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Re: LLD cloud (with a specific attn to William!)

From: Tom Baker <tbaker@tbaker.de>
Date: Fri, 9 Sep 2011 12:44:07 -0400
To: Antoine Isaac <aisaac@few.vu.nl>
Cc: public-xg-lld <public-xg-lld@w3.org>
Message-ID: <20110909164407.GA6504@julius>
On Fri, Sep 09, 2011 at 12:12:11AM +0200, Antoine Isaac wrote:
> Yesterday, I've looked at
> http://semantic.ckan.net/group/?group=http://ckan.net/group/lld and was
> amazed by how crowded current status. It seems like william's graph is
> becoming victim of the LLD success :-)
> After a while (several minutes, I think), the moving picture stabilize, and
> it's possible to change it. But that's really tedious, and it doesn't improve
> the readability much (see attached screenshot). I also can't reduce much the
> gap between the "real library" part and the RKB-explorer e-prints cloud...
> I was wondering whether you knew a solution to play with the style of the
> graph, so that we could have a slightly better picture. Thinking especially
> of changing: - the size of font (or put the names of datasets in bold) - the
> distance between nodes (is it the "repulsion force"?) - centering the labels
> on the nodes
> Of course I'd understand that this is not possible, given that William is
> just using an available library. But in case anyone would know an easy way to
> change it, I'm asking :-)

If there is an easy way to improve it (and I have no idea what parameters can
be juggled), then we should do it, but I don't think we should sweat this one
too much.  There are really just four places where the headings are unreadable
because they overlap.  If the graph could be tweaked to fix just those four
spots, I'd consider it "good enough" for our purposes.  In our report, as I see
it, this graph functions more as an "icon" than a source of information -- an
impression of what one finds when clicking on the link, which is provided
prominently just below the graphic.

In fact, I'd be inclined to take the image you attach "as is" -- because we
don't have the time to improve it, or to be more precise are not sure how we
can do so -- even with its overlapping labels.  Rather, the accompanying text
should explain in half a sentence how the graphic is generated automatically,
on the basis of an algorithm, and that it represents the state of links at a
certain point in time -- i.e., a snapshot that has already changed
significantly since our earlier drafts and will surely look different three
months from now.  In my opinion, it is more important to make that point than
to make the graphic itself entirely readable.  In fact, the text can comment on
the difficulty of rendering a complex and evolving web of links in two
dimensions, readable, given the current explosive growth. The overlapping
labels, then, are almost not a bug but a feature.  The link to the CKAN graph
generator, then, should not be labeled with "Original at:", but something like
"For an updated snapshot, see:", because what one sees when clicking on the 
link is not going to look "the original" of what one sees in the report.

With regard to the graphic you attached (if we use it "as is"), it might be
worth commenting on what appear to be two distinct clusters: one for linked
bibliographic data and one for linked authority data.


[1] http://semantic.ckan.net/group/?group=http://ckan.net/group/lld

Tom Baker <tom@tombaker.org>
Received on Friday, 9 September 2011 16:44:40 UTC

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