Difference lighting and cross-linking on the bridge

Michael Allan mike at zelea.com
Sun Sep 2 08:19:58 EDT 2012

> > b) Don't distinguish full cast relation, but only position in
> > regard to anchor. So voters and co-voters *left* of the anchor are
> > lightly shaded, while co-voters and candidate *right* are darkly
> > shaded. This echoes the spatial info of the vote-track *and*
> > emphasizes the anchor more clearly. Easier now to orient.
Thomas von der Elbe said:
> Can't we leave this distinction away? Just have the anchor and the
> other (no matter if left or right)?
> > The light ones (left) remain on top in the diffs, and the dark
> > (right) below. No change there.
> How, if the anchor was always on top?
To stabilize the colour of the anchor?  I think you put your finger on
the main problem.  The main problem is not "colour soup" as I thought,
but rather the colour shifts of the anchor, e.g. when running the
mouse along the track: http://zelea.com:8080/v/w/D?a=5339&b=5340&s

The anchor should be stable.  It should not flicker and flash when the
user is exploring.  But if we stabilize the anchor colour by forcing
the anchor to the top of the difference scene (sometimes reversing the
order, sometimes not) then whatever we gain in the way of stability in
the vote track might be lost again in the scene.  The difference order
will depend on how the user arrives at the scene.  No longer will
Georgina (the voter) be predictably on top and Frank on bottom.

Here's a possible solution that would leave the difference order
stable.  This tackles the problem directly in the vote track:

  a) Do not re-colour the anchor while the mouse is tracking.  While
     the mouse is tracking, only re-colour the segment beneath the
     pointer where the user's eyes are focused.  After the mouse is
     clicked, re-colour the anchor.

  b) Smooth the re-colouring of the anchor (after the click) by
     animating it.  This will give the user time to understand what is

  c) Likewise (though less important) smooth any colour transitions in
     the difference scene, such as the loss of colour on selecting
     another difference.  (Note to myself: when a scene initializes
     without colour because of a persisted selection, then animate
     that initial loss too.)

> part of the complexity ofc also comes from putting a 2- or
> 3-dimensional tree into a line. Which makes me look foreward even
> more for the vote-space-curtain, which falls down on demand and has
> enough room to show much more of the vote-space much clearer. (BTW,
> the circular layout of it is my favorite again, after we had this
> thread about these centerless pipe-votes, where voters gather around
> them in circles.) And I have the hope, that coding this curtain is
> not so much of an effort anymore, since almost all of the
> functionality of it is now already coded in the track and only the
> graphics would change - or is this wrong?

We're talking about the right side of this:
It's my favourite votespace visual, too.  And the left side is my
favourite talk visual.  (Maybe we'll have a talk curtain, too.)

You're right, much of the work has already been done.  It shouldn't be
terribly hard to code once we get started.

> But [back to] the track:
> I think, part of the confusion would go away, if there were both
> names up in the track, if two people are involved in the show,
> i.e. in position pages with highlighted diffs and diff-pages. And
> maybe the names permanently coloured accordingly, like it is now
> when hovered over (or have a colourd frame or background around
> them).

You're thinking part of the confusion comes from pairing two actors on
stage instead of one?  OK.  But I think you already put your finger on
the main problem above.  After we fix that, we could look at it again.

> And how, if we make the anchor really the center of the
> user-experience?  So the user always knows, where he is looking
> from. From this center of his perspective he can look at other
> drafters, i.e. at diffs (in position-pages and in the
> diff-bridge). And ofc he can always change his center of
> perspective, i.e. make another one the anchor. ...

I don't understand how this would differ from now.  Here Frank is the
votespace anchor: http://zelea.com:8080/v/w/D?a=5339&b=5340&s
Here Georgina:    http://zelea.com:8080/v/w/D?a=5339&b=5340
You can choose either as anchor in the difference scene.

In a draft scene, the anchor is always the author:

But most other scenes allow you to shift the anchor anywhere without
shifting the scene.  E.g. http://zelea.com/w/Sys/p/sandbox

> Yes, I think, this will help a lot. Just two stabile colours: one
> for each actor: anchor and the other.
> > Add colour (say dull red) for the non-drafters, who are currently 
> > distinguished as grey in the track. 
> If we have two colours for the others, grey for the non-drafters is
> good imo.


Michael Allan

Toronto, +1 416-699-9528

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