File: ANNOUNCE.txt

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This is to announce the release of version 1.8 of Gnuplot.py.

Gnuplot.py is a Python [1] package that allows you to create graphs
from within Python using the gnuplot [2] plotting program.

Gnuplot.py can be obtained from

    http://gnuplot-py.sourceforge.net/

Prerequisites (see footnotes):
    the Python interpreter [1]
    the Python numpy module [3]
    the gnuplot program [2]

or, to use it under Java (experimental):
    a Java interpreter
    the Jython interpreter [4]
    the Jython version of the Numeric module [5]
    the gnuplot program [2]

Some ways this package can be used:

1. Interactive data processing: Use Python's excellent numpy package
   to create and manipulate arrays of numbers, and use Gnuplot.py to
   visualize the results.
2. Web graphics: write CGI scripts in Python that use gnuplot to
   output plots in (for example) PNG format and return them to the
   client.
3. Glue for numerical applications (this is my favorite): wrap your
   C++/C/Fortran subroutines so that they are callable from Python,
   then you can perform numerical computations interactively from
   scripts or from the command line and use Gnuplot.py to plot the
   output on the fly.
4. Compute a series of datasets in Python and plot them one after the
   other using Gnuplot.py to produce a crude animation.

New features in this version:
  + Various bug fixes
  + an option "filename" to Data and GridDat
    This allows saving the data to a permanent, rather than temporary
  + pdf terminal definition

Features already present in older versions:

  +  Two and three-dimensional plots.
  +  Plot data from memory, from a file, or from an expression.
  +  Support for multiple simultaneous gnuplot sessions.
  +  Can pass arbitrary commands to the gnuplot program.
  +  Object oriented, extensible design with several built-in types
     of plot items.
  +  Portable and easy to install (nothing to compile except on
     Windows).
  +  Support for Unix (including Linux and Mac OS X), MS Windows, and
     Mac OS.  The platform-dependent layer is fairly well abstracted
     out, so it shouldn't be too difficult to add support for other
     platforms.
  +  Support for sending data to gnuplot as `inline' or `binary' data.
     These are optimizations that also remove the need for temporary
     files.
  +  Partly table-driven to make it easy to extend.  New terminal
     types can be supported easily by adding data to a table.
  +  Install via distutils.
  +  LGPL license .
  +  Support for sending data to gnuplot via FIFOs (named pipes, linux only).
  + Preliminary support for running Gnuplot.py under Jython

Footnotes:
----------
[1] Python <http://www.python.org> is an excellent object-oriented
    scripting/rapid development language that is also especially good
    at gluing programs together.
[2] gnuplot <http://www.gnuplot.info/> is a free, popular, very
    portable plotting program with a command-line interface.  It can
    make 2-d and 3-d plots and can output to myriad printers and
    graphics terminals.
[3] The numpy Python extension <http://www.scipy.org> is a
    Python module that adds fast and convenient array manipulations to
    the Python language.
[4] Jython <http://www.jython.org> is a Python interpreter that runs
    within a Java virtual machine.
[5] JNumeric <http://jnumerical.sourceforge.net/> is a version of the
    Numeric module that runs under Java/Jython.