I have used Protovis to create some really interesting charts like the San Francisco Ranked Choice Voting and SFUSD School Assignment by Ethnicity. I have just found out the development of Protovis has pivot into a new library D3. Although I have not learned the detail of D3 yet, I am quite hopeful.
The biggest different seems to be that the chart is directly render into SVG elements rather than through an intermediate library. So we will have full access the the underlying feature of SVG. I'm a strong believer in SVG and I find this an excellent approach. SVG is like the best keep secret on the web. It provide such a powerful vector graphics functionality, yet so few people uses it directly or even understand it. Documentation is scarce however, depsite it has been standardlized so many years ago.
Protovis/D3 use a declarative and functional approach for building chart. I must say this is not intuitive to a programmer like me. And I have struggled a lot to get things right. Yet it has such great promises I am going to spend more time to dig into it.
2011.09.15 comments -