13 March 2007

gnuplot 4.2 on ubuntu: update

Edo pushes me to take a look at the several options one can select while compiling. The complete list is not so deep (you can find it through ./configure --help, or inside the INSTALL file). Moreover, as a matter of fact, most of them are selected by default (like the useful --enable-history-file and --enable-datastrings, which enables gnuplot to apply a label just near the coordinates of each point of the plot).
Anyway, the one I consider the most useful for the everyday life with gnuplot − namely enabling the GNU readline − is not selected by default. This option enables the gnuplot prompt to act just like a common shell one, provided with its powerful line-editing capabilities (which are taken, as Wikipedia says, from one of GNU's earliest and most popular projects, Emacs!). As usual, life is quite easy with Ubuntu. My previous recipe is still good with two small things.
First of all, make sure to have the libreadline5-dev package installed. If not, it is easy to use apt-get, Synaptic or Adept Manager to find and install it.
Finally, simply add the --with-readline=gnu option to the first ./configure command.
That's all Folks!