Six Months Closer to a New and Improved CODAP

At this six-month milestone of our efforts to re-engineer CODAP, I’m excited about the progress we’re making towards modernizing CODAP’s underlying source code. By moving from Sproutcore to more up-to-date web application tools, including Typescript, React, and D3, we’re working to ensure that CODAP will support data science education for many years—and for many more learners.

Thanks to the efforts of a small team of talented developers, we have implemented the case table, slider, calculator, and graph. Some familiar functionalities such as dragging in documents and manipulating data in the case table and the graph have been implemented to a limited extent. The case table works well, and selection is dynamically linked to graphs. We can make dot plots, dot charts, and scatter plots in graphs, with both categorical and numeric legends. And we’re just about to add the ability to create any number of graphs that can be moved and resized.

It’s a good start, but we’ve got a long way to go!

If you’ve been using CODAP, you recognize these features. Our plan is to build out all the current features with the result that CODAP Version 3 looks and behaves similar to CODAP Version 2.

So, what’s all the fuss about then?

First, speed. I’m thrilled to report improvements in this area already. Second, the ability to handle more cases. Third, added emphasis on making sure our UI is accessible throughout the development process. Finally, longevity. As noted above, with a more modern software framework, CODAP will be ready for the future.

We have also begun work to improve CODAP’s user documentation. CODAP is an incredibly robust data exploration and visualization environment, which means there’s a lot you can do in CODAP. Our goal is to help you do the things you want to do. For example, we’ve created a new help page that explains how to split graphs vertically and horizontally with additional categorical attributes.

Split a CODAP Graph Horizontally or Vertically by a Categorical Attribute

Lastly, we have been growing CODAP’s user community. To that end, Tim Erickson, a longtime collaborator and data scientist, recently gave a series of presentations and workshops in New Zealand. We are also excited to announce that we have hired a new project manager who will continue our communications and community-building efforts.