Development Update – 3

Observu Dashboard It has been a while since I last updated you about our progress. We are still continuing our work on various reports. An important part of this is creating informative graphs. Although we liked Open Flash Chart, it felt a bit sluggish and we decided to go for a solution based on the Raphael library: an SVG abstraction with fallback for IE. It comes with a limited graphing library: g.raphael, but it was not mature enough for our needs. Another Raphael based charting library is Grafico, it’s able to display a few great graphs. However, we choose to create our own, mostly because Grafico depends on Prototype, which we do not use and because we would need to extend it for our own graph types. Although the library is well coded, we did not feel confident about customizing it to our needs. We will open-source our own library as soon as it is in a usable state.

At the same time, we’ve started to work on a very basic mobile website, which allows you to check your status on-the-go. We hope to slowly add more functionality and at the same time keep things really quick and simple.

Another major part of development involves the collection agent. We’ve chosen to use Perl, to maximize portability and reduced dependencies. Additional advantages include easy customization and the ability to verify that it does not contain harmful code. The next challenge in this area is to create an install script that works across distributions.

On the front-end we’ve introduced a new splash page for observu.com, it contains the first iteration of our new logo, which still needs a bit of work. We also got a very nice mascot designed, but we will keep that a secret for now.

If you visit the new splash page, you will also notice that we’ve selected UserVoice for feedback and support. I’ll write a separate blog post about the selection process soon.

We are also talking to potential users about their monitoring needs, if you feel you could contribute by telling us about your problems, please feel free to contact me.

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