pstricks or pgf/tikz

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Ed Kual

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Nov 7, 2008, 3:41:53 PM11/7/08
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Hi,

I need to choose between these two, mainly for A) block diagrams B)
plotting functions (mostly 2D, occasionally 3D) C) tree and trellis
diagrams D) finite-state machine diagrams (Markov chains), and similar
applications.

Which one of these you recommend for 1) easier learning curve 2) more
compact code 3) more consistent code and 4) better manual/guide 5) better
support? I need to start using one ASAP, your help is graetly appreciated
(by the way, I know that pgf/tikz can be used by pdflatex and with pstricks
the path is dvips+ps2pdf, both are fine with me). I am using Miktex+winedt
on a PC.

Thanks

Geico Caveman

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Nov 7, 2008, 7:21:17 PM11/7/08
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Ed Kual wrote:

I have never used pstricks, so take my suggestion with the relevant pinch of
salt. However, it is my understanding that it places restrictions on the
post writing work flow.

It just seems that pgf+tikz would be more natural for a LaTeX user -
\usepackage the corresponding package and start. But then, I am a stranger
to the power of pstricks which is supposed to be substantial.

Joseph Wright

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Nov 8, 2008, 12:38:37 AM11/8/08
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On Nov 8, 12:21 am, Geico Caveman <spammers-beg...@spam.invalid>
wrote:

True to some extent, but things like auto-pst-pdf mean that in
practice one can use pdfLaTeX with PStricks quite readily. The
general consensus is that PStricks is more powerful (partly due to
inherent features of the PostScript language), whereas tikz/pgf is
more designed round a (La)TeX way of thinking and does avoid the
engine issues.
--
Joseph Wright

Herbert Voss

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Nov 8, 2008, 2:47:54 AM11/8/08
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Ed Kual schrieb:

With PSTricks you have the power of a full programming language
and a lot of existing packages, see http://PSTricks.tug.org

Herbert

Erik Quaeghebeur

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Nov 8, 2008, 5:33:23 AM11/8/08
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I have experience with both, but have been using pgf/TikZ mostly for the
last year.

On Fri, 7 Nov 2008, Ed Kual wrote:
>
> I need to choose between these two, mainly for A) block diagrams B)
> plotting functions (mostly 2D, occasionally 3D) C) tree and trellis
> diagrams D) finite-state machine diagrams (Markov chains), and similar
> applications.

Except for plotting, both can do the same, my personal preference goes to
pgf/TikZ. For plotting, PSTricks is more powerful due to having a program
language behind it. For 2D-plotting, TikZ can provide the same experience
using gnuplot and write18 (the internal functions are ok, but their
number is nowhere as extensive as the PSTricks one). For 3D-plotting, I
think PSTricks is the clear winner at this moment.

> Which one of these you recommend for
> 1) easier learning curve

TikZ

> 2) more compact code

Depends on your style: no clear winner

> 3) more consistent code and

I'd say pgf/TikZ, but this is partly personal taste.

> 4) better manual/guide

pgf/TikZ

> 5) better support?

PSTricks questions get fast and to the point replies here on ctt,
pgf/TikZ get ok support here, and very good support on the pgf-users
mailing list: both seem like winners here.

With Herbert Voß, PSTrick has very active maintenance and regularly gets
new features. Similarly, the pgf/TikZ project is very active and (it is my
impression) moving forward even faster. I guess that once luatex is here,
PSTricks's programming language advantage will wane, but this is still
(two?) years away.

I would say: learn both!

Erik

Ed Kual

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Nov 8, 2008, 8:51:50 AM11/8/08
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Erik Quaeghebeur <equa...@nospammail.net> wrote in
news:alpine.LNX.2.00.0811081118560.5534@ybpnyubfg:

> Attachment decoded: untitled-2.txt
> --8323328-482381801-1226140404=:5534--

Erik,

Thanks for your detailed and informative response. I am sorry however
that in the interest of time I cannot follow your advice and learn both!

Regards,

Ed

Victor Ivrii

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Nov 8, 2008, 4:42:30 PM11/8/08
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On Nov 8, 8:51 am, Ed Kual <edk...@gmail.com> wrote:

>
> > I would say: learn both!
>
>

There is asymptote which seem to have the power of programming
language and it acquired the ability to create 3d models embedded into
pdf output (something which neither pstricks no pgf/tikz possess).

Victor

vvvv

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Nov 9, 2008, 2:50:02 PM11/9/08
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> ...  The

> general consensus is that PStricks is more powerful (partly due to
> inherent features of the PostScript language), whereas tikz/pgf is
> more designed round a (La)TeX way of thinking and does avoid the
> engine issues.


I would also add that I used PGF with memoir.cls for a relatively big
project and the two packages combined seemed to hog so many registers
(is that what you call them?... counters and things) that I had to
change how I did things. If you use PGF with book or article class,
perhaps there wouldn't be the same shortage of resources.

Lars Madsen

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Nov 9, 2008, 3:33:19 PM11/9/08
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wouldn't \RequirePackage{etex} before \documentclass help?

/daleif

Kjell Magne Fauske

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Nov 10, 2008, 9:28:02 AM11/10/08
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On Nov 9, 9:33 pm, Lars Madsen <dal...@imf.au.dk> wrote:
<snip>

> > I would also add that I used PGF with memoir.cls for a relatively big
> > project and the two packages combined seemed to hog so many registers
> > (is that what you call them?... counters and things) that I had to
> > change how I did things.  If you use PGF with book or article class,
> > perhaps there wouldn't be the same shortage of resources.
>

> wouldn't \RequirePackage{etex} before \documentclass help?
>

Yes it will help. The counter issue was brought up on the PGF-users
mailing list some time ago. You can find the package author's answer
in this thread:

http://www.nabble.com/no-counter-or-dimension-available-td19398215.html#a19411813

- Kjell Magne Fauske

Lars Madsen

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Nov 10, 2008, 9:37:39 AM11/10/08
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I do not understand why this isn't activated automatically in current
LaTeX versions.

--

/daleif (remove RTFSIGNATURE from email address)

LaTeX FAQ: http://www.tex.ac.uk/faq
LaTeX book: http://www.imf.au.dk/system/latex/bog/ (in Danish)
Remember to post minimal examples, see URL below
http://www.tex.ac.uk/cgi-bin/texfaq2html?label=minxampl
http://www.minimalbeispiel.de/mini-en.html

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