Originally, the name PyX was constructed as a combination of Postscript, i.e. the first output format supported by PyX, Python, i.e. the language in which PyX is written, and TeX, i.e. the program which PyX uses for typesetting purposes. Actually, the title of this question is a tribute to TeX because it is taken from the first chapter of the TeX book  where the origin of the name TeX and its pronunciation are explained.
Despite the ties between TeX and PyX, their pronunciation is quite different. According to the developers of PyX, it should be pronounced as pyks. Please do not pronounce it as pyx or pyç.
Replace y in IPA by the correct sign (U+028F).
The current release of PyX (as well as older ones) is freely available from pyx.sourceforge.net where also a subversion repository with the latest patches can be found. Possibly older versions of PyX are also available as package for various Linux distributions: see, for instance, http://packages.debian.org/testing/python/python-pyx.html for information on the PyX package in Debian GNU/Linux, http://packages.gentoo.org/ebuilds/?pyx-0.7.1 for a Gentoo Linux ebuild, and http://www.novell.com/products/linuxpackages/professional/python-pyx.html for the PyX package in the SUSE LINUX professional distribution.
Start a python session (usually by typing python at the system prompt) and then type the following two commands (>>> is the python prompt)
>>> import pyx >>> pyx.__version__
Note that there are two underscores before and after version.
As at present it is not guaranteed that PyX is backward compatible, it may be desirable to access an older version of PyX instead of adapting older code to the current version of PyX. In order to do that, one needs the corresponding PyX package (see Where do I get the latest version of PyX? if you need to download it), which should be unpacked below a directory, e.g. /home/xyz/Python, where you want to keep the various PyX versions. This will result in a subdirectory with a name like PyX-0.11.1 which contains the contents of the corresponding package. You can then ask Python to first look in the appropriate directory before looking for the current version of PyX by inserting the following code (appropriately modified according to your needs) at the beginning of your program before importing the PyX module:
import sys sys.path.insert(0, "/home/xyz/Python/PyX-0.11.1")
Including appropriate lines even if the current version of PyX is used, might turn out to be helpful when the current version has become an old version (unless you have no difficulties determining the PyX version by looking at your code).
If your operating system supports path expansion, you might use as an alternative:
import sys, os sys.path.insert(0, os.path.expanduser("~/Python/PyX-0.11.1"))
which will expand the tilde to your home directory.
Yes, if you have installed Python what_is_python) and TeX (What is TeX/LaTeX and why do I need it?). Both are available for a large variety of operating systems so chances are pretty good that you will get PyX to work on your system.
PyX is supposed to work with Python 2.1 and above. However, most of the development takes place under the current production version of Python (2.4.1 by the time of this writing) and thus PyX is better tested with this version. On the other hand, the examples and tests are verified to run with Python 2.1 and above using the latest bugfix releases. PyX will not work with earlier Python versions due to missing language features.
The version of your Python interpreter can be determined by calling it with the option -V. Alternatively, you can simply start the interpreter and take a look at the startup message. Note that there may be different versions of Python installed on your system at the same time. The default Python version need not be the same for all users.
No, PyX itself does not provide a means to view the produced image. The result of a PyX run is an EPS (= Encapsulated PostScript) file, a PS (= PostScript) file or a PDF (= Portable Document Format) file, which can be viewed, printed or imported into other applications.
There are several means of viewing PS and EPS files. A common way would be to use ghostview which provides a user interface to the PostScript interpreter ghostscript. More information about this software, which is available for a variety of platforms, can be found at http://www.cs.wisc.edu/~ghost/. If you do not own a printer which is capable of printing PostScript files directly, ghostscript may also be useful to translate PS and EPS files produced by PyX into something your printer will understand.
PDF files can be viewed by means of the Adobe Reader ® available from http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html. On systems running X11, xpdf might be an alternative. It is available from http://www.foolabs.com/xpdf/.
There exists a tutorial by Titus Winters which explains how to perform standard Gnuplot tasks with PyX. The tutorial can be found at http://www.cs.ucr.edu/~titus/pyxTutorial/.
The PyX sources contain a reference manual which is also available online at http://pyx.sourceforge.net/manual/. Furthermore, there exists a set of examples demonstrating various features of PyX, which is available in the sources or can be browsed at http://pyx.sourceforge.net/examples.html. If the feature you are looking for is among them, using the appropriate part of the example code or adapting it for your purposes may help.
There is also a user discussion list about PyX which you can subscribe to at http://lists.sourceforge.net/lists/listinfo/pyx-user. The archive of the discussion list is available at http://sourceforge.net/mailarchive/forum.php?forum_name=pyx-user.
Finally, it might be worth checking http://pyx.sourceforge.net/pyxfaq.pdf for an updated version of this FAQ.
|||D.Knuth, The TeX book (Addison-Wesley, 1984)|