Tinderbox Forum

The "Focus on" option in TB 8.0 Hyperbolic view?

(James Regan) #1

I am playing with the Hyperbolic view capabilities. Very nice. I have noticed that when I right click on the focused note there appears to be an additional option to “focus on,” the focused note. When I click on it, I have noticed that TB will often redraw the map again and adjust the other boxes accordingly. It appears to give me an additional view of notes closest to the focused note. What is the intended behavior of the “focus on” option?

(Mark Anderson) #2

FWIW, from my aTbref in the making and a few quick screen grabs…

The hyperbolic view shows notes that are linked to or from a specific note—the ‘focus’ note—which is initially the selected note. The focus note is identified by a thin red border. The view is initially drawn centred on the focus note, here ‘cc’:


Now if I right-click on ‘aa’:


Delete is self-evident, but what do the others do. If I Select ‘aa’:


The trxt pane focus (not shown) moves to ‘aa’ and the map is reoriented to place ‘aa’ at the centre. Depending on the size/complexity/settings of your actual network it may appear to redraw but it is actually just centring on the new selection.

But from the same start point, if I choose to Focus on ‘aa’:


Now, ‘a’’ takes the (text pane) selection, moves to the centre of the view and the view is re-calculated based on a focus note being ‘aa’. Again, the size/complexity of your network may have a more dramatic effect on the view you see.


Starting at the focus note, Tinderbox identifies all the notes that link to that note, and that to which the selected note links. This is repeated until all notes reachable from the selected note, and all notes from which the selected note can be reached, are included.

Those notes are then arranged in a view with the selected note at the centre. Notes linked to that note are arranged radially around that note, and notes linked to those notes are arranged radially around them.

Finally, this tree is projected onto a hyperbolic plane; notes near the centre are large, and notes further from the centre are progressively smaller.

Hovering the mouse over a note will reveal its full name as a tooltip. This is often useful out near the rim of the view where note’s appears smaller.

Web Links and Prototype links are ignored in hyperbolic view.

Note shape and link colour are retained. Note that the normal map shapes map be distorted slightly reflecting the way they are drawn on the hyperbolic surface. Lines that represent links in the spanning tree are now drawn as arcs, conforming to the underlying hyperbolic geometry.

The view supports mouse-wheel and two-finger swipe scrolling. Holding down the option key when using the mouse-wheel or two-finger swipe scrolling changes the magnification.

A context menu for the selected allows traversal from the selected note using any outbound basic or text link. The destination note is selected but does not take focus. The context note also allows the selected note to be deleted.

It is possible click-drag from any note to another note and create a new link. Or, by dragging a link to a blank part of the view and releasing the cursor, a new linked note is created. The Link creation dialog opens allowing the new note to be named, before the other dialog controls are configured. If not named the note is called ‘untitled’.

Existing links, for the selected note, can be reviewed/edited using the Browse Links dialog.

Navigating in Hyperbolic view
Dragging the background of the hyperbolic view moves all the notes, letting you examine different parts of the link structure.

Clicking a note selects that note in the tab’s text pane. Selecting a note in Hyperbolic View will now move that note to the centre of the view, leaving the tree unchanged.

Double-clicking a note makes that note the view’s focus note and will recompute the structure of the document based on that note. This may change which links are primary and which are considered cross-links.

To take select a note and take focus needs a click followed by a double-click.

A context menu for the selected allows traversal from the selected note using any outbound basic or text link. The destination note is selected but does not take focus.

Hyperbolic view controls
Spacing : controls the distance (in hyperbolic space) between notes, and simultaneously adjusts (again, in hyperbolic space) the size of each note. So, increasing the spacing makes notes farther apart and bigger.

Highlight : emboldens a selected path. [My note: I’m not sure this feature is quite working as intended at present]

Aspect Ratio : changes the ratio between the height and width of the notes. Again, this is in hyperbolic geometry; notes not near the centre are not rectangles.

Scale : At small scale (fully to the left), the entire with of the hyperbolic disc is shown. If the view is wider than it is high, the regions near the north and south poles will be offscreen. At larger scale, more of the edges are moved offscreen, so you see only near the centre of the view. (Pinch zoom adjusts scale, too, as does “smart magnify”/two-finger double-tap.

(James Regan) #3

Thanks for clarifying. The “focus on” feature seems like an incredibly useful way of navigating through a complex mapping effort, especially when trying to clarify or understand the interrelationships of a conceptual model or theoretical idea.