Category Archives: Musings

Eddie Van Halen and Dashed Lines

Mastery can be magic. I can remember a time as a young person when I just started to have a clue about how music was made hearing an Eddie Van Halen solo on the radio and wondering, “How does one person make that many notes???” Or the scene in The Empire Strikes Back where Yoda lifts the X-Wing out of the bog and Luke is hornswoggled. Amazement, disbelief, and “I want to do that too!” all rolled into one feeling, when the heretofore impossible becomes, for an instant, possible.

One of the things Tableau doesn’t do is let you draw line charts with dashed lines, to create a view like this that could be from Excel or another application:

Solid and Dashed

Except that Tableau can do this, and you’re about to learn how – actually, three entirely different techniques. Along the way you’ll learn some more about how Tableau draws Line Marks and table calculation domain padding.

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Pie (Charts) in the Sky

Shawn Wallwork has a knack for starting some interesting (to me, at least) threads on the Tableau forums – like this one about the forums themselves. He posted an idea yesterday for Tableau changing the layout container paradigm for dashboards to more of a canvas GUI like other tools, and invited folks to submit their paradigm-shifting ideas. I got just a wee bit pie in the sky in my response, check out the Change to a ‘Canvas’ GUI thread for a dose of a potential future where views can be flipped from screen to screen and rearranged with the same ease of use that we have when we swipe to unlock our phones.