Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

PLplot Notes Its 10,000th Commit

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the this-project-can-legally-drive dept.

Software 66

iliketrash writes "From the PLplot development team is the announcement of their 10,000th commit: 'PLplot is a cross-platform software package for creating scientific plots that has been in continuous development since its inception 17 years ago. On May 23, 2009 the PLplot developers quietly celebrated our ten thousandth commit since our initial software repository was populated back in May 1992. This longevity puts PLplot in some select company amongst open-source software projects. We may even be unique within this group because all PLplot development has been done by volunteers in their spare time. The enthusiasm for PLplot development continues; we have averaged more than 100 commits per month over the last year which is double our 17-year average, and we are looking forward to the celebration of our next ten thousand commits!'"

cancel ×

66 comments

R! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28217937)

R, lattice, ggplot! Oh mY!

www.r-project.org !

Oblig (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28217949)

ITS OVER NINE THOUSAND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!*

Or in this case, TEN.

P.S. Filter error: Don't use so many caps. It's like YELLING. Gotta love /.

10000th!@# (1)

wmbetts (1306001) | more than 5 years ago | (#28217965)

congrads to everyone who develops PLplot

Re:10000th!@# (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28218083)

congrads to everyone who develops Slashdot for your consistent failure to
+----------+
| FIX YOUR |
|  FUCKIN' |
|   CODE   |
+----------+
    |  |
    |  |
  .\|.||/..

Re:10000th!@# (0, Offtopic)

Jurily (900488) | more than 5 years ago | (#28219611)

Oooh, mod it -1, Funny please :)

Mazel Tov! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28217979)

I'm plotzing!

Commit? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28217983)

What on earth is a commit?

Re:Commit? (4, Funny)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#28217993)

It's like a patchset but not thought out as much.

Re:Commit? (3, Informative)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#28218031)

This is a list [sourceforge.net] of examples..

Quite a good record too. I went looking for howlers to link to but they seem to be doing a good professional job of tracking changes to their code.

Re:Commit? (1)

H0p313ss (811249) | more than 5 years ago | (#28218157)

What on earth is a commit?

Turn in your geek card.

Re:Commit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28221029)

My what?

Re:Commit? (1)

H0p313ss (811249) | more than 5 years ago | (#28225855)

What's the problem? Are you on acid [wikipedia.org] or something?

Re:Commit? (2, Insightful)

R.Mo_Robert (737913) | more than 5 years ago | (#28218403)

A better question is: what on earth is PLplot?!

...or maybe I'm the only person on Slashdot who had no idea what this software was before finding this article on the home page.

Re:Commit? (1)

Warlord88 (1065794) | more than 5 years ago | (#28220047)

No. I'm with you. I thought gnuplot was the first-choice package for creating scientific plots. But this one seems to be some kind of library to create plots. I'm not sure why one would want to write scripts just to create plots. I'm exploring it though.

Re:Commit? (1)

dmbasso (1052166) | more than 5 years ago | (#28220965)

My first-choice package is matploblib, which is made in Python.

Re:Commit? (1)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 5 years ago | (#28223201)

I'm not sure why one would want to write scripts just to create plots.

One good reason is to make graphs of a consistent style (same fonts, sizes, axis types, etc.) which can then be generated from different data sets. Publications look crappy when plots of equivalent data are inconsistently presented.
Scripting is how I produce graphs in gnuplot (and Matlab). Modifying the analysis or changing the datasets then re-running the scripts gives comparable plots.

More commits needed to sort the aethetics (1)

SplashMyBandit (1543257) | more than 5 years ago | (#28218125)

Well done to the PLplot team.

The example graphs don't look so pleasant though. The (default?) colour scheme is excellent for a semi-lit astronomical dome (doesn't ruin your night vision) but I put those in front a business board without a fair bit of work on the aesthetics - wouldn't want the company directors to start throwing chairs, would ya?.

