[NTG-context] Charts, Graphs, Tufte, and ConTeXt

John R. Culleton john at wexfordpress.com
Sat Jul 22 16:00:52 CEST 2006

On Friday 21 July 2006 15:22, David Wooten wrote:
> Mojca Miklavec wrote:
> >> Thus I'm curious as to what others use... is R an efficient method to
> >> produce elegant charts? Is straight MetaPost preferable?
> >
> > With metapost you can surely achive most beautiful results and it is
> > not as difficult to learn as TeX-programming. Of course you might need
> > more time to draw what you need or to write your own set of macros,
> > but if you have high demands about quality this might be the way to
> > go.
> >
> > However, if you prefer doing it quicly using the existing tools (be
> > aware that you have to learn how to use those tools as well), R or
> > gnuplot might be an interesting choice. You'll be limited by the power
> > of those two tools, but in most cases they should suffice for the
> > normal usage.
> >
> > The gnuplot module is still in development (I've been just begging
> > Hans for help a few hours ago ;). Take a look at the demo section of
> > gnuplot (http://gnuplot.sourceforge.net/demo_4.1/) to see if it can
> > offer you what you want to do. In that case ask on the list again,
> > I'll give you further pointers how to use it with ConTeXt
> > (http://pub.mojca.org/gnuplot).
> >
> > But basically you can take any program to draw graphs and include the
> > resulting PDFs. I'm afraid that the macros from the paper which you
> > pointed to, use some PostScript code that cannot be handled as-is (you
> > need some conversion to PDF first) and I'm affraid that the effort put
> > into making it work woudn't pay off now that you have a great varienty
> > of other plotting programs, including metapost itself (esp. if the
> > package has never been released - you'll probably hardly get any
> > support for it).
> >
> > Mojca
> Thanks very much for your reply. Your advice seems strong, and in truth
> I have been intrigued by MetaPost for many years. This certainly seems a
> valid excuse to delve into it ;)
> David
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I have always found Pstricks to be very useful. There is a module
that you can look at. 
John Culleton
Able Indexing and Typesetting
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