This page contains recent announcements related to the project.
Rhizosphere v0.7 has just been released and includes important improvements in the area of Google Spreadsheets and Google Visualization integration.
Since the earliest releases of Rhizosphere, you have always been able to visualize data from your Google Spreadsheets or any custom Google Visualization API datasource. However, up until today, you only had access to a subset of Rhizosphere features when loading data from those sources. The main issue was related to the fact that both Spreadsheets and Google Visualization API model the datasets they handle as a bi-dimensional tabular data. This limits the type of relationships you can define: there is no explicit way in Google Spreadsheets to specify that a given row (for example representing an employee record) is linked to any other row (for example representing the employee manager). As a consequence, Rhizosphere was not able to offer advanced visualizations (like trees and treemaps) when visualizing data loaded directly from Google Spreadsheets.
Rhizosphere v0.7 introduces several conventions you can use to represent hierarchical data in Google Spreadsheets (and any other Google Visualization API datasource). You have now access to Rhizosphere tree and nested treemap representations of your Google Spreadsheets data. This builds on top of existing Rhizosphere features, which means you can slice'n'dice Spreadsheet-based treemaps using Rhizosphere dynamic filters and navigate them back and forward using Rhizosphere HTML5 History support.
Rhizosphere feature set surpasses equivalent visualizations that have been available so far (Google Visualization orchart, Google Visualization treemap):
Get started by having a look at the documentation for Google Spreadsheet users and Google Visualization API users.
If you want Rhizosphere to infer a hierarchical structure from your Google Spreadsheet data, use any of the following conventions.
Make sure the label of the column containing the parent data follows this naming rule:
Rhizosphere will automatically pick up the relationship between the two columns and will let you display the data using either trees or treemaps.
Again, Rhizosphere will automatically rebuild the tree structure for you.
The two included Rhizosphere visualizations display the organizational chart and a treemap of sales data arranged by department. You can find the original spreadsheet here.
Google Visualization datasources (like Google Docs spreadsheets) since the very first versions of the library, but up until now it didn't fully conform to the specs expected from standard Google visualizations. This implied that, while you were able to visualize in Rhizosphere data coming from the same sources that would power other Google charts, you would have to write custom code for Rhizosphere to do so.
Using Rhizosphere in a page that already uses Google Visualization DataTables for its visualization needs is now as simple as creating a Rhizosphere instance and passing it the datatable via the standard
Google Web Toolkit applications.
It includes a whole set of features dedicated to GWT developers:
To help you get started with Rhizosphere GWT, we have prepared a lot of material:
For this release, we'd like to thank Dino Derek Hughes of Google UK that kickstarted the whole GWT branch developing the first proof of concept integration of the Rhizosphere library.
We have just released a new showcase application to demonstrate Rhizosphere capabilities!
If you are a software developer or project manager and have your project hosted on Google Code, you can now browse and manage your issue lists with Rhizosphere.
Just point your browser to the following link and enter the name of your project:
By default, you will get a visualization showing all the issues ever created on your project (including closed ones).
By setting the Advanced Options, you can refine your query to match only open issues, issues to verify, issues that you own or have starred. You can also limit the date range and focus on issues that have been recently created or modified. You can also choose the amount of detail that you want to see per issue.
Once you choose your project, Rhizosphere will load the project data using the Google Code Hosting APIs and present you with a card-based interface. You can then use Rhizosphere to manipulate and browse through your project issues. For those of you who like Agile development and walls full of post-it notes, we hope you will enjoy this!
You can now visually analyze a variety of information about your project: use treemaps to identify issues that most of your users want to see solved, group issues according to any of the custom labels you defined for your project, limit the set of issues being inspected using Rhizosphere dynamic filtering capabilities.Google Code Hosting APIs. This means that by default Rhizosphere only accesses issues that are publicly visible to anyone. Whenever you use Rhizosphere to access your private or personal data (such as requesting the list of issues that you have starred on a given project), Rhizosphere will ask for your permission using the AuthSub authorization protocol. This means that Rhizosphere will never have access to your Google account password.
You can chose to display each issue as a brief overview (only the summary and its open/closed state will be visible) or with full details (which include issue labels, opening and closing date, blocking bugs, issue reporters and owners). You can also jump into any issue details by click the issue id number.
We have recorded a few videos to help you get started. You can find them below.
Additionally, Rhizosphere stores the AuthSub authentication token only temporarily, and any authorizations you granted to Rhizosphere will expire when you close your browser.
Using Rhizosphere to access your Google Code project data gives you a number of benefits:
The following video shows how you can broadcast a visualization for others to follow, and how you can access your Google Code projects data from mobile devices:
If you are interested about Presentation mode and mobile access, we also recommend these live demos about broadcasting a Google Code project analysis from a PC to multiple mobile devices and viceversa from a mobile device to PC.
When using Rhizosphere for your Google Code project management activities, keep in mind that:
following our project activities or keeping an eye on Rhizosphere on Twitter.
You can now access Rhizosphere demos and documentation at www.rhizospherejs.com (this will live alongside the current rhizospherejs.appspot.com for the foreseeable future, so no hurry in updating your bookmarks). We also added a number of subdomains to simplify URLs even further. To summarize the relevant Rhizosphere links:
Update: If you are only interested in learning how Rhizosphere uses the AppEngine Channel API, skip to the last paragraph of this article. You can find the relevant code in rhizo.broadcast.js (client side, focus on the
During the last Google I/O gathering, the Appengine team presented a new set of APIs called the Channel API. The Channel API allows real-time bi-directional communication between Appengine applications and their clients, including server push and other similar features previously known collectively under the name of Comet (you can learn more by watching the Google I/O presentation video). This is a fundamental requirement to implement social features in web applications where multiple users can collaborate together on the same task. Think about chat rooms, shared editing of Google Documents or broadcasting a Google docs Presentation to multiple attendees.