Re:More commits needed to sort the aethetics (1)

SplashMyBandit (1543257) | more than 5 years ago | (#28218133)

s/but I put/but I wouldn't put/

Re:More commits needed to sort the aethetics (2, Insightful)

caffeinemessiah (918089) | more than 5 years ago | (#28220465)

The example graphs don't look so pleasant though. The (default?) colour scheme is excellent for a semi-lit astronomical dome (doesn't ruin your night vision) but I put those in front a business board without a fair bit of work on the aesthetics

Agreed. When it comes to your papers, you really want the best looking plots, and the examples on the PLPlot site don't even use anti aliasing! Check out the commercial competition [sigmaplot.com] . Mathematica generates pretty plots too, and some amazing mathematical graphics [wolfram.com] . Hell, even a recent Gnuplot seem to do a better job [sourceforge.net] at plotting.

Re:More commits needed to sort the aethetics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28223461)

Actually, PLplot can do quite decent plots (even use antialiasing depending on the output device). The examples on the web site are directly generated from the bunch of tests delivered with the software, showing its basic features and allowing the device driver developer to test everything. Nice demo for the features, not for what you can get practically.

I've worked with PLplot (and even developed for it), and although it cannot stand the comparison with some other plotting software, it is quite lightweight and straightforward to use, and can do much nicer things than what's displayed on the site. You can definitely get publication quality outputs.

Re:More commits needed to sort the aethetics (1)

NaturalJow (1570957) | more than 5 years ago | (#28234615)

If you look carefully at the plots on the website, e.g.: http://plplot.sourceforge.net/examples-data/demo08/x08.03.png [sourceforge.net] you'll see that the plots are indeed antialiased. For the website plots a driver based on the cairo library is used.

Still not done? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28218129)

What?!

17 years and it's still not done?

Slackers.

BRL-CAD, Emacs, and GCC for some perspective (4, Informative)

morrison (40043) | more than 5 years ago | (#28218281)

BRL-CAD [brlcad.org] is about to cross 35,000 commits [ohloh.net] . Emacs has more than 85,000 [ohloh.net] . GCC has about 12,000 unique over 150,000 commits [ohloh.net] .

That rounds out the three oldest continuously developed repositories [ohloh.net] with preserved revision history.

Re:BRL-CAD, Emacs, and GCC for some perspective (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#28218477)

I've tried about 10 times to get interested in BRL-CAD. It's just so awesome in theory, and then you run into the cruft and back away slowly. tcl-tk? I don't have that much hair left. I think the last time I looked at it I just gave up on the editor and hacked the ascii version of the .g files directly. Now they're talking about getting rid of the g2asc and asc2g tools because you don't need them to convert between platforms anymore. If you just wanna make raytraced images you're better off going with POVRay but if you want to do, ya know, CAD type stuff, like measuring how much stress you can put on a component before it breaks, one has to brave the twisty passages of outdated technologies and documentation.

Re:BRL-CAD, Emacs, and GCC for some perspective (1)

morrison (40043) | more than 5 years ago | (#28222413)

I'm certainly biased, but it's more than awesome in theory. The project has a lot of momentum and development going on not only towards addressing your concerns, but a lot of others as well. Most everything being worked on now is towards making the GUI much better.

That includes dropping Tk for the modeler (going to Qt now that it's LGPL). That includes implementing full BREP/NURBS support and multiple-representation geometry (no longer just unevaluated wireframes until render). That includes a fresh implementation of an OO geometry engine ala ACIS and Granite. That includes an extensible plug-in based application framework and a whole lot more [brlcad.org] .

BRL-CAD's main issues are 'cosmetic' problems that you don't even have to be a developer to help (vastly) improve. Docs, website, tools... The biggest problem (aside from needing more developers) is one of scope and expectations as CAD means a lot of different things to different people. Commercial CAD is major business with more than 2000 devs cranking features into the likes of CATIA, AutoCAD, Solidworks, NX, and Pro/E on a daily basis. BRL-CAD has two orders of magnitude less yet nearly the same expectations from users. The only way it's going to improve is through increasing development from the open source community at large to make things better, leverage the 500 staff-years invested, and push forward making great tools.

Re:BRL-CAD, Emacs, and GCC for some perspective (1)

EsbenMoseHansen (731150) | more than 5 years ago | (#28219067)

The KDE project is approaching commit 1 million :) I wonder if they will get there before converting to git, though,.

