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bug#5231: 23.1.90; histograms with calc

From: Leo
Subject: bug#5231: 23.1.90; histograms with calc
Date: Wed, 16 Dec 2009 15:50:18 +0000

Please describe exactly what actions triggered the bug
and the precise symptoms of the bug.  If you can, give
a recipe starting from `emacs -Q':

I wonder if someone can take a look at the histogram functions of calc.
It will be great if it can be enhanced to be more useful.

I use pgfplots (a TeX package) for plotting which is quite powerful and
can do most of plots (see http://pgfplots.sourceforge.net/ for
examples). For some types of plots one needs some extra care to prepare
data and histogram is one of them.

The 'hist'¹ function in MATLAB returns data counts in each bin and this
process cannot be directly handled in pgfplots due (probably) to the
limited power of TeX. `calc-histogram' can put data in bins but only in
intervals like [0,1), [1,2), ...... It seems to me this is not of much

'hist' in MATLAB can also take two verctors as in hist(x,y) where *x*
will specifiy x-axis of the center of each bin, and this is most
frequently used in real work.

I am raising this bug so that one day relying on matlab for histograms
would not be necessary. I find the matlab interface straightforward and
so it might be worthwhile to add to calc.

Best wishes,


¹  http://www.mathworks.com/access/helpdesk/help/techdoc/ref/hist.html

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