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my faculty push pretty hard on us using GNUplot but it gives me somewhat unconvincing results while attempting to fit a gauss-like function. Is there any known weakness with GNUplot fits or should I trust it? Should I try and learn ROOT (also heavily pushed by my faculty)?

Thanks (btw I'm studying physics at Padova University, Italy)

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closed as off topic by Qmechanic, David Z Nov 22 '11 at 5:14

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Could you be more specific about why your faculty push GNUplot? If it is simply for visual consistency, why not analyze your data fits with something else and just provide GNUplot with the function. I personally like the analyses offered by Qtiplot but I know several statisticians who love R. – AdamRedwine Nov 21 '11 at 21:01
It's just that before having to learn (quickly, I need to have everything done for friday) something else I wanna know if it's going to give a better result. They're pushing it because it's OS, free, very powerful and, once learned, very quick to use (I secretly hate it tho but I haven't found anything better). – Federico D'Ambrosio Nov 21 '11 at 21:17
You could try Origin (I think it is Windows only though). I've been using it lately for function fitting and while in general I prefer Gnuplot, I think Origin does better work at this. But I do see it as my fault. :P – Ivana Nov 21 '11 at 22:35
Those are good reasons. It honestly depends on what you mean by 'better' result. If you provide goodness of fit statistics, it shouldn't matter much how close it is. Most students/teachers will ardently defend their favorite program; I'm no different (sagemath, LaTeX, python). Sorry I can't be more help. – AdamRedwine Nov 21 '11 at 22:36
If you're looking for a mathematical fault in gnuplot, as an excuse to avoid using it, you're out of luck. I'd say that "I prefer this other tool" is a legitimate reason for using something else, but if your school uses gnuplot as a standard, then you should just bite the bullet and learn it. Any arguments over preference aside, it's a fine tool for what it does. – Colin K Nov 21 '11 at 22:41

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