OMFG! I can’t believe this actually works!

Book grid sorted by word count

I made a Flex application!!!1111!!!!

Okay, so what is this thing?

Well, each green block represents the total word count of a book; that count is also given by the big number beneath each book. The orange stripe represents the number of unique words in the book, case insensitive (so The and the count as one). It’s all a continuation of this data visualization project I’ve been working on all semester.

And what’s it made of? Aside from snips, snails, and puppydog tails, it comprises some really stupid code, four static XML docs, some CSS, and one . . . class? I think it’s what passes for a class in Flex. God only knows. Here’s the filthy, embarrassing source code.

Yes, I am well aware that this is some of the most fucked-up, redundant, unnecessarily hard-coded shit you’ve ever seen, and that the radio buttons don’t work right on the first click, but considering that I only started learning Flex on, like, Thursday, and that I didn’t start trying to code this thing in earnest until the wee hours of Monday morning, I think it’s Oh. Kay.

And, yeah, no, I couldn’t figure out how to get rid of the gap between the orange and green blocks. CSS in Flex is really weird and undernourished.

Next steps:

  • Make this code not suck.
  • Add more data (I’ve got about 20 more books on hand to process, and then it’s time to hit Bittorrent).
  • Make the code for pulling out the word counts not suck. Right now it’s case-sensitive, which I don’t want it to be (I’ve been batch-converting the text to lowercase before processing it), and I’ve been manually deleting all words that start with numbers or that look likely to be roman numerals. I’ve also been doing this from Terminal, one file at a time, when it really ought to be able to process in batches. This proves that I am not nearly lazy enough, otherwise I would have dealt with this weeks ago, in order to spare myself a lot of tedious busywork.
  • Make the design not suck (e.g., get rid of those gaps, and replace the radio buttons with something less nasty).
  • Add more views—for example, something should actually happen when you mouse over or click on a book thumbnail, besides it lighting up in hideous powder blue. There are a lot more ways I want to slice up this data, and I still want to be able to compare books or sets of books. That will require building the word-counting code into the Flex app somehow.

But in the meantime, w000t! It works!

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