I was recently looking at rotating a 3D plot, using plottools:-rotate, and noticed something inefficient.

In the past few releases of Maple, efficient float[8] datatype rtables (Arrays or hfarrays) can be used inside the plot data structure. This can save time and memory, both in terms of the users' creation and manipulation of them as well as in terms of the GUI's ability to use them for graphic rendering.

What I noticed is that, if one starts with a 3D plot data structure containing a float[8] Array in the MESH portion, then following application of plottools:-rotate a much less efficient list-of-lists is produced in the resulting structure.

Likewise, an effiecient float[8] Array or hfarray in the GRID portion of a 3D plot structure gets transformed by plottools:-rotate into an inefficient list-of-lists object in the MESH portion of the result. For example,



seq(whattype(op(3,zz)), zz in indets(p,specfunc(anything,GRID)));


seq(whattype(op(1,zz)), zz in indets(pnew,specfunc(anything,MESH)));

The efficiency concern is not just a matter of the occupying space in memory. It also relates to the optimal attainable methods for subsequent manipulation of the data.

It may be nice and convenient for plottools to get as much mileage as it can out of plottools:-transform, internally. But it's suboptimal. And plotting is a topic where dedicated, optimized helper routines for some particular data format is justified and of merit. If we want plot manipulation to be fast, then both Library-side as well as GUI-side operations need more case-by-case-optimizated.

Here's an illustrative worksheet, using and comparing memory performance with a (new, alternative) procedure that does inplace rotation of a 3D MESH. plot3drotate.mw


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