[PYTHON MATRIX-SIG] Plotting packages

Andrew P. Mullhaupt amullhau@ix.netcom.com
Sun, 09 Mar 1997 13:13:34 -0500

Paul F. Dubois wrote:
> Some remarks about activity at LLNL:
> We have had an OO attitude from the first about how the Python/graphics
> interfaces should look, but also recognize there has to be an easy
> plot(y,x, color="red", style="dashed", scale="linlog")
> sort of interface for casual use. It is possible to do both, and we are doing
> it.

Actually, you really want plot to be a _method_, and its _result_ to be
an object.

One nice way of making this work well is to have 'default' plot methods,
as is done in S.

In fact, despite other shortcomings S may have, the graphics and their
interface are, in the sense of 'the big picture' probably the way to go.
The graphics there are powerful, easy to use, and easy to extend. I
would really like people who are going to go to the trouble of making a
plot extension for Numerical Python to at least have seen what you can
do with the S approach.

> It could be a reasonable goal for us to try to agree on the
> design of the upper layers first, since the (time-dependent) question of
> portability obfuscates the discussion of the bottom layers.

You got that right.

> Our design is
> influenced (presumably positively) by our years of Basis and Yorick
> experience, but since we do not all do the same kind of work I would presume
> there are needs that our design does not meet.

I cannot really say, since I haven't tried the latest version of Yorick,
but the limitations of those graphics I ran into involved not being able
to interact with the plot, and not being able to build up sufficiently
customized plots.

Andrew Mullhaupt

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