I'm looking for a nice way to present a timeline with something seemingly simple; whether a machine is (was) on/off (up/down).

My dataset has 1 entry per minute with TRUE/FALSE for up/down.

Most chart scripts are able to handle serious complicated datasets in multiple flavours, but not simple on/off stuff.

I'm already using Highcharts and Highstock on my site. While I'd prefer to use that, I'm absolutely open for any alternatives or even complete different solutions.

  • 1
    Does HighCharts include any specific set of graphs that you feel might initially work? Can you include images of them here so we can discuss the pros/cons of each for your situation? – Daniel Brown Mar 4 '16 at 18:56
  • Wouldn't on/off be values just like any other data set? I think a line chart or histogram would do the job just fine. – Merrily Mar 4 '16 at 19:07
  • Is a graph necessary? I assume nearly every value is going to be UP, with few DOWNs. Why not just list the down times? – Ken Mohnkern Mar 4 '16 at 20:24
  • @KenMohnkern good point for tech/no-nonsense viewers, but I want to emphasize on the positive things. 3 minutes downtime on a 1 week graph doesn't look as bad as 3 separate text lines telling the same thing. – EDP Mar 13 '16 at 10:26
  • For pure aesthetic reasons I've changed my approach. Instead of UP/DOWN I'm going to show optical power dBm's. These change a bit every minute and are visually less boring than the boolean. Zero dBm is obviously down. – EDP Mar 13 '16 at 10:33

How about using step line, where TRUE/FALSE will be represented 1/0 ? For example: http://jsfiddle.net/emmpmca5/

series: [{
  data: [0, 0, 0, 1, 0, 0, 0, 1, 1, 1],
  step: 'center' // or right/left

I think you can consider something like a boolean value sparkline chart, which simply has a fixed height for positive or negative values that you assign to the UP or DOWN state.

How useful it is to display timeline information this way is another thing you need to consider. If it is going to be UP most of the time (which is what people would expect), I think there would be more value in displaying the current status and simply noting the last time that the service was down. Conversely, if the current status is down then you can show the time value for when the service was last up.

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