How to Install XYPLOT

This chapter will tell you how to get XYPLOT running on your computer. Choose the section appropriate for your operating system:

Linux Installation

XYPLOT for Linux is distributed as a compressed tar (Unix Tape Archive) file with the name


where x.y.z is the current version number. The distribution file contains the source code files and a Makefile for building the executable. To build xyplot on your Linux system, your system requires the GNU C and C++ compilers (version 3.2 or higher is recommended) and the GNU assembler. Many packaged Linux systems such as RedHat and SuSE (Professional edition) will have these development tools installed by default. If not, they may be installed from the original CD-ROMs. Also needed for building xyplot are a version of the Motif graphical user interface libraries. One may use either the OpenMotif libraries or the Lesstif libraries. For example, see the Lesstif Installation Notes.

After installing either the OpenMotif or Lesstif packages on your system, you may build xyplot by following these steps:

  1. Copy the distribution file (xyplot-pclinux-x.y.z.tar.gz) to any desired directory.

  2. Change to the directory in which the distribution file resides and unpack the contents:

    tar -zxvf xyplot-pclinux-x.y.z.tar.gz

    The distribution file will unpack to a new subdirectory called xyplot-x.y.z. The unpacked subdirectory will contain all of the xyplot source files (a set of .h, .cpp, .c, .s, and .4th files), the Makefile, and a README file, which also contains installation instructions.

  3. Change the directory to the new subdirectory and build the xyplot executable.

    cd xyplot-x.y.z/

    There are several options for building xyplot, but the simplest is to type:


    All of the source files will be compiled/assembled and the executable file, named xyplot, will be made. You may notice compiler warnings scroll by as the files are compiled, but these may be ignored. Only if you do not have an executable named xyplot at the end of the make process has something gone wrong.

    You can examine the file Makefile to see the other options for building xyplot. Also, if something does go wrong during the make process, you may need to edit the Makefile. For example, the linker may not be able to find the necessary libraries on your system and you may need to redefine the macro LIBDIRS in the Makefile.

  4. To make xyplot accessible to all users on the system, move the executable to a directory in the path for users, e.g.:

    mv xyplot /usr/local/bin/

    Note that you must be logged in as superuser in order to move a file into the above system directory. After this is done, any user should then be able to type xyplot at a command prompt and be able to execute the program.

  5. Each user maintains customized settings in his/her $HOME/.xyplot directory. For each user, create the directory as follows:

    mkdir /home/username/.xyplot

    Next, copy the Forth source files (*.4th) provided by the distribution into this directory

    cp *.4th /home/username/.xyplot

    When a user executes xyplot, the file xyplot.4th from the user's $HOME/.xyplot will be loaded. XYPLOT can be customized by appending Forth commands to the end of this file. For example, other Forth files, called modules, may be loaded to provide additional menu functions. The file smooth.4th is an example of a module which adds an item called Smooth to the Math Menu. The smoothing function is written in the Forth programming language and this source code is loaded upon startup from a line in xyplot.4th: include smooth.

This completes the installation under Linux.

Windows Installation

XYPLOT for Windows is distributed as a zip file which contains the executable program file, xyplot.exe, the loadable Forth modules (.4th files), and sample data files (.dat). We recommend the following installation procedure under Windows (95/98/etc.):

  1. Create a New Folder called xyplot. You can do this by clicking on My Computer, then the desired drive, then New and Folder from the File Menu.

  2. Move the distribution file into this directory and unzip its contents using either PKUNZIP or WinZip.

  3. The main program is xyplot.exe. In addition, there are a number of modules (.4th files) which provide additional functions, and sample data files (.dat files).

  4. You may create a shortcut desktop icon for xyplot by right-clicking on xyplot.exe with the mouse, holding the button down, and dragging the icon onto the desktop. This should be done from the folder in which xyplot was installed.

  5. Try launching xyplot using the desktop icon. Use the Open function in the File Menu to load and plot one of the sample data files provided in the distribution. For example, if you open the file cornu.dat, you should see this image.

DOS Installation

Installation of XYPLOT on your PC requires you to do the following:

  1. First create a directory for the xyplot files, e.g.

    mkdir c:\xyplot

  2. Next, copy or download the compressed zip file ( into this directory. Then use the program pkunzip to decompress the files

    pkunzip xyp41

  3. Now, modify the initialization file xyplot.ini using a text editor. The file as supplied will work for a computer with a color VGA display.

    edit xyplot.ini

  4. Edit the autoexec.bat file of your system to include the lines

    path c:\dos;...;c:\xyplot
    set xypini=c:\xyplot

After you reboot your computer, you may simply type xyplot and the program will run no matter which directory or disk are current. If you do not make the changes to autoexec.bat, you must start XYPLOT by first changing to the directory in which the program and initialization files are stored.