4

Plotting with pgfplots a function defined using the tikzmath function syntax does not seem to work.

The error message :

! Illegal unit of measure (pt inserted).
<to be read again> 
                   Y
l.30     \addplot {myAbsConditional(x)} ;

Dimensions can be in units of em, ex, in, pt, pc,
cm, mm, dd, cc, nd, nc, bp, or sp; but yours is a new one!
I'll assume that you meant to say pt, for printer's points.
To recover gracefully from this error, it's best to
delete the erroneous units; e.g., type `2' to delete
two letters. (See Chapter 27 of The TeXbook.)

! Missing = inserted for \ifdim.
<to be read again> 
                   Y
l.30     \addplot {myAbsConditional(x)} ;

I was expecting to see `<', `=', or `>'. Didn't.

The code :

\documentclass[tikz]{standalone}
\usetikzlibrary{math}
\usepackage{pgfplots}
\tikzmath
{
  function myAbs (\x) % this function can be plotted...
  {
    return (2 * (\x > 0) - 1 ) * \x;
  };
  function myAbsConditional(\x) % ... but not this one !
  {
    if (\x > 0) then
    {
      return \x;
    }
    else
    { 
      return -\x;
    };
  };
  % let's check that the function works :
  \a = myAbsConditional(-3);
  \b = myAbsConditional(2);
}
\begin{document}
\begin{tikzpicture}
  \begin{axis}
    %\addplot {myAbs(x)} ; % this is OK
    % the myAbsConditional function works all right ...
    \node {\a\b} ;                    
    \addplot {myAbsConditional(x)} ; % ... but cannot be plotted
  \end{axis}
\end{tikzpicture}
\end{document}

Is this a bug ? Should the function with a conditional be modified ?

3

It is a bug. When tikzmath parses the if condition, it uses the following code

\def\tikz@math@if@@doif{%
  \pgfmathparse{\tikz@math@if@condition}%
  \ifdim\pgfmathresult pt=0pt\relax%
  \else%
      \expandafter\tikz@math\expandafter{\tikz@math@if@trueaction}%
  \fi%
  \tikz@math@parse%
}

If you are familiar with FPU, you will find the code not working because \pgfmathresult is 1Y1.0e0] or something similar.

The solution is to force a conversion when FPU is on. Like the following

\def\tikz@math@if@@doif{%
    \pgfmathparse{\tikz@math@if@condition}%
    \ifpgfmathfloatparseactive%               <--- Notice this
        \pgfmathfloattofixed{\pgfmathresult}% <--- Notice this
    \fi%                                      <--- Notice this
    \ifdim\pgfmathresult pt=0pt\relax%
    \else%
        \expandafter\tikz@math\expandafter{\tikz@math@if@trueaction}%
    \fi%
    \tikz@math@parse%
}

Also one needs to change this as well

\def\tikz@math@if@@doifelse{%
    \pgfmathparse{\tikz@math@if@condition}%
    \let\tikz@math@if@falseaction=\tikz@math@collected%
    \ifpgfmathfloatparseactive%               <--- Notice this
        \pgfmathfloattofixed{\pgfmathresult}% <--- Notice this
    \fi%                                      <--- Notice this
    \ifdim\pgfmathresult pt=0pt\relax%
        \expandafter\tikz@math\expandafter{\tikz@math@if@falseaction}%
    \else%
        \expandafter\tikz@math\expandafter{\tikz@math@if@trueaction}%
    \fi%
    \tikz@math@parse%
}

Related

Using ifthenelse in pgfmath might be helpful.

That is no longer a problem because ifthenelse is now officially supported. Nonetheless the idea is the same.

An MWE

\documentclass[tikz]{standalone}
\usetikzlibrary{math}
\usepackage{pgfplots}

\makeatletter
\def\tikz@math@if@@doif{%
    \pgfmathparse{\tikz@math@if@condition}%
    \ifpgfmathfloatparseactive%                 <--- Notice this
        \pgfmathfloattofixed{\pgfmathresult}%   <--- Notice this
    \fi%                                        <--- Notice this
    \ifdim\pgfmathresult pt=0pt\relax%
    \else%
        \expandafter\tikz@math\expandafter{\tikz@math@if@trueaction}%
    \fi%
    \tikz@math@parse%
}
\def\tikz@math@if@@doifelse{%
    \pgfmathparse{\tikz@math@if@condition}%
    \let\tikz@math@if@falseaction=\tikz@math@collected%
    \message{^^JCheck this: \pgfmathresult^^J}% <--- Notice this
    \ifpgfmathfloatparseactive%                 <--- Notice this
        \pgfmathfloattofixed{\pgfmathresult}%   <--- Notice this
    \fi%                                        <--- Notice this
    \message{^^JCheck again: \pgfmathresult^^J}%<--- Notice this
    \ifdim\pgfmathresult pt=0pt\relax%
        \expandafter\tikz@math\expandafter{\tikz@math@if@falseaction}%
    \else%
        \expandafter\tikz@math\expandafter{\tikz@math@if@trueaction}%
    \fi%
    \tikz@math@parse%
}

\tikzmath
{
  function myAbs (\x) % this function can be plotted...
  {
    return (2 * (\x > 0) - 1 ) * \x;
  };
  function myAbsConditional(\x) % ... but not this one !
  {
    if (\x > 0) then
    {
      return \x;
    }
    else
    { 
      return -\x;
    };
  };
  % let's check that the function works :
  \a = myAbsConditional(-3);
  \b = myAbsConditional(2);
}
\begin{document}

\begin{tikzpicture}
  \begin{axis}
    \addplot {myAbs(x)} ; % this is OK
    % the myAbsConditional function works all right ...
    \node {\a\b} ;                    
    \addplot {myAbsConditional(x)} ; % ... but cannot be plotted
  \end{axis}
\end{tikzpicture}
\end{document}
  • 2
    Thanks for your detailed analysis! I have verified and commited the suggested solution to PGF CVS. – Christian Feuersänger Feb 8 '17 at 20:16

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.