Browsing articles in "General News"

Pardon our mess

Jan 26, 2012   //   by Joshua Hailpern   //   General News  //  Comments Off

We are presently getting ready for the BETA launch of YouPivot and TimeMarks! As a result, we are updating our website. Please stay tuned..

TimeMarks is Now a Standalone Chrome Extension

May 8, 2011   //   by Joshua Hailpern   //   General News  //  Comments Off

Check out our sister site – One of the most requested features of YouPivot, TimeMarks is now a stand alone extension for chrome. No┬áhassle, just download and get TimeMarks.

The Alpha version should be out in the next 24 hours!

Gearing up for Release

May 7, 2011   //   by Maurice Lam   //   General News  //  Comments Off

The first alpha version of YouPivot will be available soon. Stay tuned (and sign up for updates) for latest news.

Protovis: Mission Accomplished

Apr 21, 2011   //   by Maurice Lam   //   General News  //  Comments Off

The Protovis visualization library has been doing all the dirty work to generate nice looking streamgraphs for YouPivot. The performance of Protovis hasn’t been great in terms of efficiency but it saved me a lot of time. But for now, Protovis seems to be running into trouble because it consumes too much memory. In my isolated tests, less than 1000 stacked area items is sufficient to cause the chrome tab to blow out.

The first possible solution is to let Protovis complete its rendering and then copy the DOM SVG elements from it and throw everything away. However, this did not work because Protovis crashed while its still rendering.

A second solution has to be sought. Streamgraph.js plugin for Processing.js seems to be a good alternative. It runs faster than Protovis, uses canvas rather than SVG, which means better chance for hardware acceleration, and has much better memory usage. A 500 item streamgraph cost Protovis 200MB of memory while Streamgraph.js just used 10MB.

The downside of this is I have to put in a lot of work to make streamgraph.js work with existing code, and streamgraph.js isn’t quite as well documented as Protovis. I have to do debugging and modifications on the streamgraph.js source code to get it working. As of now, progress has been made and it looks quite promising. I expect the result to be a much faster visualization rendering, which means faster start up and loading between days.


Mar 3, 2011   //   by Maurice Lam   //   General News  //  Comments Off

Yesterday in the demo, I was showing the interface with 6 items in the list. The overall responsiveness is OK. But then when I boosted the number to something around 10-20 items, the highlighting just gets really slow. So slow that it’s nearly unusable.

I have been working on that for yesterday (after the exam ) and today and finally figured out a way to dramatically improve the performance. The source of the problem, is that Protovis, the visualization library powering YouPivot, is re-rendering the whole stream graph whenever a highlight is requested. Protovis doesn’t quite like rendering only the layer instead of the whole panel.

So I solved it using a semi-hacky way. I set the title property of each layer with the id associated with the data. Because the title is set in the DOM, I can extract the id back from the DOM using jQuery after initial rendering, and associate the HTML element to the id. Now I can manipulate the layer directly in the DOM, effectively bypassing Protovis and it’s slow rendering process.

The result? Now the highlight is very responsive with 100+ objects rendered.

Status update

Mar 1, 2011   //   by Maurice Lam   //   General News  //  Comments Off

I have been working on YouPivot and it is now able to talk to the server, uploading current pages and downloading those information. I don’t have it on the visualizations yet because I don’t know how to do the update query. (Just add or get for the time). UI-wise, I implemented highlighting on the objects, filters are ready and items displayed are now changed according to the time shown in the visualization.

Hello World from Maurice

Feb 18, 2011   //   by Maurice Lam   //   General News  //  Comments Off

Hi, I am Maurice Lam, a developer of YouPivot. This post serves multiple purposes :-)

Apart from Hello World and to try out the blog system, I would like to report that I have been working on the “importance code”, the code that calculates the relevance of an open tab to the user. I successfully ported the code from the old version and is now calculating the value. You can view the value from the “Browser Action” icon beside the options button. It will show you information including the importance of the current tab.

I have also committed the code to the Google Code repository for the first time, just to try out the newly downloaded Tortoise SVN and check that everything is working. Everything seems good :-)

Working on News Updates

Feb 15, 2011   //   by Joshua Hailpern   //   General News  //  Comments Off

We are working on adding a a mailing list, allowing people who are interested in youPivot to sign up to get updates when releases happen! When our mailing list is up and running, we will post and put a link on the homepage. Now Up

Feb 14, 2011   //   by Joshua Hailpern   //   General News  //  Comments Off

Our official homepage is now up. Content, theme, links, papers, and more coming soon.

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