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Advice on module for plotting graphs

 
 
Vicky Conlan
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      09-30-2008
I'm currently writing a small system to automate a process of
"cut+paste into excel, output as a graph" someone is currently
having to do. Importing and munging the data I'm happy* with,
creating a graph I have absolutely no experience of.

I've had a look around CPAN, but there appear to be a million
and one modules that may do what I'm looking for, does anyone
have any experience (good or bad) or advice on which direction
to go?

(One option is always to output excel-importable data and then
carry on using excel to create the graphs, but that's not really
very nice)

Given I don't think gnuplot is available, I'm currently looking
at SVG::Graph, but if there was something available that came
bundled with the standard distribution, that would probably win
the convenience vote.

Any hints and advice appreciated.

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Ben Morrow
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      09-30-2008

Quoth http://www.velocityreviews.com/forums/(E-Mail Removed) (Vicky Conlan):
> I'm currently writing a small system to automate a process of
> "cut+paste into excel, output as a graph" someone is currently
> having to do. Importing and munging the data I'm happy* with,
> creating a graph I have absolutely no experience of.
>
> I've had a look around CPAN, but there appear to be a million
> and one modules that may do what I'm looking for, does anyone
> have any experience (good or bad) or advice on which direction
> to go?


If you're on Win32 and have Excel, you can use Win32::OLE to
remote-control Excel into producing the graph for you. If you record a
macro in Excel that does what you want and then examine the VB code it
generates, it's usually trivial to convert that into Perl.

Ben

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nothing. Only I will remain.
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Vicky Conlan
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      09-30-2008
According to <(E-Mail Removed)>:
>If you're on Win32 and have Excel, you can use Win32::OLE to
>remote-control Excel into producing the graph for you. If you record a
>macro in Excel that does what you want and then examine the VB code it
>generates, it's usually trivial to convert that into Perl.


I'm not on Win32, if I was going to go the excel route, it would involve
outputting the data to a solaris machine then importing it via (some
other method). That would be the backup method if I couldn't find a
better solution. I'd rather have a Perl module that outputs pretty
graphs as gifs (or something similar).
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Jim Gibson
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      09-30-2008
In article <gbtdlj$15mj$(E-Mail Removed)>, Vicky Conlan
<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> I'm currently writing a small system to automate a process of
> "cut+paste into excel, output as a graph" someone is currently
> having to do. Importing and munging the data I'm happy* with,
> creating a graph I have absolutely no experience of.
>
> I've had a look around CPAN, but there appear to be a million
> and one modules that may do what I'm looking for, does anyone
> have any experience (good or bad) or advice on which direction
> to go?
>
> (One option is always to output excel-importable data and then
> carry on using excel to create the graphs, but that's not really
> very nice)
>
> Given I don't think gnuplot is available, I'm currently looking
> at SVG::Graph, but if there was something available that came
> bundled with the standard distribution, that would probably win
> the convenience vote.


What platform are you on? Why do you think gnuplot is not available?
Gnuplot would be my recommended approach. It is available as source and
supports many platforms. I have used on Windows, Linux, and Mac OSX.

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Vicky Conlan
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      09-30-2008
According to <(E-Mail Removed)>:
>What platform are you on?


Solaris.

>Why do you think gnuplot is not available?


Because it's not installed on the machine I am developing on (definitely), I'm
about 99% sure it's not available on the machine it would eventually run on,
and getting things installed introduces an extra level of hassle.

>Gnuplot would be my recommended approach. It is available as source and
>supports many platforms. I have used on Windows, Linux, and Mac OSX.


It does have one extra advantage, in that I've used it before (although not via
Perl, but that shouldn't matter too much). Hmm. I'll see about getting it
installed (I can do it myself for development, but if I do that and then get
the knock back for having it installed on production, that's going to be a bit
of a spanner in the works!), but would still welcome suggestions for alternatives


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Martien Verbruggen
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      10-01-2008
On Tue, 30 Sep 2008 14:38:43 +0000 (UTC),
Vicky Conlan <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> I'm currently writing a small system to automate a process of
> "cut+paste into excel, output as a graph" someone is currently
> having to do. Importing and munging the data I'm happy* with,
> creating a graph I have absolutely no experience of.


