API documentation

httpgd can be accessed both from R and from HTTP/WebSockets.

Overview

R HTTP Description
hgd() Initialize device and start server.
hgd_close() Helper: Close device.
hgd_url() Helper: URL generation.
hgd_browse() Helper: Open browser.
hgd_state() /state Get current server state.
hgd_renderers() /renderers Get list of available renderers.
hgd_svg() /svg Get rendered SVG. (Deprecated)
hgd_plot() /plot Get rendered plot (any format).
hgd_clear() /clear Remove all plots.
hgd_remove() /remove Remove a single plot.
hgd_id() /plots Get static plot IDs.
/ Welcome message.
/live Live server page.

Get state

While all the APIs can be accessed stateless, the graphics device does have a state defined by.

Field Type Description
upid int Update id. Changes when plots are removed or when something is drawn.
hsize int Number of plots in the history.
active bool Whether the graphics device is active. When another graphics device is activated, the device will become inactive and not be able to render any plots that are not cached (no resizes).

To receive state changes as they happen WebSockets can be used. Alternatively /state may be polled repeatedly.

From R

hgd_state()

Will respond with a list object including fields containing host, port and security token of the server.

From HTTP

/state
Key Value Default
token Security token. (The X-HTTPGD-TOKEN header can be set alternatively.)

Will respond with a JSON object.

From WebSockets

httpgd accepts WebSocket connections on the same port as the HTTP server. Server state changes will be broadcasted immediately to all connected clients in JSON format.

Get Renderers

httpgd includes multiple renderers that can dynamically render plots to different target formats. As new formats may be added as the development on httpgd continues, and some depend on optional system dependencies, a list of available renderers can be obtained during runtime.

The following is a complete list of renderers.

ID Mime-Type Renderer Format Depends
svg image/svg+xml Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG). string
svgp image/svg+xml Version of the SVG renderer that produces portable SVGs. string
json application/json Plot data serialized to JSON format. string
png image/png Portable Network Graphics (PNG). binary Cairo
pdf application/pdf Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF). binary Cairo
ps application/postscript PostScript (PS). string Cairo
eps application/postscript Encapsulated PostScript (EPS). string Cairo
tikz text/plain LaTeX TikZ code. string
strings text/plain List of plot strings. string
meta application/json Plot meta information. string

From R

hgd_renderers()

Will respond with a list object.

From HTTP

/renderers
Key Value Default
token Security token. (The X-HTTPGD-TOKEN header can be set alternatively.)

Render plot

Plots can be rendered in various file formats from both R and HTTP. The actual plot construction in R is relatively slow so httpgd caches the plot in the last requested size. Subsequent calls with the same width and height or without a size specified will always be fast. (This way “flipping” through plot pages is very fast.)

From R

Example:

hgd_plot(page = 3, width = 800, height = 600) # Get plot at index 3 with 800*600
hgd_plot() # Get last plot with cached size

page can either be a number to indicate a plot index or a static plot ID (see: hgd_id()).

This function returns the plot as a string. The file attribute can be used to save the SVG directly to disk.

From HTTP

Example:

/plot?index=2&width=800&height=600

Parameters:

Key Value Default
width With in pixels. Last rendered width. (Initially device width.)
height Height in pixels. Last rendered height. (Initially device height.)
zoom Zoom level. 1 (No zoom). 0.5 would be 50% and 2 200%.
index Plot history index. Newest plot.
id Static plot ID. index will be used.
renderer Renderer. svg.
token Security token. (The X-HTTPGD-TOKEN header can be set alternatively.)

Note that the HTTP API uses 0-based indexing and the R API 1-based indexing. This is done to conform to R and JavaScript on both ends. (This means the the first plot is accessed with /svg?index=0 and hgd_svg(page = 1).)

Render SVG

This API is deprecated and will be removed in the future.

hgd_svg() and /svg are equivalent to hgd_plot() and /plot as the default renderer is SVG.

Remove plots

From R

Examples:

hgd_remove(page = 2) # Remove the second page
hgd_clear() # Clear all pages

From HTTP

Examples:

/remove?index=2
/clear
Key Value Default
index Plot history index. Newest plot.
id Static plot ID. index will be used.
token Security token. (The X-HTTPGD-TOKEN header can be set alternatively.)

Get static IDs

The problem with requesting individual plots by index is, that a plots index will change when earlier plots are removed from the plot history. To circumvent this, each plot also is assigned a static ID.

All APIs that access individual plots can also be called with static IDs instead of indices.

From R

Examples:

hgd_id(index = 2) # Static ID of the second plot
hgd_id() # Static ID of the last plot

Note: The limit parameter can be adjusted to obtain multiple or all plot IDs.

From HTTP

Examples:

/plots?index=2
/plots
Key Value Default
index Plot history index. Newest plot.
limit Number of subsequent plot IDs. 1
token Security token. (The X-HTTPGD-TOKEN header can be set alternatively.)

Notes:

Security

A security token can be set when starting the device:

hgd(..., token = "secret")

When set, each API request has to include this token inside the header X-HTTPGD-TOKEN or as a query param ?token=secret. token is by default set to TRUE to generate a random 8 character alphanumeric token. If it is set to a number, a random token of that length will be generated. FALSE deactivates the security token.

CORS is off by default but can be enabled on startup:

hgd(..., cors = TRUE)