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Author Topic: Online Conceptual Diagram Creator  (Read 5902 times)

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Offline Allison

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Online Conceptual Diagram Creator
« on: September 14, 2010, 01:10:48 pm »
IAN welcomes your feedback on the usefulness of the online conceptual diagram creator. Please let us know if you are running into problems.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2010, 01:16:18 pm by AdrianJ »

Offline lisabeth693

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Re: Online Conceptual Diagram Creator
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2010, 09:03:48 pm »
When I clicked on the Online Conceptual Diagram Creator link it brought me to a new page but was not working properly. I couldn't click on the main menu or edit and the buttons were blank squares instead of images. I'm not sure what went wrong but I tried on my personal laptop and a school computer and neither worked!

Offline AdrianJ

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Re: Online Conceptual Diagram Creator
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2010, 11:48:17 pm »
Hi Lisa?

Sorry for the trouble you are experiencing.

It sounds like you might be using Internet Explorer. Unfortunately it won't work with current versions of IE. You can use Firefox, Safari, Chrome or Opera. It will work in the next version of IE. Microsoft just released their first beta release of v9 today. It is still buggy, but should be sorted by the time they make the final release available.

Cheers,
Adrian

Offline max.boath

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Re: Online Conceptual Diagram Creator
« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2010, 11:44:27 am »
I found it relatively easy to navigate to the programme and the interface was user-friendly to let me search for and edit individual images.  However, I did come across some setbacks.  There was a seemingly large lack of availability of images to select from for the diagram I wanted to create.  For example, I had to substitute a firetruck for an ambulance, and use a wildlife rehabilitation centre in place of a hospital, because there were none.  There were several other images I would have loved to have available to use such as more options for people and place images.  Several pictures, such as the 2 archaeologists and a guy on a bike, would not open when I attempted to select them.  I found it actually incredibly difficult to work within the program, as when I tried to click items to select them there would be a long delay and I would have to click it multiple times since it seemed to not understand what image I was trying to select.  I find that programmes like Paint are much much easier to work with than this was.  Lastly, I attempted to save my diagramme at several stages through the process to back it up, which saved it as a new file instead of updating one saved image.  Each time I saved it my computer asked me if I was sure I wanted to save the item because it was likely to cause harm to my computer, yet I saved it anyway.  Coincidentally, the very next morning (yesterday) I went to use my computer and got the blue screen of death; the help desk has just informed me that my harddrive has completely irreversibly crashed and died, so now I've permanently lost all my files along with my pretty conceptual diagram, even though I have owned the computer just 5 months without a single issue...  Overall, I did enjoy making my diagram and I do appreciate the importance of conceptual diagrams to illustrate comlex topics, and just some ironing out of the kinks might make it less frustrating.

Offline AdrianJ

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Re: Online Conceptual Diagram Creator
« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2010, 01:28:31 pm »
Hi Max,

Thanks for the detailed feedback.

1) As far as missing symbols go - we are constantly working on adding new symbols to our database and we actually have a board on this forum where users can request new symbols to be created. Please feel free to add your requests for the ambulance and hospital etc

2) I am aware of several broken symbols in the library (there were some problems with the conversion to SVG from the original Illustrator files) - I am going to try to get all these fixed in the next couple of weeks.

3) Some of the delays and unresponsiveness of the software are related to the computing power, and others by browser technology. There is lots of progress currently being made in improving the latter through faster javascript (the language of the software) processing by modern browsers. One thing I do find that helps markedly is making sure that your computer doesn't have many other programs running and that your browser has been freshly restarted and only has the one tab open - many tabs, especially in Firefox really seem to slow things down.

4) While I agree that things are not completely smooth as yet, I do think computer speed and browser improvements will help this. However, you really can't compare this software to Paint. Have you ever used Inkscape, Illustrator, CoreDraw or some other vector package? They all require a decent learning curve and by nature are much more complex to work with, an not necessarily intuitive to a novice vector user. However, the advantages to vector graphics are many. If you'd like some more info on this, let me know.

5) Regarding saving issues - the way the browser saves the file is not something we can control. We are thinking of giving users the option to save their diagram to our servers so we can better manage versions etc. As for the "because it was likely to cause harm" message - I am curious to know what browser and version you are using and also what anti-virus software you are running. I have not seen any messages like this. Regardless, what you are saving is either an svg or png file, which really has no potential to cause any computer harm

6) I am very sorry to hear about your hdd crash, but I really can't see any possible way the diagrammer could have contributed to this - perhaps the fact that your computer was that close to a hdd failure may have been partly to blame for some of the issues in using the diagrammer. As for it being only 5 month old - hdd crashes really can occur at any time in the life of a drive. I hope you get it sorted out quickly and haven't lost too much data. Keep in mind that often drives can be recovered (sometimes with free/cheap software) or at substantial cost, even if they can't be booted from.

Good luck.

Regards,
Adrian
« Last Edit: September 17, 2010, 03:23:02 pm by AdrianJ »

Offline adignan

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Re: Online Conceptual Diagram Creator
« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2010, 01:41:33 pm »
Just a few questions that probably have easy solutions, but I'm struggling to figure them out:

1) How do I flip an icon? I'm trying to show a beetle boring into a Lodgepole Pine, and the way I have my diagram oriented, the beetle is on the right, boring into the tree on the left. However, the beetle icon from the image library faces the other way, and I can't figure out how to flip it to face the tree.

2) Is there a "fill" function? In the Paint program, for example, there's a button with a paint bucket tipping over and paint spilling out that means "fill this area with solid color". I see that same button at the bottom of the Online Conceptual Diagram Creator, but it only changes the fill color of the highlighted item, not the blank space within a boundary.

Thanks!

Offline AdrianJ

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Re: Online Conceptual Diagram Creator
« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2010, 03:17:54 pm »
1) There isn't currently a flip function proper, but you can simply drag the middle control point on the side and drag - you'll see the beetle get narrower and narrower - keep going until it inverts and it will be flipped. Not a perfect solution, but should be good enough for you for now.

2) Filling in any vector program is a little different to a raster program like paint. In vector you can only fill a defined shape. It would help to see exactly what you are trying to fill, but I think you might be able to achieve what you are looking for by creating a shape with the Path Tool (the one below the ellipse tool). Then send this shape backwards in the layer order (right click - send backward) so that it is in the space you need filled.

Let me know if that helps.

Cheers,
Adrian

Offline adignan

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Re: Online Conceptual Diagram Creator
« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2010, 04:28:23 pm »
Adrian-
The advice about how to flip an icon was great - that worked perfectly! And although I understand what your suggestion was to fill an open space, it turned out to be more difficulty than it was worth at the time, so I'm just leaving those spaces blank for now. I have uploaded my diagram to the forum section for review, I'd love feedback! This is not for any publication or anything, it was an assignment for Dr. Todd Lookingbill's Landscape Ecology class at the University of Richmond.
Thanks!
-Audrey

Offline AdrianJ

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Re: Online Conceptual Diagram Creator
« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2010, 05:28:37 pm »
Hey Audrey - glad the flip worked for you. Sorry the filling seems difficult. I have made some detailed comments on your diagram post that hopefully might help you out.