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Guppi is free software distributed under the terms of the GNU GPL

Other Plotting programs

FYI, here are some other free programs that plot or visualize data or functions. There are a whole lot of these, I've omitted most of them.

  • XGobi An older scatter plot/data visualization program that has been revived recently; there is currently an effort underway to Gtk+-ify it. This is good news, because xgobi has been a very cool program trapped in a hideous Xlib UI. I used to use this one a lot, and the way it works has really influenced Guppi --- xgobi taught me the joy of brushing. Xgobi has historically been offered under some sort of bad gratis-but-not-free license.
  • Graphtool is another GNOME-based system that targets scientific plotting. It is still in an early stage of development. I haven't test-driven this one yet.
  • GMatH is a python-based mathematical computing interface for Gnome. I haven't tried this one either.
  • NumExp is a GNOME-based "mathematical computation environment and programming language", according to the authors. The syntax of their language seems to be very Mathematica-influenced. They are using GNU Plotutils (see below) to generate their plots. I haven't tried this one either. (I really should get around to testing some of these packages...)
  • GNU Plotutils is a multi-part package; it includes a device-independent vector-drawing abstraction equivalent to gnome-print, and some command line utilities to render plots using it. Guppi is not a duplicate of this project, it is a different kind of program; interactive plots must be coded in a very different way. Nonetheless we hope to take advantage of some plotutils algorithms and code, since plotutils is a GPL package.
  • Gnuplot is the traditional free program for plots. It's a command line application. Despite the name it is not a GNU application (it has a somewhat onerous license requiring changes to be distributed as patches). Thus Guppi can't use code Gnuplot.
  • R An enhanced clone of the S programming language; static plots, command line based. R can't be a basis for Guppi for the same reason plotutils can't, though it is a GPL package as well.
  • Grace Nice and fairly complete GUI, but primarily designed to produce printed output. pre-ANSI C, Motif, very difficult code to extend. Probably the best GUI program available now. GPL except for the Motif dependency.
  • KChart, which is part of KOffice, appears to be a clone of the Excel graphing feature. As such, it will probably be more oriented towards "pop charts" rather than sharing Guppi's loftier goals. KChart is GPL as far as I know, so it is another source for code-borrowing.
  • Mathplot plots functions rather than data. It's written in ML with a Tk front end, and seems to be very nice. I would like to have a Guppi module which does this. Since it's GPL might be able to borrow some code.

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