ex11, plotting and Cairo ...

Jouni Rynö <>
Tue Jul 19 11:33:28 CEST 2005

Dear All

As a summer time hobby I started to program a plotting widget for Joe's
ex11 (2004.09.09) version. Although there are better tools and
programs :) than Erlang for graphics, sometimes a plot could be handy
just from Erlang, like algorithm testing, timing checking etc.

After coming to the "hello, world" -level, one gets a bit greedy. What
else should it do and how? From Tcl/Tk there's the Blt-library, but
aiming to that would be a bit too ambitious. Live zooming at least :)

The other issue is the plot itself. It's easy to get to the screen, but
hardcopy gets more complicated (xwd -> xwdtopnm -> pnmtojpeg -> ...).
And no publications with these plots :), although that was not the
intention at first either.

The Gtk, Mozilla and OpenOffice seem to be converting to use Cairo
library as 2D drawing library. It has backends to at least ps, gl and
xlib. Drawing and printing can then be done with the same code. On the
other hand, the whole point of ex11 is bypassing the slow drawing
library in between. But maybe a special Cairo-canvas on top of

So would there be any point of implementing Erlang binding to Cairo? Or
would it then make more sense to use Gtk, which would then use Cairo
indirectly (and provide themes and other fancy (and slow) stuff.

still 2 weeks of holiday left (minus wife and the kids)

ps. the plot is done by explot:plot("Hello, World").

  Jouni Rynö                            mailto://Jouni.Ryno@fmi.fi/
  Finnish Meteorological Institute      http://www.fmi.fi/
  Space Research                        http://www.geo.fmi.fi/
  P.O.BOX 503                           Tel      (+358)-9-19294656
  FIN-00101 Helsinki                    FAX      (+358)-9-19294603
  Finland                               priv-GSM (+358)-50-5302903
  "It's just zeros and ones, it cannot be hard"

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