Explorable explanations

When learning a new concept, I learn best when I can play around with the idea for a while. For some fields this takes the form of debate and discussion with others. For some other fields however, this often takes the form of more literally playing with the idea. Doodling and sketching have been very useful when working out an algorithm.

Since having started this blog, I have often wanted to write a post about a concept I’ve learned, only to find it difficult to get my point across by text alone.

I’ve developed a solution that should fix most of that problem. Writing these blog posts in Markdown, I can include arbitrary HTML tags in the posts. This means I can even include <script> tags, and then use d3.js to create widgets to illustrate what I am writing about, and embed it directly in the text as I write it.

So I’ve created a little JavaScript library that will attach to a <figure> tag and set up an image and controls as needed. Then all I have to do is write the visualization and it’s done, just like that. With the ease of use, I look forward to writing about all kinds of topics in the future.

Written Aug. 31, 2018