Chapter 1. Introduction

Table of Contents

What is SciDAVis?
Command Line Parameters
Specify a File
Command Line Options
General Concepts and Terms
Plot Window
Log Window
The Project Explorer

What is SciDAVis?

SciDAVis stands for Scientific Data Analysis and Visualization. It is a free cross-platform program for two- and three-dimensional graphical presentation of data sets and for data analysis. The plots can be produced from data sets stored in tables, in matrix or from analytical functions.

The SciDAVis project started as a fork of QtiPlot with the aim of introducing some changes in design as well as project structure. The QtiPlot development was initiated in 2004 by Ion Vasilief. He was the only programmer until May 2006 when Knut Franke and Tilman Hoener zu Siederdissen joined the project. Not much later, Roger Gadiou officially joined as the main documentation writer. In June 2007, insuperable disagreements among the developers lead to the fork and the creation of the SciDAVis project by Knut Franke and Tilman Hoener zu Siederdissen, soon followed by Roger Gadiou. In November 2012, after ~two years of inactivity in the project, Russell Standish assumed the development of SciDAVis. The project is hosted partially at Sourceforge (download files, the bug tracker, forums, mailing lists, etc.), but its source code development was moved from the SciDAVis subversion repository to Github in June 2015.

SciDAVis aims to be a tool for analysis and graphical representation of data, allowing powerfull mathematical treatment and visualization of scientific data while keeping a user-friendly graphical user interface. Another keypoint for the SciDAVis project is to be a multi-system software, it should work on Windows, Linux, and OS-X systems.

SciDAVis is a dynamic tool, the plots created from data sets and the spreadsheets owing the data are interconected. When the spreadsheets are modified, all the objects in the depending plots (curves, axes scales, legends) are automatically updated. For example, deleting a spreadsheet or only some columns will automatically remove all the corresponding curves from the depending plots.

All settings of a complete set of tables, matrix and plots can be saved in project files, having the extention ".sciprj". These project files may be opened using the command line, using the File menu, or by using the icon from the File toolbar.

The plots can be exported to several graphic formats such as JPEG or PNG and inserted as images in documents or presentations.

Data analysis operations (integration, interpolation, FFT, curve fitting, etc) can be performed on the curves in a 2D plot via the Analysis-plots menu. The results of all these operations are also stored in the project files. They can be visualized at any moment using the Results Log command and can be deleted from the project file via the Clear Log Information command.

When the application is launched, a new project file is created consisting of a grey main window (the workspace) which contains an empty table. In order to be operational, this workspace must be populated with tables storing data sets, either by creating empty tables first (New→New Table command) and then filling them with data, or by importing ASCII files (Import Ascii command), which automatically creates new tables.

The user can easily navigate through the objects of a project file using the Project Explorer command or the Windows menu. The project explorer also allows the user to perform various operations on the windows (tables and plots) in the workspace: hiding, minimazing, closing, renaming, printing, etc.