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   FW: [xml-dev] Using pre-arranged arrays to render charts

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  • To: <xml-dev@lists.xml.org>
  • Subject: FW: [xml-dev] Using pre-arranged arrays to render charts
  • From: "Stephen E. Beller" <sbeller@nhds.com>
  • Date: Wed, 3 Mar 2004 10:15:30 -0500
  • Importance: Normal
  • Organization: NHDS, Inc.

Thank you again, Thomas.

I'm coming to the same conclusion: 

XML is wonderful for interchanging data sets between databases, and (XSLT)
transformed XML and VLM are good for static chart creation (and for
rendering lists and tables). There are better data structures, however, for
rendering the kind of interactive (OLAP, pivot table, dynamic) charts that
let users quickly slice and dice the data into many different views. 

It seems to me that converting XML into optimized array configurations and
storing them in a delimited text file is the most efficient way to structure
and transport data for this purpose; and rendering charts from selected
subsets of the arrays is the most efficient way achieve interactive
charting. Unfortunately, browsers aren't set up to do this directly.   

Is that accurate?

If so, it would be great if something can be done to enable browser-based
scripts (or other methods) to read and render portions of arrays from
delimited text files client-side!


-----Original Message-----
From: Thomas B. Passin [mailto:tpassin@comcast.net] 
Sent: Tuesday, March 02, 2004 6:34 PM
To: xml-dev@lists.xml.org
Subject: Re: [xml-dev] Using pre-arranged arrays to render charts

Stephen E. Beller wrote:
> I may be asking XML to do too much in this case. Is there some kind of
> JavaScript called from and XML file, or an IE plug-in, or some other way
> access pre-configured arrays, possibly stored in an external text file,
> apply appropriate parsing and rendering routines to display the chart in a
> browser?

In addition to behaviors, there are various spreadsheet plugins and 
charting plugins for IE, and presumably you can program them with VB or 
javascript.  You could extract the data from the xml document and give 
it to the plugin.

One such control is at


I have not used it, but it says it has a COM version, so it ought to be 
scriptable and usable in IE.

You might also be able to use so-called data binding within IE to get at 
the data.  At least, that can connect xml data to html elements, though 
I am not sure if you can get from there to charting.

Whether you use one of these controls, VML, or whatever, you will 
probably want to get the data out of the XML and into some other data 
structures for easy access by your scripts.


Tom P

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