[okfn-labs] Recline Data Explorer has local CSV file import support

Rufus Pollock rufus.pollock at okfn.org
Mon Apr 2 17:52:52 UTC 2012

On 30 March 2012 18:03, Jessy Kate Schingler <jessy at jessykate.com> wrote:
> cool rufus!
> i  missed your demo the other week so i'm just getting familiar with
> refine...  so pardon if any of these comments are misaligned with the goals
> or things you've already explained.
> as someone not familiar with most of the technologies you're mentioning in
> the docs, it's a bit opaque. it seems to be telling me more what it's using
> rather than HOW to use it. now i'm excited to go geek out and learn about

Right :-) Recline was originally designed as a *library* -- it was for
devs to use. However, the demo has developed more into a full-on app
and so should be explained appropriately.

> backbone and google refine-- but i'm still not sure what the tool does
> :p. the source code docs are awesome, but docs targeted towards users rather
> than hackers would be really helpful.

Acknowledged. A big aim in the next week or so is improving docs. If
you have any suggestions please file an issue (here's my current doc
ticket but rather focused on dev end of things:

> is refine targeted just at local previews? i don't see or is there a save
> and retrieve functionality too?

Retrieving from online sources such as google docs, DataHub DataStore,
or any web accessible CSV or Excel is currently supported (go to
import menu). There is currently no save functionality but would be
this issue: <https://github.com/okfn/recline/issues/26>

> i tried uploading a 9.4 kb CSV file to the demo site, which fails silently.
> the javascript console (chrome) shows this error:
> Uncaught Error: Can't add the same model to a set twice,VC01

Hmm, weird. Works fine for me (that's a backbone error where we've
load same doc twice or similar). If this is repeatable please file an
issue and I'll try to investigate further.

> i would be surprised if this csv file was already on the site since it was a
> random census file i downloaded yesterday :).

Yes, and there's no storage in http://okfnlabs.org/recline/demo/ ...

> i seem to be able to turn read-only mode "on" but not "off" again?

Right, that was just to demonstrate read-only mode for devs. As
explained above the demo was originally just that: a demo of this
javascript libraries features but it is now becoming more of an app.

> regarding the html5 local file api i recently came across this mozilla post
> describing the issues with it - mostly lamenting, as you note, the
> synchronous nature of file uploads and the performance effects. interesting
> reading:
> http://hacks.mozilla.org/2012/03/there-is-no-simple-solution-for-local-storage/

I may be missing something but is that post not about localstorage
rather than the File API (which is the ability to read and write from
disk (in async manner))?

> the demo on thedatahub.org looks great.

Thanks :-)


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