Unlike Canvas, it seamlessly integrates text with graphics and the output looks the same across browsers and in *print*. Unlike Flash it does not require third party software.
It uses associated CSS styles to draw rectangles (divs with a border) and horizontal or vertical lines (divs with a border on one side). A bit of a hack? You might say that, but it turns out to be very effective for the sort of graphics that I need to create on the fly.
It cannot draw curved lines or arbitrary shapes - hence the name 'ortho' for orthogonal. But for a range of applications it may offer a simple solution for creating sophisticated graphics.
It is built on top of the wonderful Prototype library. As a result it is very amenable to being extended with Prototype and Scriptaculous.
Ortho is released under an MIT-style license.
The initial release only covers 'static' graphics but functions for user interaction and Ajax are under development.
The Ortho project site (http://www.craic.com/ortho) has a number of examples that show you what you can do with the library.
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