[deepamehta-devel] Release planning - 2 more petitions

Malte Reißig mre at deepamehta.de
Di Nov 12 13:47:35 CET 2013

Hi Juergen, (Hi all DM-visionaries)!

Two objections about rendering AssocType info on the canvas and one
objection about implement rendering more details in-map (as part of the
upcoming core/webclient) release.

Please don't get me wrong, I really appreciate your input and I try to
express my support to your initative and wishes with the sketch
attached, maybe this way we can get on with the discussion towards a
Assoc-Label (tradeoff-) solution for the next release?

Wrapping it up, may render the state-of-discussion here easier than it
sounds in the rest of my mail:

* Expert users like me don't want to clutter their canvas with
additional AssociationType-Labels (optionally, OK).

* We dont' have a way yet for getting Association-Labels right since
we're not including "Role Types" into the discussion (yet).

* There is a generic "Text" available to set for each Association
already, why not start with rendering this next to an Association? This
would leave it up to users to set labels in the canvas on Assocations.

In the following my detailed reply to your input:

On 11.11.2013 20:23, Juergen Neumann wrote:
> Hey Jörg,
> as far as I understand it we plan to focus on usability and beautifying
> with 4.1.3 and focus on PAX, Websockets, push messages, core optimazion,
> etc. (and maybe public/shared/private workspace) in 4.1.4. 
> Agreed on that I have two more petitions for 4.1.3:
> a) Show pictures/thumbnails per instance - e.g. a person (or any other
> complex topic type) can have a picture. If picture exists, it is shown
> as a thumbnail on the canvas. Maybe you can use a thumbnail library
> which also displays thumbnails for various other mime types (PDF, DOC,
> PNG, etc.)

I think that's a bit much to ask for now ("any complex-type"), mainly
because I can't even wrap my head around it (with picture you mean
"File", right?). Maybe to concentrate an in-map "Profile Picture" for
each "User Account" would be a first step? And this thumbnail-library
things sounds a bit like a feature you want for all "File"-Topics, if I
get you right. Though I find this file content-preview thumbnails of
limited use in my day-to-day work (for example if compared to sorting
"Folder contents" to "Last modified").

> b) Display the name of the Association(Type) on the Canvas - from my
> understanding the new view model plugin should allow to have more
> possibilities for the display of associations, too, right? So it would
> be very nice if the name of the association type is displayed along with
> the association (same color, small letters along the line) - not to
> dream about bézier-curved arrows ... ;-)
> I just went through this with Carolina. We fully agree that there should
> be more information displayed on the canvas already. So to display the
> name of the type of association on the canvas, too, would be exactly the
> right step in the same direction. :)

(Despite the wonderful idea for bezier-curves,) I have to object here:

"So it would be very nice if the name of the association type is
displayed along with the association (same color, small letters along
the line)."

>From my point of view the Association Type is already clearly coded in
the AssociationColor, expert users like me don't want this information
written onto the canvas, it costs a lot of (precious) space. (I can just
imagine it to be useful if I want to print out a Topicmap for
publication and present my map to an audience new to deepamehta). If
this will get into the core than one *must* be able to turn it "on" and
"off", otherwise we start banging our heads against each other. Right
now I would favor much more to display "Association text" on the canvas
(which users can optionally already set in the page panel) instead of
additionally displaying the AssociationType. Probably this is part of
the struggle trying to serve one DeepaMehta for first-time users,
intermediates and experts at the same time, but maybe I get you two
wrong on why you want to render the Type-Info there?

Second: Because of the question if such a label is going to be rendered
"horizontally next to the line" or "directly on the line", I really
don't know yet (the former may be more readable for potential readers of
the map but it will also take much more space of the canvas.)

But what I know is we must think harder on what is an "Association
label", since we *already have 4 potential texts* eligible to become
displayed as "Association label" (1. name of "Role Type 1", 2. name of
"Role Type 2", 3. name of "Association Type" and 4. text at
"Assocation"), or?

See attached sketch with the respective numbers asking for correction,
rendering a "fully labeled" relation of type "Association".

"We fully agree that there should be more information displayed on the
canvas already." -

If you ask me, Jri made already great progress with enabling
plugin-developers to interfere with the webclient canvas rendering /
customizing in-map details (Ticket #505). This means, now a plugin-dev
can (even selectively see Ticket #522) extend e.g. the "User Account"
in-map rendering about _just_ a related "Profile Picture". So from my
perspective, jri is clearly done here for now. The framework itself now
allows such stuff. Even a map displayin "all" childs of a topic is
already do-able for plugin developers now (as proposed by jri in his
mail on displaying full topic details in the map side-by-side).

Please consider the following:
There are probably going to come many variations of what is rendered in
the canvas, and everyone wants to have a different type of rendering (as
assoc-labels show us already). Also, this is a super nice 1-2-day
development effort for (new) plugin developers. Also its worth noting
that someone else than jri uses this new core-interfaces in practice,
trying to implement new renderer. Out of my recent experience, just this
pushes the implementation of the DM-framework into usable areas. If jri
develops this type of features while at the same time laying out the
core-ground for his own, ordinary plugin-devs like me will have
difficulties to find effective use in DM.

Additionally the plugin-dev can build upon the following work:
https://github.com/jri/dm4-box-renderer-dom to realize this wish.

On your topics listed for 4.1.14, all features related to enabling
collaborative usage of DM (e.g. Acl.READ, Private + Public Workspaces)
do completely match my expectations for February/March 2014.

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