TagCanvas 1.15

Published

Lots of people have been asking me how to change the shape of the cloud TagCanvas produces recently, and since there were no options for doing that I have had to explain where to change things in the Javascript file to get the desired results. This new version incorporates a few new options that provide some of the changes that people have asked me about (and a couple of other changes).

The first new options change the shape of the cloud that is generated when the script starts up. The radiusX, radiusY and radiusZ options stretch or compress the cloud in the left-right, up-down and in-out directions respectively. So if you want your cloud to look like the tags are pinned to a rugby ball, you should keep the sphere shape and set radiusX to 1.5 to elongate it horizontally. Or you could change either the radiusY or radiusZ, depending on which way up you want the ball to start off.

The radius[XYZ] options are fine if you want the cloud to tumble (or if you lock the X or Y axis) but if you want the shape to remain in place while the tags move across it, you will need the stretchX and stretchY options. These affect the way that the cloud is drawn when the 3D tag positions are converted to 2D canvas positions. The cloud will normally fit best in a square canvas, so if for example you want to fill a canvas with dimensions of 600x300, then using a stretchX of 2 should do the trick.

The next new option is shuffleTags - this assigns the tag positions in a random order, instead of the normal sequence. This is handy for making clouds more evenly distributed when the list of links it is created from is in a fixed order.

The last few new options are small tweaks that are mainly useful when you want TagCanvas to be less interactive. There's a new outlineMethod of "none", which means there is no highlighting of the active tag when you place the cursor over it. The activeCursor and tooltip options continue to work, and the link itself will work, but the active tag has no border or colour change.

The new noSelect option goes one step further and disables tag selection altogether. The cloud will still move in response to the mouse, but the tags will not do anything. The final option is noMouse which ignores mouse input altogether. If you want the cloud to move at all with this turned on, you must set the initial option to set the cloud in motion.

Apart from these new options, I've fixed a few bugs that have been reported to me: mixed text and image clouds that use weighting would have some tags not weighted; weighting in IE7 was broken; TagCanvas in an iframe on a different domain had broken links; tags could remain selected when the mouse leaves the canvas.

Final note: if you want to report a bug, please email me - Twitter is great for saying what you had for breakfast, but not so good for describing how and why software is not working.

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