11/22/2017 - 12:30 AM

General Update Pattern, I

General Update Pattern, I

<!DOCTYPE html>
<meta charset="utf-8">

text {
  font: bold 48px monospace;

.enter {
  fill: green;

.update {
  fill: #333;

<svg width="960" height="500"></svg>
<script src="https://d3js.org/d3.v4.min.js"></script>

var alphabet = "abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz".split("");

var svg = d3.select("svg"),
    width = +svg.attr("width"),
    height = +svg.attr("height"),
    g = svg.append("g").attr("transform", "translate(32," + (height / 2) + ")");

function update(data) {

  // Join new data with old elements, if any.
  var text = g.selectAll("text")

  // Update old elements as needed.
  text.attr("class", "update");

  // ENTER
  // Create new elements as needed.
  // After merging the entered elements with the update selection,
  // apply operations to both.
      .attr("class", "enter")
      .attr("x", function(d, i) { return i * 32; })
      .attr("dy", ".35em")
      .text(function(d) { return d; });

  // EXIT
  // Remove old elements as needed.

// The initial display.

// Grab a random sample of letters from the alphabet, in alphabetical order.
d3.interval(function() {
      .slice(0, Math.floor(Math.random() * 26))
}, 1500);


This example demonstrates D3’s general update pattern, where a data-join is followed by operations on the enter, update and exit selections. Entering elements are shown in green, while updating elements are shown in black. Exiting elements are removed immediately, so they're invisible.

This example does not use a key function for the data-join, so elements may change their associated letter. Entering elements are always added to the end: when the new data has more letters than the old data, new elements are entered to display the new letters. Likewise, exiting letters are always removed from the end when the new data has fewer letters than the old data.

Next: Key Functions

forked from mbostock's block: General Update Pattern, I