[Numpy-discussion] re: Status of Numeric (and plotting in particular)

Perry Greenfield perry at stsci.edu
Wed Jan 21 12:07:01 CST 2004

Jon Peirce writes:
> I agree with the sentiment that chaco is a very heavy and confusing 
> package for the average scientist (but maybe great for the full-time 
> programmer) but I'm really concerned about the idea that we need 
> *another* solution started from scratch. There are already so many 
> including scipy.gplt, scipy.plt, dislin, biggles, pychart, piddle, 
> pgplot, pyx (new)...
We had looked all of these and each had fallen short in some major
way (though I thought piddle had much promise and perhaps could be 
built on; however it was intended as a back end only.)

> In particular MatPlotLib looks promising - check out its examples:
> http://matplotlib.sourceforge.net/screenshots.html
> *Many* plotting types already , simple syntax, a few different backends. 
> And already has something of a following.
This we had not seen. A superficial look indicates that it is worth
investigating further as a basis for a plotting package. I didn't
see any major problem with it that contradicted our requirements,
but obviously we will have to look at it in more depth to see if that
is the case. It doesn't have to be perfect of course. And it is much
more expensive tto start from scratch (though we weren't doing that
entirely since a number of components from the chaco effort would 
have been reused). But this is worth seriously considering.

Perry Greenfield

> So is it really not possible for STScI to push its resources into aiding 
> the development of something that's already begun? Would be great if we 
> could develop a single package really well rather than everyone making 
> their own.

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