Sketch grid is as special topic panel of Wandora application. Sketch grid is a large topic matrix the user can edit freely. Topics have no predefined locations in the grid. User can set any topic in any location. As topic panel's name suggest, intended use of Sketch grid is to outline topic groups and keep notes. Sketch grid provides very easy way of creating topics and associations too. Sketch grid is added to Wandora by selecting a menu option View > New panel > Sketch grid. Next image views a screen capture of Wandora application after the user has opened a topic Topic A in Sketch grid.
Sketch grid example above contains only one topic and the topic locates in top-left cell. All other cells are empty. To set a topic in any cell, the user can
- Select the grid cell and open a topic in topic tree.
- Select the grid cell and open a topic in any other topic panel using the menu options in Open in.
- Drag a topic to the grid cell. Drag source can be any other topic panel or a topic tree.
- Select the grid cell and paste text into the grid. Text is interpreted as a tabulator and new-line-character delimited base name i.e. topic table. Wandora asks if the user wants to create topics for non-existing base names.
Wandora doesn't save the content in topic grid. If the grid is closed,the content is lost. However, the user can explicitly save the grid content by context menu option Export grid.... Exported grid can be restored using context menu options Import grid... or Merge grid.... First clears the grid before import while the latter merge option doesn't. All topics and associations created in the grid remain although the grid is closed.
Expanding a topic in grid
Sketch grid features several options to expand topics in the grid. These expand options locate in context menu under Expand. Available expand options are
- Expand instances
- Expand classes
- Expand superclasses
- Expand subclasses
- Expand association types
- Expand associated players
- Expand association roles
By default, an expansion direction is down. Keeping SHIFT key down while expanding, the direction is opposite, by default up. Keeping ALT key down while expanding, the direction is right. Keeping both ALT and SHIFT key down while expanding, the direction is left. Grid size doesn't change if all expanded topics doesn't fit in the grid.
Creating a topic in the sketch grid
Sketch grid can be used to create topics. To create a topic copy some text to the system clipboard, select a cell in the grid cell and choose context menu option paste. Wandora looks at the text in the clipboard, and suggest a topic creation if she doesn't find any suitable topic for the text. Yet another way of creating a topic in the sketch grid is to drag and drop some text directly in the grid. The Wandora creates a topic for dropped text.
To create more than one topic at a time, use tabular and new line characters to distinguish separate topics in the text copied to the system clipboard.
Pasted or dropped text will become the basename for the created topic. Wandora creates a random default subject identifier for the created topic. Created topic has no associations, variant names nor occurrences.
Creating associations in the grid
Sketch grid features several options to make associations between topics. These options locate in context menu, under Make associations. Available options are
- Make class-instance chain.
- Make class-instances using tree layout
- Make associations using Wandora layout
- Make associations using LTM layout
- Make associations using RDF triplet layout
- Make associations using player layout
All make options try to build topic relations using selected cells. Expected selection depends on the option. Next chapters describe a valid selection for each make option.
Make class-instance chain
Class-instance chain maker assumes the grid selection contains at least one row and more than to one column. Each row is interpreted as a structure where the leftmost topic is a class of the topic to the right. For example, if selected topics are A, B and C (in this order), Wandora sets A as a class of B and B as a class of C.
Keeping SHIFT key down while making class-instance chains, the interpretation direction is opposite, right to left. For example, if selected topics are A, B and C (in this order) and SHIFT is pressed, Wandora sets C as a class of B and B as a class of A. Keeping ALT key down while making class-instance chains rotates the direction clock-wise, top to down. And keeping both SHIFT and ALT key down, rotates the direction to down to top.
Next screen capture views a sketch grid with a class-instance chain of topics Wandora class, A, B and C. Topic tree views created topic relations too.
Make class-instances using tree layout
Next screen capture views an example of tree layout. Root class is topic Wandora class. It's instances are Mammal, Bird and Reptile. Each animal category has three instances. For example, Wolf, Elephant and Gorilla are instances of topic Mammal.
Make associations using Wandora layout
Next screen captures view a sketch grid with a set of topics in Wandora layout, and created associations after the make operation.
Make associations using LTM layout
As the name suggests, assumed selection should contains at least one line. First column in selection should contain association type. After the type column, columns are paired and each pair contains a role type and a role player, in this order. Number of role-player pairs is limited to the cell width of the sketch grid.
Make associations using RDF triplet layout
RDF triplet layout contains at least one row, each containing tree columns. Columns are interpreted similarly to an triplet as a subject, a predicate, and an object. Subject and object topics are association players while the predicate is a type of the associations. Used roles are Wandora's default roles for RDF.
RDF triplet layout is useful if the user has to created typed and binary associations but is not interested in association roles.
Make associations using player layout
Making associations in player layout interprets each grid row as a set of association players. Player layout doesn't specify association type nor association roles. Wandora uses default association type and roles instead. For example, if a grid row contains topics A and B, and user selects the row, making an association using player layout results one association between topics A and B.
Player layout is useful when the user wants to create associations rapidly but is not interested in roles nor association type. Reader should note that Wandora provides other easy tools to change association type and roles.
More information about Wandora's topic panels: