It's been a while since I've updated my blog, but the recent Maple 12 release gives me a good opportunity to talk about some of the features I'd been working on for the past months. A few people on MaplePrimes had asked for more details about Maple 12, so I'll start by saying a bit about the new polar axes. A lot of this work was done by my colleagues in the GUI Group and they may have additional interesting things to say about the feature.

In previous versions of Maple, you could draw polar plots using the plots[polarplot] command or with the coords=polar option, but these were always displayed with Cartesian axes. In Maple 12, polar axes are displayed by default, as seen here.

plots[polarplot](1+cos(theta), theta=0..2*Pi, axis[radial]=[tickmarks=5])

plots[polarplot](1+cos(theta), theta=0..2*Pi, axis[radial]=[tickmarks=5])

 A number of new options were added to the polarplot command so that you can customize the axes.  The most useful ones are the axis[radial] and axis[angular] options. These work like the axis[1], axis[2] and axis[3] options available for general plots, and you can use them to control color, tickmarks and other properties of the radial and angular axes.

Typeset math on plots had been introduced in Maple 11, and now we can take advantage of this with nice axis labels, in multiples of Pi, on the angular axis. These labels appear by default, but of course, they can be customized with the axis options. The plot/typesetting help page provides information on how to add typeset math to plots through the command line. There are also interactive ways to do this, using the context menu.

You can add polar axes to plots created by commands other than plots[polarplot], by using the axiscoordinates=polar option. However, not all the options offered by plots[polarplot] are available generally. Here is an example using plots[implicitplot].

plots[implicitplot]([x^2+2*y^2 = 1, x^2+1.5*y^2 = 1], color = ["Blue", "Green"], x = -1 .. 1, y = -1 .. 1, axiscoordinates = polar);

plots[implicitplot]([x^2+2*y^2 = 1, x^2+1.5*y^2 = 1], color = ["Blue", "Green"], x = -1 .. 1, y = -1 .. 1, axiscoordinates = polar)

It is also possible to get the pre-Maple 12 Cartesian axes back with polar plots, by adding the axiscoordinates=cartesian option.

There are many more options available with the plots[polarplot] command, and there are other ways to create and manipulate polar plots without having to use the command-line. As it's rather late in the day (Waterloo time), I'll leave this information for a future blog post.

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