Re:BRL-CAD, Emacs, and GCC for some perspective (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28219167)

And yet it's still a piece of shit.

Re:BRL-CAD, Emacs, and GCC for some perspective (1)

morrison (40043) | more than 5 years ago | (#28222015)

The numbers referred to for the other projects are 'unique' trunk/mainline commits only. Per that same measure, KDE sits at a little over 125,000 [ohloh.net] commits. Raw commits to all branches is vastly different for everyone.

OT: your sig (1)

kelnos (564113) | more than 5 years ago | (#28227537)

Atheism is not a religion, it is the absence of religion.
Agnosticism is the absence of decisiveness.

Heh, atheism sure sounds like a religion sometimes, given how fervently some atheists push their belief that there is no god. Some seem almost as bad as evangelical Christians.

Agnosticism is merely logic at play. Anyone who isn't an agnostic is deluded. Claiming to know with certainty that there isn't a god is just as unscientific as claiming that there is a god (Richard Dawkins' beliefs notwithstanding).

Of course, the mass media has confused the definition of agnosticism to the point of uselessness, so it's unsurprising to have this misconception. (Full disclosure: I'm an agnostic atheist.)

Re:OT: your sig (1)

EsbenMoseHansen (731150) | more than 5 years ago | (#28227881)

Atheism is not a religion, it is the absence of religion. Agnosticism is the absence of decisiveness.

Heh, atheism sure sounds like a religion sometimes, given how fervently some atheists push their belief that there is no god. Some seem almost as bad as evangelical Christians.

I have heard of such atheist, but never met any. As long as that is the case, I'd rather defer judgment.

Agnosticism is merely logic at play. Anyone who isn't an agnostic is deluded. Claiming to know with certainty that there isn't a god is just as unscientific as claiming that there is a god (Richard Dawkins' beliefs notwithstanding).

I think even Richard would claim that the God hypothesis is simply completely unsupported. He tends to use a colorful language involving alfs and so on, but I think that is the essence.

(Full disclosure: I'm an agnostic atheist.)

As am I. Which entitles me to mock both :P

Re:OT: your sig (1)

kelnos (564113) | more than 5 years ago | (#28229367)

Agnosticism is merely logic at play. Anyone who isn't an agnostic is deluded. Claiming to know with certainty that there isn't a god is just as unscientific as claiming that there is a god (Richard Dawkins' beliefs notwithstanding).

I think even Richard would claim that the God hypothesis is simply completely unsupported. He tends to use a colorful language involving alfs and so on, but I think that is the essence.

Yes, I'd agree that the god hypothesis is completely unsupported, but how is the no-god hypothesis supported either? You can pull out things like Occam's Razor in defense of the no-god hypothesis, but you can't definitively *prove* that there is no god. Any possible proof you come up with can be met with the (annoying but reasonable in this context) rebuttal of "it's that way because God is omnipotent and wants it that way."

I haven't actually read The God Delusion, but I've picked up a copy and will hopefully get to it soon. I don't expect it to change my view on the ability to disprove god, but who knows...

Re:OT: your sig (1)

EsbenMoseHansen (731150) | more than 5 years ago | (#28230813)

Yes, I'd agree that the god hypothesis is completely unsupported, but how is the no-god hypothesis supported either?

Well, in my opinion I don't have to. In my mind, I just have to prove that any given god (pick one) cannot exist. And they all, invariable, makes certain testable claims, typically miracles. As any miracle hypothesis always ends up disproven, you can conclude that gods non-existence from that.

But it all depends on what you *mean* with proof. Facts about the physical world can never be proven any more than you could prove that the next beer can you drop will actually fall to the floor instead of hanging in thin air. Yet, since I rather like beer, I would rather not drop the can.

You can pull out things like Occam's Razor in defense of the no-god hypothesis, but you can't definitively *prove* that there is no god.

I could, and that would work too, but I don't really need to.

Any possible proof you come up with can be met with the (annoying but reasonable in this context) rebuttal of "it's that way because God is omnipotent and wants it that way."

