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gnuplot 4.0

From: Dmitri A. Sergatskov
Subject: gnuplot 4.0
Date: Fri, 16 Apr 2004 12:37:39 -0600
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv:1.6) Gecko/20040115

FYI: gnuplot-4.0 has been released. Below is announcement from

From: The gnuplot development team <address@hidden>
Subject: ANNOUNCE: gnuplot-4.0

 GNUPLOT - The Next Generation

This is the official release announcement for gnuplot 4.0.0, the first
major version number upgrade of gnuplot in more than a decade.

        G N U P L O T
        Version 4.0 patchlevel 0
        last modified Thu Apr 15 13:25:08 CEST 2004

It has taken a long time, but the gnuplot developers sincerely hope
the result was worth waiting for.  See below for a list of changes
since the previous release, 3.7 patchlevel 3, also known as 3.7.3.


An updated version of the gnuplot FAQ is available.  It can be found
at the following locations:
All main distribution sites in the faq/ subdirectory.

Volunteers are encouraged to contribute --- the FAQ itself explains


An important note to all who wish to create GIF images with gnuplot:

* Gnuplot requires the gd library from to       *
* create gif output.  Note that the use of this code may subject your      *
* organisation to a charge of willful patent infringement (as stated       *
* by UNISYS) unless you are in possession of a UNISYS license.             *
*                                                                          *
* The UNISYS patent covers the LZW technology which is used to create      *
* gifs.  To our knowledge, only gd library version 1.3 and 1.4 are free    *
* of LZW code and should therefore be used with gnuplot (unless you have   *
* a license from Unisys to use LZW code, in which case version 1.2 and 1.5 *
* is fine, too).  The binaries provided here have been built with version  *
* 1.3.  Version 1.6+ cannot be used because support for GIF has been       *
* removed altogether.                                                      *

The relevant patents will expire relatively soon, but it's quite
unclear right now whether the capability to write GIF files will be
restored to the GD library.

As all GIF-creating versions of gd library seem to have been taken off, we are providing gd library versions 1.3 and 1.4 at
the gnuplot distribution sites [1].  Should any legal problems arise,
we will remove this software.

 The PNG image format is a strongly recommended alternative to gif.
See [2].


By the time you receive this, copies of gnuplot-4.0.0.tar.gz
should be at the official repositories.  Binary versions for
various non-Unix platforms will be made available in the same
places.  Please allow a couple of days for these distributions
to appear.

A diffs file relative to gnuplot-3.7.3 will not be made --- it would
be larger than the source code tarball itself.

All distribution archives are signed with a public key which is
available from public key servers.  For more information, see the
README and PGPKEYS file at the distribution sites.



       Anonymous ftp to

       Alternatively, you can use your web browser to get gnuplot
       from the gnuplot web pages at


       From the AARNet Mirror Project:
       This site is not accessible outside Australia/New Zealand.

       Anonymous ftp to


       Anonymous ftp to

       Anonymous ftp to


       The CTAN mirror network has gnuplot in its "graphics" area:

       Source and binary distributions for the Amiga might
       become available on Aminet:  (and its mirrors)

       Mac OS X binaries might become available from the at some stage.  More
       likely, though, they'll end up on the main gnuplot
       distribution sites given above.

 What's New

 The list of changes is immense this time, so only the highlights
 can be given here.  For the full details, see the NEWS file or the
 ChangeLog, or look into the online version of the documentation at
 You'll quite probably have to (re-)read large parts of the
 documentation to learn all the details that have changed.

 Major changes visible to users:

 o Global Command syntax change: instead of 'set no...' it's now
   'unset ...'.
 o Commands 'set data style', 'set function style' and 'set linestyle'
   changed to 'set style {data|function|line}, respectively.
 o Colour-coded plots in 3D and simulated 2D through the new 'pm3d'
   plotting style.
 o Boxes drawn by plotstyles 'boxes', 'candlesticks' and boxed errorbar
   styles can be filled with solid colors or hatch patterns.
 o New plot style 'with filledcurves' to fill an area defined by a curve
   in solid colour.
 o Windows, X11, OS/2 and GGI interactive graphical terminals now support
   interaction with the plot window by mouse and hotkeys.
 o The "enhanced" mode has been generalized from PostScript to some
   other terminal drivers.
 o 'set hidden3d' mode accepts non-grid data and hides them behind gridded
   surfaces plotted with them.
 o Several new terminal drivers: EMF, PDF, SVG, GGI, epslatex, aqua.
 o New function to query if a user-defined variable exists.
 o PNG and JPEG terminals using the GD library support libfreetype to
   use true-type fonts.
 o 'set label' can output a point symbol the comment refers to, and the
   text itself can be rotated by arbitrary angles (on some terminals).
 o The color of text elements can be changed.
 o 'set size ratio' now affects 3D plots, too.
 o The 'dgrid3d' can be switched between thin-plate splines and
   the older weighted averaging method, at compile time.
 o Some terminals now support 'koi8-r', ISO-Latin-2 and CP-852
   encoding of user input.
 o Windows gnuplot recognizes the Unix/X11 style '-persist' option,
   and supports changing linewidth by core gnuplot commands.
 o A native compilation option of gnuplot for Mac OS X is now part of
   the mainline source, using the 'aquaterm' driver [3].
 o Datafile comment character, column separator and decimal sign
   can be changed.
 o Arrows can be drawn with relative coordinates for the head, and the
   heads can be filled.
 o Allows 'set timefmt' independantly for each axis, and supports new
   '%s' format for seconds-since-1970 input.
 o Even more documentation misprints have been fixed, thanks to
   Shigeharu TAKENO

 Internal changes:

 o Reorganization of the entire source tree.
 o Broken into considerably more source files than before.
 o Large sets of related global variables have been collected into
   relatively few global data structures (the 'axis' array and a
   global 'key' data structure, e.g.).
 o The gnuplot_x11 driver no longer is installed in the PATH, to
   avoid confusion about it.
 o Scaling and ticking of time/date axes respects the fact that
   12 and 60 are not the same 10 or 100 much better.

 And, obviously, more bug fixes than could possibly fit into this
 narrow margin...


 An improved gnuplot mode for X/Emacs by Bruce Ravel available from
 has been incorporated into to the gnuplot source tree.


 The gnuplot team would like to thank all who have contributed to this
 release through discussions, suggestions, bug reports, and patches,
 on Usenet and mailing lists.  Special thanks go to Juergen von Hagen
 who maintained the gnuplot FAQ for a while.  To Ethan Merritt and
 Petr Mikulik for lots of work all over the place, and to Johannes
 Zellner for his work on X11 support for mouse and pm3d.

                                        -Thomas Williams-
                                        -Lars Hecking-
                                        -Hans-Bernhard Broeker-


 [1] The gif terminal driver requires third party software. Because the
     version of gd library currently at does
     NOT create gif images, we are providing gd library version 1.3 and 1.4
     at from the gnuplot distribution sites.

 [2] the png terminal driver requires third party software. The png graphics
     library and zlib can be downloaded from
     respectively. They are also available from the gnuplot distribution

 [3] The aquaterm terminal driver requires third party software.
     AquaTerm and libaquaterm can be downloaded from

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