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Flotomatic is a Rails wrapper around the flot javascript graphing library.

Flotomatic was originally developed for graphing migraine histories on

Known issues:

  • Zooming in / out with overview plot only works after zooming in with the main plot one initial time

  • When selecting datasets using the flot_selections div, the plot zoom is lost… it zooms all the way out


To install the flotomatic plugin:

script/plugin install git://

The following rake tasks are also available:

  • rake # spec by default, runs specs

  • rake rdoc # create documentation in rdoc folder

  • rake install # (re)copies the public javascript and stylesheet files - this is done automatically on install


Please note this is not intended to be a complete working an example. It's purpose is only to illustrate some of what you can do through the API.

It assumes a couple of collections have been created (@journals, @migraines) with very specific attributes on them. For a working example see the walk through here:

I've recently included a working example in the project under the example directory. Just start up script/server in the example/ subdirectory and navigate to localhost:3000/flotomatic


@flot ='graph') do |f|
  f.grid :hoverable => true
  f.selection :mode => "xy"
  f.filter {|collection| {|j| j.entry_date < Date.parse("7/8/2007")}}
  f.series_for("Stress", @journals, :x => :entry_date, :y => :stress_rating)
  f.series_for("Hours of Sleep", @migraines, :x => :entry_date, :y => :hours_of_sleep)
  f.series_for("Restful Night?", @migraines, :x => :entry_date, :y => lambda {|record| record.restful_night ? 5 : 0 }, :options => {:points => {:show => true}, :bars => {:show => false}})
  f.series_for("Migraines", @migraines, :x => :entry_date, :y => lambda {|record| record.migraine? ? 4 : nil }, :options => {:points => {:show => true}, :bars => {:show => false}})


<%= flot_includes %>

<h2>Graph the following items</h2>

<div class='flot_dataset_picker'>
	<%= flot_selections %>

<h2>My Graph</h2>

<%= flot_canvas("graph") %>

<h2>Zoom In / Out</h2>

<%= flot_overview("asdflkjasdf") %>

<!-- do the actual plotting... -->
<% flot_graph("graph", @flot) do %>
	<%= flot_plot(:dynamic => true, :overview => true) %>
	<%= flot_tooltip %>
<% end %>

Flotomatic Javascript Reference

Within the <% flot_graph %> block you will have access to the flotomatic variable.

The flotomatic variable is created with the id of the canvas div, the data, and options supplied through the Flot object passed in to the flot_graph call. For instance:

<% flot_graph("canvas", @flot) %> 

// Results in the following:
var flotomatic = new Flotomatic("canvas",, @flot.options)

Flotomatic methods

Plotting Methods

// actually draws the plot with $.plot
draw: function(placeholder, data, initialOptions, ranges, dynamic, zoom)

// calls draw & sets flotomatic.plot to the returned plot handle 
graph: function(overview, dynamic)

// dynamically graphs with choice input checkboxes for each dataset in
graphDynamic: function()

// plots the overview (zoom in / out) graph
graphOverview: function()

Tooltip Methods

createTooltip: function(tooltipFormatter)

// default tooltipFormatter
tooltipFormatter: function(item) {
	var date 	 = new Date(item.datapoint[0]),
		label    = item.series.label;

	return label + ": " + item.datapoint[1] + " on " + (date.getMonth() + 1) + "/" + date.getDate() + "</a>";

Copyright © 2009 Michael Cowden, released under the MIT license