Version 6

ViSta for Unix
Version 5

Version 5 has many new features.
Compare it with previous versions.


  1. XLispStat: You need to install the latest version of XLispStat. Further information is available from the XLispStat site and from my XLispStat page.

  2. ViSta for Unix: The port of ViSta 5.0.5 has one fairly serious bug: The datasheat editor doesn't work; after using it, all other ViSta windows get confused. This problem can be avoided by using the File menu's Load Data menu item rather than the Open Data item. In addition, ViSta will die if not enough colors are available (which can be easily circumvented by specifying a lower number of colors). Finally, saving preferences may fail, because this tries to write into the installation path, which is usual readonly. ViSta may be obtained in two ways:
    • Download ViSta 5.0.5 (399K).
    • Ftp ViSta for Unix directly from

  3. Documentation for ViSta is available in several formats.
  4. Once you have downloaded ViSta and the documentation you have to un-compress and un-tar the downloaded files. The compression format used is GNU "gzip" (*.gz). The GNU gzip tool is available via anonymous ftp from the GNU library at

Install ViSta 5.0.5:

The following are needed for installation: tar, gzip, make, xlispstat and sed
  1. After extracting vista.tar.gz
            cat vista-5.0.5.tar.gz | gzip -dc | tar xvf -
  2. Edit Makeconf to meet your local settings.
         You need to specify                         (defaults:               ) 
         XLISP   - the path to your xlispstat binary (/usr/local/bin/xlispstat)
         DEST    - the path for vista files          (/usr/local/lib/vista    )
         BINDEST - the path for the start script     (/usr/local/bin/vista    )
  3. Then type:
         and (with appropriate privileges)
               make install

Set ViSta's Font Sizes - Method 1:

It is recommended that you set the default font sizes for ViSta to improve the appearance of the graphics, menus and dialogs. This can be done by creating (or appending) a file named
in your home directory. This file should contain the lines
        xlisp*menu*font:   8x13
        xlisp*dialog*font: 8x13
        xlisp*graph*font:  8x13

Set ViSta's Font Sizes - Method 2:

The following script should automatically add resources for xlisp fonts to your .Xdefaults file or create the file if it doesn't already exist. If any xlisp resources already exist, then it leaves the file alone. The script then starts ViSta.
if [ -f $HOME/.Xdefaults ] 
; then grep "^xlisp" $HOME/.Xdefaults > /dev/null
    2>&1 if [  $? !=
       0 ] ; then echo
	Appending to $HOME/.Xdefaults cat
	< >$HOME/.Xdefaults
8x13    xlisp*dialog*font:
8x13  xlisp*graph*font:
8x13   EOF
    Creating $HOME/.Xdefaults cat
    < >$HOME/.Xdefaults
xlisp*menu*font:    8x13
xlisp*dialog*font:  8x13
xlisp*graph*font:   8x13

xlispstat /usr/local/src/xlispstat/vista/statinit.lsp

Run ViSta:

  • In a shell window (xterm, rxvt or similar), you invoke ViSta (via XLispStat) by typing:
    xlispstat /home/myname/vista/vista/statinit.lsp
    where xlispstat is the name of the executable for XLispStat, and where /home/myname/vista is the name of the directory containing ViSta.

  • If you are in the directory containing the statinit.lsp file, you should only type: xlispstat

  • If you built the shell script vista described in the optional step #4 of "Installing ViSta" then simply type: vista

Hardware and Software Requirements:

ViSta for Unix requires X11R5 or higher (it has been tested on X11R6 and X11R6.1).

ViSta for Unix also requires xlispstat version 3.52.5. It will not work with versions pre 3.52. Xlispstat-3.52.5 compiled out of the box on linux (S.u.S.E. 5.2) and DEC Alpha (Digital unix 4.0D) machines.

Earlier versions of ViSta for Unix were developed and tested on a Sun SPARCStation 20/50 running Solaris 2.4 and 2.5, on DECstation models 5000/120 and 5500 running Ultrix V4.2A, and on Sun IPC and IPX workstations running SunOS 4.1.3.


Thanks to Albrecht Gebhardt for the port of ViSta 5.0.5 to Unix. Thanks to Tony Rossini (University of South Carolina, Department of Statistics) and Charles Kurak (University of North Carolina Computer Science Department) for their countless hours spent on the development of the earlier Unix versions.