CGI question

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.  This needs to be something that even the AOL netsurfers can view, so probably no java applets...  Any ideas?
transitAsked:
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dmethvinCommented:
The problem with creating big graphs with GIFs is that they tend to be large and take a long time to download. For simple bar charts you could use stretched bitmaps inside tables. That works on the AOL 2.0 browser which has been out for about a year, and with table shading you can get some nice looking output. Here's an example of a horizontal bar chart comparing cats and dogs. (You need to create a small red and blue gif to make this work.)

<TABLE BGCOLOR="#FFE0FF">
<TR>
<TD>Cats</TD>
<TD><IMG SRC="red.gif" HEIGHT=5 WIDTH=120></TD>
</TR><TR>
<TD>Dogs</TD>
<TD><IMG SRC="blue.gif" HEIGHT=5 WIDTH=33></TD>
</TABLE>

There's another example at
http://www.winmag.com/web/tips/randtest.htm
that uses JavaScript.

Of course, if you need pie or line charts then reject this answer...
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transitAuthor Commented:
Actually, I am looking for line graphs and more...

Good suggestions though!!

Thanks anyway!
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icdCommented:
I did something very similar to this for a bank intranet system. The solution I used there was to combine Tcl scripting language with GD a graphics library.

My preferred solution nowadays would be to get the GD extensions for Perl.

Although GD does not have any high level routines, mostly line drawing, polygon fills, simple text (only three standard fonts) I did develop it to produce some nice bar charts and pie charts for the bank.

Unfortunately I cannot let you have the source code (I don't even have it myself).

If this is the sort of thing you want then I can look up the URL for the perl version of GD. (Although most good perl resources should have a link to it).
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transitAuthor Commented:
This is not a rejection!  Can you send me the URL for the Perl extensions to GD?

Also, how much programming did it take on your part?  Did you have to install GD on the server first?  Do you think that this would possibly work on a shared server (ISP)?

Thanks for your help, icd!
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icdCommented:
The GD library can be found at:-

http://www.boutell.com/

I am not absolutely sure about how it is installed for perl, I believe there may be a way of using it without needing the webmaster to install it for you but I have had no experience with this on perl.

As for how much programming it took. It depends on how good you are! ISTR it took about 3 or 4 days or so programming to produce a library of routines that I could slot into any array of data.
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transitAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the information!!!!

- transit
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