[SciPy-dev] Re: Open Office

eric jones eric at enthought.com
Sat Aug 3 15:46:17 CDT 2002

Hey Mark,

> All right Eric.  I'm not very well acquainted with Chaco.  It will
> take a while to learn about this project.

For info on Chaco, look here:


> The only points I would make in OO's defence are that it already
> offers a well engineered component / multi-language architecture.
> The whole emphasis of their new chart effort is a UNO-compliant
> chart layer.  UNO supports Java and Python along with C++.
> I would advise not forming fixed opinions until you have
> actually investigated their code and documents.
> Possibly they might even adopt Chaco as their engine.  With UNO it's
> not a question of disentangling huge C++ libraries.  It's more a
> question of writing UNO plug-ins in any supported language.

As far as examining the docs of OO, it is always a matter of where to
invest time.  In the "research phase" before we began coding, I looked
at probably 15 different graphics libraries for a couple of weeks ( I
didn't find OO at the time).  The chosen direction was based on my best
judgment of what balanced power, implementation effort, and ease in
portability.  I'm happy to say that I still agree with the decision to
build a DisplayPDF engine.  This isn't always the case with early design
decisions that I have to live with later in the project. :-)

There are a zillion component architectures out there -- COM, XPCOM,
CORBA, in a way, Zope3., UNO, etc.  Hopefully, once Chaco is mature, and
if it proves useful beyond the Python community, interfaces for these
architectures will be created because components are extremely powerful.
For now, we're focusing on building the graphics engine in a platform
independent way.  
> Another thing -- do not force Chaco users into one class library
> like wxPython.  There are many others.  The OO views framework is one.
> FOX is another.  And I'm getting more and more interested in a library
> called Visual Component Framework on Sourceforge which to my mind has
> the best architecture of any open source project including wx and Qt.

One if Chaco's primary design goals is to be platform independent.
Currently, we have decent functionality in wxPython, PDF, and native Mac
OSX.  OpenGL also has reasonable start.  I'd be very glad to see OO
backends written, etc.  If they have a "drawing" canvas, then it is a
matter of mapping the low level API of Chaco onto their canvas.  The low
level API is based on DisplayPDF.

Thanks for all your comments,

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