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Gnuplot 4.0 Released

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the disturbingly-useful dept.

GNU is Not Unix 31

RazorBlack writes "Almost a year and a half after Gnuplot's previous stable release (3.7.3), version 4.0 has arrived! It boasts quite a lot of very interesting new features, including interactive mouse control, coloured 2D maps and 3D surfaces, interpolation and more flexible data files. Science geeks rejoice!"

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FP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8881515)

your mom boasts a lot of interesting new features too

Re:FP (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8881691)

Your_Mom 1.1
- Now swallows twice as much cum.
- Improved rimjob ability
- Flexible goatse-style anus perfect for my bloated cock
- 2X expansion of neck range, allowing for deeper bobbing in my crotch
- New Bukkake ability. No longer flinches upon ejaculation.

Sweet. GNUPlot rocks (2, Interesting)

gkelman (665809) | more than 10 years ago | (#8881529)

Just as I've been working for ages getting some groovy graphs drawn that I can't really do in MRTG, they release a new GNUPlot.


And it's Friday afternoon

Gnuplot (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8881604)

Please copy the following URL into your web browser's address field and press your 'Enter' key:



Bah (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8881614)

Gnuplot sucks compared to Derive [ti.com] .

No pie for me (2, Interesting)

Masa (74401) | more than 10 years ago | (#8881661)

Damn. Still no pie charts, because it "It's not possible in gnuplot" (as stated in the FAQ). How hard can it be? I like Gnuplot very much, but it seems that I still have to rely on self-made Tcl/Tk-script so I can bake myself some nice EPS pies.

Re:No pie for me (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8881718)

Ask your mom for the pie, she's got lots to spare. Goes great with cream filling.

Re:No pie for me (2, Interesting)

dan dan the dna man (461768) | more than 10 years ago | (#8883489)

R [gnu.org] makes nice pies. mmm pie [jolt.co.uk]

Looks not so great (1)

andy666 (666062) | more than 10 years ago | (#8881743)

Is it just me or do other people find GNU plot to look old and sort of primitive ?

Re:Looks not so great (4, Informative)

DustMagnet (453493) | more than 10 years ago | (#8882239)

It's the primitive part I like about gnuplot. It's great for quick and dirty data verification plots. When I want really pretty plots for publications, I use GMT [hawaii.edu] . It take forever to fine tune a GMT plot, but you can make them exactly how you want. It's also very scriptable(TM) which one of my requirements.

Re:Looks not so great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8884273)

I don't tend to use gnuplot interactively. It's great for batch jobs where right after your simulations finish, gnuplot spits out some EPS files.

Topic misleading. (5, Informative)

Executive Override (605018) | more than 10 years ago | (#8882093)

Please note that despite it's name, gnuplot has nothing to do with the FSF and the GNU project. It's not even released under the GPL. In fact it's not even Free Software, since it's license doesn't allow distribution of a modified version of the program.

You can read this in the gnuplot FAQ [gnuplot.info]

Re:Topic misleading. (1)

Executive Override (605018) | more than 10 years ago | (#8882205)

You can also read the distribution license here [sourceforge.net] .

Re:Topic misleading. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8882452)

Wow. All these years, I'd never notice this. Is GNU a trademark? This is exactly the kind of brand confusion trademarks are designed to prevent.

It looks to me like the author is scared of forking. I've seen other freeware people refuse to release source only because they fear forking. I don't understand the ego problem. I wish I wrote a project that was loved that much.

Re:Topic misleading. (1)

jlaxson (580785) | more than 10 years ago | (#8884246)

I agree with you about the free software part, but why does SF.net host it? Seems like something they'd object to.

Re:Topic misleading. (1)

register_ax (695577) | more than 10 years ago | (#8896323)

this [fsfeurope.org] is a bit old, but sf.net hosts many non-free software packages. don't be fooled by slashdot. the retaliation against this is http://savannah.nongnu.org/ [nongnu.org] so adjust your advocacy appropriately. thank you

Re:Topic misleading. (1)

jtev (133871) | more than 10 years ago | (#8886529)

um, after looking at the licence it does allow distrobution of the modifications though. You just have to realease the modifications as patches rather than including them in the source code, this does not seem to be an onerous enough requirement to say "this is not free software" it's not GNU GPL compliant, but it's not preventing you from distributing your changes or the orignal program, with your changes as a clearly marked set of patches.

Re:Topic misleading. (1)

Executive Override (605018) | more than 10 years ago | (#8887056)

It is not Free Software, because if you want to fork the whole program and call it by another name for instance, you're not allowed. You have only the freedom to modify it under the very narrow conditions the license specifies.

It's also not clear (at least to me) if it's OK to include gnuplot code in other programs. If it's not OK, then it's a lot more proprietary than Free.

Re:Topic misleading. (1)

fperez (99430) | more than 10 years ago | (#8888218)

Not quite. I just carefully read the license file, and it does say:

"Permission to distribute the released version of the source code along with corresponding source modifications in the form of a patch file is granted with same provisions 2 through 4 for binary distributions."

IANAL, but to me this says: you can even distribute a modified, ready to compile version (no need for the end users to manually apply patches). It's just that you need to _also_ include the patch file, so that users can see what is different in your version compared to the official tree.

Agreed, it's not GPL. But it's not quite as bad as others have said. You could concievably even fork it in full, and as long as you keep on providing a big patch file against the last version you forked from, you'd be in full compliance.

