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  1. #1
    Junior Member jerols's Avatar
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    Recently I had an idea about a way to navigate through a tree that is quicker than the typical outliner. So over the past few days I did a javascript/prototype/scriptaculous implementation of the idea. Personally, I like the result, but before I spend more time on perfecting it and making it work on Internet Explorer, I would like to get opinions.

    View an example here .
    It doesn't work in Internet Explorer at the moment.

    Is it a good/bad idea? I wrote the code pretty quick so there are probably some bugs and room for improvement in the implementation. If you see any obvious things, you can mention them here.

    If your interested you can follow its development at my blog.

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  3. #2
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    Looks pretty good, I'm just not sure if it would be intuitive.

    Concerning editors, though you seem to have settled on textmate -> vim is awesome, and free ;-) My older brother was a textmate lover who, once he learned vim... Well, let's just say his textmate license is currently unused :-P

  4. #3
    WDF Staff smoseley's Avatar
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    I'm with Shadowfiend. It's a neat experiment, but probably not intuitive enough for every day use.

    Also, it would probably be more "flowy" in Flash.

  5. #4
    Junior Member jerols's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies. The reason for my experimenting is because I am trying to find a better, faster way to navigate a tree when the tree has lots of information and deep levels. The alternative to this is the typical outliner where you manually expand and collapse levels. This is pretty good, but when you start to have huge trees, it becomes frustrating to try to find the information you want quickly and be focused on that information, then quickly go to other information.

    In the web app I am working on, the typical tree just won't cut it because the trees users will be navigating and editing will be huge. So if this solution isn't intuitive, I would like to find a more intuitive solution that meets my goals. Any ideas?

    Is there any particular element of the Zoomable tree that makes it unintuitive? Or is it just the idea in general?

  6. #5
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    Well, it's worth considering to make it expand on hover, and make unselected elements entirely invisible. So it would be sort of like a traditional tree, except that instead of expanding when you click, it expands when you hover. This way, the navigation will be somewhat faster. Even what you've already got with expand-on-hover might be a better plan.

  7. #6
    Junior Member jerols's Avatar
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    Thanks for the input Shadowfiend. I've been experimenting with your ideas. Using the results of the experiments was a little difficult because when I am trying to focus on something, it is so easy to lose the focus because my mouse accidentally went over something else. So it has a sort of fleeting feel.

    But one thing that may work is keeping it similar to the way it is except that when you mouseover a item, that item gets enlarged a little bit so you can see clearly what it says (for the zoomed out items). That way you can easily go from a deep level to a shallow level and vice versa without having to navigate through intermediate levels.

  8. #7
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    The other option is putting a delay on it and putting a box around it. So, put a border on the element currently marked as `selected', and make that box follow the mouse around instantaneously; however, the `focus', so to speak, i.e. the enlarged part, won't actually change unless you hover over one item for more than, say, 500ms or something. Or, you can combine the two, and make the delay enlarge it completely, while a simple hover just enlarges it a little. The enlarge a little + click might also work.

  9. #8
    Junior Member jerols's Avatar
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    I'll do some more experiments and post the results.

    Thanks for all the input shadowfiend.

  10. #9
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    Np. Give us a look at what you come up with

  11. #10
    Junior Member jerols's Avatar
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    I have developed an updated version based on input from users. You can see the updated version here.

    You can see what changes I made on my blog. I'll use my blog keep all who are interested informed.

    What do you think of the changes?


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