[petsc-dev] What's the easiest route (for a beginner) to visualize a solution from a PETSc example?

Jed Brown jed at jedbrown.org
Thu Jul 25 09:07:47 CDT 2019

X11 plotting is unreliable (requires installing something non-obvious)
on anything but Linux.  I use it in live demos, but it's so limited I
wouldn't recommend it to users.  VTK is more discoverable/explorable for
users; install a binary and make all the plots they want.

Patrick Sanan via petsc-dev <petsc-dev at mcs.anl.gov> writes:

> This came up in the beginner's working group meeting. We all seemed to
> agree that a very powerful thing for beginners is to be able to run a set
> of well-defined instructions to go from 0 to being able to solve and
> visualize a simple problem (I'm imagining a PDE on a 2D spatial domain).
> PETSc itself isn't a visualization library, obviously, so there are many
> ways to visualize data but most involve some external tools. We'd be
> interested in opinions on what we should recommend to beginners, for
> example one or more of:
> - Dump binary, load into MATLAB/Octave/Python+numpy+matplotlib
> - Dump something which Paraview and/or VisIt can open
> - Use PETSc's native drawing (X window) capabilities
> - Include custom script for the tutorials, say which requires libpng and
> produces an image
> - ASCII art

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