[Pythonmac-SIG] charts & graphs

Marcus Mendenhall marcus.h.mendenhall at vanderbilt.edu
Wed Oct 20 14:58:19 CEST 2004

> Hi,
> What are the standard modules that work on mac for making charts and 
> plotting data, etc. I need something that is easy to use, versitle, 
> and WELL DOCUMENTED with examples, tutorials and documentation.
> Anyone know a package that fits the bill? Is pil the way to go?
> Sorry, i am kind of new to this type of computing and i know mac has 
> it's own graphics issues..
> -kevin
I use PyX ( http://pyx.sourceforge.net ) and graceplot.  PyX is  
generates extremely pretty graphs, with modest effort.  Its strong 
point is the underlying postscript generating architecture, and its use 
of LaTeX to process text.  You must have LaTeX installed to use it.  
This gives it the ability to generate very well-laid-out labels and 
special captioning. It has extremely strong capabilities in the 
generation of custom axes.  For an example of dynamically-generated PyX 
graphs, see
and note the date/time axis on the graphs, which is a custom labeling 
system based on the extensibility of PyX axes. Note that if you push 
the 'update graphs' link, it takes a long time.  This is not PyX taking 
the tijme.  The data are being resampled via a fairly slow algorithm 
which detects  local extrema before plotting the sparsified set.

I also use graceplot, which is a front end to xmgrace, an X11-based 
interactive graphics package along similar lines to gnuplot.  I find 
xmgrace a little easier to handle than gnuplot.  It is quite useful if 
you want to very quickly pop up a graph, and then hand-adjust the 
layout when you get one which is ready for publication.  It has 
extensive internal data manipulation capabilities, so you can also do 
things like fitting and smoothing of data one the graph is displayed.  
It is extremely easy (easier than PyX, e.g.) to get a graph out of 
graceplot.  You need to have fink and xmgrace installed, and have X11 

Marcus Mendenhall

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