Software Development > PHP Graphs

PHP Graphs

Published: November 26, 2008

You'd think there would be some decent graphs and charts for PHP or any other open source web application language, right? People have been displaying graphs on the web since the web began so of course you are not going to reinvent the wheel. I know ColdFusion for instance has its sweet CFGraph functionality but PHP seems to be stuck in the dark ages with nothing for the PHBs.

Searching for this kind of stuff just brings up crappy products of a Web 1.0 vintage mostly using the GD image library to create some tacky looking graphs. Not only that but most of them are not free or have specific free-but-non-commercial licences. If it's not crappy graphs then its graphs that are over the top done in Flash and convey no meaning what so ever except for - "don't I look nice!"

Maybe 'PHP Graphs' is just bad search term clogged up with too many old relics.

When you are thinking graphs you are thinking simple, stylish but most importantly... informative. Web 2.0 should have this covered. And of course... you know it does.

Think MooTools. But not just MooTools. Think of all the projects spawning off Javascript API's. Once you start looking around you might stumble on to something like TableToChart.

TableToChart builds on the top of MooTools, Plotr and ExplorerCanvas to offer perfect graph functionality that is going to keep most people who are looking for static graphs, pretty darn happy. If you are looking for transitions you can add them yourself or keep looking for a different library but remember, it's all about the meaning conveyed - not the pretty factor.

It would be great if PHP had some graph libraries built-in but as long as there is something out there that works - it doesn't make that much difference.


1. Andrew on July 8, 2009

The problem isn't PHP, but the twerps that think a language is useless if there isn't a function or library that does everything for them. Learn to use a language before complaining about it.

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