It depends a bit on what sorts of charts you want to create (what's on
the X and Y axes?). I use GD::Graph a lot, but that's probably because I
wrote it. It only really does business-style charts.

The Chart distribution is quite complete and works well.

I also use gnuplot a lot for those areas where GD::Graph doesn't work,
like 3D plots, function plotting, etc. Interfacing with gnuplot is not
hard.


Martien
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| world; those who understand binary and those
| who don't.
 
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Vicky Conlan
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      10-01-2008
According to <(E-Mail Removed)>:
>It depends a bit on what sorts of charts you want to create (what's on
>the X and Y axes?). I use GD::Graph a lot, but that's probably because I
>wrote it. It only really does business-style charts.


I'll take a look. Could be handy having the author at hand.
At the moment, "simple" graphs would probably do, but I get the
feeling that the requirements may be subject to ... expansion some
time in the future.

>The Chart distribution is quite complete and works well.
>
>I also use gnuplot a lot for those areas where GD::Graph doesn't work,
>like 3D plots, function plotting, etc. Interfacing with gnuplot is not
>hard.


Ah, but interfacing with gnuplot /is/ hard if I can't get gnuplot
installed on the machine it needs to run on.

Having used both, how tricky would you expect it to be if I wrote with
GD::Graph in mind, then had to switch to a gnuplot option at a later
date? (ie, are the interfaces similar enough to make it a simple switch,
or a significant re-write?)

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xhoster@gmail.com
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      10-01-2008
(E-Mail Removed) (Vicky Conlan) wrote:
> According to <(E-Mail Removed)>:


> >I also use gnuplot a lot for those areas where GD::Graph doesn't work,
> >like 3D plots, function plotting, etc. Interfacing with gnuplot is not
> >hard.

>
> Ah, but interfacing with gnuplot /is/ hard if I can't get gnuplot
> installed on the machine it needs to run on.


If you can't get gnuplot installed, you very likely won't be able to get
GD installed either. Incompetent IT is hard to circumvent.

Xho

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Martien Verbruggen
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      10-01-2008
On Wed, 1 Oct 2008 11:01:04 +0000 (UTC),
Vicky Conlan <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> According to <(E-Mail Removed)>:
>
>>I also use gnuplot a lot for those areas where GD::Graph doesn't work,
>>like 3D plots, function plotting, etc. Interfacing with gnuplot is not
>>hard.

>
> Ah, but interfacing with gnuplot /is/ hard if I can't get gnuplot
> installed on the machine it needs to run on.
>
> Having used both, how tricky would you expect it to be if I wrote with
> GD::Graph in mind, then had to switch to a gnuplot option at a later
> date? (ie, are the interfaces similar enough to make it a simple switch,
> or a significant re-write?)


Switching from GD::Graph to gnuplot is a big change, and would probably
require a rewrite of almost everything. The Chart modules, I believe,
have an interface that is compatible with GD::Graph's, but i mist say, i
haven't used them for a while, so i am not too sure how much work there
is, or how many more features they have than GD::Graph, nowadays.

Martien
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| the world - Franz Kafka
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Vicky Conlan
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      10-01-2008
According to <(E-Mail Removed)>:
>Switching from GD::Graph to gnuplot is a big change, and would probably
>require a rewrite of almost everything. The Chart modules, I believe,


Hmm, that's what I was afraid of. Bugger.

Ok, thank you to everyone for the advice. I have already put in an
enquiry about the chance of getting gnuplot installed, it's probably
the best option ... I can see a lot of the rest of the week spent
chasing it up. I hate this bit of my job.

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