I have been looking at the three (major ?) tools---MetaPost, PStricks or
pgfplots for plotting data together with LaTeX. My experience is this:
MetaPost code can demand lots of lines for simple codes;
Pstricks can necessitate many lines of codes also but it gives more flexibility than MetaPost and can be easier to use;
pgfplotsis very flexible and can require lots of lines if several options are to be included, and most likely this tool will continue evolving fast.
I am working on a project where I have a data file and I will keep on adding new data manually every year but without the number of data points getting excessively large. I am currently using MetaPost and I wonder whether my code will still work say in 10 years time. So I am looking for a tool which is robust enough so that changes that will be made will most likely NOT affect basic commands that I am using today.
I see that MetaPost and Pstricks have been here for a long time and perhaps will stay stable over the next 10 to 20 years. MetaPost seems to have some troubles handling large numbers and so PStricks seems a better choice for me.