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Liquid View : Technical/Implementation



The key requirements for the implementation of Views in Author (or any other word processor based software) is the ability to transition between the word processor view and the liquid view seamlessly, without loosing any data or meta-data.



Issues to be Addressed


  • How can manually created secondary links (links not indicating hierarchy but simply visual links), indicated in the liquid view be indicated in the word processing view?
  • How can the user store multiple liquid views?
  • What happens when interact with a heading in liquid view beyond touch and move?
  • How can links to other documents be illustrated?
  • How can a keyword be extracted from within a Heading Node to automatically show links to other appearances in the document (such as the name of a person)?



Heading Nodes


Considering that the transition mechanism from word processor view to liquid view is through showing headings in the liquid view, it becomes the headings which will act as the store for the meta data relevant in the liquid view which needs to survive into word processor view.


Therefore we need to design the headings in a way which robustly stores all relevant liquid view data, including:


  • XYZ location (relative to a central point, since the view can always be expanded by dragging nodes/headings further out
  • size information
  • list of active links to and from the heading, including direction, type and address of anchor



Body Text


The body text will also contain information useful for the Liquid | View and therefore needs to be accessible in that view, such as sub-heads, lists and keywords.


  • Accessible through click, click and hold, double click or option-click?
  • Maybe select text and cmd-option-f to open in liquid view with that keyword showing connections to where it's also in the document.





  • Visually the same as the word processor view in terms of fonts and colours, with no clutter on the workspace
  • Level 1 headings have dotted lines to level 2 headings and level 2 to level 3 and so on
  • There are two horizontal blocks outside the work area, indicated by a think grey line, as used in Author:
    • Top for the Name of document is at the top of the screen, with a colon between names to create a thread if the user has clicked on a link in a document to open another document into view
    • Bottom for general commands



Navigation & View Display


  • Numbers 1-... to show how many levels deep to show and if you select a heading then do the number only that will change levels shown
  • Tab? Maybe to change views



Manual Interactions


  • Option-Drag from one heading to another and drop to create a connecting line with an arrow
  • Drag a single heading/node to another location or include all subsections when dragging
  • Double click on a connecting line to give it a name/tag
  • Show all levels or hide below a certain level.
  • Hover/Click/Cmd-Click over heading for access to further information and connections, such a:
    • Following a link to another Liquid | View document
    • In the body text below this heading Show:
      • All Bullets
      • All Keywords
      • All Text
      • All Citations
      • All Links
      • First sentences of each paragraph



Command/Universal Interactions


  • Show connections based on keywords from body text
  • Show connections based on internal or external links
  • Save and Show different View layouts



In Collaboration with Shuo Yang of Google