3-D graphing software?

Amadeus W.M. amadeus84 at verizon.net
Thu Nov 22 01:58:44 UTC 2007

On Tue, 20 Nov 2007 01:47:07 +0200, Dotan Cohen wrote:

> In an advanced Calculus course, we are dealing with functions with 2
> (and more) variables. Is there any 3-D graphing software for Fedora
> available? Something like Kalgebra, but with a bit more functions such
> as multiple functions graphed at the same time, asymptote min max and
> other significant points, zoom into 3-D graph, graph of derivative and
> integral, etc. Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
> Dotan Cohen
> http://what-is-what.com
> http://gibberish.co.il
> א-ב-ג-ד-ה-ו-ז-ח-ט-י-ך-כ-ל-ם-מ-ן-נ-ס-ע-ף-פ-ץ-צ-ק-ר-ש-ת
> A: Because it messes up the order in which people normally read text. Q:
> Why is top-posting such a bad thing?

Reading the thread I'm not exactly clear what you expect from an off-the-
shelf GUI. The GUI is not psychic, nor does it understand spoken 
commands. You have to tell it what to plot, and you have to do so in a 
way it can understand. In other words, you must use certain commands and 
syntax. That's a programming language.

There are two major professional-grade numerical programs: Matlab and 
Mathematica. Neither is free nor open source, each with its own 
strengths. I program in matlab for a living, and from experience I'd say 
matlab is a better tradeoff between power and simplicity. It can do all 
you want and, needless to say, much more. And the GUI is what you want a 
GUI to be: can do multiple plots, zoom, pan, tilt, 2D, 3D, edit, 
different illuminations, texture, colors, and things you never knew were 
possible. If you're a student, you can get the student version for $100. 
A very good investment if you're going down the Math/Engineering path.

Otherwise try Scilab, or octave, which is matlab's open source port (like 
gimp and photoshop), which uses gnuplot for plotting. For one, you can't 
rotate the graph by drag-and-drop as you can in matlab, and various other 

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