A Python Programmer's Introduction to Web Visualizations
By Nikhil Gopal
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: October 2014
Run time: 1 hour 48 minutes
Work step-by-step on three simple but compelling D3 visualization examples
Reduce D3’s notoriously heavy learning curve by learning the basics
Walk away with rudimentary understanding of CoffeeScript and D3 that you can apply to other projects immediately
Nikhil Gopal has worked as a programmer, analyst, and scientist at major biotechnology companies such as Affymetrix and Illumina. He’s currently working on his PhD at the University of Washington in Seattle, specializing in novel algorithms and data visualization strategies in the realm of biomedical and health informatics.
Conceptually, this looked interesting: CoffeeScript and D3 from the point of view of a Python programmer rather than a web developer.
Unfortunately it doesn't really work. Two very simple Python scripts are compared and contrasted with CoffeeScript analogues; but there is very limited discussion of CoffeeScript syntax, mostly involving the observation that it sort of looks a bit like Python (though, really, it looks to have more in common with Ruby).
The D3 section is more interesting, but here the pace is increased from the glacial Python section to the other extreme so that chunks of code are glossed over.
The video is really hampered by the screen presentation in the later D3 stages. Three quarters of the screen real estate is wasted by a browser window and terminal that for the most part serve no purpose. The code is pasted into a non-wrapping Sublime text window that is too small to accommodate the line widths, forcing the author to occasionally (but, crucially, not always) scroll to show the end of the lines. Fortunately, there is a blink-or-you-miss-it moment in the introductory video that shows most of the stock market code in a JSPasteBin, so with a bit of effort you can piece it all together. If the code were made available in an online repository, this would be less of an issue.
It's not clear who the intended audience should be. If you don't already know web, JS and some D3, it may be confusing. The Python hook itself is actually a waste of time. As a quick dash around CoffeeScript with D3, it is OK, but not good value for money.
Bottom Line No, I would not recommend this to a friend
Merchant response: Hello Michael,
We really appreciate you taking the time to write this review. I wanted to let you know that the example code has been added for these videos, and can be found where you would watch or download the videos (it is in red to the right). I hope this helps and have a great day!
If you have any further questions or require further assistance, You can contact us at: 1-800-889-8969 or 1-707-827-7019 from outside the USA 7:30 am to 5:00 PST