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bgraph - do a set of batch graphs to a metafile


bgraph [ -type .. ][ +variable value .. ][ file .. ]


Bgraph reads each graph file in sequence and converts it to a plot suitable for use by a
metafile driver program. If no files are given, the standard input is read.

The graph type can be defined with a -type option. Types are simply include files which
set default values for certain variables. The actual include file name is the type
concatanated with ".plt". Typical types are "scatter", "line", and "curve". A scatter
graph shows only points. A line graph shows only lines connecting points. A curve graph
shows both points and connecting lines.

Variables can be set explicitly with +variable value options. The following standard
graph variables are supported:

fthick The frame thickness, valued from 0 to 4. A value of 0 turns the frame off.

grid The grid: 1 is on, 0 is off.

include The include file name. Graph input is taken from the file. If the file is not
found in the current directory, it is searched for in a set of standard

legend The legend title.

othick The origin axis thickness, valued from 0 to 4. A value of 0 turns the origin

period The period for a polar plot. For a plot in degrees, use 360. For radians, use
6.283. A value of 0 (the default) indicates a Cartesian plot.

subtitle The graph subtitle.

symfile The point symbol metafile.

tstyle The frame tick mark style. The default value is 1, which is outward tick marks.
A value of 2 is inward ticks, 3 is cross ticks. A value of 0 disables frame
tick marks.

title The graph title.

xlabel The x axis label.

xmap The x axis mapping function. An x axis mapping xmap(x)=log(x) produces a log x

xmax The x axis maximum.

xmin The x axis minimum.

xstep The x axis step.

ylabel The y axis label.

ymap The y axis mapping function. An y axis mapping ymap(y)=log(y) produces a log y

ymax The y axis maximum.

ymin The y axis minimum.

ystep The y axis step.

In addition to the standard graph variables, each curve has a set of variables. The
variables for curve 'A' all begin with the letter 'A'; the variables for curve 'B' all
begin with the letter 'B', and so on. Up to 8 curves are supported on a single graph, 'A'
through 'H'. The variables for curve 'A' are:

A The function for curve 'A'. If Adata is undefined, xmin, xmax and Anpoints are
used to determine which x values to plot. If Adata is defined and A is a
function of a single variable (ie. A(x)), data values are interpreted as x
values to be plotted. If Adata is defined and A is a function of two variables
(ie. A(x,y)), data values are interpreted as (x,y) pairs and A becomes a mapping
function for the data.

Acolor The color for curve A. The values 1-4 map to black, red, green, and blue
respectively. A value of 0 turns curve A off.

Adata The point data for curve 'A'. If Adata is set to the name of a file, data is
read and interpreted from that file. If Adata is set to a command (beginning
with an exclamation, '!'), the output of the command is read as data.
Otherwise, data is read from the current file. Data values are separated by
white space and/or commas. A semicolon or end of file indicates the end of

Alabel The label for curve 'A'. The curve label is printed in the legend when a curve
is defined.

Alintype The line type for curve 'A', valued from 0 to 4. A value of 0 turns line
drawing off. A value of 1 is solid, 2 is dashed, 3 is dotted, and 4 is dot-

Anpoints The number of symbol points for curve 'A'. If Adata is defined, all points will
be connected with the selected curve line, but only Anpoints points will be
indicated with a symbol. This prevents messy graphs when large number of points
are defined. If A is defined and Adata is not, Anpoints is used along with xmin
and xmax to determine which x values to plot.

Asymsize The symbol radius for curve 'A'. The default size is 100. A value of 0 turns
symbols off.

Asymtype This is the name of a segment in symfile which defines the graphics symbol for
curve 'A'.

Athick The line thickness for curve 'A', valued from 0 to 4. A thickness of 0 turns
line drawing off.


A graph file contains definitions for graph and curve variables. These definitions fall
one per line in the following formats:

vreal = expression # real variable
vfunction(x) = expression(x) # function
vstring = "string" # string variable
vdata = filename # data file
vdata = "!command" # data generator
variable = continued \
line # newline escaped
vdata = # data
v1 v2 v3 v4 ... ;

Comments are preceded by a '#', and continue to the end of the line. Except for comments,
the newline can be escaped with a backslash. Note that in the special case where data is
contained in the graph file, a definition will continue over more than one line. Data
values can be separated by commas or white space, and reading continues until a semicolon
is reached. No comments are allowed in the data section of a file.

An expression is an algebraic formula containing numbers, variables, functions, and the
standard operators {+,-,*,/,^,(,)} (see icalc(1)). Besides the variables described in the
last section, definitions of intermediate real variables and functions are allowed for
convenience. They may be used in expressions of graph and curve variables.


A file to graph the sine function is:

title = "Sine Function from 0 to Pi"
PI = 3.141592653589793
A(x) = sin(x)
xmin = 0
xmax = PI
Anpoints = 100

Or, to graph selected points:

title = "Sine Function at 0, .2, .6, and .8"
A(x) = sin(x)
Adata =
0 , .2
.6 , .8

The commands to plot these files might be:

bgraph -line sine1.plt | psmeta | lpr

bgraph -curve +ymin -1 +ymax 1 sine2.plt | x11meta

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