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PLplot Notes Its 10,000th Commit 66

Posted by timothy
from the this-project-can-legally-drive dept.
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!'"
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PLplot Notes Its 10,000th Commit

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  • Commit? (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 04, 2009 @11:05PM (#28217983)

    What on earth is a commit?

  • Re:Commit? (Score:4, Informative)

    by MichaelSmith (789609) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @11:13PM (#28218031) Homepage Journal
    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.
  • by morrison (40043) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @11:59PM (#28218281) Homepage

    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.

  • by Coryoth (254751) on Friday June 05, 2009 @01:06AM (#28218671) Homepage Journal

    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:vs. GNUPlot (Score:3, Informative)

    by gzipped_tar (1151931) on Friday June 05, 2009 @01:22AM (#28218741) Journal

    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.

  • SigmaPlot (Score:3, Informative)

    by solanum (80810) on Friday June 05, 2009 @10:10AM (#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 (Score:3, Informative)

    by xiox (66483) on Friday June 05, 2009 @11:47AM (#28223389) Homepage

    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.).

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