Categories
Book Review

RaphaelJS: Graphics and Visualization on the Web

Introduction

Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) are an XML-based vector image format for two-dimensional graphics with support for interactivity and animation.

Vector graphics are drawn on the screen mathematically. They are scalable without loss in quality.

In working with vector graphics, you can write them out from scratch or use a library like Raphaël.

Three books have been written on Raphaël they are:

  1. RaphaelJS Starter
  2. Learning Raphael JS Vector Graphics
  3. RaphaelJS

Yesterday, I finished reading RaphaelJS thus finishing my study of the books in my list.

This post is a review of the book.

Author

RaphaelJS was written by Chris Wilson in 2013.

Chris Wilson is now the Director of Data Journalism at TIME Inc.

Before Time, he was a Senior Editor at Slate News and a Columnist at Yahoo News.

Book Format

The book starts off simple with the basic template for a Raphaël project.

From that point on, once a topic is introduced, the author goes out of his way to create a project with that topic.

The projects covered include:

  1. Braille Generator
  2. Dominoes
  3. Bouncing Ball
  4. Metronome
  5. Choropleth Map
  6. The Animated Solar System

You leave this book inspired to create your own projects.

Conclusion

RaphaelJS is a great read as it will inspire you to create in the browser.

As a new year begins, if you plan to learn Data Visualisation, do look at this book.

Categories
Book Review

We the Living

Introduction

This Christmas was my worst Christmas ever.

The political uncertainty in the country spoiled all my plans during the year and then the border closure spoiled Christmas for the whole nation.

Before the closure of the border in August this year, the price of a bag of rice was N7,000.

By Christmas, the price of a bag of rice had gone to N27,000.

There is a lot of talk about people leaving the country.

I have decided to stay.

When people cannot go forward, they go back to a place where it all makes sense.

I would go back to the past and read We the Living by Ayn Rand.

This post is a review of the book from my perspective as a Nigerian living in Lagos, Nigeria.

Characters and Plot

The Wikipedia entry on We the Living already contains the plot for the book.

The three main characters are: Kira Argounova, Leo Kovalensky and Andrei Taganov.

The book starts off with Kira on a train with her family returning back to Petrograd.

It describes the living standards in the country at the year 1922 and how bad things were in Russia.

The Proletarian are the bottom class before the revolution but after the revolution become pushed up the ranks.

Kira falls in love with Leo but when he falls sick and is nearing death, she has to go to Andrei who is a party member and a member of the secret police and becomes his mistress.

The book take you on a journey detailing how the world around Kira crumbles until finally, she loses everything

In desperation, she tries to escape Russia and is shot at the border.

Nigerian Context

This book mirrors life in Nigeria at the moment.

This year, the government closed the border and the prices of food stuff when up.

The quality of life went down.

Seeing similarities with Russia at the time helps you know that the world moves on.

Impact

During the course of reading the book, I would fall into despair.

However, as the book progressed, I realized that unlike Kira who wanted to become and engineer, I was one.

Unlike her, I wasn’t locked in.

I could travel.

Most importantly, I had the web.

Conclusion

As the future of Nigeria becomes in doubt, most people will be looking for how to escape.

This book showed my how bad it could get but filled me with ideas on how to protect myself in the years ahead.