Re: How many use the diagram tree?

On Sun, 10 Aug 2003, James K. Lowden wrote:

And I've never thought Visio was a paradigm worthy of emulation.  Maybe
there are Visio diagrams out there with hundreds of objects on them, but

paradigm.  Visio has a large userbuse and a user interface worth copying
unless we have a better idea.

Speaking of better ideas I have finally been able to download a trial
version of Rational Rose from IBM.

to me that would be the work of a masochist.  Visio is a drawing tool; it
demands much attention to visual aspects (and too many clicks for most of
them).  Tools like ERwin are data tools with a visual representation
capability.  I've always thought that Dia's XML foundation is a terrific
asset in creating data-rich diagrams, something Visio really doesn't even
try to do.  And, yes, by the way, your guess is correct (sorry not to have

Visio has more than one form of XML although unsuprisingly much of
information is encapsulated in inaccessible blobs.

<rant> One thing I've never understood is Visio's facination with handles.
 Why?  Any 14-year-old knows a line consists of an infinite set of points.
 What's the purpose of picking out some few as more significant than the
rest?  Why isn't every point on the line a handle?  Draw a line, drag it

It is not just Visio it is just about every vector graphics program I have
seen.  I guess handles must have seemed simpler to program at some
point.  I guess the problem is the difference between wanting to
simpley move or change the shape, the handles make it clear that you want
to resize rather just select and move.
Certainly being able to join one line to anywhere on another line
or circumferance would be nice

I think many too-many-objects-sire problems could be solved/mitigated with
linked diagrams, especially if the jump-to-parent-diagram shape were
automatically inserted in dependendent diagrams.  Andy reminded me that
it's often useful to have several views of the same objects, too.

Linking would certainly be very useful in Dia.

To clarify what I meant by "tabbed diagrams".  I've found that even for
very complex diagrams, only a few named subsets were worth maintaining.
Each one is a kind of sub-diagram, really another perspective on some of
the objects.  Suppose each named subset would appear as a tab in the
diagram's window, similar to the way tabs work in Mozilla.  I suggest this

Mozilla tabs are showing multiple seperate documents, I was trying to make
the minor distinction of a document with multiple sheets/pages making up a
workbook each of which would be displayed in a seperate Tab, like in
Excel, PowerPoint, Visio, OpenOffice Draw etc.

The real benifit of Tabs for Mozilla was speed because opening a new
windows was so damned slow and second to that grouping of associated
documents together.  Applications like OpenOffice are just more specific
abou the groupings.

It might also be possible to achieve what you want by having a object say
a Rectangle that you can click on and when you do so you are zoomed in and
get to see  the parts that make it up.  This is more a case of better
handling hiding details at distant Zoom levels.  I am not sure I can
explain this particularly well.

When suggesting features it always helps if you can identify a program
that already succesfully implements the behaviour
I dont particularly want to register just to try it out for a few weeks
but as you already seem to be using it extensively screenshots and
descriptions of things about it you like would be helpful.

I'll be more explicit in the future about my references, and I'll make you
some screen shots so you can see what I mean.  You're right not to bother
registering, btw.  ERwin is a little like single malt scotch or Mahler.
Something of an acquired taste, and something that grows on you.

sorry if i sounded dismissive, I am a bit grumpy at the moment, not
getting much of anything done.

This might be an interesting (potentially better) way of looking at the
behaviours that are currently dealt with in the Selection menu, we might
be able to seperate out the concept of going to and actually selecting
these objects.

If I can further the discussion, I'm only too happy to.

Great, it continues to surprise me the great suggestions people often make
simply because they have taken the time to carefully look at the think
deeply about something that others simply had not taken the time to
consider or simply did not realise existed.


Alan Horkan

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