Today I came across Observable and really like it at first glance. It gave me the impression as being an online IDE like Jupyter Notebook but for JavaScript.

Javascript tend not to be the first programming language that schools teach. For most engineering related majors, they tend to start with strong typed programming language like C++, Java, C and now maybe more schools start by teaching Python too. However, JavaScript gained huge adoption in the community as it is the most popular scripting language for the Internet. However, the first question for all the beginners is “where should I write code”. I frowned upon when my friend opened up the Chrome browser and start writing code there. It was powerful and all but somehow it just did not feel right to me. There was no canvas like Jupyter notebook, you have to add the graph to an existing DOM etc.

In the observable notebook, everything become so much easier to test and visualize, also the code can be executed and the output is reactive in a way that you can execute a block of code and see the output immediately.

You can not only write JavaScript code straight into block, but also use Markdown language to format in a way that you will like.

I am still learning it but I highly recommend people check it out. You might have heard of D3.js, they even use observable to host all their gallery examples. This further demonstrated its popularity in the JavaScript visualization community.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s