CairoPlot Makes Pretty Python Plotting a Possibility
Intro to CairoPlot
Data aficionados constantly on the lookout for better ways to display charts and graphs will appreciate CairoPlot. ServerWatch looks at this Python-based plotting software that is pretty enough to impress even the most jaded Mac user.
As a data junkie, I'm forever looking for better ways to display charts and graphs, especially from Python. There are lots of Python plotting packages available, but if you want output that's pretty enough that even your Mac friends will be impressed, consider using CairoPlot.
CairoPlot isn't packaged for most distros, but it's an easy install. The current release is version 1.1 at the CairoPlot Launchpad page. You can download the cairoplot-1.1.tar.gz from there, or check it out with bzr if you prefer. (Once 1.2 is ready the project may move to Sourceforge.)
First, extract the tarball:
then, copy one file, cairoplot-1.1/CairoPlot.py, to the directory where you'll be developing your Python script.
Pie Charts: Who's Sending Spam?
When playing with plotting, finding a good source of data is always the first step. For this project, let's analyze a Postfix log file, /var/log/mail.info to look at the sources of one class of spam.
A casual glimpse through the file reveals we're getting a lot of mail delivery attempts where the sender claims an address that doesn't really exist, like this one: