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Re: Cannot draw figures in Mac OS X

From: Michael Martin
Subject: Re: Cannot draw figures in Mac OS X
Date: Wed, 18 Feb 2004 11:34:25 -0600

On Feb 17, 2004, at 10:11 PM, Joe Koski wrote:

Finally, octave plots via a separate program called gnuplot. Just be aware that octave is sending commands to a separate program, not generating the
plots directly within octave.

Right. As an octave/gnuplot and a matlab user let me elaborate on this point a bit. The exact behavior of the two for plotting is quite different. Figure opens a new window immedeately under matlab, but not octave/gnuplot. Octave/gnuplot will not do anything until data is actually plotted. There are also differences in the plot commands themselves for things like axes etc. So if you are coming from a matlab background, there will be some getting used to plotting with octave/gnuplot.

On Feb 17, 2004, at 8:08 PM, Anil Hirani wrote:

I have installed octave on Mac OS X 10.3.2, using Fink. No figures are being

Since you have used fink to install octave, I am a bit surprised you are having difficulty. I suspect it is because you are trying to use X11 and not the fink default for gnuplot, which is aquaterm, if I recall correctly. It has been some time since I setup my standard configuration, and I do not recall all the details of what was automatic and what was manual. I do know at one time I modified my start up shell script to add some environment variables.

There are two environment variables that gnuplot will use to determine what graphics application it will use to actually draw the plots, GNUTERMAPP and GNUTERM. To use aquaterm, GNUTERMAPP=/Volumes/Applicationes/AQT/ and GNUTERM=aqua need to be set by your shell. If you do not have these set, then the default will be X11.

If you are going to use X11 to plot, then you need to start octave in an X11 window for gnuplot to properly identifiy where the output will go. Since you are running the fink version of octave, which uses Aqua by default and not X11 (at least mine does), I believe that you may need to do a "gset terminal X11' in octave first. This will tell gnuplot to use X11 and not Aqua.

If all you are going to do are line graphs, then I suggest you use Aqua. It has less overhead than X11 and will allow saving of plots to pdf's, which I find quite a bit more cumbersome under X11. But as with all such things "de gustibus non disputandum est".

Michael W. Martin                   Phone: (281) 333-2177
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