On Wed, Feb 18, 2009 at 01:21:33AM -0800, Alan Irwin wrote:
> On 2009-02-17 22:24-0500 Hezekiah M. Carty wrote:
> > On Tue, Feb 17, 2009 at 4:59 PM, Werner Smekal <smekal@...> wrote:
> >> should we apply for Google summer of Code?
> >> http://code.google.com/soc/2008/
> >> what we need are good ideas, mentors and students who are willing to
> >> write code.
> >> Just an idea, this could be a chance to improve PLplot considerably.
> > I don't know if this would be outside of the scope of a Summer of Code
> > project, but one of the TODO items I noticed when I started working
> > with PLplot (thought I can't find it now) is making a switch from
> > short integers to floating point values for the internal
> > representation of data. This, or something to start progress toward
> > this, may be a good (if large) project. It could focus on just the
> > library internals and one output driver. Postscript may be a good
> > target for a reference driver since it is currently used for output
> > testing. The other drivers and plotting functions could be adapted
> > after the SoC project if needed.
> > A simpler project would be a suite of high-level functions: color
> > bars, box and whisker plots, etc. Some more 3D plotting might be
> > possible as well, such as a 3D plimage-like function or general 3D
> > solids (examples from OpenDX at  and ).
> > The ability to rasterize specific plot function(s) in vector file
> > formats would be useful in some cases as well. Example 20 is a good
> > case for this as, in its current form, its Postscript output is
> > enormous. This process is fairly simple for Cairo devices (I've sent
> > a separate email about this), but it would be nice if the non-Cairo
> > PS, PDF and SVG devices could support this.
> > I think the short to PLFLT (or some other float/double #define'd type)
> > conversion would be quite useful and could potentially simplify areas
> > of PLplot's internals. I don't know how realistic it would be to
> > complete, or at least make a reasonable start, on a change like this.
> > Hez
> >  - http://www.opendx.org/inaction/weather/images/original/class4.jpg
> >  - http://www.opendx.org/inaction/astronomy/images/original/radio_sphere.jpg
> I would love to see an option for double (64-bit floating point) internal
> representation of positions in PLplot. However, that might be difficult
> for the SoC developer to finish.
> A presumably less difficult project would be to use our existing swig
> infrastructure to implement another language similar to what Werner just did
> for lua. That allows the SoC student to work with their favorite language
> (if we have not implemented that language yet).
> Getting back to Werner's original question, I think it is an excellent idea
> to apply to Google as a potential mentoring organization for a SoC project.
> However, there are some "time/effort" costs involved. According to
> http://code.google.com/opensource/gsoc/2009/faqs.html (a more relevant URL
> than the one above) the application and especially the preparation process
> (i.e., putting together an SoC Ideas page) is non-trivial, and the mentoring
> organization deadline is coming up in a few weeks. Also, if our application
> was successful, the time spent mentoring a SoC developer is non-trivial
> (figure on 5 hours a week according to the faq although that value varies
> quite a bit). Werner, would you be willing to take on the
> responsibility/leadership for preparing the application and also convincing
> other developers to officially sign on for mentoring the SoC developer(s) if
> the application is successful?
One other project would be to revamp the octave native bindings and bring them into line
with the latest octave 3.0 / matlab syntax. This is quite a big job as it involves a
change in philosophy, but it would be a potentially great boost for plplot on octave.
It's on my to-do list but time is always an issue. One area in which octave is well
behind matlab is in graphics handling. Gnuplot (the default way to get graphics) is not
really up to the job, particularly for things like contour plotting. Plplot really could
provide a valuable alternative.
Another thing would be to make plplot NaN aware. This would be really useful. Currently
plotting data with NaNs in produces messy results or crashes depending on the routine.
We should probably gather all these ideas on the wiki wishlist anyway for future