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Re: [RFC] New task: science-dataacquisition

Hi all,

Re: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/UbuntuScience

> [3] The Ubuntu list also mentions a third package in that category -
> "Plot Digitizer - A Java program used to digitize scanned plots of
> functional data. " I don't think it is packaged for Debian, and don't
> know how it compares with the other two.

I use PlotDigitizer whenever I need such a tool and find it to be really good. 
The point and click axis alignment and plot selection is easy to use and on 
plots with lots of data, the "autotrace" facility works nicely (you just draw 
a broad line over where the data is approximately found and the autotrace 
library does the rest).

I talked to the upstream of PlotDigitizer some time ago about integrating it 
better on linux machines (I vaguely recall that the upstream developer is a 
MacOS X user). He was very responsive in dealing with problems that I found 
and liked the idea of being packaged and used more widely.

The last time I looked at it, however, it had all the usual problems of the 
java ecosystem (e.g. internal copies of libraries in the source download) and 
the prospect of packaging that was a little daunting. There were also 
problems with libraries that had been relicenced from GPL to GPL-incompatible 
and PlotDigitizer upstream wasn't sure what to do about that. Given that 
there have been no releases in 3 years, I think that probably tells us what 
he decided.

Packaging PlotDigitizer has stayed on my todo list, however, and I may yet 
have a look at it. That said, there may be less fraught alternatives already 
in the archive.


Stuart Prescott                 www.nanoNANOnano.net

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