Yorick's graphics functions produce most of the generic kinds of pictures you see in scientific publications. However, providing the perfect graphics interface for every user is not a realistic design goal. Instead, my aim has been to provide the simplest possible graphics model and the most basic plotting functions. If you want more, I expect you to build your own "perfect" interface from the parts I supply.
My dream is to eventually supply several interfaces as interpreted code in the Yorick distribution. Currently, the best example of this strategy is the `pl3d.i' interface, which I describe at the end of this chapter. Not every new graphics interface needs to be a major production like `pl3d.i', however. Modest little functions are arguably more useful; the plh function discussed below is an example.
As you will see, the simplest possible graphics model is still very complicated. Unfortunately, I don't see any easy remedies, but I can promise that careful study pays off. I recommend the books "The Visual Display of Quantitative Information" and "Envisioning Information" by Edward Tufte for learning the fundamentals of scientific graphics.
3.1 Primitive plotting functions The basic drawing functions. 3.2 Plot limits and relatives Setting plot limits, log scaling, etc. 3.3 Managing a display list The display list model. 3.4 Getting hardcopy How to get it. 3.5 Graphics style How to change it. 3.6 Queries, edits, and legends Seeing legends and making minor changes. 3.7 Defaults for keywords Setting (non-default) defaults. 3.8 Writing new plotting functions Combining the plotting primitives. 3.9 Animation Spielberg look out. 3.10 3D graphics interfaces An experimental interface.