[IPython-dev] A fresh approach for plotting?

Jacob Vanderplas jakevdp at cs.washington.edu
Wed Apr 16 16:49:47 EDT 2014

Hi Tim,
This looks very cool! I've been thinking about animations using an approach
somewhat along these lines, and it's great to see a working prototype.
Do you have the tplot code anywhere public?

 Jake VanderPlas
 Director of Research – Physical Sciences
 eScience Institute, University of Washington

On Wed, Apr 16, 2014 at 1:22 PM, Shead, Timothy <tshead at sandia.gov> wrote:

> Gang:
> I am very new to IPython, but it’s had a profound impact on how I do my
> work, in a very short time.  Lately, I’ve been generating lots of animated
> plots using Matplotlib, and JSAnimation to embed them in my notebooks.
>  This works great, but the way JSAnimation does it (it embeds each frame of
> the matplotlib animation as a base64-encoded image into the HTML)  leads to
> excessively large notebooks - my animations typically weigh in around 40MB
> with this approach.  BTW, this is not a dig at Jake Vanderplas, who wrote
> JSAnimation - when I realized how he had integrated it into the IPython
> rich display, I was blown away by the possibilities :-)
> So anyway, I’ve started working on a toy plotting library that generates
> SVG plots with animation, and integrates well with notebooks.  You can see
> and play-back a live demo at
> http://nbviewer.ipython.org/gist/anonymous/b7a626c3f6cac6d2be3b
> Even though it’s in the very early stages, I think that letting-go of
> bitmaps and targeting browser + SVG as the primary backend is an
> interesting new direction for a plotting library.  The results are
> lightweight, gorgeous on a retina display, and introduce new possibilities
> for interaction.  I’ll admit, it’s also a guilty pleasure to design my own
> API and get rid of the Matplotlib cruft ;-)  I’d be curious to get some
> opinions on whether this idea could have traction.  Is anyone else taking
> this approach?
> Many thanks,
> Tim
> Timothy M. Shead
> Sandia National Laboratories
> 1461, Scalable Analysis and Visualization
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