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Re: Plotting many curves

From: John W. Eaton
Subject: Re: Plotting many curves
Date: Fri, 9 Oct 1998 01:00:15 -0500 (CDT)

On  8-Sep-1998, Daniel Heiserer <address@hidden> wrote:

| > > These might be due to the way octave interacts with gnuplot - but I can't
| > > believe the famous gnu philosophy could coexists with such strict
| > > limitations.
| > 
| > the problem is with gnuplot.  despite the name, gnuplot is *not* a GNU
| > software, nor does it fall under the GPL.  gnuplot's license is
| > awkward and stupid.
| > 
| > since gnuplot has such a retarded license, reworked binaries cannot be
| > distributed making octave on NT somewhat less smooth than one could
| > hope.  also gnuplot cannot be integrated into octave where it would
| > better belong as a library rather than a stand-alone.
| > 
| > i am all for getting rid of the gnuplot albatross and using a GPL
| > graphics library.  is this a direction we want to head in?  what do
| > others think?
| Hi,
| as far as I use octave, gnuplot is the real bootleneck. The most simple
| commands are available, anyway. But you can't do any high-end, or lets
| say more customized, graphics you often need, unless you are a
| gnuplot-wizard and like to play all the time with pipes and whatever. I
| always have to switch to matlab for these reasons. I don't think that it
| would be impossible to integrate better graphics, but if you say the
| gnuplot license is too strict, it cannot be done with gnuplot. Are there
| any alternatives promising a much better integration?

Some history might help.  When I started working on Octave (sometime
around 1991) gnuplot was available, I was familiar with it, and it
seemed like the easiest thing to use.  Looking back on it now, I think
it was a mistake to implement gplot and gsplot directly in Octave.
There is little hope that it will ever be possible to make gplot in
Octave work exactly like gnuplot's plot command.  For one thing,
gnuplot's syntax is quite complicated.  For another, the target keeps

Several other people have created interfaces to other graphics
packages like plplot and grace (formerly xmgr, I think).  Eventually,
I'd like to make it possible for people to be able to choose whatever
graphics package they prefer, and to easily add interfaces to new
things.  Unfortunately, time and available funding are in short supply
and the list of projects is only growing larger.


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