[OS X TeX] [Sort-of Off]: Plotting Software

markus bongard markus.bongard at umh.es
Tue Mar 7 04:37:13 EST 2006

gentle persons,

On 7 Mar 2006, at 06:01, david craig wrote:

> What do folks recommend for plotting/fitting software?  I'm really  
> liking how "Plot" is shaping up, and I admit I'm weary of ports of  
> gnuplot and the like, and especially anything with no GUI.  I ask  
> both for myself, and to use with upper-level undergraduate courses.

of course that's highly depending on the application and chart/graph  
types you want.

> I'm willing to consider a license or two of something expensive [my  
> colleague Gordon would be butting in here with "Igor!  Igor!"], but  
> I am particularly interested in cheap/free/gpl-type software that  
> can be widely distributed in student labs and the like.
> I hate to add this, but I'm especially interested in what free/gpl/ 
> whatever type software might be a good choice for Windows, since  
> that's what's in a lot of the student labs here.  (Cross platform  
> file format would be keen, therefore, but not absolutely essential.)

a few references to free, GPL software which runs cross-platform and  
might fill your needs:

R -  is `GNU S', a freely available language and environment for  
statistical computing and graphics which provides a wide variety of  
statistical and graphical techniques: linear and nonlinear modeling,  
statistical tests, time series analysis, classification, clustering,  
etc. -> http://cran.r-project.org/

MacAnova - *despite its name it is not Mac-only* is a free, open  
source program interactive program for statistics and data analysis.  
Among its strengths are regression analysis, analysis of variance,  
multivariate analysis and time series analysis. It is also good for  
more elementary analyses including computing summary statistics, t- 
tests and confidence intervals for means and making graphical  
displays such as scatter plots and histograms.  -> http:// 

GnuOctave - is a high-level language, primarily intended for  
numerical computations. It provides a convenient command line  
interface for solving linear and nonlinear problems numerically, and  
for performing other numerical experiments using a language that is  
mostly compatible with Matlab. It may also be used as a batch- 
oriented language. Operates nicely with gnuplot and Aquaterm under  
MacOSX -> http://www.octave.org/

gnuplot - *of course* in conjunction with Qgfe (which is cross- 
plattform, Qt3-based a graphical interface to gnuplot) and Aquaterm.

hippodraw -  Qt-based, cross-platform, highly interactive data  
analysis environment with page oriented layout features. -> http:// 

RLPlot - Qt3-based, cross-platform  WYSIWYG-plotting and layout  
program ("what you see, is what you get") for high quality graphs  
from data via a spreadsheet GUI.  -> http://rlplot.sourceforge.net/

Qtiplot - is a cross-platform, Qt-based graphing and analysis  
software for scientists and engineers. Some of its features: 2D and  
3D data plotting, ASCII-Import, powerful and versatile spreadsheets  
and calculations in column-logic, non-linear y=f(x) curve fitting and  
estimation of statistical errors of the fit-parameters. -> http:// 

and all the ones which are XWindows-based,  like:

scilab - is a scientific software package for numerical computations  
providing a powerful open computing environment for engineering and  
scientific applications. It includes hundreds of mathematical  
functions with the possibility to add interactively programs from  
various languages (C, Fortran...). It has sophisticated data  
structures (including lists, polynomials, rational functions, linear  
systems...), an interpreter and a high level programming language.  - 
 > http://scilab.org/

gretl - (GNU Regression, Econometrics and Time-series Library) - is  
an econometrics package, including a shared library, a command-line  
client program and a graphical user interface. ->  http:// 

grace - is a WYSIWYG 2D plotting tool for the X Window System and  
M*tif. There is a nice Qt-based, cross-platform helper application  
"gaiw", which eases the data-import. ->http://plasma- 

dataplot -  is a free, public-domain, multi-platform software system  
for scientific visualization, statistical analysis, and non-linear  
modeling. The target Dataplot user is the researcher and analyst  
engaged in the characterization, modeling, visualization, analysis,  
monitoring, and optimization of scientific and engineering processes.  
-> http://www.itl.nist.gov/div898/software/dataplot/

and everything you can get via fink.

My personal favorites here are: gnuplot (together with Aquaterm and  
Qgfe), HippoDraw (which can be easily used additionally from Python,  
interacts with ROOT…), and Qtiplot. Besides the latest Qtiplot (which  
runs fine under XWindows on MacOS, but displays some strange errors  
when natively compiled for MacOSX) you can find ready-made binary   
installer of all mentioned Qt-based programs and the required/desired  
version of the Qt-framework at http://naranja.umh.es/~atg   Sources  
and compilates for the other operating systems of these packages are  
ususally availabe from the given home pages. Of course this list is  
far from complete and misses serveral nice python-based or other  


Markus Bongard------------------------- Info --------------------------
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