Omnipotence is, fortunately, logically impossible (making the stone too heavy for them to lift, e.g.). So any god that claims omnipotence has automatically disproven itself. Yes, I am a mathematician, I can't help it.

I haven't actually read The God Delusion, but I've picked up a copy and will hopefully get to it soon. I don't expect it to change my view on the ability to disprove god, but who knows...

Personally, I find Dawkins best when talking about evolution, and there are some excellent and interesting passages about that. God's (as he defines God) reasonble-sure-non-existence is like 5-minutes worth of thought.

I never understood why people find this debate so interesting at all. Atheism is the only reasonable intelligent choice if you have to choose, like "a-alfism", "a-dragon-ism", "a-moby-dick-ism" and so on and on and on. Being agnostic simply means that you are ready to revise and of those opinions if contrary evidence should turn up. Being atheistic simply means banking on the ---by far --- more likely scenario. People agree about this for any "a-***" except for some weird reason deism/theism. Apparently, many people have this delusion that there is someone watching them all the time.

Re:OT: your sig (1)

kelnos (564113) | more than 5 years ago | (#28258803)

Yes, I'd agree that the god hypothesis is completely unsupported, but how is the no-god hypothesis supported either?

Well, in my opinion I don't have to. In my mind, I just have to prove that any given god (pick one) cannot exist. And they all, invariable, makes certain testable claims, typically miracles. As any miracle hypothesis always ends up disproven, you can conclude that gods non-existence from that.

That sounds reasonable, assuming there actually are testable claims for every god/religion. I'm not really sure either way. Of course, this doesn't rule out some other "being" that we haven't thought up yet, but why over-complicate things...

But it all depends on what you *mean* with proof. Facts about the physical world can never be proven any more than you could prove that the next beer can you drop will actually fall to the floor instead of hanging in thin air. Yet, since I rather like beer, I would rather not drop the can.

Heh, true in an absolute sense, but not in any real-world practical sense. We take it as a given that gravity exists, and works, even though we don't completely know how. If we can't rely on some things as being "truth," then I don't think we can really live meaningfully. Of course it's a matter of degree. I tend to find such extremism in thought about the nature of reality to be interesting, even if mainly just mental masturbation.

Omnipotence is, fortunately, logically impossible (making the stone too heavy for them to lift, e.g.). So any god that claims omnipotence has automatically disproven itself. Yes, I am a mathematician, I can't help it.

Sure, sure, but you can revise "omnipotence" to be something like "maximally powerful." It is conceivable -- if unlikely -- that you could come up with a being that is logically consistent, but could produce "supernatural" (or perhaps just highly technologically advanced) feats that would easily foil any attempt to discover him.

Personally, I find Dawkins best when talking about evolution, and there are some excellent and interesting passages about that. God's (as he defines God) reasonble-sure-non-existence is like 5-minutes worth of thought.

I never understood why people find this debate so interesting at all. Atheism is the only reasonable intelligent choice if you have to choose, like "a-alfism", "a-dragon-ism", "a-moby-dick-ism" and so on and on and on.

Well, that's presupposing that people are both reasonable and logical, and never let emotions, upbringing, or thousands of years of history influence their thinking. We all have biases and incorrect assumptions about the world around us. Some people just have assumptions that we consider surprising. I know quite a few people who "believe" who are (otherwise) intelligent, reasonable people. While I continue to find that odd, I don't consider those people any less intelligent for it.

Being agnostic simply means that you are ready to revise and of those opinions if contrary evidence should turn up.

Sure. Most theists are (hopefully) agnostic but don't think of themselves as such, whether for political reasons (agnosticism being closely associated with that "distasteful" atheism) or just lack of association with the term.

Being atheistic simply means banking on the ---by far --- more likely scenario. People agree about this for any "a-***" except for some weird reason deism/theism.

Yep. Probably psychological effects. People tend to feel more comfortable knowing they're not the top of the food chain, and that there's someone looking over them, and that the buck doesn't stop at them.

Apparently, many people have this delusion that there is someone watching them all the time.

