Enhancing Clone Transform

My proposal is to include some of the features of Note into the Clone transform. Unlike a Note, the Clone transform is part of the data transformation path, so it cannot be unintentionally misplaced when groups of transforms are moved.

Clone allows us to position a data set above or below another for various merge transforms where position is considered in how the transform operates. It can also be useful when you want to have two or more branches where each branch has a distinct series of transforms on the same starting data set.

It would be useful to be able to have visual formatting options on the clone transform to signify the different branches. Some visual format options that might be adjusted:

  • Outline line thickness
  • Outline dashed line
  • Outline color of line
  • Interior color
  • Comment Font Size to Fit
  • Comment Font Style (Bold, Italic)
  • Comment Font Color
  • Show/Hide Transform Label (ie. “Clone”)
  • Show/Hide Row and Column Count

By optionally hiding the transform label and row/column count (which does not change in a clone transform from any transform that precedes it), there is more space for comments in a larger font. With the above formatting options, Clone transform communicates additional information about the branch and makes it distinctive in a large map at low magnification

I’m not sure about treating the Clone differently to other transforms. However I recognize it would be useful to have additional visual cues for parts of a transform. I am considering for v2 adding a ‘group’ box that allows you to place several transforms within a rectangular box for which you can set a comment and color. Moving the group box would move any items within it. It might also be possible to ‘collapse’ the box to hide the details.