I'd prefer to see it be regular GPL, and I do find these license terms a bit annoying. But other than add some minor hassle, they don't really seem to really prevent any kind of third-party modifications.

Re:Topic misleading. (1)

Narchie Troll (581273) | more than 10 years ago | (#8889683)

It seems pretty clear that by "released version" the authors mean "the ORIGINAL released version," not the modified version.

Re:Topic misleading. (1)

fperez (99430) | more than 10 years ago | (#8890307)

Mmh. I re-read it once more, and I think you're right, which is a bummer. It really is a _very_ restrictive license.

It's funny, I've been using Gnuplot since 1991 (under Windows 3.0), and I had always thought it really was Free software (though I knew it had nothing to do with GNU).

Thanks for the correction.

Great Tool (2, Informative)

jefu (53450) | more than 10 years ago | (#8882393)

I find gnuplot a very handy tool. It is excellent for just grabbing a bunch of data and putting up quick plots - not always the fanciest looking plots, but its fast, copes with largish (say a million points) nicely and produces acceptable (if not fancy) output that can be included elsewhere.

For fancier stuff there are fancier tools (including opendx [opendx.org] ), but for simple stuff gnuplot works well, is reasonably priced and is hard to beat.

Re:Great Tool (1)

Too Much Noise (755847) | more than 10 years ago | (#8917341)

For (almost as) quick and better looking plots than gnuplot does check out grace [weizmann.ac.il] . X interface, more goodies, etc. GPL too, since people were complaining about gnuplot's license. So maybe the last part (is reasonably priced and is hard to beat) is less compelling as you thought ^_^

(however, nothing beats gnuplot when it comes to very simple one-line-almost-no-data-manipulation plots)

Grace (1)

4of12 (97621) | more than 10 years ago | (#8882396)

While I'm always glad to see progress on every front, gnuplot has been sitting on the 3.* level for a long time. I had the idea that the original authors left without properly designating heirs.

The SVG device driver support is intriguing, but being a "Gnu" thing it doesn't take advantage of the extensive plotutils [gnu.org] library that, sadly, seems to have experience strong development only up to a point.

Anyway, for people interested in doing serious xy 2D scientific plots, you owe it to yourself to checkout Grace [weizmann.ac.il] .

Everyone always raves about 3D, volume rendering and stereoscopic movies, but so much importance science gets done in plain old 2D xy plots.

Not a 'gnu' thing (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 10 years ago | (#8883908)

Its name is misleading.. its really not a 'gnu project' at all...

Re:Not a 'gnu' thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8946229)

Plotutils isn't really a GNU project at all? Then why is it being hosted on gnu.org?

The poster previous was saying that because gnuplot is not a GNU thing, it won't use GNU plotutils.

What use is SVG (2, Insightful)

jabuzz (182671) | more than 10 years ago | (#8884082)

When virtually nothing can import it apart from a few SVG drawing packages? The day I can import a random SVG into OpenOffice etc. then it will be useful.

Re:Grace (1)

IvyKing (732111) | more than 10 years ago | (#8888626)

While I'm always glad to see progress on every front, gnuplot has been sitting on the 3.* level for a
long time.

I was using 3.7 back in early 1999 - so it took 5+ years to past 3.7.x. Nice to see an upgrade to a very useful program.

What I like best about gnuplot is that interactive mode and batch mode use the same commands - makes it really easy to write scripts and easy to write scripts that write scripts. One favorite was writing an awk script that would spit out a gnuplot script to plot 50+ files worth of raw and fitted data - and spit the output as a PostScript file.

New LaTeX support (2, Interesting)

P-Nuts (592605) | more than 10 years ago | (#8882767)

For me, the best feature of gnuplot was the pslatex [gnuplot.info] terminal, which allows you to let LaTeX take care of typesetting the labels, legends and so forth, making the graph you include look much more integrated into your document than including just a plain .eps exported from some other software. Apparently there is now also an epslatex [gnuplot.info] terminal, and I would be interested to find out what benefits using this instead has.

On a side note, xfig [xfig.org] allows the creation of simple diagrams with LaTeX formatted captions. Together, these programs take care of making the prettiest figures in your document, though I'd like to know about any other software that produces split PostScript/LaTeX files.

GraphCalc (1)

CaptainPinko (753849) | more than 10 years ago | (#8884959)

I use GraphCalc [graphcalc.com] .I well I've enever used it under Linux, but I've used it under Windows and it works well. The interface is a little off, but so are most apps. It has a wonderful 3D graphing too undersurpassed by anything else I've seen. And unlike gnuplot, GraphCalc *is* under the GPL.

I just thought I put this out there as it's a good free that also works for Windows and I'm sure that they could use a few more developers.

Looks good so far (1)

calidoscope (312571) | more than 10 years ago | (#8893739)

Notes from a reasonably satisfied gnuplot 3.7.x user.

The developers did a good job of keeping the code portable - not loaded with gcc'isms as is the case with some open source packages. It compiled with no problem other than a scheissload of warning messages under Sun's Forte 6u2.

Documentation is improved and the pdf is much easier to read with Acrobat than was the case for the 3.7 docs.

A bit disappointed with the lack of the "gif" terminal - with the LZW patent now expired in the US. I know "png" is supposed to be superior, but more software groks gif's than png's.

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