The Graphical Kernel System (GKS) was the first ISO standard for low-level computer graphics, introduced in 1977. A draft international standard was circulated for review in September 1983. Final ratification of the standard was achieved in 1985.
GKS provides a set of drawing features for two-dimensional vector graphics suitable for charting and similar duties. The calls are designed to be portable across different programming languages, graphics devices and hardware, so that applications written to use GKS will be readily portable to many platforms and devices.
GKS was fairly common on computer workstations in the 1980s and early 1990s. GKS formed the basis of Digital Research's GSX and GEM products; the latter was common on the Atari ST and was occasionally seen on PCs particularly in conjunction with Ventura Publisher. It was little used commercially outside these markets, but remains in use in some scientific visualization packages. It is also the underlying API defining the Computer Graphics Metafile. A descendant of GKS was PHIGS. One popular application based on an implementation of GKS is the GR Framework, a C library for high-performance scientific visualization that has become a common plotting backend among Julia users.
- ANSI standard ANSI X3.124 of 1985.
- ISO 7942:1985 standard, revised as ISO 7942:1985/Amd 1:1991 and ISO/IEC 7942-1:1994, as well as ISO/IEC 7942-2:1997, ISO/IEC 7942-3:1999 and ISO/IEC 7942-4:1998
- The language bindings are ISO standard ISO 8651.
- GKS-3D (Graphical Kernel System for Three Dimensions) functional definition is ISO standard ISO 8805, and the corresponding C bindings are ISO 8806.
The functionality of GKS is wrapped up as a data model standard in the STEP standard, section ISO 10303-46.
- "Europe calls the tune on computer graphics". New Scientist. 1983-04-21. p. 152. Retrieved 2018-01-18.
- Straayer, Dave (1983-07-25). "Headway Being Made on Graphics Standards". Computerworld. p. 7. Retrieved 2018-01-01.
- "Ansi Seeking Comment On Standard for Graphics". Computerworld. 1983-09-12. p. 64. Retrieved 2018-01-18.
- "ISO 7942:1985". Retrieved 2018-01-18.
- "Ansi standards draw attention of graphics industry". Computerworld. 1985-03-25. p. 36. Retrieved 2018-01-18.
- "HP library implements GKS". Computerworld. 1986-03-31. p. 73. Retrieved 2018-01-18.
- Josef Heinen; et al. (1985–2019). "GR Framework". Retrieved 2020-11-16.
- Catalogue search results on http://www.iso.org/iso
- Catalogue search results on http://www.freestd.us
- Hopgood, F. R. A. (1983). Introduction to the Graphical Kernel System (GKS). London: Academic Press. ISBN 0-12-355570-1.
- Laflin, Susan (August 1999). "The Graphical Kernel System". SEM307 Computer Graphics II. School of Computer Science, University of Birmingham. Retrieved 2007-02-18.
- Encarnação, José L.; Encarnação, L. M.; Herzner, Wolfgang R. (1987). Graphische Datenverarbeitung mit GKS (in German) (1 ed.). München / Wien: Carl Hanser Verlag. ISBN 3446149783.
- Bechlars, Jörg; Buhtz, Rainer (1994). GKS in der Praxis (in German) (2 ed.). Heidelberg: Springer Verlag. ISBN 3540567852.
- Fellner, Wolf-Dietrich (1992). Computergrafik (in German) (2 ed.). Mannheim: BI Wissenschaftsverlag. ISBN 3411151226.
- Gawehn, Wilfried (1991). Grafikprogrammierung mit C und GKS (in German). Mannheim: BI Wissenschaftsverlag. ISBN 3-411-14981-7.