Sidney Family Graph

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Hello! This is the world-famous Family Graph thingy I wrote displaying as much of the Sidney Sussex College family tree as I can get my dirty hands on. If you're aware of any more people or marriages, or notice something that needs correcting, drop me an email, and I might find the motivation to act upon your passing whim.

If it's not working at all, it's possible because you don't have a Java Virtual Machine installed. Cuh, how unseemly. You can fetch it from here. If it's working a little bit, but is failing to load, or crashing or something, tell me. If it's just being really slow or something, it probably means I added loads of new people, and it can't cope or something. That's 'cos I write high quality software, that is.

If everything is as it should be, however, it should be running away up there without any problems. And in that case, you might want to know how to work it. Personally, I prefer just to fiddle with things, but I hear that some people can't be bothered dedicating so much time to a little toy like this. Alas. Anyway. You can move around by dragging with the left mouse button, you can drag bits of the network around with the right mouse button, you can swoosh and lock on to people by double clicking them, you can zoom in and out with the mousewheel or by holding down [ctrl] and dragging the right mouse button.

You can get at more controls by moving the mouse to the bottom of the box. Then the controls will pop up from the bottom, in a gratuitously pretty manner. There are four sections, as labeled across the top: View, Filter, Relation, and About.

The 'View' section lets you fiddle with how things are displayed, a bit. 'Smooth' makes the outlines of the shapes look smoother (anti-aliasing), but this makes things run a bit slower; turn this off, if you're getting unseemly jitters. 'Transparent' makes things transparent, cunningly. The slider thing is how many 'steps' out from the current focus will be displayed. If you move it right to the left, you see everyone. If you put it on any other value, you can only see people who are connected to the current focus.

The 'Filter' section lets you filter people. You can turn people on or off by their gender, by their subject, and by their year of matriculation. Gender is controlled by the 'Male' and 'Female' clicky-buttons. Subject and matriculation year are controlled by the exciting scrolly-clicky-lists. This lists can be both scrolled and clicked. You can scroll with the mouse wheel or by clicking the arrows. If you hold [ctrl] whilst clicking an item, all other items will be turned off, and that will be turned on. If you hold [shift] whilst clicking an item, every item but the one clicked will be turned on. See, I told you they were exciting.

The 'Relation' section shows the currently selection relation-chain, if any. To select such a chain, hold [ctrl] and click on two people, one after the other. The shortest relation between them will then be highlighted, and written out in words in the pop-up thing at the bottom. If there exists no relation, it'll tell you that, too.

Finally, the 'About' section fills you in on some of these basics, and is a bit redundant now I've written this, but perhaps serves as a crash course for those that prefer to tinker.

You can also check out what version of the software is running in the bottom-left, and what version of the content (i.e. the actual family tree) is being displayed in the top-left. If you suspect you're running an old version of the applet, you can clear the Java classloader cache by pressing 'x' in the Java Console. Which is a lot less scary than it sounds. (You can find the Java Console from the coffee cup icon which has probably appeared in your system tray.)

Rowan Hill, your friendly neighbourhood compsci