October 30, 2009 5 Comments
A long time ago, it all started for me with the Xebece project. That was my first Open Source project, and it started my involvement in GNU Classpath, which brought me all the way to OpenJDK. Unfortunately, it stalled when I started working on Classpath, and it never really got back to live. One reason was, of course, that my time is limited and Classpath was a time consuming and more fun project to work on. Another reason was that some parts of it are really a bit broken and not so much fun. Most notably the graph drawing library (I don’t even remember its name) wasn’t in a very good shape, and it seems to be abandonded and I didn’t want to fix it. The interesting part is that I originally started out using the Hypertree library, which is really quite nice and makes very impressive graphs (check out the screenshots on their site). At some point I threw it out though, and went with the other for – well – patent reasons. Turned out the hypertree rendering algorithm is patented, and since we wanted to really make money with it, this was not an option to go with. However, the other graph library didn’t quite make so nice views, and the thing was much less fun.
So today I thought, why not start again, use hypertree again and make it really rock? Then I thought about what it should be:
- Visualize and navigate structured (tree, graph) data (large amounts of) in a really nice way (using hypertree)
- Attach less structured (e.g. HTML) data to it
- Many import filters to easily visualize all sorts of data (imagine the graph of twitter followers to be visualized in this manner 😉 )
- Export to applets, … for easy embedding in your own webpage
More or less what it is now. But then I thought a little more about that last point. Why export to applet? Why not make it an applet to begin with? Or, even cooler, a nice little JavaFX app? Hmmmm, many new ideas and possibilities start forming in my mind.. 😉 Stay truned and tell me what you think!