Announcement of PLplot-5.3.1


Release Notes

This release comes five months after the previous one with relatively few user-visible changes. However, a big amount work was done to improve the internals of the distribution, in particular as regards the Autotools (Autoconf, Automake, Libtool) support. The Java, C++, and Octave bindings and examples have been improved, and new vector plotting functions added to the API. For the detailed list of changes, see the ChangeLog of CVS activity.

Changes

API

  • New plvect function to plot arrows using the function evaluator approach and new plsvect function to set the style of the arrow used by plarrows. Examples x22* illustrate the use of these new functions.

  • Add non-rectangular x-y limits to plsurf (plsurf3dl) and plot3d (plot3dcl).

Language Bindings

  • The library libplplotf77 is split, such that there is a pure fortran source library (still called libplplotf77) which wraps a pure C source library (libplplotf77c) which in turn wraps libplplot. This change means an end to worrying about using FLIBS to specify how to link a library with combined fortran and C source code, improving the portability.

  • The Java and Python bindings have now a common Swig interface definition.

  • Dropped the requirement for Matwrap for building the Octave bindings from the distribution tarball. The Octave binding requires Octave version 2.1.57 or later to work

  • There are now two different Perl bindings for PLplot: Graphics::PLplot and PDL::Graphics::PLplot. All the example files have been ported to the later module (files examples/perl/x*.pl).

Drivers

  • Added FreeType support to the wingcc driver.

Config/Build/Install

  • The configuration system has undergone a total overhaul. The configure.ac script, together with sysloc.in, have been broken into logical pieces and put under the cf/ directory. The Autoconf code has been modernized and its maintainability improved.

  • Building from CVS sources requires Automake version 1.8.2 or later.

  • The reconfig script does not exist anymore, because the command ./config.status --recheck provides the same functionality.

  • Building the DocBook documentation (info and man page forms) requires the docbook2x version 0.8.2 or later.

Library core

  • Several memory leak problems are fixed both in the core and in the examples. We are heading towards a valgrind-clean code base for PLplot.

Documentation

  • New chapter Deploying programs that use PLplot, containing information on the issue of delivering programs that use PLplot.

  • New chapter API compatibility definition, which presents the formal definition of what is considered to be in the PLplot library API.

Examples and Tests

  • Example x14 works identically in C, C++, Python, Java and Tcl bindings.

  • The tests can be exercised with the make check command.

Rafael Laboissiere, 2004-06-25

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$Id: announce-plplot-5.3.1.xml 7628 2006-05-07 15:25:22Z rlaboiss $