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Old 11-04-2008, 01:11 PM   #1
taylorkh
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I am looking for a good charting/graphing application


I need to do some financial, technical, scientific graphing. To my mind not real complicated - no 3D stuff. However, the charting tool in OpenOffice.org Calc does not do the job. For example:

I have 3 years of weekly investment data (156 data points).

I wish to create a line (or area) chart with a few horizontal grid lines (every so many dollars) and major vertical grid lines every year and minor vertical grid lines every quarter.

OOo Calc seems unable to handle the task. It gives me no control over vertical grid lines. I get either none or one for each data point.

Suggestions welcome - GPL apps preferred.

Ken

p.s. I used to be able to do this sort of graph with Supercalc on DOS - The charting capability was not added until after Supercalc migrated from CP/M :-(
 
Old 11-04-2008, 03:02 PM   #2
MensaWater
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Haven't used it myself but a lot of people like GNUplot for graphing.

Supercalc - that was a long time ago. I used to have a boss that swore by it while I was a Lotus 123 and Symphony fan. I regularly told people that Supercalc was a communist plot to try and reduce the U.S.' technological superiority by distracting it from Lotus apps.
 
Old 11-04-2008, 03:16 PM   #3
taylorkh
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Thanks jlightner. I am installing GNUplot on my Ubuntu VM as I write this reply. Supercalc was a while back. However, I learned to prepare plots by hand and develop equations from them back in engineering school. When I want to prepare a plot, I KNOW what I want it to look like and I don't like some software programmer deciding what my plot should look like.

Of course before Supercalc there were Visicalc and Multiplan!

Thanks again,

Ken
 
Old 11-05-2008, 01:32 PM   #4
taylorkh
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Thanks again jlightner!!! I have created the exact plot which I wanted. Now, and for the foreseeable future I will be adding fanciness to it. My next trick is to format the Y axis labels as "$1,000" rather than 1000. Actually, it just dawned on me that I know how to do that - did the same thing with the X axis labels 1Q06 for first quarter 2006 etc. so I could substitute "$1,000" for the label at data value 1000. Still it would be nicer to apply a format mask to the value I think. The manual is only 200 pages :-)

Ken

p.s. of course this being 2008 and not 1988 it would be nice to find a GUI driven plotting tool... Is there a GUI front end for GNUplot I wonder???
 
Old 11-05-2008, 03:23 PM   #5
MensaWater
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Again haven't used it but this link at Gnuplot's site includes some frontends:
http://www.gnuplot.info/links.html

The one that stood out was Qfge which says it is a GUI front end but requires knowledge of Gnuplot.

Doing searching I found Xfge but the above site says that isn't really kept up any more. Also I saw mention of "GUI gnuplot" on Sourceforge but couldn't really tell if that was being maintained.

Since the Gnuplot official page lists Qfge that's probably the one I'd try if it were me.

Gui? We don't need no stinkin' gui!

Actually one of my problems in helping folks on Linux is so many are used to the desktop whereas I seldom use the Linux desktop since I'm a long time UNIX admin. (SCO Unix originally didn't have X windows - you had to buy it as an add on package - of course the same was true for TCP/IP, everything in those days was pretty much done via serial ports.)
 
Old 11-05-2008, 05:02 PM   #6
taylorkh
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jlightner - I would hate to get a recommendation from you on something you use and are familiar with :-)

Having spent a little more than an hour poking around with GNUplot and a few examples/tutorials on-line I have succeeded in making this: http://www.box.net/shared/2sm24osp7x which is my plot printed to a PDF.

Thank you so much for looking for a GUI front end (which I really should have done myself although I sort of mentioned it rhetorically in my previous post. I am installing it on my Ubuntu 8.10 VM. The Ubuntu package manager has the following description "Qgfe is a GUI for gnuplot so that there is no need to learn gnuplot" which differs from the home page just a little.

I do like the way I can save my GNUplot work in a script and add to it as I get new tweaks to work. I am a long time cut and paste script constructor. Although I had very little mainframe experience (and no knowledge of JCL) - on one project a few years ago I eventually created more than 4,000 lines of MVS JCL by copy and cloning 3 samples which I had been provided.

Well - let me go see what damage I can do with Qgfe.

Thanks again,

Ken
 
  


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