by Vibeke Ulmann
SharpPlot and SharpLeaf – the graphics and publication tools included with Dyalog on all platforms
A lot of work has gone into SharpPlot and SharpLeaf over the past couple of years*. The workshop on Sunday 10th September was run by Nicolas Delcros, the Dyalog software programmer behind the work.
The documentation has been significantly improved, comes across as comprehensive, and is available on right-click anywhere when you use the tool. It is also available on www.SharpPlot.com and can be downloaded as a PDF. Nic strongly recommends that you walk through the documentation and tutorials and familiarise yourself with the capabilities and the different graph types that are available for automatic graphical representation of data before you start using SharpPlot. That way you will save yourself a lot of time when you start working with the tool, and you will also quickly discover which types of graphs are ‘best’ to show your particular data.
It’s possible to click on the graph widget within a Dyalog Session to immediately see how the data displays graphically. If it doesn’t work to your satisfaction, or clearly show the data the way you want in one type of graph, you can right-click on the data and choose the graph wizard.
Output can be Raster or Vector format, and you can publish to the Web or UI (User Interface).
Chart types are 2D and 3D. There are also a number of miscellaneous charts such as Gantt, Triangle, Table and Venn diagrams.
There are obviously a lot of options you can tweak for each graph and the graph wizard presents them to you and lets you see the effects immediately. Once you are happy with the graph you can turn the specs into a script which can be incorporated in your program.
All in all, SharpPlot now comes across as highly intuitive and easy to use.
We recommend you review the blogpost on www.dyalog.com from April 2017 where Nic explains some of the concepts further: https://www.dyalog.com/blog/2017/04/displaying-cross-references-with-sharpplot-2/
SharpLeaf is an automated publication tool, which comes in extremely handy if, for example, you have to create the same report on a regular basis, but have to use/show different data from the previous report. A good example could be Board reports with varying data from Finance and/or Product Sales.
A lot of people will be pleased to find that their standard multi page report – which hitherto they have had to develop for example in Word and Excel each month – can now be generated automatically, with changes made to the embedded graphs and tables, based on data accrued since the previous month.
If you want this level of automation, you will have need to swap to SharpLeaf, develop your standard report, and then carry on from there. Importing an old report developed in, for example, Word or Excel is, unfortunately, not an option (but cutting and pasting text is).
* Author’s note: The original software programming work on SharpPlot and SharpLeaf was done by Causeway. Causeway was acquired by Dyalog Ltd in May 2007.