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Unix General question

Posted on 1997-07-30
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Last Modified: 2010-04-21
I am looking for a Unix-based graphing/charting program that will enable me to set up a website for a stockbrokerage company.  I would like to find a server-side product that will generate .GIF charts/graphs from input from a text-based data file on the server.  Any ideas?
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Question by:transit
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Author Comment

by:transit
ID: 2006604
Edited text of question
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Expert Comment

by:n0thing
ID: 2006605
Hi,

   One of the graphing tools i use to produce graphics is the
dg library by Thomas Boutell. http://www.boutell.com/gd, it will
allow you to create fast .gif files based on the data you provide. I use it to create traffic utilization for my routers.

Regards,
Minh Lai
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Author Comment

by:transit
ID: 2006606
This is not a rejection.  I just have a question or two for you before I give you the points.

1)  Can this product be used to generate graphs/charts in Unix (probably on a shared web server)?

2)  How big of a job is it to get the thing to work?

3)  What device(s) does one need to make this work?  The web page you referred to indicates that various programming languages can be used to interface with this.

4)  Do you need to be a programmer to work with this?

5)  How big of a job is it for someone (programmer or nonprogrammer) to set up this tools to generate a standard line graph with multiple lines?  This is the use I have in mind, since my client has a stock brokerage company...

Thanks for your help!!

- Ben
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Expert Comment

by:mgrcnk
ID: 2006607
I have another suggestion, but I will wait until you make up your mind about n0thing's answer.  If you want me to post it anways, let me know.  Didn't want to interfere, though.
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Author Comment

by:transit
ID: 2006608
Dear mgrcnk,

Please post your suggestion!

Thanks!
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Accepted Solution

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mgrcnk earned 0 total points
ID: 2006609
At a web site I used to manage, we used gnuplot.  It was fairly easy to figure out.  All I have left of it is the man page (which I can post if you want me to).  Anyways, gnuplot can:

1) Be used on almost ANY UNIX platform.
2) Not too hard to set up...once you have the data you want to plot, gnuplot does most of the work.  You'll need to do some minor formatting.
3) No devices needed.  It can make gifs which you can use on a web page.
4) The programming interface you were probably referring to may be similar to gnuplot.  There has to be some way to tell it to draw functions (lines, curves, etc.).  The programming ability gives you more options, but you can stick with normal data if you so choose.
5) I can't do serious programming and I could set it up.  And that was three or four years ago when I first started out in UNIX.

I am sure these two packages are somewhat similar.  GNUPlot is available at no cost (its 100% FREE).  I can't speak for or against the package n0thing mentioned.  It may end up being better, but this is an alternative.

For more info on gnuplot, you can get it from prep.ai.mit.edu in the directory /pub/gnu I believe.  Let me know if you can't find it.  Also, if you want me to post the man page, I can do that in a comment (rather long, though).

Hope this helps!
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Author Comment

by:transit
ID: 2006610
This appears to be an excellent option!!

Thanks!!
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