[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

dataplot: NIST 1 million lines of code, since 1978

Mike Fleming has brought together a series of presentations at the Washington 
Statistical Society.  The theme has been public-domain software, including our 
usual friends in statistics and Linux like R (S+ clone), octave (Mathlab 
clone), LaTeX.  Beyond the packages many of us have heard of, this week James 
J. Filliben of the Statistical Engineering Division of the U.S. National 
Institute of Standards (NIST) presented software continually developed since 
they first introduced it in 1978 (yes, that's 20 years).  That software is 

Three people work on dataplot full time at NIST.  They have 1 million lines of 
code in the program, 17 MB of binaries, and 2000 pages of documentation.  They 
have 70 statistical distributions, probably more than the statistical bastions 
SAS, SPSS and BMDP.  They contain most every experimental design in Box and 
Jenkins.  Their software does Exploratory Data Analysis (EDA), time series 
analysis, process control, reliability.  Their front end is Tcl/Tk and they 
have extensive graphics.  This program is very popular at NIST.

Why haven't we heard of dataplot?  NIST didn't want government software 
competing with commercial software.  Of course, the bastion SAS was developed 
under extensive funding by federal and state governments until someone carted 
off with it.  Indeed, Robert Morrison at Oklahoma State University still has 
the 72,000 IBM cards for SAS.  While James Filliben has Unix and Linux 
versions of dataplot, he learned this week about RedHat and Debian.  Mike 
Flemming tells me that the dataplot team is now interested in having a debian 

Mike has tried to use the Linux version of dataplot and says he has difficulty 
with some libraries on Linux but can run dataplot on a Sun, so forming a 
debian package may take a little work.  I will give Mike Flemming the address 
of the Prospective-Packages maintainer, johnie@netgod.net, which Mike will 
forward to James Filliben, james.filliben@nist.gov.

dataplot has the web page

Oh, yes, it is "free, public-domain" with some U.S. Government copyright.  
NIST has produced a product which best suits its purposes and probably does 
not want to use another product, unlike the massive geographical program 
"Grass" developed over decades by another US government agency.

TO UNSUBSCRIBE FROM THIS MAILING LIST: e-mail the word "unsubscribe" to
debian-user-request@lists.debian.org . 
Trouble?  e-mail to templin@bucknell.edu .

Reply to: