Enhancing LoklakWordCloud app present on Loklak apps site

LoklakWordCloud app is presently hosted on loklak apps site. Before moving into the content of this blog, let us get a brief overview of the app. What does the app do? The app generates a word cloud using twitter data returned by loklak based on the query word provided by the user. The user enters a word in the input field and presses the search button. After that a word cloud is created using the content (text body, hashtags and mentioned) of the various tweets which contains the user provided query word.

In my previous post I wrote about creating the basic functional app. In this post I will be describing the next steps that have been implemented in the app.

Making the word cloud clickable

This is one of the most important and interesting features added to the app. The words in the cloud are now clickable.Whenever an user clicks on a word present in the cloud, the cloud is replaced by the word cloud of that selected word. How do we achieve this behaviour? Well, for this we use Jqcloud’s handler feature. While creating the list of objects for each word and its frequency, we also specify a handler corresponding to each of the word. The handler is supposed to handle a click event. Whenever a click event occurs, we set the value of $scope.tweet to the selected word and invoke the search function, which calls the loklak API and regenerates the word cloud.

for (var word in $scope.wordFreq) {
            $scope.wordCloudData.push({
                text: word,
                weight: $scope.wordFreq[word],
                handlers: {
                    click: function(e) {
                        $scope.tweet = e.target.textContent;
                        $scope.search();
                    }
                }
            });
        }

As it can be seen in the above snippet, handlers is simply an JavaScript object, which takes a function for the click event. In the function we pass the word selected as value of the tweet variable and call search method.

Adding filters to the app

Previously the app generated word cloud using the entire tweet content, that is, hashtags, mentions and tweet body. Thus the app was not flexible. User was not able to decide on which field he wants his word cloud to be generated. User might want to generate his  word cloud using only the hashtags or the mentions or simply the tweet body. In order to make this possible, filters have been introduced. Now we have filters for hashtags, mentions, tweet body and date.

<div class="col-md-6 tweet-filters">
              <strong>Filters</strong>
              <hr>
              <div class="filters">
                <label class="checkbox-inline"><input type="checkbox" value="" ng-model="hashtags">Hashtags</label>
                <label class="checkbox-inline"><input type="checkbox" value="" ng-model="mentions">Mentions</label>
                <label class="checkbox-inline"><input type="checkbox" value="" ng-model="tweetbody">Tweet body</label>
              </div>
              <div class="filter-all">
                <span class="select-all" ng-click="selectAll()"> Select all </span>
              </div>
            </div>

We have used checkboxes for the individual filters and have kept an option to select all the filters at once. Next we require to hook this HTML to AngularJS code to make the filters functional.

if ($scope.hashtags) {
                tweet.hashtags.forEach(function (hashtag) {
                    $scope.filteredWords.push("#" + hashtag);
                });
            }

            if ($scope.mentions) {
                tweet.mentions.forEach(function (mention) {
                    $scope.filteredWords.push("@" + mention);
                });
            }

In the above snippet, before adding the hashtags to the list of filtered words, we first make sure that the checkbox for hashtags is selected. Once we find out the the variable bound to the hashtags checkbox is true, we proceed further and add the hashtags associated with a given tweet to the list of filteredWords. The same strategy is applied for both mentions (shown in the snippet) and tweet bodies.

Adding error notification

Next, we handle certain errors to notify the users that there is problem in their input. Such cases include empty input. If user provides empty input then we notify him or her and break the search. Next we check whether From date is before To date or not. If From date is after To date then we notify the user about the problem.

if ($scope.tweet === "" || $scope.tweet === undefined) {
            $scope.error = "Please enter a valid query word";
            $scope.showError();
            return;
}

In the above snippet we check for empty or undefined input and display snackbar along with error accordingly.

if ((sinceDate !== "" && sinceDate !== undefined) && (endDate !== "" && endDate !== undefined)) {
            var date1 = new Date(sinceDate);
            var date2 = new Date(endDate);
            if (date1 > date2) {
                $scope.error = "To date should be after From date";
                $scope.showError();
                return;
            }
        }

The above snippet compares date. For comparing dates, first we fetch the values entered (via jquery date widget) into the respective input fields and then create JavaScript Date objects out of them. Finally we compare those Date objects to find out if there is any error or not.

Now it might happen that a particular search is taking a long time (perhaps due to network problem), however the user becomes impatient and tries to search again. In that case we need to inform the user that the previous search is still going on. For this purpose we use a boolean variable  to keep track whether the previous search is completed or still going on. If the previous search is going on and user tries to make a new search then we provide a proper notification and prevent the user from making further searches.

Finally we need to make sure that the user is online and has an active internet connection before the search can take place and Loklak API can be called. For this we have used navigator. We have polled the onLine property of navigator to find out whether the user is online or not. If the user is offline then we inform him that we cannot initiate a search due to internet connectivity problem.

if ($scope.isLoading === true) {
            $scope.error = "Previous search not completed. Please wait...";
            $scope.showError();
            return;
        }
        if (!navigator.onLine) {
            $scope.error = "You are currently offline. Please check your internet connection!";
            $scope.showError();
            return;
        }

Important resources

  • View the app source here.
  • View loklak apps site source here.
  • View Loklak API documentation here
  • View Jqcloud documentation here.
  • Learn more about AngularJS here.