[reportlab-users] Chart axes bugs

Andy Robinson reportlab-users@reportlab.com
Mon, 10 Nov 2003 02:51:01 -0000

> The chart stuff seems like having made a big entropy jump, where
> things like _makeLines could probably entirely be replaced with
> grids. 

Lots of stuff could be replaced, but it is stable and works.
I think the main deficiency is really that it does not
have enough documentation on which properties are there
for what.  I'm much more interested now in trying to
position ourselves for a more drastic rewrite which might
merge lots of disparate areas, than for refactoring the
existing charts.  

Of course, "position ourselves" basically means getting 
ReportLab a bit bigger to the point where we can devote 
the needed resources to this kind of development, and do
really good "version 2" rewrites of things based on what
we know now. But we're doing well on that front now, with
3 more full time staff than we had in the summer all learning
their way around.  Hey, we might even have the resources
to write a test case or two and set up a bug tracker in
2004 some time :-)

> I think it looks more and more like VisualBasic... ;-)

I will take that as a compliment.  If by that you mean lots 
of property assignment statements like

  drawing.chart.xAxis.gridLines.blah.blah = 'spam'

then there's a sound reason for this, and in fact for
why VB code often looks like it does.  If you are making a framework
to be edited by GUIs or with preprty editors - and we do have a 
basic visual editor in our commercial toolkit, albeit not one your 
mother could use - then pretty soon you realize that "everything must 
be exposed as a property".

In the long run, ideally, entire document workflows should
be able to be constructed semi-visually in GUIs, which
means setting properties and adding things to their parents. 
This might mean making our whole framework look like Visual
Basic.  Or like XML.  Or whatever else is fashionable at the 
time I guess ;-)

- Andy