SVGGraph subgraphs

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Added in version 3.1, subgraphs allow you to draw graphs on top of other graphs. These subgraphs can have their own values, options, links, colours, and can also have their own subgraphs.

Adding a subgraph

This is a simple example to show how to use subgraphs. The main graph is a LineGraph showing the start of the Fibonacci sequence, and the subgraph is another LineGraph showing the reciprocals of each of the values in the main graph.

LineGraph containing another LineGraph

Here is the code that creates the outer graph, adds the subgraph, then draws both of them:

$graph = new Goat1000\SVGGraph\SVGGraph(600, 200, $settings);

$subgraph = $graph->subgraph('LineGraph', 45, 2, 280, 130, null, $inner_settings);


The first two lines are the normal setup and value assigment for a graph, then the next two lines create a subgraph and assigns values to that. The last line renders the outer LineGraph and automatically renders the subgraph on top.

The subgraph function

The most important new part in that code is the subgraph function, whis is supported by the main SVGGraph class and also the Subgraph class for adding subgraphs to subgraphs. The function has a declaration that looks like this:

function subgraph($type, $x, $y, $w, $h, $settings = null, $extra = null)

The $type argument is the graph type to add, which can be any of the types supported by SVGGraph. The example draws a LineGraph in another LineGraph, but they could just as easily be a PieGraph in a GroupedBarGraph or a RadarGraph in a CylinderGraph.

The $x and $y arguments are where the top-left corner of the subgraph goes, relative to the parent graph. The example is using absolute pixel positions, but you could also use negative values to specify distances from the left and bottom edges of the outer graph, or grid coordinates to position the subgraph relative to the parent graph's grid.

$w and $h are the width and height of the subgraph, and also support negative values to position the right and bottom edges relative to the parent graph. Grid coordinates are supported for the width and height too.

Subgraph settings

The optional $settings and $extra are for passing arrays of options to the subgraph. When neither of the arguments are set, the settings from the parent graph are passed to the subgraph without alteration.

When the $settings argument is set, its value is passed to the subgraph instead of the parent's settings. The subgraph can be made to use the default settings by passing an empty array as the $settings option:

// main graph uses $outer_settings
$graph = new Goat1000\SVGGraph\SVGGraph(600, 200, $outer_settings);

// subgraph using new settings
$subgraph = $graph->subgraph('LineGraph', 10, 10, 200, 100, $subgraph_settings);

// subgraph using default settings
$subgraph = $graph->subgraph('LineGraph', 210, 10, 200, 100, []);

The $extra argument can be used to pass extra settings to the subgraph - these are merged in with the main options set with $settings or inherited from the parent graph:

// main graph uses $outer_settings
$graph = new Goat1000\SVGGraph\SVGGraph(600, 200, $outer_settings);

// subgraph using $subgraph_settings and $more_settings
$subgraph = $graph->subgraph('LineGraph', 10, 10, 200, 100, $subgraph_settings, $more_settings);

// subgraph using $outer_settings and $more_settings
$subgraph = $graph->subgraph('LineGraph', 210, 10, 200, 100, null, $more_settings);

There is no need to use the $settings or $extra arguments if the main graph and subgraph(s) are to share all the same options.

Return value - the Subgraph class

When you call the subgraph function it creates an instance of the Subgraph class and attaches it to the parent graph before returning it. The Subgraph class behaves a lot like the SVGGraph class, supporting the functions to add values and links, set the colours and creating new subgraphs.

The Subgraph class does not support the fetch or render functions though - subgraphs are only drawn as part of the parent graph's output.

Values and links

SVGGraph doesn't automatically assign any values or links to subgraphs - to do that you must call the values and links functions of the Subgraph object returned from the subgraph function call.

If you want the subgraph to use the same values as the outer graph, just pass the same array of values to both.


The colours used by subgraphs are inherited from their parent graph - unless you use any of the colour functions on the Subgraph object.


Subgraphs are just graphs that sit inside other graphs, so naturally they also support subgraphs. To add a subgraph to a subgraph, just use the same subgraph function on the Subgraph object:

Subgraph in subgraph

The updated code for drawing the pie graph inside the inner line graph is below:

$graph = new Goat1000\SVGGraph\SVGGraph(600, 200, $settings);

$subgraph = $graph->subgraph('LineGraph', 45, 2, 280, 130, null, $inner_settings);

$subsubgraph = $subgraph->subgraph('PieGraph', 'g7', 'gt', 'u3', 'u3x', $settings, $pie_settings);
$subsubgraph->colourRangeHexHSL(0, '#f00', '#00f', true);


The PieGraph is drawn at 'g7' and 'gt' which means 7 units along the X axis and at the grid top. The width and height are 'u3' and 'u3x' to give 3 X-axis units in both directions.

The sub-subgraph is using the same $settings array as the outermost graph, but with a few extra options added from the $pie_settings array. I haven't shown them here, but they adjust the padding and turn off the background fill.

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