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Old 09-03-2009
gnuplot limitations

I'm running a simulation (programmed in C) which makes calls to gnuplot periodically to plot data I have stored.

First I open a pipe to gnuplot and set it to multiplot:

FILE * pipe = popen("gnuplot", "w");
fprintf(pipe, "set multiplot\n");
fflush(pipe);

(this pipe stays open until the end of the program when I open it)

Next I use fopen to open a file called "plot". Write all the commands I want to have plotted (there's quite a few of them as many of them are just plotting 1 point with a specific color and point style). Once I've written all the commands to plot I close "plot"

Then I use the pipe again to load my file

fprintf(pipe, "load \"plot\"\n");

I'm running it like this so I can constantly plot on the same window and see my plots in real time as the program runs.

Functionally it works but a delay starts to build up and eventually becomes extremely significant.

My load commands are generally on the order of 2000 lines.

So to actually get to a question, does gnuplot have strange behavior for very large loads or can plot take a long time with that. My guess is that my program is piping loads to gnuplot before previous commands are finished completing. Has anyone had experience with this kind of situation, or can anyone suggest a better method for real time plotting in C.

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GNUPLOT(1)						      General Commands Manual							GNUPLOT(1)

NAME
gnuplot - an interactive plotting program SYNOPSIS
gnuplot [ X11 options ] [file ...] DESCRIPTION
Gnuplot is a command-driven interactive function plotting program. If files are given, gnuplot loads each file with the load command, in the order specified. Gnuplot exits after the last file is processed. Here are some of its features: Plots any number of functions, built up of C operators, C library functions, and some things C doesn't have like **, sgn(), etc. Also sup- port for plotting data files, to compare actual data to theoretical curves. User-defined X and Y ranges (optional auto-ranging), smart axes scaling, smart tic marks. Labelling of X and Y axes. User-defined constants and functions. Support through a generalized graphics driver for AED 512, AED 767, BBN BitGraph, Commodore Amiga, Roland DXY800A, EEPIC, TeXDraw, EmTeX, Epson 60dpi printers, Epson LX-800, Fig, HP2623, HP2648, HP75xx, HPGL, HP LaserJet II, Imagen, Iris 4D, Linux, MS-DOS Kermit, Kyocera laser printer, LaTeX, NEC CP6 pinwriter, PostScript, QMS QUIC, ReGis (VT125 and VT2xx), SCO Xenix CGI, Selanar, Star color printer, Tandy DMP-130 printer, Tek 401x, Tek 410x, Vectrix 384, VT like Tektronix emulator, Unix PC (ATT 3b1 or ATT 7300), unixplot, and X11. The PC version compiled by Microsoft C supports IBM CGA, EGA, VGA, Hercules, ATT 6300, and Corona 325 graphics. The PC version compiled by Borland C++ supports IBM CGA, EGA, MCGA, VGA, Hercules and ATT 6300 graphics. Other devices can be added simply, but will require recompiling. Shell escapes and command line substitution. Load and save capability. Output redirection. All computations performed in the complex domain. Just the real part is plotted by default, but functions like imag() and abs() and arg() are available to override this. X11 OPTIONS Gnuplot provides the x11 terminal type for use with X servers. This terminal type is set automatically at startup if the DISPLAY environ- ment variable is set, if the TERM environment variable is set to xterm, or if the -display command line option is used. For terminal type x11, gnuplot accepts the standard X Toolkit options and resources such as geometry, font, and background. See the X(1) man page for a description of the options. In addition to the X Toolkit options: -clear requests that the window be cleared momentarily before a new plot is displayed. -gray requests grayscale rendering on grayscale or color displays. (Grayscale displays receive monochrome rendering by default.) -mono forces monochrome rendering on color displays. -persist lets plot windows survive after main gnuplot program exits. -raise raises the plot window after each plot. -noraise