[sugar] The limits of Mesh View
Sat Apr 19 05:17:53 EDT 2008
On Fri, Apr 18, 2008 at 11:29 PM, Eben Eliason <eben.eliason at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Sat, Apr 19, 2008 at 1:18 AM, Benjamin M. Schwartz
> <bmschwar at fas.harvard.edu> wrote:
> > Polychronis Ypodimatopoulos wrote:
> > | A full screen of icons would not be
> > | legible either, but was I just trying to explore the limits.
> > That's not exactly the limit. Although the current designs don't call for
> > it, it would be easy enough to allow the mesh view to expand past the edge
> > of the screen, once the number of icons gets too large to show them all.
> > GTK has widgets designed for precisely this sort of infinite canvas.
> > People with whom you've communicated more recently, or people who are
> > geographically nearer to you, might migrate toward the center.
> Yes, this is precisely the type of scalability solution I alluded to
> before when I spoke of making the full neighborhood accessible via
> search. Effectively, we'd like to think of the screen area as a
> viewport into the broader neighborhood, which happens to contain a
> clustering of people and activities most relevant tot he user.
> Determining the heuristic for what's relevant needn't by very complex,
> thought it could be, and will likely begin with friends, recent
> collaborators, your favorite activities, etc. Naturally, the search
> and filter controls will serve as temporary adjustments to the
> relevance of the objects on the mesh, and so the view will change in
> response to them. The main reason we didn't jump directly to this
> model is because we'd very much like to emphasize the notion of the
> window, and of the neighborhood as a larger continuous space, by
> "sliding" the XOs, activities, and devices around the screen. This
> would also work well when illustrating XOs moving about the various
> activities on screen, but also serves as a way to slide negative
> matches radially outward, and positive matches inward, so as to always
> keep a relevant set of icons on screen at any time.
At some point it will be of interest to be able to view friends of
friends in a network view, and to have a variety of social networking
> - Eben
> PS. I think this brings up the point, by the way, that we have two
> different kinds of scalability limits with regard to the view. The
> first is what Pol was initially after, which is the hard limit for
> "number of icons shown on a screen of a given size", and the second is
> the number of icons (and their presence info) we can realistically
> manage technically. The latter (once we fix the jabber server)
> shouldn't pose much of an issue until we start thinking about
> inter-school or "world" level communications.
I'm not clear to me why we aren't thinking about that now. Earth
Treasury's mission is to link whole schools and create global
partnerships. This has educational, social, and economic consequences.
There will be hundreds of schools using XOs by the end of the year,
probably more than a thousand.
> The former, of course,
> is still worth investigating, because even with the scalability
> solutions listed above for intelligently moving icons on and off
> screen, we need to know that limit and filter only the number through
> that we can realistically show at once.
Based on my suggestions above, I would suppose that we will need a way
for users to select viewing modes and parameters themselves. I always
hate software that tries to tell me what I want.
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