2009-02-04 09-21 Visualizing for computer or for humans?

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I recently met a prospect who with we discussed about visualizations. Somehow I was unable to explain well enough what we did. After the meeting it occurred to me: while the client was talking about people drawing for computers, I was talking about computers drawing for people.

'Why would people draw for computers', one might ask. Well, there are some scenarios, for example an analyst might want to have an intuitive interface for describing relationships between objects in a database. I think both approaches have their place. If I only had realized this terminology collision in the meeting, we would have had a much better basis for the discussion. Why wouldn't you have both?

Another thing was that I noted some disbelief when I said: "If simplicity is a key factor, why we don't just create a form and throw in 20 lines of python to pass it forward". Obviously my ego is not developed enough, as I was motivated enough to dig an example. Thanks to Erno Kuusela for doing the actual digging the code that I was thinking about when throwing my claims. 1

BTW, I found the discussions very refreshing. I love when someone starts challenging our ideas. It gives an opportunity to rant about what we (=I) think is wrong with the industry. On the other hand it is counter-productive from the salespoint of view. But hey, we need the fun every once in the while? :)

-- jani 2009-02-04 09:22:06


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  1. I didn't test the code after making some trivial(tm) edits, the original exmple was 25 lines. :) (1)