Thursday, December 29, 2011

dygraphs 2011 year in review

It's been a big year for dygraphs!

Looking back at the last 365 days in the commit log, there were 356 commits. A big "thank you" to everyone who contributed:

  • danvk (207 commits)
  • kberg (107 commits)
  • nealie (13)
  • jeremybrewer (9)
  • antrob (8)
  • flooey (6)
  • paul felix (3)
  • bombela (1)
  • ben winslow (1)
  • Lee (1)

One thing I learned this year is how to better manage the commit history on the master branch. So those counts may understate the contributions of people like Paul who contributed later in the year.

So what changed? The flashy stuff first! Here were the new features:

It's also been a year of greatly-improved documentation. Some of the biggest wins here have been:

Finally, some of the biggest changes happened behind the scenes. kberg and I both learned a lot about JavaScript this year and used that knowledge to improve the dygraphs development process. The biggest changes in this category are:

auto_tests (kberg gets a dygraphs gold star for this one). Automated tests help us prevent unexpected side-effects from changes, as well as regressions. We had no automated tests at the start of the year, but now we have 83. This is good news for users as well as developers, who can make changes with a lot less fear than they did a year ago. Another gold star goes to Cory Smith for developing JSTD.

We also learned about the new "script mode" in ECMAScript 5, which tells the browser to complain when you use certain JavaScript features like global variables. All of dygraphs' JS files now run in strict mode and pass through jshint, a JavaScript linter. This will also help keep us from shooting ourselves in the foot.

There have been many other internal changes — we fixed a bajillion bugs, and antrob made some contributions which resulted in significant speedups for large charts.

So where is dygraphs going next? Here are some areas I'd like to work on next year:

  • Improved auto_test coverage
  • More intuitive/discoverable interactions
  • Nicer-looking charts
  • Better warnings when you misconfigure a Dygraph
  • Customized interactions for touch-screens
  • Speed improvements (maybe by using WebGL and reducing internal copying)
  • Improving

All-in-all, 2011 has been a great year for dygraphs. Here's hoping that 2012 will be even better!

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