irc chat logs from foaf browser ui discussion w/ ephidrina

Dan Brickley danbri at w...
Fri Oct 25 12:04:48 UTC 2002


we're moving a discussion into #foaf (see http://rdfweb.org/irc/), here is
log of chat with Liz Turner (ephidrina / http://liz.xtdnet.nl/), thinking
about ui design issues, esp re the SVG foaf browsers...

Dan

[00:00] <danb_lap> ephidrina, did you see http://jibbering.com/codepiction/foaf-knows.1.svg?email=danbri@w...
[00:00] <danb_lap> svg foaf thing
[00:13] * ephidrina nods - lots of info on this
[00:13] <ephidrina> can this be simplified?
[00:15] <ephidrina> seems a little buggy too - but that could just be svg
[00:16] * ephidrina wonders how to make more usable/readable
[00:16] <ephidrina> basic functionality good tho...
[00:17] <ephidrina> shall think it over
[00:19] <danb_lap> yes, are some bugs...
[00:20] <danb_lap> we're in #foaf on irc.openprojects.net if you can bear
another irc channel / network
[00:20] <danb_lap> Dean @w3 did the basics (was initially an imdb
browser), Jim Ley adapted it to this specific apps
[00:21] <ephidrina> i recall the imdb browser
[00:22] <danb_lap> re 'can this be simplified', depends quite what 'this'
is. the server knows more about the people than we currently display
(eg. photos...).
[00:22] <ephidrina> there is probably a better way of attaching email addy
to node
[00:22] <danb_lap> my main issue is w.r.t. layout, readability, and not
knowing what's behind a node before you click it
[00:22] <ephidrina> so it is more readable
[00:23] <danb_lap> there's a 'foafcorp' version too with fatcats and
companies as node types. but you don't know without trying which fatcat
nodes expand to more companies (ie who sits on multiple boards). Dean was
looking at making that distinction more visually apparent.
[00:23] <danb_lap> re email, yeah, Jim's thing currently labels each node
with a mailbox, and switches it to their name once a lookup is done.
that's a bit odd.
[00:23] <ephidrina> how good is svg with layers? ie, invoking little
drop-down thingees?
[00:24] <ephidrina> should be other way around, i think
[00:24] <danb_lap> Names + photo / sillhouette seem better than mailbox...
Re layers, I'm not sure, it has opacity...
[00:25] <danb_lap> http://people.w3.org/maxf/Parallax shows some svg
layering (though is a bit sluggish; might need to command-click and turn
off high quality)
[00:26] <danb_lap> svg has some catching up to do performance-wise w/
flash
[00:27] <ephidrina> hehe no shit :)
[00:27] <ephidrina> it does seem v slow...
[00:28] <danb_lap> that demo in particular chews up cpu, not sure if it
could be optimised, max made it after i showed him some flash thing that
parallax'd people's photos...

