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Appendix C. Installation and Setup

This book includes a CD-ROM (Compact Disc-Read-Only Memory) containing a great deal of information that will help you understand, use, convert, manipulate, and otherwise make sense of the more than 100 graphics file formats described in the book. The CD-ROM contains the full text of the book, file format specifications from vendors, contributed software, sample code and images, and our own GFF product software.

Our GFF software provides browser support for searching, image maps, and forms. Usually, these are functions that are performed by a server (for example, if you are viewing a page at www.ora.com, that's the server). Since you view the Encylcopedia on your local machine, without installing it on a server, there is no way to provide searching, forms, or other sorts of dynamic behavior, without a helper application for the browser. GFF runs silently in the background; you'll probably forget it's even there.

This appendix describes how to install and set up the GFF software so you'll be able to browse the book, obtain the files you need, run demos, and get up-to-date information about graphics file formats.

The information provided on the CD-ROM--voluminous as it is--is only the beginning. If you have an Internet connection, you can link to the GFF Web Center to find updates to specs, software, and the book itself. At that site, you'll also be able to view relevant Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) listings and graphics news, and request additional information.

Using the CD-ROM
Installing GFF
Removing GFF
Which Browsers Can I Use?
Accessing Software on the CD-ROM
How Does GFF Work?
Customizing GFF

For the most up-to-date and accurate information about GFF, check out GFF Web Center. The information that follows was written during the final testing stages of the GFF application; it is always possible that some last-minute changes may have been required. In addition to reading this appendix, be sure to read the informational files on the CD-ROM for specific, updated instructions.

Using the CD-ROM

CD-ROMs provide a durable, cost-effective distribution medium that is becoming the standard way to distribute operating systems, third-party software, and other types of information. If you are new to CD-ROMs, you will need to learn about some specific CD-ROM issues before you can use the information on the CD-ROM that accompanies this book.

The CD-ROM Format

Because graphics file formats are of interest to users of many different platforms--by their very nature, these formats are meant for interchange between platforms--we have chosen to develop a multi-platform CD-ROM for inclusion in this book. This CD-ROM is in a hybrid ISO 9600/Macintosh HFS format. It conforms to the ISO 9660 and Apple HFS standards. Virtually all CD-ROM drives support the ISO 9660 standard, although there are some differences in how the files are read and presented, as we'll describe below. (All Macintosh drives support the HFS standard with no significant variation.)

ISO 9660 is the standard approved by the International Standards Organization (ISO) in 1987. This standard is adapted slightly from the original standard proposed by CD-ROM application developers and computer vendors. That original standard was known as the High Sierra format. You will sometimes see the terms High Sierra and ISO 9660 used interchangeably, but they are actually slightly different. ISO 9660 is the standard that will be supported from now on, although ISO 9660-compliant CD-ROM drives will continue to be able to read disks created in the older High Sierra format.

The ISO 9660 standard has the major advantage that it is relatively consistent across platforms. It does, however, impose a few limitations on files and directories:

  • Directories may not be more than eight levels deep.

  • Directory names may contain up to eight characters with no extensions. The name may consist only of the characters A-Z (or a-z, but cases may not be mixed) and the digits 0-9.

  • All file and directory names are monocase. Depending on the driver program associated with your particular CD-ROM drive, they will appear as either all uppercase or all lowercase. For example, the README.TXT filename may be displayed as either README.TXT or readme.txt.

  • A filename may contain up to eight characters, with an extension of up to three characters. Filenames (both the name and the extension) may consist only of the characters A-Z (or a-z, but cases may not be mixed), the digits 0-9, and the underscore (_).

With some CD-ROM driver programs, you will notice that a period is appended to the filename (if the filename does not have an extension). You will also notice that a semicolon, followed by a version number, is appended. For example, the README.TXT filename might be displayed as any of the following, depending on which system and CD-ROM driver you use:


For PC users, ISO 9660 will have familiar characteristics because it is basically an MS-DOS format (for example, the familiar 8-character filenames with 3-character extensions).

For UNIX users, ISO 9660 will look quite different. Lengthy UNIX filenames and multiple extensions have had to be changed to conform to the ISO 9660 standard.

For Macintosh users, this CD-ROM will look like a normal Macintosh file system.

Organization of the CD-ROM

The following directories are on the CD-ROM:


Contains the full text of the book, sample images, code and vendor specifications. The book is available in two separate versions, a graphics version, in /gff/graphics, and a text-only version in /gff/textonly.

Note that using the HTML files in these directories requires the GFF application; if you simply point your browser at these files, using your browser's option for opening local documents, for example, some links will not work. See below for instructions on customizing your view of GFF.


Contains the Macintosh implementation of GFF and the Spyglass Enhanced Mosaic browser.


Contains the Windows implementations of GFF and the Spyglass Enhanced Mosaic browser. Use the Windows 95 implementation (under /pc/win95) of GFF for Windows 95 and Windows NT. Use the Windows 3.1 implementation (under /pc/win31) for Windows 3.1.


Contains the UNIX implementations of GFF. The directories under /unix are divided by platform. Each directory contains the appropriate GFF implementation and the Spyglass Enhanced Mosaic browser. Consult the README and INSTALL files in these directories for more information.


Contains the third-party contributed software. There are separate directories below /software for each platform. The UNIX applications are provided in source form and are not pre-compiled. You can navigate to these directories through GFF or directly as you wish.

Any late-breaking information about GFF is stored in the README file in the appropriate directory. Please read this file before you install GFF.

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This page is taken from the Encyclopedia of Graphics File Formats and is licensed by O'Reilly under the Creative Common/Attribution license.