Friday, April 29, 2005

New version of sparkplot on

Due to positive feedback to my sparkplot post, I registered and made it into a home for the sparkplot module.

I also added another option to sparkplot: -t or --transparency. Setting this option produces a transparent background for the generated PNG image (thanks to usagi for the suggestion).

I was glad to see somebody actually using the sparkplot module at the T&J blog. It looks like visualizing trading data is a natural application of sparklines. I also liked the term used by T to describe the act of embedding sparklines into blog entries: datablogging.


Anonymous said...


I just wanted to clarify a couple of things to avoid any misunderstanding. I did not coin the term "datablogging". I am not sure about its origin, but a quick visit to our favorite search engine produces this.
To quote from that page:

"DataBlogging is the notion that traditional blog entries have extended data fields appended to them to track various things."

Here's how I interpreted the above in the following post. Wordpress has Custom Fields which make datablogging possible.

Additionally, the article states that datablogging includes "graphs that are generated from the extended data attached to each blog." Here's my interpretation here (account balance) and here (win %).

So, consequently sparklines can also be considered as a form of datablogging. Except in my case, the sparklines images are static, whereas all the other graphs are dynamic.

John Hunter has done a fabulous job with matplotlib (all my trading charts are generated with its help) and kudos to you for the sparklines once again!

Anonymous said...

Oh and I forgot to add that I was first introduced to the term datablogging through Matt in his post here.

Grig Gheorghiu said...

T, thanks for the clarifications and for the links. I need to delve more into the datablogging concept, which is really intriguing.

For on-the-fly creation of sparklines via Python (using PIL), see here. It doesn't work with IE, since it uses the data:URI scheme.

Joe Reger said...

Thanks for the posts on datablogging. Please let me know if you have any questions. We thing that datablogging has a lot of potential as a microcontent engine. You should also check out what Bob Wyman is doing at In the coming weeks our datablogging service will allow you to export log types as XML Schema documents and to import XML Schema documents as log types. It'll be a subset of XML Schema functionality to start. The hope is that eventually we have a lot of tools out there supporting this exchange of log types. Currently we have lot type sharing but it's only within our tool. So let me know what you like and what you don't! Best, Joe Reger

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