Although the “back-end”/“front-end” distinction is on the whole pretty useful, there are times where it feels like an inadequate way of describing questions I’m thinking through. Here are some reasons for that:

The relation architecture is the most complicated part of Goby, and thus predictably the part that causes the most tricky problems. Here are two such problems, visual and functional respectively, that I’ll have to devote serious attention to:

One discovery when I started the live D3 version of the space view was that having arrows (example from an early prototype) ended up looking cluttery/claustrophobic, particularly with nodes that had many many inbound relationships from other nodes.

Ultimately I’d like arrows to be something you can turn on and off, because there are some use cases where I feel they’re less annoying. But I wonder if there’s any other minimal way of indicating directionality. To that end, one idea I just had was to have a relation line touch the node on the sending end, but stop short of the node on the receiving end.

In regards to the right ----->

When presenting Goby to guest critics a couple weeks ago, one of their suggestions was to move beyond the generic typeface collection example, and really stress-test the system with example projects that are more idiosyncratic and hold personal meaning. I had a little time this week to add the resource entry/preview interface this week, and it created the impetus to do this.

Here Goby is being used to represent a book that I made last fall in my thesis course. That book helped me explore some of the themes — levels of abstraction, structurally representing information, world-building — that have driven me in Goby’s development over the past year / going forward. It also has an unconventional structure: I wrote four separate “strands” of text, each addressing a different theme, which are threaded nonlinearly across a collection of 50 found images (think Cortázar’s Hopscotch x 4). So it’s perfect as a “stress-test” in this way, because it allows me to think about how best to produce that structure from Goby’s underlying data architecture (already noticing some significant things I'd like to add/change to make Goby more flexible). It’s also nice as a sort of recursive gesture, applying Goby’s system to the collection that inspired it.