I went to a pretty exciting meet up last night at George Washington University.  It was by put on my Statistical Programming DC and was my first meet up with them.  The speaker was Matt Sundquist, who is one of the founders of, which is sort of the github of plotting.   The talk was pretty good and I was impressed by the package.  It’s free and they have bindings to Julia, Python, Excel, Matlab, Igor, R, etc.   You can view graphs, edit legends, etc. from within the browser and send them directly from your python scripts, which is really cool!   You can also stream real time data over.  One really nice feature is that you can see the data used to generate a plot and the code (in multiple languages) that will generate it.  This would be really cool to see in journals!   It ties in nicely with the recent posting by Nature about hosted iPython consoles.

Given the variety of graphs, I can understand why they went with d3.js—we went with jqplot for a number of our online plotting solutions because I thought the learning curve would be shallower for our high school/college interns.   Also, I think we started back in the days of Flot, before d3 was out there.    I somehow thought that d3.js was only SVG, but one of my coworkers told me that it now supports canvas as well, so it could be fast—but apparently producing pdf files from canvas is painful...

I hope their company survives and I can definitely see using it for sharing plots with my collaborators.   Because of our use of interactors, I doubt that I will be able to replace a number of existing projects though due to our need for custom interactors.   Hopefully they develop a plugin system in the future!

Posted by william

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