The government? ^_~

Re:BRL-CAD, Emacs, and GCC for some perspective (1)

kelnos (564113) | more than 5 years ago | (#28227435)

Er, I don't quite understand why 10,000 is such a big deal. Xfce is at 29,994 [xfce.org] , and that's just for version 4, which was started around... 2001 or 2002 or so? Version 3 adds another 1181 commits [xfce.org] to that, and I'm sure v2 and v1 would add a bit more if their history was still around.

I'm not saying this to brag (hell, KDE has over 125k, and I'm sure GNOME is comparable to that); I doubt it'll be a big deal when Xfce hits 30k commits, even. I'm just wondering why PLplot (arguably something of an obscure project) gets a /. article for what seems to be not much of a milestone.

Re:BRL-CAD, Emacs, and GCC for some perspective (1)

morrison (40043) | more than 5 years ago | (#28227763)

It's not a big deal except to the PLplot devs as an arbitrary line being passed. Kudos to them for making ten thousand measured changes to their code, hope they make it to the next decimal place up. Probably not unlike the mild nod of appreciation you might feel when you hit 100,000.

It's a rather meaningless metric in general simply because there are massive differences in commit styles across projects and even within the same project. Even less meaningful than the meaningless lines-of-code metric. As an example, BRL-CAD's commits were almost universally 'huge' commits until it went open source. Then the more iterative 'chatter' commit style of most open source projects was adopted where they became much much smaller and considerably more frequent, communicating intent much better. Revision history that's actually useful! Even now, there are some devs that commit early, commit often, and others on the project that still have a tendency to commit big when left unchecked.

Re:BRL-CAD, Emacs, and GCC for some perspective (1)

kelnos (564113) | more than 5 years ago | (#28229381)

Yeah, true. I guess I was just pointlessly whining about how I don't think this article is /. front page-worthy. Not that such whining is ever useful, but...

Unfortunately (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 5 years ago | (#28218405)

I hate to be a jerk, but the example plots [sourceforge.net] are not of the quality I would be proud to publish in a paper. I wish there were more of an open-source tradition among graphic artists.

Re:Unfortunately (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#28218437)

If the average graphic artist got involved with a project like this, it would come to a standstill.

It's true however that many engineers eschew aesthetics beyond all reason.

c. 1982 (1)

dspart (1073766) | more than 5 years ago | (#28219685)

I'm going to agree with you here: the plots look like the kind of thing that a school kid could write for (say) an Acorn Atom c. 1982.

Bhut, I'd be pleased if a FS project I was deeply involved in got to 10k commits.
--
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Re:Unfortunately (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28222037)

As opposed to the editors of USAToday, scientists prefer their plots as graphically simple as possible since they are trying to convey complex information in the most legible manner, instead of trying to do an artistic statement. Except for the green foreground over black background, the examples on your link look perfectly adequate for a scientific paper. Readability triumphs aesthetics in scientific information visualization and that is why there are no graphic artists deciding how to decorate plots.

On top of that, plots usually are in black and white because most scientists print them in laser-jet printers anyway and journals and conferences charge the authors extra money if they include color in their papers

How does it compare to R? (1)

gringer (252588) | more than 5 years ago | (#28218435)

Hmm, reminds me a bit of R [r-project.org] , the plotting part of it, at least. There are a few examples of the kind of plotting you can achieve in R here [addictedtor.free.fr] .

Re:How does it compare to R? (4, Informative)

Coryoth (254751) | more than 5 years ago | (#28218671)

Hmm, reminds me a bit of R, the plotting part of it, at least. There are a few examples of the kind of plotting you can achieve in R here.

There are a plot of quite good open source plotting tools out there. I would consider R useful in as much as it provides powerful data crunching tools to distill your data into something essential to plot, but for plotting alone it is merely adequate. GNUPlot [sourceforge.net] is actually surprisinly powerful and flexible with professional output if you're willing to take the time to learn all it can really do (it's default output can be rather underwhelming). Going outside the box of what GNUplot does easily can be an exercise in extreme contortions of an already slightly arcane language however. matplotlib [sourceforge.net] is one of the best straight plotting tools out there, with a good mix between simple high level plotting, and sane easy to manage low level drawing tools, and good looking default output. CairoPlot [wordpress.com] is nice for very pretty charts, but is not as flexible as one might like. I'm sure there are more, but I don't happen to know them offhand.

