In article <416873A3.2060308 / hypermetrics.com>,
Hal Fulton  <hal9000 / hypermetrics.com> wrote:
>Phil Tomson wrote:
>> In article <41684A67.5000306 / hypermetrics.com>,
>> Hal Fulton  <hal9000 / hypermetrics.com> wrote:
>> 
>>>Phil Tomson wrote:
>>>
>>>>Can't a lot of the same functionality be acheived with GraphViz?
>>>
>>>I wasn't aware GraphViz could do hyperbolic trees?? If it can, that's great.
>> 
>> 
>> No, not hyperbolic trees.  However it can represent trees graphically.  I 
>> only glanced briefly at the page you referenced, but it seemed (from 
>> looking at an example) that you could get some _similar_ functionality 
>> from GraphViz.  I'm not entirely sure I grok the difference with 
>> hyperbolic trees; I was thinking that it was just another algorithm for 
>> representing the tree graphially.
>
>I may be misusing the term a little. Not sure.
>
>I'll explain as well as I can something that I think is Cool.  :)
>
>Imagine you have a graph of infinite size in a plane. Those are tedious
>to display, because they require monitors of infinite size, which can
>get expensive. The nodes are all roughly equidistant from their neighbors
>and roughly the same in size (not that it really matters).
>
>Now imagine you have a fat convex lens that you can pass over this plane.
>The node you hover over will be centered and will be the largest one. As
>you look off in any direction, the nodes are smaller and closer together.
>As you approach the boundary of the lens, you're approaching infinity.
>Like that Escher print with the angels and the demons, or one of the
>variants thereof.
>
>As you move the lens, a different node comes into focus. It is now the
>largest and most central, and it is still surrounded by a potentially
>infinite number of nodes.
>
>There have been applets and even browsers made which worked this way.
>You could "drag" nodes offcenter into focus. To travel toward infinity,
>just keep dragging. And so on.
>
>The StarTree example at inxight.com is a fairly good one. I think they
>have a demo or something.
>
>As for what I want it for: Well, it's premature. But I'd like to have an
>interface like that as an alternative interface for Tycho.

Since it's for Tycho, wouldn't it be better to have a Ruby implementation 
(or Ruby with an extention of some sort) so you don't have to rely on 
having Java installed as well?

Also, maybe there are easier ways of acheiving a similar effect to this 
hyperbolic view (which does seem fairly compute intensive)?  For example, 
couldn't you just view a variable number of levels from the center of your 
tree view (so when you zoom in, you get more levels and when you zoom out 
you get less)?  

Sure it sounds cool, but I'm just not sure that the hyperbolic view adds 
that much advantage for a user interface...  There's probably an easier 
way.

Phil