Very simple graphic plotting...

Tim Churches tchur at
Wed Aug 7 22:44:04 CEST 2002

Eni M. wrote:

>I am also interested in tools for plotting, but I would like to have
>the possibility to interact with the plot too, by selecting e.g. lines
>on it and generate by this selection other events (e.g. a query).

>Does anyone know of examples that allow for such an interaction, i.e.
>they offer good plotting capabilities and the possibility to easily
>manipulate distinct elements of the plot.

Provided you are running on Unix or Linux, then have a look at (free, 
GPLed) Grace (see ).
It produces superb 2-D graphs (true publication quality) in a variety of 
formats (Postscript, bitmaps, even SVG) and has
a slightly idiosyncratic but very functional GUI for setting up and 
modifying graphs. Embedding one graph in another is easy.
Grace is also "industrial-strength" - big data sets don't upset it at all.

Grace can also be completely driven through its command language (the 
GUI just emits commands behind the scenes). Nathaniel Gray
has written a very nice somewhat-object-oriented high-level Python 
wrapper for Grace, called gracePlot - see for the code and examples - 
which drives Grace interactively via its pipes interface -
in other words you can send data to be plotted to Grace from Python, and 
the graph will appear in the Grace GUI, where you can then
modify it. Nice.

For superb non-interactive graphs, also on Unix and Linux only at this 
stage, have a look at the RPy interface to the (free, GPLed) R 
statistical package -

Hope this helps.

Tim C

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