Limn — a GUI Visualization Toolkit
Limn is a GUI for constructing beautiful visualizations without need of programming skills.
- Graphical interface to create and customize visualizations
- Beautiful results, easy to use
- Easily added to any existing project as either a single script tag, or via node middleware
- Works with a simple data format that is agnostic to the backing data-source
Check out the Feature Walkthrough for more info!
But what about your non-programmers? They don't have many options: they email somebody, maybe try some shoddy web tools, and eventually reach for Excel. Ew. Worse, the time and energy expended in getting a single chart is so great that they're seriously discouraged from playing around. In the age of big data, this is a big problem. Exploration is a huge component of success. You need to iterate. You need to be open to inspiration. If you think you know what you're looking for, you're probably wrong.
This is the niche Limn aims to fill: a drop-in component that enables self-service visualizations for your team.
The "drop-in" part is important: we want it to be easy for programmers to enable these features in existing applications with minimal changes. If you already have a datasource that provides data in CSV or JSON format (be it files on disk or a REST API) you're mostly good to go. Limn can run entirely as a client-side application simply by including
limn.js, or as node.js middleware using either Connect or Express, in which case graphs can be persisted on disk. The only real work is to configure Limn to know about your datasources, though in the future we aim for the client to be able introspect this information from the data.
Work in Progress
Limn is a work-in-progress. This means it some things are harder than they should be (though it's still pretty easy to use!); it means it's missing some otherwise sensible features and configuration options; it means there's some code that probably needs to be cleaned up. When you find these things, help us out by opening a ticket (or, if you're feeling ambitious, a pull request
;)). It means you probably shouldn't use Limn in production unless you're ready to submit patches.
Excited? Here are some good places to go from here:
- Curious how Limn could help your team visualize data? Check out the Feature Walkthrough for a better idea of what Limn can do, or the Roadmap for where we're going.
- Want to run Limn? Read over the docs available on the Limn wiki. "Getting Started" seems like it might be a good place to start.
- Once you've done that, the source to WMF's production instance of Limn, the monthly Reportcard, might serve as a useful guide.
- Finally, if you're interested in hacking on Limn (♥!), check out the notes on Contributing and on Project Internals.
Limn is made with love by the Wikimedia Foundation's Analytics team, and we'd love to hear from you, whether it's because you found a bug, have suggestions, or want to contribute! For mundane things, open a ticket (or fork the project!) on GitHub. You can also send Dave a charming email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Limn is open-source software, freely available under the MIT License.