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Announce: New graphics package, PLplot_octave

From: jcardoso
Subject: Announce: New graphics package, PLplot_octave
Date: Wed, 1 Apr 1998 23:53:54 +0100 (BST)


PLplot_octave is a replacement for the Octave/gnuplot graphics 
package. You can find it in the Octave mailing archives at

The distribution README follows.



This package enables you to use PLplot from within Octave.

You have three advantages:

        1 - Use a superior plotting package, having access to dozens
                of plotting commands, enabling you to customize your plots
                at your will,

        2 - Still use the same plot commands that you are familiarized,
                if you really want to.

        3 - Have some new and long waited ploting command scripts.

PLplot also has its disadvantages:

        It is not beeing maintained anymore, and you must use the last
snapshot available before developpement ceased (plplot-961023 plus a
patch to this snapshot). This is a kind of walking in a sharp knife, but
in my experience I found it bug free.

        If you build the Tcl/Tk driver, optional, you have a menu driven
way to plot to a file, choose the output device, zoom, pan, change
colors, etc.

Besides having acess to all PLplot API commands, and all Octave usual
commands, some with some improvements, new commands are available. A
brief description of the new commands:

autostyle "on" | "off"

 increases line style after each plot.
 Usefull for B&W plots

[x, y, button] = ginput([n])

   gets n points (default 1e6) from the current axes and returns
       the x- and y-coordinates in length N vectors X and Y.  The cursor
       can be positioned using a mouse (or by using the Arrow Keys on some
       systems).  Data points are entered by pressing a mouse button
       or any key on the keyboard.  A carriage return terminates the
       input before N points are entered.

        button contains a vector of integers specifying which mouse button was
       used (1,2,3 from left) or ASCII numbers if a key on the keyboard
       was used.

       A mouseclick or key press with the pointer positioned outside of
       the viewport is ignored.

                A bug makes the cross-hair remain in the plot after ginput 
                To avoid, move the cross-hair outside the window, and press 
                or issue plflush after calling ginput

grid ("on" | "off" | "minor")

 Turn grid lines at major ticks "on" or "off" for plotting.
 "minor" means to draw the grid at minor tiks.
 To setup the grid at your wish, use `x(y,z)ticks'

 If the argument is omitted, "on" is assumed.

gtext(string [,just [,orient]])

       Place text on a 2-D graph using a mouse.
       gtext('string') displays the graph window, puts up a
       cross-hair, and waits for a mouse button or keyboard key to be
       pressed.  The cross-hair can be positioned with the mouse (or
       with the arrow keys on some computers).  Pressing a mouse button
       or any key writes the text string onto the graph at the selected
       just controls justification of text;
       just=0, left justified; just=1, right justified. In between values
       justify acordingly. Default, center justified.
           orient control orientation of text, measured in degrees. Default 

legend ([status [, xposition [, yposition]])

 turns the plot legend status = "off" || "on" == "transparent" || "opaque",
 left top corner legend at position (left)(botton) 0 <= position <= 1 

cmap = plcolormap([map])
 Set colormap1 to map; map is an n row by 3 columns matrix, representing
   red, green and blue components in the range [0..1]

 if map == 'default', returns and sets the default hsv colormap
 if map don't exist, return the current colormap


 set some options, as if they where in the command line, before plinit()

save_fig(device, file)

 save current plot figure in 'file' for 'device' type.

 *Usual* devices are:
        ps         PostScript File (monochrome)
        psc        PostScript File (color)
        plmeta     PLPLOT Native Meta-File (can be displayed with 'plrender')
        xfig       Xfig file
        pbm        PDB (PPM) Driver
        lj_hpgl    HP Laserjet III, HPGL emulation mode
        hp7470     HP 7470 Plotter File (HPGL Cartridge, Small Plotter)
        hp7580     HP 7580 Plotter File (Large Plotter)

set_view ([alt, az])

 Set up the altitude and azimute in degrees for posterior 3d plots.

 If called without arguments, rotates iteratively a cube.
 The keys `jklmi' control the rotation, in the usual star-like maker.
 The key `k' sets a default view. Finish with the enter key.
 Each key press steps the value by 10 degrees.
 If the Shift key is also pressed the step is by 1 degree value.

   j k l

shade(x, y, z [, levels [, contour] )
shade(z [, levels [, contour] )

 plot shade of matrix z versus vectors x,y.
 level can be a scalar speficying the number of shade levels,
 or a vector, specifying where the shade level must be
 if contour exists, each shade level will be contoured with 'countour' color

contour ([x, y,] z [, n])

  Draws a contour plot of matrix z versus vectors x and y.
  If n is a scalar, then n contour lines will be ploted
  If n is a vector, then length(n) contour lines will be plot at the
  value specified by n.

id = stripc (xmin, xmax, xjump, ymin, ymax,
        legend1, legend2, legend3, legend4,
        acc, autoy)

        creates a four pen stripchar. Points are added calling stripc_add().
        the scripchart *must* be deleted after use calling stripc_del()

        xmin, ymin, xmax and ymax are initial rasonable values for the chart
        xjump is the percentage of the window that skips when the plot lines
        arrive at the right.
        legend[i] is the legend of plot pen 'i'
        acc if '1' means to accumulate values instead of losting it, as a normal
        stripchart does (well, paper is always available)
        autoy if '1' means to autoscale the y axis *between* xjumps. After a
        xjump, the y scale is always rescaled.
        The current values of xlabel, ylabel, and legend position are used.

stripc_add(id, pen, x, y)

 add a point (x,y) to pen [0..3] of the stripchart 'id'


 deletes the stripchart identified by id

tdeblank (s)

 Remove trailing amd leading blanks from the string s.


   Place text on a 2-D graph at x y positions

xticks ([x_interval [, num_minor])

 set the xticks interval, and the number of minor ticks between major xticks.
 No arguments makes it automatic (default).


 No, it is just a frontend to set axis :(
 Select left botton and right top area for setting axis.
 Clicking with right mouse button or arg == "off" set axis "autoscale"
 Due to a bug in ginput, the cross-hair remains in the plot after zoom terminate
 Use the tk driver for zooming and panning.

        Read the INSTALL file to continue.

Joao Cardoso, INESC  |  e-mail:
R. Jose Falcao 110   |  tel:    + 351 2 2094345
4050 Porto, Portugal |  fax:    + 351 2 2008487

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