I haven't 
heard from him since.

There may be a relatively simple technical fix to the netpbm program "g3otpbm" 
that would solve the problem, but I don't speak C and I don't know enough about g3 format 
to attempt to modify the g3topbm code.

I last looked at the mail archives on this subject at Unidata last spring, but 
didn't find anything of help. Has there been additional mail since then on this 

Below I've included a script that contains most of my various attempts to get 
the netpbm routines to decode DIFAX products satisfactorily, in case you find 
if of any value. I haven't looked at in in a while so I don't know exactly in 
what state I left it.

If you find a satisfactory conversion procedure, please share it!

-- Dave
#! /bin/sh
# This script prints a specified DIFAX map at a specified hour (default
# is the latest hour).
cd /d1/difax
hr=`ls -dt * | head -1`

while [ -n "$1" ]; do

 case $1 in

        case $2 in
           "" | -*)
              plttime="$1 $2"
              shift; shift

        shift; shift

       shift; shift




if [ -n "${plttime}" ]; then
 if [ "${plttime}" != "la" ]; then
    hr=`wxpfile ${plttime} -in_file bogus -output seq | cut -c 9-10`

cd ${hr}

if [ -z "${mapnum}" ]; then
  echo " "
  echo "Must specify a map number on the command line as follows: "
  echo "Must specify a map number on the command line as follows: "
  echo " "
  echo "      difax.tst -map mapnum [-cu hoursback  or  -hr hour]"
  echo " "
  echo "Choices for hour ${hr}Z are: "

  ls *.g3 | awk -F. '{print$1}'

echo "Decoding file ${hr}/${mapnum}.g3"
# Decode the g3-format file into a postscript file.
#pnmprms="-height 8.3 -width 11.0 -scale 0.5"
#pnmprms="-height 8.5 -width 11.0 -scale 0.25"
g3prms="-kludge -reversebits"
# The method below chops the edges off the map and prints a small
#   version surrounded on two sides by white space, which it seems to
#   consider part of the map.
#echo "Decode ${mapnum}.g3 directoy to postscript, using pnmtops."
#echo "g3 decoding params are: ${g3prms}."
#echo "ps decoding params are: ${pnmprms}."

#g3topbm ${g3prms} ${mapnum}.g3 | pnmtops ${pnmprms} > /tmp/${mapnum}.ps
echo "Decode ${mapnum}.g3 directoy to postscript, using pbm2ps."
echo "g3 decoding params are: ${g3prms}."
echo "ps decoding params are: ${pbmprms}."

g3topbm ${g3prms} ${mapnum}.g3 | pbm2ps ${pbmprms} > /tmp/${mapnum}.ps
# The method below also chops the edges off the map but prints the
#   chopped map on the full 8.5x11" page.
#echo "Decode ${mapnum}.g3 to GIF, then to postscript."
#echo "g3 decoding params are: ${g3prms}."
#echo "ps decoding params are: ${pnmprms}."

#g3topbm ${mapnum}.g3 | ppmtogif | giftopnm | pnmtops ${pnmprms} > /tmp/${mapnum
# Print the postscript file.
echo "Printing difax chart ${hr}/${mapnum}."
lpr -Psp -h /tmp/${mapnum}.ps
# Wait for print queue to clear, to avoid sending too many large jobs
#   to the printer.
#while [ -n "${test}" ]; do
#   sleep 5
#   test=`lpstat -o | awk '{print$1}'`
# Remove the postscript file.
\rm -f /tmp/${mapnum}.ps
# The method below also creates a GIF image rotated 90 degrees and
#   also significantly chopped around the edges, to the same degree as
#   those above. Seems like g3topbm must be doing the chopping. No
#   obvious command-line parameters that might fix it.
#echo "Decode ${mapnum}.g3 to GIF."
g3prms="-kludge -stretch -reversebits"
#echo "g3 decoding params are: ${g3prms}."

#g3topbm ${g3prms} ${mapnum}.g3 | ppmtogif > /tmp/${mapnum}.gif
#\rm -f /tmp/${mapnum}.gif

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