Sunday 3 April 2011

Python and Javascript: using the Flot plugin

Good graphs are not only about data, they should look good as well to attract attention. The Flot plugin for jQuery produces excellent graphs, is simple to use and shows nicely how to marry Python and Javascript.

In my opinion when designing a web application, the client side (the stuff that happens in the browser) is often not receiving the attention it deserves. Sure enough we design for low latency using AJAX and mimic screen interactions of regular applications as close as possible but often is still feels like we're looking a old web page.

One of the areas that can benefit tremendously from a well chosen library is graphs. In the coming months I will try to describe a simple web application that displays data from a weather station. The server side is all python of course and will make use of the PyWWS library to acquire the data. On the client side will employ Flot, a jQuery pluging that can produce attractive graphs in simple manner. A sample of the first draft of the app is show below:

In later articles I will show how to implement both server and client side.

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