Pie Charts in TurboGears

You might of looked at Ralph Bean’s tutorial on graphs and thought, that’s nice but I’d like something different.  The great thing about ToscaWidgets using the jqPlot library is that pretty much anything you can do in jqPlot, you can do in ToscaWidgets and by extension in TurboGears.  You want different graph types? jqPlot has heaps!

My little application needed a Pie Chart to display the overall status of attributes. There are 6 states an attribute can be in: Up, Alert, Down, Testing, Admin Down and Unknown.  The Pie Chart would show them all with some sort of colour representing the status. For this example I’ve used hard-coded data but you would normally extract it from the database using a TurboGears model and possibly some bucket sorting code.

I’ve divided my code into widget specific, which is found in myapp/widgets/attribute.py and the controller code found unsurprisingly at myapp/controllers/attribute.py  Also note that some versions of ToscaWidgets have a bug which means any jqPlot widget won’t work, version 2.0.4 has the fix for issue 80 that explains briefly the bug.

The widget code looks like this:

from tw2.jqplugins.jqplot import JQPlotWidget
from tw2.jqplugins.jqplot.base import pieRenderer_js
import tw2.core as twc

class AttributeStatusPie(JQPlotWidget):
    Pie Chart of the Attributes' Status """
    id = 'attribute-status-pie'
    resources = JQPlotWidget.resources + [

    options = {
            'seriesColors': [ "#468847", "#F89406", "#B94A48", "#999999", "#3887AD", "#222222"],
            'seriesDefaults' : {
                'renderer': twc.js_symbol('$.jqplot.PieRenderer'),
            'legend': {
                'show': True,
                'location': 'e',

Some important things to note are:

  • resources are the way of pulling in the javascript includes that actually do the work, generally if you have something like a renderer using js_symbol further on, it needs to be listed in the resources too.
  • seriesColors is how you make a specific data item a specific colour, or perhaps change the range of colours.  It’s not required if you use the default set, which is defined in the jqPlot options.
  • The renderer tells jqPlot what sort of graph we want, the line above says we want pie


Next the controller needs to be defined:

from myapp.widgets.attribute import AttributeStatusPie

    def statuspie(self):
        data = [[
                ['Up', 20], ['Alert', 7], ['Down', 12], ['Admin Down', 3], ['Testing', 1], ['Unknown', 4],
        pie = AttributeStatusPie(data=data)
        return dict(w=pie)

And that is about it, we now have a controller path attributes/statuspie which shows us the pie chart.
My template is basically a bare template with a ${w.display | n} in it to just show the widget for testing.

Pie Chart in Turbogears
Pie Chart in Turbogears


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