New Release: More layout, and HyperHopping

The new release 49 of all three distribution formats (.msi, .dmg, .jar) comprises the last two Java-only updates

which I hope will simplify it — but if you don’t like it please don’t hesitate to tell me!

Screenshot of a map with activated Advanced menu and the new flyout menu "Layout"

Most maps won’t be affected by the changes because their size will not require much layout. But isn’t it good to know that your maps may grow and will still be manageable?

Let us summarize the new layout functions:

If a map does not lend itself to a tree structure or a Direct Acyclic Graph (DAG), there is now much support for semi-manual layout improvement. You can temporarily put aside all items with less than three ‘parents’, and create a circle of the heavily connected ones. Now you can modify this circle, by moving one icon between two new neighbors and press “Redraw” in an extra dialog box. Repeat that until you are content. When done, you press “Next”, and the tangent nodes are shown again, i.e. all subtrees and ‘bridges’ reappear. Some areas will look a bit cluttered because the algorithm does not try to prescribe your content similarity, so some manual refinement is advisable (in particular where the labels are too dense, or where a subtree is branching off from a ‘bridge’, or vice versa).

For such fine-tuning, there are now several more little functions:

  • Right-click an icon > Tree Layout
  • Right-click a line > Advanced > Flip Cluster Horizontal (or Vertical)
  • Select a rectangle area > Advanced > Layouts > Flip rectangle horizontal (or vertical).

Note that the latter two have deliberately distinct controls, because a cluster (of connected items) feels like being directly manipulated by a context menu, right next to it, while the rectangle selection requires a two step process and does not have a local ‘handle’. (For the same reason, Cut/ Copy/ Delete cluster is in the context menu while Cut/ Copy/ Delete rectangle is in the Edit menu as usual, reachable from the menu bar). But again: if you don’t like it please tell me!

Another new function for large maps is shown with the Luhmann Zettelkasten example. We called it “HyperHopping“: (See here how it works.) When your detail pane contails HTML with a local hyperlink (starting with a #hash) and you click on that link, there will be not only a replaceing of the pane content, but rather, the map will pan to the item referenced. (If you know where a similar function is realized, please tell me!)