does not raise the plot window after each plot. -tvtwm requests that geometry specifications for position of the window be made relative to the currently displayed portion of the virtual root. These options may also be controlled with resources in your .Xdefaults file. For example: gnuplot*gray: on . Gnuplot provides a command line option (-pointsize v) and a resource (gnuplot*pointsize: v) to control the size of points plotted with the "points" plotting style. The value v is a real number (greater than 0 and less than or equal to ten) used as a scaling factor for point sizes. For example, -pointsize 2 uses points twice the default size, and -pointsize 0.5 uses points half the normal size. For monochrome displays, gnuplot does not honor foreground or background colors. The default is black-on-white. -rv or gnuplot*reverseV- ideo: on requests white-on-black. For color displays gnuplot honors the following resources (shown here with default values). The values may be color names in the X11 rgb.txt file on your system, hexadecimal RGB color specifications (see X11 documentation), or a color name followed by a comma and an intensity value from 0 to 1. For example, blue,.5 means a half intensity blue. gnuplot*background: white gnuplot*textColor: black gnuplot*borderColor: black gnuplot*axisColor: black gnuplot*line1Color: red gnuplot*line2Color: green gnuplot*line3Color: blue gnuplot*line4Color: magenta gnuplot*line5Color: cyan gnuplot*line6Color: sienna gnuplot*line7Color: orange gnuplot*line8Color: coral When -gray is selected, gnuplot honors the following resources for grayscale or color displays (shown here with default values). Note that the default background is black. gnuplot*background: black gnuplot*textGray: white gnuplot*borderGray: gray50 gnuplot*axisGray: gray50 gnuplot*line1Gray: gray100 gnuplot*line2Gray: gray60 gnuplot*line3Gray: gray80 gnuplot*line4Gray: gray40 gnuplot*line5Gray: gray90 gnuplot*line6Gray: gray50 gnuplot*line7Gray: gray70 gnuplot*line8Gray: gray30 Gnuplot honors the following resources for setting the width in pixels of plot lines (shown here with default values.) 0 or 1 means a mini- mal width line of 1 pixel width. A value of 2 or 3 may improve the appearance of some plots. gnuplot*borderWidth: 2 gnuplot*axisWidth: 0 gnuplot*line1Width: 0 gnuplot*line2Width: 0 gnuplot*line3Width: 0 gnuplot*line4Width: 0 gnuplot*line5Width: 0 gnuplot*line6Width: 0 gnuplot*line7Width: 0 gnuplot*line8Width: 0 Gnuplot honors the following resources for setting the dash style used for plotting lines. 0 means a solid line. A 2 digit number jk (j and k are >= 1 and <= 9) means a dashed line with a repeated pattern of j pixels on followed by k pixels off. For example, '16' is a "dotted" line with 1 pixel on followed by 6 pixels off. More elaborate on/off patterns can be specified with a 4 digit value. For exam- ple, '4441' is 4 on, 4 off, 4 on, 1 off. The default values shown below are for monochrome displays or monochrome rendering on color or grayscale displays. For color displays, the defaults for all are 0 (solid line) except for axisDashes which defaults to a '16' dotted line. gnuplot*borderDashes: 0 gnuplot*axisDashes: 16 gnuplot*line1Dashes: 0 gnuplot*line2Dashes: 42 gnuplot*line3Dashes: 13 gnuplot*line4Dashes: 44 gnuplot*line5Dashes: 15 gnuplot*line6Dashes: 4441 gnuplot*line7Dashes: 42 gnuplot*line8Dashes: 13 The size or aspect ratio of a plot may be changed by resizing the gnuplot window. AUTHORS
Thomas Williams, Pixar Corporation, (info-gnuplot@dartmouth.edu) and Colin Kelley. Additions for labelling by Russell Lang, Monash University, Australia. (rjl@monu1.cc.monash.edu.au) Further additions by David Kotz, Dartmouth College, New Hampshire, USA (formerly of Duke University, North Carolina, USA). (David.Kotz@Dartmouth.edu) BUGS
The atan() function does not work correctly for complex arguments. The bessel functions do not work for complex arguments. See the help bugs command in gnuplot. SEE ALSO
See the printed manual or the on-line help for details on specific commands. X(1). 4th Berkeley Distribution 31 August 1990 GNUPLOT(1)

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