Today, we’re super excited to announce Visual Dataflow: a new tool to help illustrate the reactivity that powers Observable notebooks!
We know that reading, writing, and editing notebooks can sometimes be confusing. You continuously update a carefully constructed mental model of the order in which your cells evaluate. You thoughtfully remember not only where each cell fits in that order, but also where it lives on the page. You painstakingly trace through the dependencies of cells as you write and refactor your code.
Now, we hope this all becomes a little (or a lot) easier with the help of Visual Dataflow and its two key features:
- Our take on a minimap which, among other things, highlights the connections between the focused cell and other cells in the notebook
- Special syntax highlighting for references to other cells in the notebook, paired with keyboard shortcuts to jump to the definition of these variables
These changes have been inspired by tons of feedback from tons of Observable authors. Above all, we want Visual Dataflow to be helpful to you, to enable you to continue writing amazing notebooks more quickly, intuitively, and delightfully than before.
But we know, as all good features are, this is work in progress and the only way we’re going to keep making it better is by listening to and learning from you. So check out our announcement notebook, play around with the new features, and let us know what you think — please, don’t hold back! We want to know what you love, what you don’t, what’s useful, and what’s missing.