Re:How does it compare to R? (1)

flynt (248848) | more than 5 years ago | (#28223563)

Merely adequate is not really correct. R's basic "graphics" package is not bad, but you simply must look at the "lattice" and "ggplot2" packages. There are entire books written on the two latter packages by their respective authors. Also see the book "R Graphics" by Paul Murrell, which will introduce you to the "grid" package, a low-level plotting package in R (upon which lattice and ggplot are based). I've made some pretty interesting graphics with it using minimal code, and combined with R's data manipulation and statistical methodology, it's a very useful combination.

Re:How does it compare to R? (1)

digitalchinky (650880) | more than 5 years ago | (#28218847)

Did I miss a memo or something? What is it with websites and the need to show a whole bunch of links in different font sizes? Are they trying to be like wordpress?

vs. GNUPlot (1)

chriso11 (254041) | more than 5 years ago | (#28218557)

In what way is this better than GNUPlot?

Re:vs. GNUPlot (1)

sys.stdout.write (1551563) | more than 5 years ago | (#28218601)

It has more commits, so you know that it works better!

Re:vs. GNUPlot (0, Offtopic)

fishermonger (665593) | more than 5 years ago | (#28218947)

please mod +1 funny

Re:vs. GNUPlot (3, Informative)

gzipped_tar (1151931) | more than 5 years ago | (#28218741)

I'm no expert, and this is how I understood about the differences between PLplot and GNUPlot.

GNUPlot is modelled like an interpreter. It works by interpreting the input as a stream of commands. If you are to embed GNUPlot in your own application, you need a separate process for GNUPlot, and you construct the GNUPlot commands from your data and send them to the plotter process. On the other hand, PLPlot is a library with multiple language bindings, making it easier to embed in applications (you just call the library functions in your app and link it to the library).

There are also PLPlot front-ends geared towards interactive usage, just like the GNUPlot interactive shell.

Re:vs. GNUPlot (1)

EsbenMoseHansen (731150) | more than 5 years ago | (#28219279)

In what way is this better than GNUPlot?

Well, it has a decent license, for one thing.

Re:vs. GNUPlot (1)

ciderVisor (1318765) | more than 5 years ago | (#28220495)

In what way is this better than GNUPlot?

It has what graphs crave. It has electrolytes.

GraphViz! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28219055)

GraphViz WTF!

Re:GraphViz! (1)

Beezlebub33 (1220368) | more than 5 years ago | (#28220347)

No, Graphviz has a different feature-set. If I need to make a 'graph' in the mathematical or computer science, then it's the way to go. If I need to make plots, it doesn't do it. Frankly, I'd use JFreeChart [jfree.org] since right now I'm doing a Java project; I've also used it for web apps. See the project at Google Chart API [google.com] .

For a cool example, open a new browser tab and put in: "http://chart.apis.google.com/chart?cht=p3&chd=t:60,40&chs=250x100&chl=Hello|World"

ass (1)

sigmet (1569971) | more than 5 years ago | (#28219069)

Yet it still looks like ass? it doesn't look like something that has been in development for 17 years but more like something that was developed 17 years ago unfortunately.

This is news? Call it idle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28219205)

10k commits - who cares? 1992 is a bit more impressive, but still, who cares? How about a comparison with other projects? What is this US Today? "What we're committing today" Feh.

Huh? Veusz (1)

xiox (66483) | more than 5 years ago | (#28219537)

Veusz [gna.org] , my scientific plotting package, is up to revision 1009, and I'm virtually the single author and a volunteer. It has been in development since 2003. The output, IMHO, looks quite a bit nicer than PLPlot.

Linux average ~3500/month. (1)

Karellen (104380) | more than 5 years ago | (#28219559)

And given that releases are roughly every 3 months, it exceeds 10,000 commits per minor release.

Source [celinuxforum.org]

xmgrace (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28219741)

Grace [weizmann.ac.il] is the robust industry-quality tool for making publication ready graphs with quite extensive data analysis capabilities. The best of all mentioned here, if you don't need 3-D.

