Monday, May 4, 2009

UBIO Common Name Search... complete! 

I've spent the past 2 days trying to work around strange bugs and get a working common name search, and I've got it. By yesterday I had the code parsing multiple pages in search of the right information and printing out the resulting common name in the console. Today I changed some of the set and get functions relating to labels so that a user could toggle whether the common or scientific name is displayed, and I now have the names actually displaying as labels on the rendered tree. I even figured out how to display a little message "Done searching for images!" just like there's a "Finished Loading Image!" message. 

Here's a sample image from after the name search/display has been done. It can't find every name, but it gets most of them.
I also spent some time reorganizing the toolbar menus so that they feel a little more intuitive and take fewer clicks to get to what you want. I felt the original structure of the toolbar lead to a lot of overlap and confusion about where a desired option was located. I organized my menus as follows: 

  • Layout (rectangular, circular, diagonal, unrooted)
  • Node (images and other annotations)
  • Label (unique, clade, show all, common name search)
  • Performance (anti-aliasing, animation)
  • Zoom
  • Font 
  • Style (size, scaling, angles)
  • Structure (sorting, flipping, branch lengths, etc.)
I think now the functionality of the program is actually arranged in a way that makes sense based on what the different options control and how they change the display of the tree. I also spaced them out a bit more, since I found that the original toolbar options were crowded into the left corner. Sample image: 

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