Uta Schulze and Michael Prilop report:
Today, the Maiana team released the first 2011 version of Maiana. After forgoing the January release because of open issues we are now presenting Maiana in a partly new design – including pagination and catchy boxes. Most important: Maiana switched to TMQL4J v. 3.1.0-SNAPSHOT supporting the draft of 2008.
- New design: Check out our fresh new design to present data in a topic map (e.g. the Opera Topic Map). Do you like it? We also extended the ‘Overview’ box to summarize every action available to the topic map. Last but not least, we added pagination to avoid long load time and vertical scrolling.
- New TMQL4J version: We now run on TMQL4J v. 3.1.0-SNAPSHOT (see TMQL4J 3.0.0 Release News for more information). Currently, only queries compliant to the TMQL draft of 2008 are supported.
- Donating queries: TMQL and SPARQL queries which until now could only be used privately may now be set public. Thus enabling sharing of queries or simply promoting a interesting query result. An overview of queries may be found on the users corresponding profile page.
- Syntax Highlighting of TMQL Queries: And because reading queries is difficult as it is we now use syntax highlighting displaying queries and even some autocompletion (try typing “FOR”)
- “More about this subject”: To enhance the browsing experience we now look up additional information whilst visiting a topic page. This expands our use of the Semantic Search to also show topics available in visible maps on Maiana and even providing similarity information (Opera).
- Maiana Search Provider: Do you like using your browsers search field? Try adding Maiana as a search provider and find more, faster!
The new Maiana homepage, http://maiana.topicmapslab.de/.
With Opera, http://maiana.topicmapslab.de/u/lmaicher/tm/opera.
Comments on the new interface?
I think the color scheme makes it more readable, something I appreciate more and more the older I get.
Beyond that…, well, I have to confess the topic map navigation interface doesn’t do a lot for me.
I think because it seems to me, personal opinion, to emphasize the machinery of the topic map at the expense of the content.
Hmmm, think of it this way, what if you had the display of an ODF based document and it listed:
3 Document Structure
3.1 Document Representation
It would still be readable (sorta) but not exactly an enjoyable experience.
Let me leave you to think about the machinery-in-front approach versus what you would suggest as an alternative.
I have a suggested approach that I will be posting tomorrow.
(Hint: It is more of a pull than push information model for the interface. That maybe what is bothering me about the default topic map interface, that it is a push model.)