Google refine 2.5 RC 2 overview

The 2.5 release candidate is available since Nov 18 and give some interesting insight of what's coming next for google refine. Main change have been done on the welcome interface with three screens to create, open or import an project and a project creation process deeply reworked.

December 12 update
the final release of google refine 2.5 is out. Have fun!

A brand new process for project creation.

The project creation process now supports interaction with support of OpenOffice format (thanks!), direct import from google spreadsheet and fusin table (public and private) and even direct download from any source url. This worked nicely with a csv file from scraperwiki (you need to do a right click, Copy link location to get the url of the data set) for example.

click on the image to see it full screen

From there google refine offers now a panel to review and parse data before creating the project itself. This new interface is useful to point to the right data format or see the direct impact of detecting automatically field format and plenty of other nice features to determine initial parsing or headers. This will save us lots of time to get the data right from the first time and not create a project and the realizing that there is no header or we do not want to have value type detected automatically.

click on the image to see it full screen

Finally a progress bar have been added which is nice when you have large data set and you don't know if refine crashed or it is still working.

Other features
Regarding the User Interface, header are fixed now, so you don't have to scroll up every time you want to get your menu (houraaa !)

A new option to transpose is available (columnize by key/value columns ...) but I have tried it yet.

Out of that, I haven't notice that many changes in function. I've tried few time cell.cross function with no Error: cannot retrieved field from null error (update: nope, still have the error message).

As it is a release candidate you might expect some bugs but after two intense days of usage I only had an issue uploading a compressed file (a .gz from mysql). It also looks like it is asking for more computer resources but that's a feel like and I didn't test it properly.

Wanna give it a try?
Download google refine 2.5 RC2 for WindowsMacOSX or Linux. Unzip the package where you want to 'install' google refine. All your previous project will be in the available immediately in the 2.5 version, no migration is required.