Small, Fast, & Simple

March 12, 2015

d3.js

Small
Fast
Simple

D3.js—for “Data-Driven Documents”—is designed to ease the building of XML documents based on data. Because SVGs are XML, it’s common to see D3 used to create data visualizations with SVG. D3’s creator, Mike Bostock, has created bl.ocks.org to demo example code sourced from GitHub gists. D3 is one of the best-designed JavaScript libraries I’ve used. It makes extensive use of functions rather than class hierarchies, and provides keyword argument-like methods for parameterizing functions. The biggest conceptual hurdle to using D3 is the concept of selections. Fortunately, Mike Bostock writes well and extensively, and has published a large body of examples.