Sunday, October 4, 2009

Catalyst Sparklines

At work we maintain several platforms along the Texas coast that collect various physical parameters in or near the waters of the Gulf of Mexico or bay systems. In order to maintain the quality of the data, we have a QC process that displays a series of graphs that show the last 7 days of data collected at each station. A human reviews these graphs each morning to look for potential problems which are noted and forwarded to the field crew and the IT staff so that they may be resolved.

Over the last few months one of the ideas that's come up to improve the QC process is to use sparklines to get a high level overview at a glance rather than the larger graphs that we currently use. Since we're in the process of turning this legacy application grown over the last 19 years into something that uses more modern tools such as Moose and Catalyst, I thought I'd see how difficult it would be to implement sparkline-QC in Catalyst.

Turns out it was ueber-easy because earlier today I ran across this entry in last year's Catalyst Advent Calendar. So, now in the span of an hour or so I've got a working prototype generating sparklines for all of the data series at each station similar to the way we generate graphs for our QC page. Hooray for Perl, CPAN, and Catalyst!

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