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Features / Usability

Features / Usability


Using Google Sheets / Docs interactively

posts: 32

Hello all,

I am trying to use Wiki trackers together with Google Sheets and Charts.
While trackers offer a rich possibility of different field types that can be used together with Wiki forms, Google charts and analysis capabilities are definitely richer than Wiki sheets.

Hence, I wanted to know if anyone has discussed or succeeded in using Trackers together with Google sheets.

Ideally, the scenario would be :
1. Collect the necessary information using trackers+wiki forms and store it in trackers.
2. Send a subset of the data (push or pull) to process using Google Sheets.
3. Visualise the results using different statistical charts from Google charts (this is simple using plugin Googledocs).


Does there exist any related plugins to handle the above scenario? Anyone has designed any solution in this direction?

thanks to everyone for sharing their knowledge!

posts: 32

An alternative scenario would be:

1A. Collect the necessary information using trackers+wiki forms and store it in trackers & Tiki Sheets.

2A. Process a subset of the information (mainly numbers) using Tiki Sheets.
There is already automatic facility for updating sheets.

3A. Sending the data (push or pull) to Google Charts for visualising the results using different statistical charts.


posts: 1550 Canada

There are some ways to make charts in Tiki:
http://doc.tiki.org/Visualization

If Google Charts has something useful that Tiki doesn't, let's just add that to Tiki ;-)

What is missing?

Thanks!


posts: 32

Bonjour Marc,

Yes, why not develop the same features in Tiki!

Advantages of Tiki are:
1. It is pure FOSS.
2. Integrated with Tiki site (for those using Tiki for site dev).

Advantages of Google Charts are its rich variety and ease of use.
See: https://support.google.com/drive/topic/1361474?hl=en&ref_topic=2811806

Nevertheless, it would be nice to have a good interactivity (data exchange) between Tiki features / modules / plugins and Google charts / docs / forms / presentations.
Given that Google is a widely accepted development platform, this will create more awareness and acceptance for Tiki.

I let it to the powers-that-be in Tiki world to debate and decide.

Best!
Anirvan

posts: 1550 Canada

Google Charts are nice and easy to use indeed.

But

  • If you are behind the firewall, the charts don't work because you can't access Google
  • Tiki has Long Term Support versions (up to 5 years) and Google makes changes and improvements regularly, and at some point, deprecates older APIs, and thus, charts in LTS Tikis may break. (This has happened for Google Maps)
  • It's work to integrate and I prefer to use energy to a fully FOSS solution.


What I have in mind is to bundle d3.js to generate charts like we have with R ( http://r.tiki.org/ ) but all self-contained in Tiki.

We can evolve Tiki with newer versions of D3 but LTS versions will just keep the D3 code from when that version was released (only update if security issues)

Can you evaluate http://d3js.org/ and tell me:

  1. Is there anything Google Chart does that D3 doesn't?
  2. Is there anything out there more complete / interesting that D3?


Thanks!

M ;-)

posts: 32

Hello Marc et Luci,

Thanks for the demos. We have been checking D3 charts also on other websites.

In reply to your question 1: Google charts has good interactivity. See this link: https://developers.google.com/chart/interactive/docs/quick_start

Additional points to consider:

  • Google charts & sheets are fairly well integrated internally (same proprietary production) BUT also with external APIs (using REST API). Can we think in this direction please?
  • If D3.js will be supported in Tiki (Tiki13 ?), then there needs to be good integration with Trackers + Tiki sheets. At least some use cases on how to work together.
  • If D3.js will be supported in Tiki, please think of integrating with dasboards / reports. Some practical use cases on how to get started (something similar to this : https://developers.google.com/chart/interactive/docs/gallery/controls?hl=en


In general, we note that Tiki has lot of modules and functionalities, much more than popular Drupal distributions (e.g. Open Atrium, ...) But they need better integration / co-working. It would be good to address the following:

  • Feature-feature integration: e.g. Trackers-Charts, Ratings-Charts
  • Plugin-feature integration: e.g. Webservices-Trackers
  • Plugin-plugin flexibility: e.g. Timesheet-Report


Hope this helps. Apologies for going outside the topic.
Looking forward to the Tiki13 scrum updates.

Best!


posts: 32

Hi Marc,

I just had a look at the D3 website. The variety is excellet! And the charts are defintely showing very clear.

Now my question is: How can these sheets be integrated into a Tiki installation...? Especially, for those websites using shared hosting on LAMP stack?
In this case, the R-library cannot work!

Best regards!

posts: 1550 Canada

Hi!

Indeed R doesn't work on shared hosting.

D3 is on packagist and has a composer.json file, so within a few minutes, it can be bundled into Tiki:
https://packagist.org/packages/mbostock/d3
https://github.com/mbostock/d3/blob/master/composer.json

Very much like the other libs:
https://dev.tiki.org/External+Libraries

The tricky part is what does the interface look like to use the charts. All the current charts libs could be progressively replaced by D3.

And for user-generated charts, we need some sort of wiki syntax to get the data from trackers or elsewhere and then some params for visualization (A bit like r.tiki.org does I guess)

I started a feature request here: http://dev.tiki.org/item5155

This is connected to our "show server", which permits to have a Tiki instance. It's normally to demonstrate a bug, but let's use to experiment.

Best regards,

M ;-)