Attempting to cover the four underlying technologies, as well as D3, is clearly an impossible task in only 57 pages, so Dewar deserves credit for keeping things relatively simple; he develops a handful of graphs that exemplify some useful D3 methods and highlights a core D3 idiom (
enter) in the process. In each case, I liked the reminder that effective visualization is as much about good design as well written code; it was also nice that the examples were based on ‘real’ data.
In many respects, this book marks D3’s transition from academia to the mainstream; at the very least, it should give the reader some confidence that D3 isn’t going to go the way of Protovis, its predecessor. In summary, Getting Started with D3 is worth reading, but not in isolation. And do check the errata!
Errors: for example, p.21
time_axis should be
x_axis; p.25 the
width attribute is set twice; pp.35-36 the HTML code is malformed (the
<style> tag isn’t closed and the second
<script> tag is neither in the
<head> nor the
“Getting Started with D3” by Mike Dewar (O’Reilly Media).
(Full disclosure: I received a free copy of this book through O’Reilly’s Blogger Review Program.)