Stepping through non-overlapping intervals with Dynamic Filters

Sep 16, 2009 at 12:14 AM

Scrolling through ranges of values using the Dynamic Filters window is a great feature. It would be great if it also supported paging through value ranges in non-overlapping steps.

For example: let's say there's a parameter used as an edge filter that ranges over the values [1,100].  I can adjust the range to, say, [6,10], and then by pressing Page Up, I can slide this window over the range: [6,10], [7,11], [8, 12] etc.

However, it is often desirable to look at a sequence of non-overlapping ranges: [6,10], [11,15], [16, 20], etc.  I haven't found a way to do this other than moving both sliders for every step.

I'd like to propose that there be two ways to move through the values: scrolling, and paging (aka stepping).  Scrolling moves a sliding window over the values, and stepping/paging moves a window in a series of adjoining, non-overlapping intervals.

For UI - always a tricky question - I would suggest that left/right arrow (and/or up/down arrow) scrolls through the values, and Page Up/Down pages (steps in non-overlapping intervals) through the values.

This would require changing the current actions driven by the arrow keys, i.e. moving the left and right sliders individually. If you don't want to do this, a fall-back UI (though a less discoverable one, I suspect) is to use Shift Pg Up/Down for scrolling, and Pg Up/Down for paging.

My real goal here is to move through non-overlapping date sequences when grabbing a series of graph snapshots to put in a PPT deck. An additional requirement then would be to support moving month by month, or year by year; this is what humans would expect, though since I assume the underlying calcs use Julian dates, this might be some additional work to implement.  The UI would also need some further thought.

Thanks, as always, for a superb tool

--- Pierre


Sep 17, 2009 at 7:03 AM

Good idea, Pierre.  I've added it to our feature request list, and I'll ask Ben Shneiderman for his opinion on which keys should be used for the new functionality.  (He came up with the current set of keys.)

By the way, your "co-filing coalitions" graph is real work of art!  Thanks for sharing it with us.

-- Tony