Rhizosphere is tool dedicated to slicing and dicing datasets in a visual way. Wouldn't it be great to be able to do so collaboratively, allowing others to see the analyses that you are performing on any given dataset?
Wait no more! In the last few weeks we have improved Rhizosphere to integrate with the Channel API and you can now broadcast in real-time any analysis you perform on a visualization to any audience you might want to target. Broadcasting a visualization takes just the click of a button and it works in the same ways of a Google docs presentation mode: you drive the visualization and every attendee to which you sent the visualization URL will be able to follow any operation you are performing on the visualization (assuming they also have access to the underlying data you are visualizing through Rhizosphere).
The following video shows how easy is to use this new feature.
Broadcasting a visualization is extremely easy and you don't need anything more than your browser. The Rhizosphere backend and Google Appengine systems take care of all the details. It works seamlessly with any browser currently supported by Rhizosphere (Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera) and it integrates nicely with Rhizosphere history management , meaning that you can still use your browser navigation buttons to move through the visualization state, and all attendees will also pick the changes up.
However, keep in mind that the Appengine Channel API is still under testing and not officially released at the time of this writing. Also Rhizosphere code that uses such API is just out of the oven, so it may still be rough on the edges. For this reason you should consider this feature experimental and the following caveats apply:
Rhizosphere broadcasting is an experimental feature that you can enable in any of the demos available at http://rhizospherejs.appspot.com. Be sure to have the experimental features checkbox toggle before activating any demo. You will then find a Broadcast button among the other visualization controls. When you hit that the visualization will start broadcasting its state and you will be offered a link pointing to the broadcast URL. Share that link with any person that wants to join the visualization and start playing!
Both the presenter and all the attendees can stop/resume broadcasting any time they want. Visualization state will be automatically re-synced once resuming either broadcasting or following.
Please remember that Rhizosphere broadcasting is not encrypted and broadcast URLs are by default public: although they are difficult to guess, there is no access control mechanism and anybody that has the link to a shared visualization can join it. Keep this mind if you plan on sharing confidential information via Rhizosphere broadcasting.
If you are familiar with hand-on coding and want to enable broadcasting in your custom Rhizosphere visualizations, you just have to include the
No worries, they are supported out of the box, both to broadcast and receive shared Rhizosphere visualizations. Look at the screenshot to the right for an example of a visualization broadcast from an iPhone to a desktop browser.
Because Rhizosphere UI is tailored for the device it runs on, you will be able to share the same experience between all participating users, no matter what device they are using, with Rhizosphere taking care of rescaling and tweaking the visualization to match the device capabilities.
Rhizosphere broadcasting is not expensive in terms of resources and it shouldn't bog your phone down, however at the current stage of development, we tested Rhizosphere broadcasting only on high-end mobile devices (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and Android 2.2+) and on high-speed networks (3G or wifi).
This paragraph is for those among you interested in learning more about how Rhizosphere interfaces with the Google Appengine Channel API.
Rhizosphere already has a module, defined in
To integrate with Appengine Channel API, we simply added a new pair of bindings to the State Manager, so that any local state change that occurs in a visualization will be pushed upstream to the Appengine servers, which will in turn push it to any other participating client. On the receiving end, the client just pushes state changes receive from the wire to the local State Manager which applies them to the local visualization.
The following diagram explains the sequence of events:
Plain Ajax requests are used to publish state changes from the broadcasting side. Appengine Channels came into play to push received changes in real-time to all other attendees of the shared visualization.
The Rhizosphere components that come into play client-side to realize all the above are defined in the rhizo.broadcast.js module:
On the server side, the Appengine handlers defined in broadcast.py handle the logic to establish a new channel and to distribute incoming messages to all registered listeners.
For more information about the Appengine Channel API internals, refer to the slides from the Google I/O presentation (pdf).
We just launched a completely revamped documentation site, with extensive documentation for end users, developers and contributors.
We will also soon include detailed API docs for the whole Rhizosphere library, to make Rhizosphere even easier to understand, if you are interested in its internals.
At the same time, we are also launching a new Rhizosphere Google discussion group where you are free to discuss Rhizosphere features and ask questions.
Want some more? Have a look at all the possible ways you have to contribute to Rhizosphere.
HTML5 brings many innovations to the web development landscape. One of the new features is HTML5 History (w3c spec): a set of APIs to manage the navigation context and browser history via the back / forward navigation buttons.
Today, we released the new
Try it by yourself on some sample visualizations (picasa, bugs, multiple visualizations per page) : perform some sample operations and then try moving back and forward using the browser buttons.
Support is extensive, and Rhizosphere tracks the state of all its features: layouts, filters, selections and even any drag'n'drop you perform. You can now replay any operation you perform on the visualization, moving back and forward through the history. See the video demonstration:
More importantly, since Rhizosphere history management is integrated with the rest of the browser navigation history, you can follow outgoing links and navigate out of Rhizosphere, with the guarantee that Rhizosphere will be restored in the state you left it when you navigate back to it.
Rhizosphere history works seamlessly also when you have multiple Rhizosphere visualizations on a page, or when Rhizosphere is embedded as a gadget with a Google Spreadsheet, iGoogle or other contexts.
If you are interested in the technical details, have a look at the documentation on top of the
(image courtesy of http://www.madreinspain.com/ )
Chrome Frame instead. However, Internet Explorer 9 (currently in beta) standards support is much improved compared to the previous versions. Rhizosphere runs on top of IE9 almost without issues (some drag'n'drop functionalities are not working at the moment, and there might be other bugs).
If your browser of choice is Internet Explorer, please give the IE9 beta a try with Rhizosphere.
1-10 of 32