Readerware Fish Eye View

The Readerware Fish Eye or Hyperbolic Tree viewer offers a revolutionary new way to view large amounts of data. The traditional results table used by Readerware enables you to scroll through either your entire library or portions of your collection. It is fast and flexible and works very well when you are talking about displaying a few hundred books. But when you have thousands of titles it can be slow and tedious. You must scroll forwards and backwards between pages. What if there were a way to display your entire collection, even thousands of titles, in a single view?

This is exactly what the Readerware Fish Eye View offers. The entire results of any search can be displayed in a hyperbolic tree format. The root node is displayed in red in the center of the window. Radiating out from the root node are 26 nodes A-Z. In turn these nodes lead to author nodes and the author nodes to the title nodes.

The further away you get from the center or focal point of the display, the smaller the nodes get.
 

Navigating the Readerware Fish Eye View

So how do you navigate through the Readerware Fish Eye View. It will be easier to understand if you follow along. So start by making the fish eye view the active view by selecting View->Select view->Fish Eye View from the Readerware menu bar. You will probably see a large circle with a red dot in the middle. Not too impressive so far. Now do a normal Readerware search or click on the All Books toolbar button to display all the books in your collection.

Now things look more interesting! The exact view will depend a lot on how many books you have cataloged. You will probably see a circle of yellow dots surrounding the red dot, the root node. These yellow dots are labeled A-Z. These represent the first letter of the author's last name and you will only see the yellow dots for letters that are actually in use. Surrounding the yellow dots you will see a circle of green dots, one for each author. Finally a circle of orange dots, one for each title. Don't worry if you do not see all the different colored dots yet.

If you click on a dot, it is moved to the center of the window and the nodes radiating out from that node come into focus. So for example click on one of the yellow dots. That letter moves to the center and all the authors whose last name begins with that letter start to come into focus. Click on an author node. Now the author is in the center and all titles by that author radiate out from the author node.

You can right click on any title node to display a popup menu. From the menu you can display the book cover or display and/or edit all the information about that book. If you select edit, the fish eye view is replaced by the standard Readerware data entry window, simply click on the back button to return to the fish eye view, all the positioning information is maintained.

To return to the center of the tree simply click on the root node. As it is red it stands out wherever it happens to be.

Just a few clicks takes you to any book in your collection. But you can also drag books into view. The more books you have cataloged the denser the outer nodes will be. With the root centered you should be able to see all the letter nodes but maybe just a blur of green nodes. Suppose you are looking for books by a favorite author, say "Ruth Rendell". Readerware displays author names last name first so you will know approximately where to find "Rendell, Ruth" in the tree even though you cannot see her name. Follow the "R" node out and guess where you will find "Re" amongst all the authors with a last name beginning with "R". Simply drag that area of the tree into the center. Click with the left mouse button and while holding the button down drag the location into the center of the window or even further. To speed up screen painting in drag mode, Readerware only draws the outlines of the nodes. When you release the mouse button, the full tree is drawn again. You can now probably see the author node and titles. Click on the node to center it or just start clicking on the titles.

The exact view will of course depend on the contents of your database. As you use the Readerware Fish Eye View more, you will probably find that you can go straight to favorite books by clicking on the approximate area of the window and dragging it into the center.

The Readerware Fish Eye View is the fastest way to navigate around large book collections. A revolutionary way to view large amounts of data.

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