Re: XForms: Printing of xyplots?

Fritz Zaucker (
13 Aug 1997 18:24:42 +0200

To subscribers of the xforms list from Fritz Zaucker <> : (Steve Lamont) writes:

> > > I haven't seen any good, freely available, postscript plotting
> > > software around. Anyone on the list have any pointers?
> >
> > Install the demo version of IDL (Interactive Data Language) from
> > Research Systems, Inc (/cgi-bin/exit-to? ...
> Good suggestion, perhaps, but I was more interested in function call
> libraries to do PostScript plotting.

That was the reason why I didn't really want to use gnuplot either. It
has enough features for my purpose, but calling an external program
for a little linegraph seems somewhat ugly.

My favorite solution would have been something integrated into Xforms,
as this package seems to be very well supported (Thanks to all of you)
and I would like to minimize my dependency on as few packages as

The program I am trying to replace with an Xfrom-based one was written
with the Khoros library. This library had very limited plotting
support, but one could basically choose writting to a X-window or to a
file, the latter was done in Postscript. The beauty of this setup is
that with the same code I can generate both plots (screen and print)
by just changing the "output device".

> I've developed a couple of functions but they're of limited use in
> that they're pretty application specific and don't support a lot of
> features, like overlays, etc., that I don't currently use.

Same problem everywhere ... ;-)

> NCAR used to put out a FORTRAN-based (yeah, I know) plot package
> called NCARGraphics but it was large and pretty unwieldy for the
> average user.

NCAR Graphics is at Version 4.0.1 now, with GUI and all kinds of fancy
things. The low-level routines are also still there. I had written a
pretty extensive plotting package with NCAR 3.0 at some point. It
needs some time to get all the ideas, but it is VERY powerfull as
well. I would recommend it to anybody that has to do fancy graphics,
especially with geographical data. See
for online documentation. Again, its overkill for my current
application and it also relies on calling external programs for the
translation to Postscript.

There is also GMT for similar
purposes. If I remember right, there is even a library for generating
Postscript. I'll look into it and post my findings.


Dr. Fritz Zaucker, Head IT Support Group 
Departement of Electrical Engineering,      Federal Institute of Technology
ETZ J97, Gloriastrasse 35, 8092 Zurich, Switzerland
Tel.: +41-1-632-5241	Fax: +41-1-632-1194
E-mail: (see home page for PGP key)
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