Dynamic Data Loading

How to load data into Idyll posts at runtime.

Fri May 31 2019


While Idyll provides a convenient way to load data into your article through the [data /] tag, sometimes you may want to defer loading data until after the web page has loaded for performance reasons.

In this case, you can put your data inside of the static/ folder (instead of the data/ folder where it would typically go). Any files in the static folder are made available over the network when the page is running, allowing you to dynamically fetch the necessary data and add it to the page while avoiding big up-front load times.


Here’s a quick example, using data from https://github.com/fivethirtyeight/data. I’ve downloaded a CSV file, and put it in my local static folder. Now I’ve set up some components to dynamically load that data and put it into a [Table /] once available. The data won’t load until you click the button below.

Data length: 0

No rows found


Here’s what the markup for the above looks like:

[var name:"myDynamicData" value:`[]` /]
[var name:"shouldLoad" value:`false` /]

[DataLoader value:myDynamicData src:"./static/data/airline-safety.csv" load:shouldLoad /]

Data length: [Display value:`myDynamicData.length` format:"d"/]

[Button onClick:`shouldLoad = true `]
  Load Data


[Table data:myDynamicData /]

I’ve created one variable, myDynamicData, to hold the value of the dataset, and another shouldLoad to tell my component when to load the data. Notice that shouldLoad is set to true once the button is clicked.

The only thing that’s missing is the DataLoader component. This is a very small component (~30 lines of code) that performs a network request and updates its value once the data has been loaded. Note that this isn’t a built-in Idyll component, I’ve just created it to make this example work.

The full code for the component is below:

const React = require('react');
const D3Component = require('idyll-d3-component');
const d3 = require('d3');

class DataLoader extends D3Component {

  loadData(props) {
      .then((response) => {
        return response.text();
      }).then((text) => {
        const parsed = d3.csvParse(text);
        props.updateProps({ value: parsed });

  initialize(node, props) {
    if (props.load) {

  update(props, oldProps) {
    if (props.load) {

module.exports = DataLoader;

Feel free to re-use and adapt this component to suit your needs. The full source for this post is available at https://github.com/mathisonian/idyll-dynamic-data.