[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Author Index][Date Index][Thread Index]

What I want GZigZag for

I was looking at the document Usage Cases, and it makes me want to
share my ideas for what I want to use GZigZag for.

Mainly, I want very flexible authoring tools.  I have many thoughts 
in my mind, and I want to get them out onto a computer screen.  I want
all this information to be available in a coherent and well-linked 

Mind-mapping is suppose to do this, but I find the programs OK, but
limited.  Sometimes you do think in terms of overall concepts that
can be summarized into one word or two, like when doing mind maps.
Other times you think better in prose.  Sometimes you want to organize
your thoughts in a tree structure, othertimes you want to put your
thoughts in random places on the screen, and organize it later.
I also like the idea of doing things side-by-side which isn't implemented
directly in mind-mapping programs.

I like the idea of not having to deal with files; their opening, closing,
and naming are all a pain and interferes with your stream of thought.

A major project I am working on would utilize many of the major features
of GZigZag.  The project is an exploration of the scales of measurement.
In this project I would collect numbers for about a hundred different scales 
-- length, time, magnetic flux, density, voltage, pH, etc.  I would choose
numbers from the smallest to the largest in each scale, as a means of 
exploring phenomena that occur on the scale.

A good example for the scale of length is at the Powers of Ten website:
Here they show pictures magnified by a power of ten each time, starting from
the whole universe down to subatomic particles.

Another example is a document called "Scales of Measurement" from Niel Brandt,
which appeared in New Scientist in 1994.

My plan is to take his "Scales of Measurement" and numbers from a variety of
sources, up to an including mathematical calculations of my own as information
sources.  The information will be shown in various ways, at the heart will be
zoomable one dimensional graphs.  Added to it will be:

-- Short, long descriptions, and essays on an item.
-- Additional one dimensional graphs layed side by side.  An example at:
-- Items from different scales can be interrelated.  For example, take a
star.  It is one of the strangest objects in the universe.  It is relative
with the second highest density of any physical object, it has the most
magnetic field, and more.  You should be able to move from scale to scale
the neutron star item.
-- Different items could point to the same note or essay.
-- Pictures, drawing, video and audio
-- A mind map (and other views) to organize different scales with plenty of 
marginal notes (using both a one or two window text editor)
-- Spreadsheet capabilities for mathmatical calculations
-- Links to original sources of information
-- Mechanisms to prevent me from omitting important information.

Obviously, all this requires a variety of applitudes (spreadsheet, text
drawing, etc) and views.  The important thing is the ease (I hoping) of
which these
applitudes could interconnect with each other providing any kind of link you
want. I think this will be the biggest feature of GZigZag (and something
that will
provide genuine competition for Microsoft 8-) ).  I am doing some programming
with conventional tools right now to link various programs together but
plan to migrate the project to GZigZag as soon as GZigZag is powerful and 
configurable enough.

With GZigZag, the project will be a whole lot more fun.  I see it as a massive
trivia hunt.  Hopefully, too, I will be able to publish the project in some

Brent Turcotte