Ok wow, awesome feedback! I started on this yesterday morning to see
how it would go, and I've already got something working that mimics
the command-line syntax of GNU's `graph` (except it currently only
supports one data file as input).
I'm currently just developing on a local feature branch in the
matplotlib repository, but I'm happy to pull it out to a different
repo and announce it here once I make some more ground on it. I
haven't pushed anything yet. If I do I'll make an announcement here.
One thing I have noticed is that GNU's `graph` is rather fast.
Compared to matplotlib, GNU's `graph` blows matplotlib out of the
water when it comes to speed. Though, in my opinion, matplotlib wins
when it comes to output quality. As far as I'm concerned, quality wins
over speed but I realise that there needs to be some speed
improvements in matplotlib's backends. I have noticed that text takes
quite a while to process in the backend (currently using Agg for PDF
and PNG output).
Regarding input data file-type, I agree, supporting those formats
would expand our userbase considerably. There are already some helper
functions in matplotlib.cbook for reading csv-type files. One downside
of supporting lots of different file-types is that there will be more
Personally, when I just want to see statistics from a computational
run, I think I will find this rather helpful.
I think I should be able to make this public fairly soon. Furthermore,
it will be trivial to install (copy and paste to the /usr/local/bin
directory). The command-line utility is literally just a python script
(with executable permissions) that parses command-line arguments and
sets up plot and figure parameters. Of course, it may be the case in
the future that it gets rather large and needs to be made more
Right-o, back to more procrastinating. Thanks for all the encouragement!
On Thu, Oct 18, 2012 at 10:10 AM, Alexander Eberspaecher <alexander.eberspaecher@...3273...> wrote:
On Wed, 17 Oct 2012 11:38:27 +0100 > Damon McDougall <damon.mcdougall@...287...> wrote:
How do people feel about perhaps adding a matplotlib version, mocking
the same calling signature as graph?
I think the most important question is: would it be useful?
Yes, this would certainly be useful! I think there are people
unfamiliar with Python, but rather excited about MPL's plotting
I personally would want it to read data from white-space separated text
files (np.loadtxt()), probably CSV files, and HDF5 files (e.g. using
h5py, if available).
To be useful for different purposes, I'd want the tool to be able to use
different backends (producing e.g. PNG output in case you need a figure
to send via e-mail or PGF output in case you are preparing a LaTeX
document). Matplotlibrc should be hidden from the user.
As Gnuplot was specifically mentioned in another e-mail in this thread,
let me use that opportunity to mention that MPL falls behind Gnuplot in
terms of line styles. Using MPL, I found ls="-" and maybe ls="--" to be
useful, whereas Gnuplot offers 9 linestyles that are easy to
distinguish visually. Compare e.g. the figure linked in
In case this is of general interest, we might discuss that in a new
As a side note, personally, for text file visualisation, I often use
this dirty MPL plotting plugin for the text editor of my choice (Geany):
A command line tool would of course be preferred.
University of Warwick