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Getting Started with D3 Paperback – July 10, 2012

ISBN-13: 978-1449328795 ISBN-10: 1449328792 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 70 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (July 10, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1449328792
  • ISBN-13: 978-1449328795
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 7 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #580,658 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Book Description

Creating Data-Driven Documents

About the Author

Mike Dewar is a data-scientist at Bitly, a New York tech company that makes long URLs shorter. He has a PhD in modelling dynamic systems from data from the University of Sheffield in the UK, and has worked as a Machine Learning post-doc in The University of Edinburgh and Columbia University. He has been drawing graphs regularly since he was in High School, and is starting to get the hang of it.


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Customer Reviews

I've seen puddles with greater depth than this book.
Zuffalupogous
I noticed a few mistakes in the code of the printed book, and at times the writing wasn't very good, in the style of an informal blog post.
Matthew Reed
You would still be confused if you read the whole book and went back to the d3 documentation.
deepu

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Ysgard on July 25, 2012
Format: Paperback
Not so much a book as an 'at-a-glance' pamphlet. Does a adequate job of introducing you to D3, but not more so than the existing examples on the d3js.org.

I wanted to work with the live data, but the author does little more than provide 'data cleaner' Python scripts to produce JSON from the live sources that he selected - the New York transit system. Python scripts that required modules outside of Python's standard library. Really? At least he provided canned data, but D3's strength is working with living data, and that's not really explored here.

The book also feels sloppily written, with many niggling errors. For example, the skeleton html provided references to the 'd3.js' file, but since February this file has been supplanted by 'd3.v2.js'. Was there really no time to correct this fundamental error before the book came out in late July? D3 makes extensive use of 'cascading' functions, but no real effort was put in to explain or show, with diagrams, how they work in D3. Considering that this is probably the greatest hurdle for newbies to get over, the lack of serious treatment is appalling.

The examples are good - I can't really fault them, and the subtle repetition does drive home the core D3 process. But it doesn't feel like enough. The author's refuses to even explain the basics of anything other than throwing a graph up. For certain, this book is supposed to be about D3, not data munging or manipulation - but considering how important SVG is to D3 and its use, I was surprised to see a mere half-page given to the image format. Amusingly, the author notes "We've no space to go into SVG in detail here..." No space? The book is 58 pages long. It could use some more padding with useful information.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By ANDREW on December 19, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Way overpriced for the content. This book feels more like a teaser. Where's the beef?! The author does not give any insight into several D3 graphs such as Chord Graphs. To the author: Keep working please.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By deepu on October 23, 2012
Format: Paperback
The book hardly touches the features of d3 and doesn't discuss the library in any detail. It is a good starting point for someone interested in taking a first look at d3, but ends abruptly, leaving you nowhere. You would still be confused if you read the whole book and went back to the d3 documentation.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By F on December 13, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is of no value. The books is very short, contains only the most simple and basic plots (all of which are ugly and terrible visualizations), and is easily found for free online. Not really even usable as a reference guide. I am extremely disappointed because I can see how powerful D3 can be when used right. This is not the book to learn how to use it. Strongly recommend that you look elsewhere.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By s. pantalones on July 16, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Fair intro to d3, except it's a short 50 pages long and covers most material already available online through all of Mike Bostock's examples and tutorials on the d3 website. To be fair, I'd pay 4x this for a 2 hour session of someone teaching d3 in person, but I really don't think this is enough content to justify a book at $20.

I have to say I was pretty disappointed upon receiving this, expecting a higher bar from O'Reilly.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Katrina Owen on July 8, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
D3, javascript, and dataviz is so far outside my day-to-day programming experience that I had no way of figuring out how to get from the examples on d3js.org to some form of Hello World locally.

This book got me passed that initial hurdle.

By the end of the book, having typed all the examples 'by hand' so to speak, and trying to force my brain to internalize the basic mechanics of the thing, I think I've understood the basic idea of the enter() selection, and feel like I can probably figure out update() and exit() on my own, suggesting that the author accomplished what he set out to do. I believe I've now "gotten started" enough that I can for the most part ask the right questions somewhere when I do get stuck.

One thing that I, as a complete and utter novice, would have loved some extra hand-holding on, is how to determine axes and ranges and widths and domains. This can sort of be extrapolated from the examples, but a clear intro to these things would be a great help.

Another area that I wish the book had touched upon (preferably with a code example) is creating realtime visualizations. Without some idea of what goes into creating a realtime visualization it's incredibly difficult to figure out which search terms to use in order to stumble across useful information (it turns out node.js and socket.io are a good starting point, in case you were wondering).

The code examples use real-world (as opposed to contrived) data, which is a huge plus.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By C. Nielsen on December 7, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was a bit surprised when I got this book as it was barely larger than O'reilly pocket references. I was hoping for something closer to their book "Visualizing Data" which was fantastic for it's time, but utilizes a Java-based language that doesn't work well on the web, whereas D3 is javascript-based, and works fantastic on the web. The book goes to recommend Visualizing Data and learning JavaScript, but in doing that, the same material in this book can be found in free tutorials all over the web. Hopefully they have a much larger 2nd edition planned. But what really got me was the amount of errors in the code in a book this small. Doesn't anyone proofread anymore?
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