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From: Phil Austin
Subject: Re: PGPLOT
Date: Mon, 26 May 1997 12:45:39 -0700

>>>>> "JWE" == John W Eaton <address@hidden> writes:

    JWE> There are plans to improve Octave's plotting
    JWE> capabilities. Unfortunately, I've not had much time to work
    JWE> on this project yet.

    JWE> I don't plan to use pgplot, because apparently it is only
    JWE> freely available for non-commercial use.

    JWE> A similar library that is distributed under the GPL is
    JWE> plplot, but I'm not sure that it is being actively maintained
    JWE> these days.

    JWE> I also know of several other plotting packages, each with its
    JWE> own set of stregths and weaknesses.

    JWE> In any case, I intend to make Octave's internal plotting
    JWE> interface relatively generic so that it will be possible for
    JWE> users to different plotting packages if they wish.  I plan to
    JWE> provide at least one sample implementation, but I'm still
    JWE> undecided about which plotting package I will use.

Lack of a good free plotting package is a sticking point for several
numerically-oriented interpreted languages.  There has been some
discussion of this on the Numeric Python mailing list as well, and
perhaps a group effort spanning Octave, Python, Perl data language,
etc. could produce something.  We'd like to see the most portable
possible solution, and the Tk driver in Plplot shows promise in that
direction, although the move of Geoff Furnish, the Plplot maintainer,
from Livermore to Los Alamos may have derailed that (there was also
some talk several months about about merging Plplot with gist, a
free Livermore graphics package that runs on X under Yorick or
Python).  One person on the Python list is writing plotting software
in Java to run under Python (see

Phil Austin             INTERNET: address@hidden
(604) 822-2175          FAX:      (604) 822-6150
Associate Professor
Atmospheric Sciences Programme
Geography #217
University of British Columbia
1984 W Mall
Vancouver, BC  V6T 1Z2

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