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Saturday, April 19, 2008

Chart DrillDown Animations - From


Flex/Flash is fantastic at animation. But as Mr. Lee (and you know who I’m talking about, True Believes) taught us, with great power comes great responsibility. Our responsibility as developers is to use that power for good (convey context, change, relationship) and not for evil (heavy handed eye candy, delay, destraction). This sample, for example, uses animation to convey what’s happening in a typical OLAP drill down. A drilldown is when the user navigates from some summary information in to examine specific details. Viewing sales figures by month, for example, a user might ‘drill down’ into December to see specific sales figure for each day of December to see what effect Christmas had. Alright, chances are you probably already know what I’m talking about. So before I just jump to the demo, here are a few notes: * These animations are all packaged up as chart effects that you can use on your own apps. See the sample app for details on how to use them. * I’ve tested them out on PieSeries and ColumnSeries. They should work for the other columnar types (HLOC, Candlestick), and stacked columns. In theory they should easily work on bar series as well, although I haven’t filled in the code to drill-up horizontally. Should be an easy task for the reader though..check out the drill down effect for an example. * Yes, they’re still a bit buggy. Specifically, when drilling down there’s an occasional flash when the old columns fade away. I’ll figure that out at some point. So, without further preamble…