Flot Blog

Semantic Versioning

Posted January 17, 2013 by dnschnur

Flot has historically used a major.minor versioning scheme, with the last stable version being 0.7. With the next release we will adopt the popular Semantic Versioning specification. This change will have several benefits:

If you have any scripts or package management tools that expect a version in the old format, please be prepared to update them.

Our next release will be tagged and labeled as 0.8.0-beta.


Happy New Year!

Posted December 31, 2012 by dnschnur

Here’s a little Flot update as we head into the final hours of 2012.

We had hoped to release 0.8-beta before the end of the year, but we’re still working on a couple of last items, postponing the release until early to mid January. Mark spent the holidays cleaning up several time-axis issues, and we’re feeling good about that implementation.

I’ve been busy with the last major project for 0.8, cleaning up canvas-text support. As you may know, Flot has always used HTML divs for its axis labels. Unfortuately this makes it dramatically more difficult to save the plot as an image, and so, earlier in 0.8’s dev cycle, YCharts generously sponsored a migration to canvas text labels.

Having observed them in real-world use for some time, we realized that while canvas labels are a crucial feature, HTML labels make a better default. Among other things, they can be styled and support advanced formatting that would be difficult or impossible to replicate in canvas.

This doesn’t mean that canvas text is going away; we’re simply moving it to a plugin. Once you include the plugin, you need only set a flag on the plot’s options to enable canvas label rendering.

12 of the 18 remaining issues for 0.8 relate to the canvas-text project. Once they’re complete we can enter beta while finishing up the remaining issues, which deal with the website and documentation.

We’re really looking forward to this release, so we can move on to the cool projects that we have planned for 2013. Happy new year!


Foddle

Posted November 28, 2012 by dnschnur

Development of 0.8 is progressing well; we stand at more than 50% complete, with 29 issues remaining.

We’re taking a break to share a cool new tool written by Stig Rune called Foddle. It takes the concepts behind the popular jsfiddle and applies them to Flot, providing an easy and powerful way to prototype charts with real-time feedback!

The app presents two fields: one for data and one for plot options. Keep in mind that the data and options must be in JSON format, not raw JavaScript, and the data should consist of a list of series objects; simple lists of values aren’t yet supported, though they may be in a future iteration.

Here’s a quick example showing the sales distribution for the five best-selling Girl Scout Cookie varieties.

Foddle really makes it easy to create and share charts on the web; it’s a great idea, and there’s still room for it to grow even better.


Milestone 0.8 update

Posted November 11, 2012 by dnschnur

We’ve officially finished the project’s migration to Github, with the last of our wiki pages migrated to our Github wiki. This was a long process, but it has set us up well for all our upcoming development.

This means that we can finally focus on the long-awaited Flot 0.8 release! We’ve assembled an official 0.8 milestone to identify the issues that need to be addressed and track our progress towards the release.

Because we’d like to get something into your hands soon, we obviously couldn’t include everything for this milestone. If your favorite issue didn’t make it in, don’t worry; you’ll notice that there’s already a 0.9 milestone where we’re starting to gather some of the issues that were important, but couldn’t quite make it into 0.8. The broad areas that we’re focusing on for this release are:

As part of the last point, Jürgen Marsch has created some cool Youtube videos that provide a more accessible introduction to the library; one of our goals for the 0.8 release is to update the docs section of this site to serve as a central hub for these videos as well as other examples and resources.

Please take a look at the milestone’s open issues, and consider contributing a little time to solve one. There are only 47 open issues, so it doesn’t take much work to make a big contribution to the release. As soon as all issues are closed we’ll move into beta, with a final release not long after.

In other news, I had the opportunity to attend the first [jQuery DeveloperSummit] (http://events.jquery.org/2012/developer-summit/), held at the AOL campus just outside Washington DC. I met a ton of great people, including several members of the core jQuery and jQuery UI teams, and had the opportunity to work on jQuery’s new plugins site. It was a fantastic experience, and I’m excited to carry what I learned - particularly with respect to our own growing library of plugins - over to Flot.

Finally, we’ve added an RSS feed for this blog, making it easier to follow our progress.


Looking to our next release

Posted September 28, 2012 by dnschnur

We’re finally wrapping up the migration of issues and the wiki to Github!

The goal was to migrate as much as possible, to minimize swapping back and forth between the two projects. Using a fork of the issue migrator by Arthur Debert, we were able to get pretty close to what we wanted. The migration process had two major limitations:

Besides that we’ve preserved just about everything, including issue state, status, other labels and links to duplicate issues. Some tweaks are still required to fix some broken references, but they’re low-priority and only necessary in a few places.

I apologize to anyone who may have received Github notification spam during this process. There were a couple of @ mentions in comments that triggered notifications, and watchers of the repository likely received updates for the migrated issues. We can’t do anything about this, and it’s a one-time event, so I hope you’ll understand.

The last thing remaining is to finish migration of the current contents of the wiki; that should be complete by this weekend.

We’re now looking ahead to the 0.8 release. It’s been a long time since our last major release; the project went quiet for a while when @OleLaursen had less time to contribute, and since I became active I’ve been focusing on issue triage, cleanup and organizational changes like the migration to Github. With that out of the way, our priority is a new release, so all these great updates and fixes can reach a wider audience.

I’ve created a ‘Release 0.8’ milestone in the issue tracker, and will add issues and pull requests to it over the next couple of weeks. The next blog post will provide more info on what’s targeted for 0.8, and our expected timeframe for the release.


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