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A graphing widget using the Prima toolkit
Perl Perl6
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A PDL plotting library using the Prima toolkit.

This collection of modules provides a PDL-centric 2D plotting library that is fast, intelligent, multi-platform and highly interactive. Fast because it's built on the PDL::Drawing::Prima bindings, which make use of the PDL threading engine to quickly execute large sets of drawing operations. Intelligent because I have put a lot of thought into important behavior like autoscaling and smart tick marking and they Do The Right Thing almost every time, without the need for manual manipulation. Multi-platform and highly interactive because it is built upon Prima, the Perl-centric multi-platform set of drawing functions and GUI toolkit, and because interactive behavior like panning and zooming are built right into the widget.

For more information, see the documentation for PDL::Graphics::Prima. If you're new, you should check out the documentation for PDL::Graphics::Prima::Simple.


There are a number of ways to install this distribution. The simplest is to install it using CPAN:

  cpan PDL::Graphics::Prima

or using cpanm:

  cpanm PDL::Graphics::Prima

If you have your hands on the actual source code (from the git repository listed below, or by looking at this distribution from the CPAN shell), you would do the following:

  # Unix-like systems       Windows systems
  perl Build.PL             perl Build.PL
  ./Build                   Build
  ./Build test              Build test
  ./Build install           Build install

Users of Unix-like systems may need to invoke superuser privileges for the installation phase if you install the distribution to your system Perl. Most Perl folks these days avoid tinkering with their system Perl by using local::lib or App::perlbrew.

Note that there are almost no tests for this distribution at the moment. Frankly, I'm not sure exactly how to go about testing this sort of distribution. One thought of mine is to write an interactive series of tests that asks the user to verify that the generated plots "look right," but I have not yet implemented any such tests. Patches welcome! However, there are a number of examples (and as such, test scripts) in the examples directory in the source distribution if you want to take the library for a spin.


This distribution depends on PDL::Drawing::Prima, which has an important and nontrivial list of dependencies. However, if you have that distribution installed, this one should work.

PDL::Graphics::Prima requires Perl 5.8. If you don't have that version of Perl, I recommend installing Strawberry Perl if you're on Windows, or using perlbrew if you're on Linux or Mac.


This project is being actively developed at Github. Find the latest at

This project is currently in alpha. I say this not because the software is unstable to execute but because the API is likely to undergo some substantial revisions under this name. The interface will have settled when the distribution hits v 1.00, at which point any API changes will coincide with an increment in the major version number.

In other words, please play around with this library and use it if you like. However, if you use it in production code, be sure to pay close attention to the PDL mailing list for updates regarding incompatible changes to the library. If you find yourself using the library quite a bit, you should follow it on Github and contribute your thoughts as it progresses.


Unless otherwise stated, all contributions in code and documentation are copyright (c) their respective authors, all rights reserved.

Portions of this distribution's code are copyright (c) 2011 The Board of Trustees at the University of Illinois.

Portions of this distribution's code are copyright (c) 2011-2013 Northwestern University.

Portions of this distribution's code are copyright (c) 2013-2014 Dickinson College.

This distribution's documentation are copyright (c) 2011-2014 David Mertens.

This distribution is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as Perl itself.

Primary Author: David Mertens <>

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