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WordPress Simple Graph Plugin

One of the downsides of working for IBM (and frankly, there aren’t that many), is that most of the work I do is usually under a pretty strict NDA. I’m learning a lot about the innards of database and High Availability and Disaster Recovery, but I can’t actually go blogging about it 🙁 However, IBM support a lot of open-source work and so they actually understand it (many companies I’ve worked for don’t). So long as you let your manager know what you’re working on and it isn’t something that competes with IBM products (fair enough, if I’m doing DB2 internals all day, I shouldn’t go work on MySQL internals on weekends for a dozen different reasons), then you can hack away on anything you want in your spare time.

That in mind, I’m finally getting back to some coding in my spare time (what little of it I have), and I’m starting slowly with some maintenance work on a WordPress Plugin called Simple Graph. You can see it in action over on my training blog, it’s what’s making the graph on the right of the page that tracks my weight:

Simple Graph sidebar widget
Simple Graph sidebar widget

It’s just a very simple widget for taking in hand-entered numerical data and plotting it dates.  The codebase has stagnated since 2007, so its author has given me permission to maintain it, and I have a list of things I want from it before I’ll call it done:

  • Clean commented code without any PHP warnings or notices
  • Fully WordPress 3.1 compatible
  • All options working as documented
  • Documentation updated to be more accurate and expansive
  • Better SQL query structure
  • More checking of input data
  • Multiple graphs working
  • Shorttag substitution in posts working

Once that’s done, I have a small list of features I want to add to it:

  • CSV import and export of data
  • Area graphs
  • More options to control graphics – line thickness, grids, background options, etc.
  • Use more GD features to give better looking end results
  • Use more Google Chart API features for better looking end results

Once that lot is done, we should be up to version 1.10 or thereabouts. I’ll post up a roadmap on the Simple Graph page I’m putting up later on. If you’re using the plugin and have any features you’d like to see, let me know using the comments below.

So far, I’m about a third of the way into cleaning up the code and commenting as I go. Feels good to finally be working on something for fun again..


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