Some serious displacement activity. I'm toying with adding phylogenies to iSpecies, probably sourced from the PhyLoTA browser. This raises the issue of how to display trees on a web page. PhyLoTA itself uses bitmap images, such as this one:
but I'd like to avoid bitmaps. I toyed with using SVG, but that has it's own series of issues (it basically has to be served as a separate file). So, I've spent a couple of hours playing with the <canvas> element. This enables some quite nice drawing to be down in a browser window, without plugins, SVG, or Flash. I wrote a quick PHP script to parse a Newick tree and draw it using <canvas>. It's really pretty simple, and the results are quite nice:
One minor gotcha is interacting with the diagram (this is one advantage of SVG). Turns out we need a hack, so I've used the trick of a blank, transparent GIF and a usemap (see Greg Houston's Canvas Pie Chart with Tooltips). The picture above is a screen shot, you can see a live example here.