Clean-up Center Pane

Is there a way to automatically clean up the center pane with some optimization? I am looking for some way to get rid of overlapping lines, equally spaced rows, and an orderly left to right organization. Does such a feature exist? If not, have others requested it?

Hi Steve

Currently, there is no automated layout for the Center pane. And it is something that is much harder than you might think. Especially as the Center pane is 1 or more graphs, not just a tree. However we have addressed this same problem in another product (Hyper Plan), so we know what is involved and it is somewhere on the wishlist.

Not really.

See also:

Are you thinking of this feature of Hyper Plan?

Because that looks like a good function to have in Easy Transform.

Yes. The basic approach behind that could be used. But we have to be careful as the relative Y position of 2 items in the graph can affect the processing (e.g. for a ‘Join’). Also the way an auto layout lays it out may be completely different to how you would lay it out. It is likely to move everything, not just a few items.

As an additional complication we also have to take account of any ‘Note’ items and they aren’t connected to the graph.

Yeah. It is not an easy function to implement.

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Thank you for the responses.

Another possible (but more manual) way to clean up a transformation would be to group and “collapse” a set of transformation blocks into one composite block. In that way, if the user wants to understand a complex transformation at a high level, they might view five or six composite blocks that themselves are made up of five or six blocks. (I often have 30+ blocks in my transformations.) Naming the composite blocks would be another possible way to document and summarize the actions contain therein.

Has this been suggested?

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Yes, that has been suggested and I can see that it would be useful. However there would be a lot of complications to work through.

Another possibility is to allow the drawing of a named colored rectangle around a group of nodes, as a visual cue that they form a related group.

The possible new feature of

drawing of a named colored rectangle around a group of nodes

is a winner for me. Has it been formally requested?

I don’t think so. But it is now in the ‘wishlist’ database.