Good News for Hipsters and Grandmothers

If you're a hipster or an elderly person, you probably rely on some kind of Apple product. And that's bad news, because you're missing out on the live Win Probability Graphs. Since 2009 they've been run using the Adobe Flash browser plug-in, which was the bane of Steve Jobs.

You've probably noticed that on your iPad the ANS front page presented you with a big white box with nothing but a line of text. It told you that you don't have Flash, and here's a link to a non-Flash version of the graph. And the link did nothing but take you to another page that told you the same thing and gave you the same link, which finally took you to the old pre-Flash version (which was optimized for circa-2008 Blackberrys.) Embarrassing.

But now things are looking up for you. Unfortunately I can't do anything about the hipster thing--you'll grow out of it eventually. But I can make it a lot easier to see live WP updates without Flash. Starting this weekend I've gotten off my butt and replaced the ugly 'You don't have Flash' error with the Apple-friendly version of the graph. This version isn't interactive and doesn't provide enhanced details, so it won't exactly knock your fedora off, but it's better than a big white box with an error message.
Eventually I'd like to move to a universal version of the graphs. I'm leaning toward a package called jqplot, which is really nice. The only problem is that my tooltips (the context bubbles with the play information) can grow quite large, and jqplot doesn't handle that well. If you have another suggestion please provide it in the comments. Fangraphs uses High Charts, which looks promising.

(And yes, I know Macs have Flash and the new Android mobile browsers don't. Don't get your ironic argyle socks in a bunch. By the way, there is a workaround on Android. Check out the Dolphin Browser. I was using it way before it went mainstream. And if you're a hipster, and you know who you are, just remember that in 25 years your kids will think of you the same way you think of these people.)

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8 Responses to “Good News for Hipsters and Grandmothers”

  1. Jonathan Lee says:

    I've used the Highcharts library on a few projects and it's worked very well. Large tooltips look fine and it's highly customizable -- I'm sure you could virtually replicate the SWF charts' appearance.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I don't think hipsters like the NFL.

  3. Anonymous says:

    This is the most hipster NFL blog on the web.

    @Anonymous In my experience, hipsters don't like Apple products either.

  4. Brian Burke says:


  5. Michael Beuoy says:

    I use Google's Chart Dashboards for the NBA and Tennis win probability graphs on my site. I've found the zoom sliders are helpful for those highly volatile sections of the game where the play by play movements are hard to discern.

    The tooltips are fully customizable with HTML and CSS. I haven't run into any size issues yet.


  6. Anonymous says:

    @Brian It wasn't meant as an insult.

  7. Brian Burke says:

    I know. I'm just being ironic...


  8. Ben Stuplisberger says:

    Hipsters like NFL, I saw a hipster couple at the bar last Sunday watching the Lions game (I live in Detroit).

    Everybody, young, old, hipster, non-hipster, Black, White, uses the iPhone. You have to get out more Brian!

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