The Sunbelt Conference went extremely well, with great audience for Gephi and many positive feedbacks and comments. This event confirmed Gephi is fulfilling some of the essential needs and is going toward the good direction. Two of our plans are to improve features for longitudinal networks and develop the gephi-toolkit. Let’s see what we learnt from Sunbelt.

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The Sunbelt Conference is a huge event, and this edition breaks all records with more than 700 participants and a very intensive program. Needless to say outstanding researches are presented there and it’s a pleasure to meet everyone, though we didn’t have enough time there in Riva Del Garda (Italy).

Longitudinal Networks

A great majority of people we provided a Gephi demo asked about dynamic network support. That is not really surprising but it shows the great demand about these features and the interest the timeline in Gephi and how to use it.

I was however frustrated we didn’t have the time to go deeper in the discussion. People are looking for specific layout, evolution and diffusion features. It is a vast topic and that’s why we are starting a draft specification about longitudinal networks. Our aim is to collect knowledge, references and feature requests from Sunbelt researchers interested in seeing progress in this direction. That will help for Gephi future versions 0.8 and 0.9.

And it is clear we need a tutorial how to format data to use dynamic features in current version.

Plug-ins, Toolkit, reuse and mashup

Gephi is a modular application extensible with plug-ins. We hope that the existing documentation is enough to already start to code cool stuff and are really eager to help anyone who has a plugin project. Meet us on the forum.

Gephi also relies on a dozen core modules that can be packaged independently. That is what we call the gephi-toolkit, which official announcement and tutorial are due soon. Many researchers are seduced by this idea, allowing custom scripting and command-line applications using Gephi features. Stay tuned.

Future

Gephi is an international project, open to any institution or company anxious to see quick progress. We are looking for contributors and funding. Please contact us. Thanks to Google Summer of Code program, see what we can do in four months with great students.

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