Tech Tock

Time is of the essence.

XCeed Chart Axis Labels

Maybe its me, but XCeed scatter charts don’t seem to play very well with labels.  Showing numbers or dates on the axes is directly supported and there are good examples, but there are no examples for labels in scatter charts.

Here’s a solution I used:

Convert your labels to numbers (e.g. for states: AK = 0, AL = 1…) and then set the points in the chart (the x value here would be the state number):

  foreach (var point in points){     

   points.AddPoint(point.Y, point.X, point.Z);


Use a custom label at every number:

Axis axis = theChart.Axis(StandardAxis.PrimaryX);

foreach(var state in states)


AxisLabel label = axis.CustomLabels.Add(); 

label.TextProps.Backplane.Visible = false;

label.TextProps.Border.Width = 0;

label.Value = state.Number;

label.Text = state.Abbreviation;


Then just tell your numbers to disappear with a “no thanks I don’t want any numbers” format:

theChart.Axis(axis).ValueFormatting.Format =               ValueFormat.CustomNumber;

theChart.Axis(axis).ValueFormatting.CustomFormat = "\\";

If you’re interested in a full working demo, leave a comment.  I may get around to it eventually.  If anyone can point me to the census data that might be helpful too.

November 13, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

@Lab this Week

A weekly roundup of interesting things I hear about at the Lab, since this is the first one, it covers a bit more than a week.

A couple of Flex developers commented that WPF and Silverlight are so much more mature, easier and feature rich.  They were half right as this popular diagram shows:

Some UX designers working with Expression Blend said it’s not horrible, so now I don’t feel too bad asking them to use it.

This fun character interaction chart was much discussed (small version here).  I think it gives an interesting summary of some great movies.  It may bear a resemblance to the Napoleon March Map.

And the movie Primer, with the scribbly chart, is about time travel.  One commenter suggests the creator of the chart didn’t understand the movie, but it looks like a movie I’ve got to see.

Who builds domain specific languages? I just met a couple of guys @Lab and it makes more sense than I thought.  One application is to build a really small and focused keyword set so users can write programs they can validate and maintain.

MongoDB (from “humongous”) “is a high-performance, open source, schema-free document-oriented database.”  That’s heavy verbiage to say you can store and retrieve and you don’t have to design your database, whatever you send it, it will just save for you, no tables, no troubles.   Looks great for a lot of web storage needs. We had a seminar @Lab and document oriented dbs seem to have a definite niche. CouchDB is another product in the space.

Its hard to see a parade when you’re 20 stories over it, but throwing stuff was loads of fun:

06-11-09_1127 (2).croppedjpg
A Million Stringless Kites
Also mentioned Treasury, F#Scrum, Java Meetup 11/11, VS 2010 Beta 2 Now Available, Apple Mouse, More Mice, Free Money From High Frequency Trading, Agile Boston 11/25

November 7, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Google Gapminder — The Coolest Stats You’ll Ever See Animated

Check out GapMinder, the chart that shows changes in data with animation and you can use it on your web pages free!

It looks cool and its educational.

November 7, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment