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A discussion of some of the problems that arise in the design of high-level general-purpose device-independent graphics systems is presented. These problems are shown to be most easily solved by avoiding the use of complex display data structures prior to the picture transformation process. The use of a display file containing the transformed picture is proposed instead. This approach restricts the range of display equipment suitable for use as output devices but does not prevent the use of high-performance equipment. The use of a small set of high-level graphic input functions is also suggested and it is shown why this appears to be the best solution to the problem of programming graphic input devices. Included, too, is an outline description of a graphics system designed along the proposed lines.