Matplotlib and MVPΒΆ

The next step towards the goal of creating a GUI that allows users to manipulate a sine wave plot, is to produce the plot itself.

For the purposes of this tutorial it is assumed that the user is familiar with Matplotlib, if not see Matplotlib documentation.

The Matplotlib functions could be considered to be a Model or a View and there is no correct answer to which. It could be a Model as it does something with the data, however it could be considered to be a view as (in this case) it is used purely as a visual representation. This ambiguity is why MVP is only a pattern and not a set of rules. On this occasion it has been decided that it should be a View.

This view will exist alongside with the view from the exercise. So we will need to call it something different, such as PlotView.

The View has the following imports:

from __future__ import (absolute_import, division, print_function)
import PyQt4.QtGui as QtGui
import PyQt4.QtCore as QtCore
import matplotlib.pyplot as plt

from matplotlib.backends.backend_qt4agg import FigureCanvasQTAgg as FigureCanvas

The fourth line imports Matplotlib and the last line allows it to interface with the GUI.

The main class is shown below and contains methods for adding data to the plot and creating an empty plot (no data).

class PlotView(QtGui.QWidget):
    def __init__(self, parent=None):
        super(PlotView, self).__init__(parent)

        self.figure = plt.figure()
        grid = QtGui.QVBoxLayout(self)
        self.canvas = self.getWidget()

    def draw(self):
        ax = self.figure.add_subplot(111)
        ax.set_xlim([0.0, 10.5])
        ax.set_ylim([-1.05, 1.05])
        ax.set_xlabel("time ($s$)")
        return ax

    def getWidget(self):
        return FigureCanvas(self.figure)

    def addData(self, xvalues, yvalues, colour, marker):
        ax = self.draw()
        ax.plot(xvalues, yvalues, color=colour, marker=marker, linestyle="--")

The draw method creates the plot area without any data. The widget is obtained from the getWidget function. The final method adds data to the plot area, the self.canvas.draw() updates the plot area so it will contain the data.