First of all, I would like to say that I am really excited about canvas/svg drawing and the possibility to implement charting libraries using it. I do believe that this technology is absolutely right for the future, it will demonstrate astonishing capabilities once WebGL and web workers are streamlined and widely supported.
However, over the past year, Ive used the charting library provided by ExtJS 4.x extensively and realized that this technology at its current state cannot satisfy the needs of a serious charting application, nor do I foresee it improving fast enough to be able to match the functionality/performance required now.

Therefore, I would like to discuss the possibility of bringing back flash charts as a fallback option for this transition period.

The rationale of this request is (and why svg/canvas charts are not enough):

  • Charts are drawn by JavaScript, the more charts you have and the more complex they are, the more single-threaded JavaScript cpu cycles you are going to lose while drawing them. As a result, other elements have to wait -> unresponsive and sluggish application. Web workers will probably fix this, but how far away are we?
  • Canvas is a part of DOM, the more charts you have and the more complex they are, the larger and slower your DOM becomes -> unresponsive and sluggish application.
  • All kinds of compatibility issues with older browsers and even new ones (recent Chrome 18 update). It looks like there is more to follow.
  • Limited ability to animate/prettify due to the aforementioned reasons. The result is: my charts dont look better than yours, and we all know how sales are usually made!

Again, these limitations do not apply to some toy charts where you want to show how many bananas someone sold this year and what would next year look like, but rather when you want to display 10 line charts with 10 series consisting of 1000 data points, or couple of stacked bar charts with 150 series each while having some other complex layouts on the same page/other tabs.

Please +1 if you would like to see flash charts as a fallback option.

Also if you have use cases exposing svg/canvas inability to deliver, please add here!
Thank you