Saturday, September 29, 2007

PlotKit and MochiKit

I needed to draw some graphs on a web page dynamically from data from a command line application so I took a look at Plotkit which, apart from having some very nice looking output, has quick methods to draw a graph from the contents of a HTML table on a page (DatasetFromTable - perfect for what I want) or the EasyPlot method that draws a chart in one line of code (or two if you count the HTML).

Poking around in there, I took another look at Mochikit which is a requirement for Plotkit. Mochikit's motto is making "javascript suck less" which it succeeds at very well. It provides the $() found in prototype and has a simple, clean set of libraries for such things as DOM handling, event handling and asynchronous event handling. It also has the javascript equivalent of Python's itertools and a logging module that can send messages to the console in Firebug.

Firebug is a Firefox extension that with the ability to inspect CSS, HTML and Javascript and a visual debugger makes web development simpler than ever.