SigmaPlot (2, Informative)

solanum (80810) | more than 5 years ago | (#28221925)

As mentioned in a comment above, the paid for competition here is SigmaPlot. I remember first using Sigmaplot over ten years ago and the output of that version was head and shoulders above this. In fact there isn't any open source competition for Sigmaplot. Grace used to style itself as a SigmaPlot alternative, but hasn't been updated in a very long time and as never a match anyway.

As a scientist who primarily uses a Linux desktop I am fed up with rebooting to Windows just to run Sigmaplot (or SPSS for that matter - whilst there are plenty of stats software for unix, there are no easy to use but powerful GUI based packages for those of us that have to use stats every day but aren't statisticians). I'd happily pay for a Linux version of SigmaPlot, but I'd much rather use open source software. It's not about the money (my employer pays) it's about being able to access my own files and results in five years time. Unfortunately there are some areas where open-source doesn't come close to proprietory software and this is one of them.

Re:SigmaPlot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28222895)

As a scientist who primarily uses a Linux desktop I am fed up with rebooting to Windows just to run Sigmaplot ...

I also have a single necessary program that is Windows only -- try VirtualBox instead of dual booting. It really is much easier.

Re:SigmaPlot (2, Informative)

xiox (66483) | more than 5 years ago | (#28223389)

What sort of plotting do you do? Can you give me some idea of what the most useful plots missing from Veusz [gna.org] are? I know it doesn't do 3D plots, but I don't find them generally useful (except for volume renderings, etc.).

Re:SigmaPlot (1)

Rutulian (171771) | more than 5 years ago | (#28225905)

Hmm...well, your program looks really nice. I hadn't heard of it before. But a fairly critical feature is the ability to do statistical analysis on data sets and curve fitting. As far as I can tell, your program doesn't do that. Grace does, but it's interface is rather beastly. These days I use R directly, but it doesn't have a nice GUI like SigmaPlot. Personally, I think R requires you to know a little bit more about what you are doing than SigmaPlot, which is a good thing. But it would be nice to have a program that didn't require quite the learning curve. I've toyed with the idea of writing a simple frontend to R that does just simple regression analysis (that would fit 99% of my needs), but I've never gotten around to it.

Re:SigmaPlot (1)

xiox (66483) | more than 5 years ago | (#28226607)

It does do curve fitting (fitting functions to data). It doesn't do enough statistical analysis however.

You can call python code to do it, though it should have a UI for doing it.

Thanks for your comments.

Re:SigmaPlot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28226303)

3D plots are definitely a big one. You may not find them useful, but many many people in the scientific community do.

Re:SigmaPlot (1)

solanum (80810) | more than 5 years ago | (#28229591)

I'll check out Veusz (I hadn't come across it before), from the screenshots it looks like it does most of the plot types I use. The main things for me are to be able to put multiple plots on the same axis, not always the same type (ie line over bar etc), multiple y axes, and the ability to manipulate individual elements easily (e.g. change the colour/style of a single bar/line in a multiple bar/line graph, alter font/font size). That sort of thing. I use stats software to do stats, so I don't care about that, but curve fitting (to the data) is essential. I also need to be able to add elements (e.g. text box), to a figure.

Re:SigmaPlot (1)

Nubicles (1500077) | more than 5 years ago | (#28230537)

I'm personally fond of gnuplot. The output is quite nice if you use a vector drawing backend like eps or svg (much better than the PNG demos on the homepage would suggest), and integration with latex via the epslatex terminal is perfect for my needs. Matplotlib output is almost as good (and getting better all the time) and is arguably easier to use, especially for those familiar with Matlab. The most popular open source plotting packages among my colleagues seem to be gnuplot and xmgrace.

I downloaded and tried the SigmaPlot demo a few years ago. The output was indeed quite nice, but I did not enjoy using a GUI for plotting. My workflow often involves generating some data, plotting it, tweaking something, repeat. It's much more convenient for me to write a plotting script once than have to repeatedly import data and set up a plot. I admit that the CLI of gnuplot isn't as accessible as the SigmaPlot GUI, but once you're past the initial learning curve the CLI is probably faster.
Check for New Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...