grgwrzbcki wrote:I think the challenge you face with timeline & event zooming is that they are discrete and non-linear -- and thereby much closer to the problem of zooming calendars and GPS/maps than zooming A/V apps. While A/V apps lend themselves to straight forward linear scaling of frequency, amplitude, graphics, etc., calendar and GPS/map apps don't.
I don't quite follow this reasoning of linear as opposed to non-linear.
In an A/V app, specifically an audio editor that I chose as an example, there is of course a linear timeline and within that linear timeline are discreet, non-linear events at irregular intervals, such as words spoken that you may want to cut or shift or process. I think it's similar enough to a story timeline that one could be inspired by aspects of, for instance, TwistedWave navigation implementation.
In particular, this may be true of the 'orientation pane', similar to the Context Bar in Event View.
The above screen dump, for instance, is confusing to me. There's one event before 1950 and the timescale there is apparently half year intervals. Next is a segment with two year intervals, although that segment also contains just one event. Between 1960 and 1970, there is no event at all. But suddenly, there's an equal scale step comprising only two years, 1970–1972! The result is that the impression of the time frame from Eva's birth to the next event down, where she's 8 years and her marriage, 23 years old, in 1972, is completely distorted.
With my admittedly limited powers of abstract thinking, I couldn't make heads or tails of a representation like that…
I visualize time as a linear flow, with events at irregular, non-linear, places along that linear timeline.
I think that the screen dump also shows some of the problems with the Context Bar in its current guise. In fact, I haven't quite got my head around how to use it.
First, and very simple to fix, I think the yellow bar may not have enough contrast. I also think it might be a good idea if the cursor would turn to a 'hand' inside the yellow bar, so that you could slide it around without the display jumping to where you happen to click inside it.
Also, it would help if the yellow bar had well defined borders where you could click and drag to contract or expand it without its focus changing.
The TwistedWave 'context bar' should provide a good example of well structured and consistent operation.
One thing that might help, also borrowing from TW and other editors, might be if a selected event in the Time Margin would anchor the display at that spot during zoom in/zoom out.
The more general issues brought up by Matt, I have to think about some more…