[00:29] <danb_lap> i wanted a foafy thing with people and objects
scrolling past in a landscape... (not sure why :)
[00:29] <ephidrina> parallax?
[00:29] <danb_lap> yes (whatever parallax means. cartoony layering)
[00:29] <ephidrina> oic
[00:30] <danb_lap> 'This demo shows how it is possible to simulate a 3D
scene in SVG, with the restriction that all the objects in the scene
remain flat, and parallel to the projection plane (i.e. the screen). This
is a setting similar to traditional cartoon animation where characters and
scenery are painted on celuloid sheets ('cels'). '
[00:30] <danb_lap> (max's page)
[00:31] <ephidrina> back on foaf page now: what's differece between pink
threads and green threads?
[00:31] <danb_lap> i think it explains briefly befroe the query panel
disappears (if you don't put email= in the url, it stays long enough to
read...)
[00:31] <danb_lap> pink links are codepictions. green are foaf:knows
[00:31] <danb_lap> also dashed means is only known to go in one
direction...
[00:32] <danb_lap> (though we don't show which direction... jim tried
adding arrows but it was too cluttered)
[00:32] <ephidrina> yeh - help/legend should be always available
[00:33] <danb_lap> also none of the UI captures any aspect of the 'who
said what'
[00:33] <ephidrina> 'and when?'
[00:33] <danb_lap> Dean's original demo was peppered with disclaimers w/
UI design; I've stopped repeating them but take them as standing...
[00:33] <danb_lap> yup. Foafbot is better at that stuff. 'dan says jim
knows libby' etc[00:34] <danb_lap> for the graphical interface, we're back
in gullible mode, since the server believes everything the harvester
finds.
[00:35] <danb_lap> fwiw logs of #foaf are at
http://rdfweb.org/irc/foaf/irc.openprojects.net:6667/foaf/2002-10-25.html
and nearby
[00:37] <ephidrina> to simplify things - perhaps separate codepictions
from foaf data
[00:39] <ephidrina> naming nodes could be trickier
[00:39] <ephidrina> red/green buttons should perhaps be inside nodes
[00:39] <ephidrina> ??
[00:41] <danb_lap> yup. one issue is w.r.t. how generic to make things, vs
customising for specific kinds of thing and kinds of relation
[00:41] <danb_lap> we've seen:
[00:41] <danb_lap> movies + actors
[00:41] <danb_lap> company boards + fatcats
[00:41] <danb_lap> people (linked by knows, by codepiction)
[00:41] <danb_lap> people + images that they're in
[00:41] <ephidrina> vertical lists could be better use of space
[00:42] <danb_lap> ...all re-using basically the same interface. Which is
nice, but to do each app better, might need more customising.
[00:42] <ephidrina> but the nodal mapping very useful for visualisation -
how to combine the 2?
[00:42] <danb_lap> vertical lists vs balloony effect?
[00:42] * danb_lap wishes he knew... (and/or had a whiteboard app for
shared scribbling via)
[00:42] <ephidrina> that would be cool!! make one!!
[00:43] * ephidrina jumps up and down, claps!
[00:44] <ephidrina> could do a name/number thing
[00:44] <danb_lap> how that work?
[00:44] <ephidrina> eg - each node has number, list expands data
[00:45] <ephidrina> like a classic map type thing
[00:45] <ephidrina> you see this all the time on photos., maps etc
[00:45] * danb_lap having trouble visualising. oh, a list down side (1)
Libby (2) Zool (3) etc...?
[00:45] <ephidrina> yep
[00:46] <danb_lap> yeah, that could save a bunch of space, though
referring back to the key could make whole thing less imediate
[00:46] <ephidrina> nodes become photos, silhoettes for added interest
[00:46] <danb_lap> could maybe use some interaction or -- yeah as you say
-- pics to distinguish nodes
[00:46] <ephidrina> would be much easier to read tho
[00:46] <danb_lap> mouseover or somesuch could bring up mini-info
[00:47] <ephidrina> exactly - hence drop-downs
[00:49] <ephidrina> on a larger screen, codepictions could be visualised
differently too
[00:49] <ephidrina> trouble is - codepictions are not nodes, but
connections
[00:50] <danb_lap> you _could_ conceptualise them as a node... libby had a
version where the nodes were alternately people and the photos that they
appear in; ie. one or more codpections per photo node
[00:50] <danb_lap> not sure that'd be ideal either
[00:51] <ephidrina> rewind: the list of data should ask you which
connections you want to show, not show all then ask you to delete
[00:51] <ephidrina> so - i call up danbri - the interface has a list and a
map
[00:51] <danb_lap> sounds plausible... trying to think what that requires
in terms of protocol interactions to server... should be reasonably easy
[00:52] <ephidrina> on the ist, i ask it to show zool & hitherto
[00:52] <ephidrina> for exampel
[00:52] * danb_lap nods (this doesn't have to be a totally generic
relationship browser, can have hardcoded list of scenarios, anticipated
connections you want to show, not show all then ask you to delete
[00:51] <ephidrina> so - i call up danbri - the interface has a list and a
map
[00:51] <danb_lap> sounds plausible... trying to think what that requires
in terms of protocol interactions to server... should be reasonably easy
[00:52] <ephidrina> on the ist, i ask it to show zool & hitherto
[00:52] <ephidrina> for exampel
[00:52] * danb_lap nods (this doesn't have to be a totally generic
relationship browser, can have hardcoded list of scenarios, anticipated
relations...)
[00:52] <ephidrina> the map gives me both, the list shows me relations to
the "live" node
[00:53] * danb_lap squints in a 'wish i thought more visually' sort of a
way
[00:54] <ephidrina> live node is indicated by a halo of hedgehog spikes,
no nodes until i select them
[00:54] <ephidrina> from the listr that is
[00:54] <ephidrina> are you logging this? :)
[00:54] <danb_lap> i was just thinking about that...
[00:54] <danb_lap> #foaf is logged.
[00:54] <ephidrina> where can i join?
[00:55] <danb_lap> server: irc.openprojects.net
[00:55] <danb_lap> what client do you use? some irc clients make you
suffer if you're connected to multiple servers...
[00:55] <danb_lap> mirc and xchat are bearable...
* Looking up ephidrina user info...
[00:56] <ephidrina> snak - i'm there :)
[00:56] <danb_lap> snak...
[00:56] <danb_lap> shall i copy the above to a mailing list?
[00:57] <ephidrina> please do - where do i sub to mailing list?





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