Open Flash Chart — BEST FREE SWF CHARTS
Open Flash Chart, is open source. It is free to use and you get the source code to fiddle with!
Hello, this is the Open Flash Chart project.
Get graphs like this for free:
How does it work?
- User browses to your web site.
- The browser downloads the web page which contains the Open Flash Chart.
- Open Flash Chart downloads the data file and displays the chart.
When you add Open Flash Chart to your web page, you tell it where to find the data file.
Why is that great?
When the user downloads the web page, Open Flash Chart requests the chart data from the server. The server knows who the user is so it can generate a chart for that particular user showing up to the minute data.
Is it complicated to set up?
You will need to include the Open Flash Chart in your HTML, and you also need to provide the data file on the server. The data file is either a text file, or a .php, Perl, Python, Java (or another flavour of dynamic) page.
For a simple chart you would just drop the data.txt file on your website and point the Open Flash Chart to this URL.
But what we really want is dynamic data that is pulled from a database or calculated or something. To do this you need to create the data file when it is requested. To do this we point the Open Flash Chart to a .php page and this PHP page does your calculations and/or database lookups, then outputs the data file.
To make this a bit easier there are PHP, Perl, Python and Java classes to write the data file for you.
Why only these languages? Well any scripting language will do the same job. But I don’t have access to anything but PHP. If anyone wants to translate the PHP class into a different language, then email me and I’ll post your code and a link to your web site here. The link to your site will be great for your page rank!
And it’s really free?!
Yes. Once upon a time I had to deal with a company who sell flash charting components, their component had a bug that I needed fixing, so I emailed them about it asking when it’d be fixed. (Remember that I had paid real money for this software.) They were so incompetent, rude and obnoxious that after three or four weeks of emails I thought to myself “I could learn Flash and Actionscript and write my own charting component, release it as Open Source, host it on sourceforge and build up a community of helpful coders faster than they can fix a single bug.” And that is what I did. And that is why it is free. I guess the moral of the lesson is: don’t piss off your customers.