So... D3.jsI'm a fan.
I thought Protovis was cool. And it was.
Then like all good evolutionary processes D3 was born from the Protovis experience.
Mike Bostock is clearly a pretty clever guy and I don't know about you, but damn, he is prolific in producing content, answering questions and still manages to keep down a day job. Dude, you're making just about everyone look bad. Seriously though. Nice job.
So why a blog?
Hmm... Why indeed.
I've been collating the lessons I've been learning while playing with D3 and I'd like to give something back to the community. The main problem is that I don't know that what I have to give is worthwhile. I know that it's all about the contribution (it's the thought that counts right?) but frankly, I know some people who just shouldn't. There is a serious possibility that I'm one of those guys.
My skill level is low and as a result, I've needed to come to terms with a (fairly large) number of details on all manner of things Internet to get to do what I want to do which is play with graphics and data via D3.
In so doing, I make a lot of mistakes and have needed to learn some really embarrassingly simple things. And because I am a simple man I have needed to try and note down what I'm doing so that I don't forget.
The end result of this is that I have found myself in possession of some very noob ways of using D3 which may be useful to people in the same situation.
So I'd like to provide this back to the community.
As it turns out, this isn't as simple as it sounds, since if you want to publish some sort of weighty tome (that includes technical bits and pictures 'n stuff), you need to do so in a format that quite frankly makes me think the process is all too hard. I mean, what I want is a way to publish a document and have people who wish to get updates to it be alerted when there is a new improved version to download. Sounds pretty reasonable. But no. There's too much emphasis on profit and margins and other unsavory topics. Don't get me wrong. Money's ok, and I've had advice that I should encourage payment so that it encourages me to put out a more professional product. So I'm considering a donation scheme in the longer term if I actually press forward with this in any meaningful way (and anyone cares :-)).
So I've had another thought...
What if I just write a blog and provide people with the opportunity to subscribe via email so that if they want to get an update when I update the document it will let them know?
Hmm.... A cunning plan...
Then people can simple download the document when and if they want to (completely freely of course).
So, the idea appeals... Will it work? I have no idea. But this is the first post on a blog that might be a solution to my dilemma.
Let's see how it goes....
Update: January 2013:
Well, after a fair bit of trial and error, I think I've come across a mechanism that will work for distributing the manual. You can get access to a couple of different copies at a download page here: Or directly from a fantastic provider of a publishing service, Leanpub, here.
There are also some code examples available from the downloads page.