April 26, 2016
Today I learned some cool stuff with D3.js!
Here is a minimalist responsive bar chart with quantity labels at the top of each bar and text wrapping of the food labels. It is actually responsive, it doesn’t merely scale the SVG proportionally, it keeps a fixed height and dynamically changes the width.
For simplicity I took the left scale off. All bars are proportional and are labeled anyway.
Go ahead and resize your window! This has a minimum width of about 530px because of the text labels. Any smaller than that and they are very difficult to read.
The basic HTML
You’ll see that the axis is actually there but it is white. I found it useful to learn to draw it, but I didn’t want it so I am keeping it hidden.
This is where D3 really comes in.
Setting the margins, sizes, and figuring out the basic scale.
Setting the axes
Drawing the basic SVG container with the proper size and margins
Scaling the axes
Drawing the bars themselves
Adding the quantity labels to the top of each bar
This took me a while to figure out because I was originally appending to the rect element. According to the SVG specs this is illegal, so I moved on to appending them after everything else to they’d show on top. The positioning is tricky, too. I eventually found the correct variables to position it close to center. Then text-anchor: middle; sealed the deal.
The general method for making D3 charts responsive is to scale the SVG down proportionally as the window gets smaller by manipulating the viewBox and preserveAspectRatio attributes. But after digging around on Github for a while, I found a fancier solution that preserves the height and redraws the SVG as the width shrinks.