I wanted to plot some of the figures found in the book I am reading. I first tried LabPlot, but it was too painful to use. I then tried gnuplot; it was pretty good, but has some problems. I cannot make parametric 3-D curves. It has nice hidden surface removal, but its colour surfaces are terrible. The documentation says,
Colored quadrangles are plotted one after another. When plotting surfaces (`at s`), the later quadrangles overlap (overdraw) the previous ones. (Gnuplot is not virtual reality tool to calculate intersections of filled polygon meshes.) I don’t understand how they can do such a nice job of hidden surface removal while at the same time plot quadrangles even worse than the na´ve algorithm of sorting the quadrangles by depth.
I’m tempted to write my own Haskell plotting library. Is there any other nice free tool out there for making pretty parametric plots?