Today I put together a little visualizer for Mastodon threads. The graph layout is nothing special, but:
• it has structured keyboard shortcuts (up for parent, down for child, left/right for siblings) which might be more useful for understanding a complex thread
• as always you can live-edit it so it's hopefully easy to improve
One other little integration: opening links in browsers opens up all sorts of cross-platform cans of worms, so I ended up just copying a URL to the clipboard any time you click on a toot.
From a malleable systems point of view, the best strategy for the link question would be to let users supply their own function for it, and document how to do that.
02/19/2023, 11:42 AM
Nice to see some UI experimentation here. It's a bit disappointing that most Mastodon clients just look like Twitter.
03/01/2023, 7:14 AM
Since I built this, my thoughts have been running in the direction of turning it into a full graph editor.
However, all the graphs I want to create also have other constraints. Sometimes I want a sort of activity diagram (https://plantuml.com/activity-diagram-beta), other times I want some edges always be horizontal and to line up with similar edges.
I've also been thinking about the clunky drawing primitives I chose in http://akkartik.name/lines.html. Writing text inside shapes doesn't really work, which is like literally the first thing one might want to do with line drawings.
Putting these thoughts together, I've been imagining a 2-level tool with a tray on the left like in Recursive Drawing or Crosscut, where I can draw some primitives into the tool tray and then attach hotkeys to them to compose them into pictures in the main area.
03/01/2023, 11:12 AM
Thanks for sharing these thoughts! I really need to take a closer look at some of these examples you reference like Recursive Drawing 👀
Also I'm curious what you mean by "writing text inside shapes doesn't really work"? In what way?
My lines.love is just klunky. I started out thinking about geometric construction, so it only allows labeling points. My hack has been to label the top-left point to put text inside a box. There are no smarts yet to compute whether text is inside or outside a shape.
Mostly it's been good enough to be barely legible for the sorts of things I draw, given how infrequently I feel the need to draw. But I'm sure that's idiosyncratic to just me and nobody else.