Steve Litt wrote:
> This guy made use of a "mind mapping" software that produced a pretty picture,
> but as far as I can see, it's entirely hierarchical, which means it could
> have been done in about 5 minutes with VO.
> I have to ask myself why someone would use "mind mapping" software over VO.
> Are they visually oriented or something?
Don't discount that. My daughter has a learning disability that makes
it extremely difficult for her to express herself in written form. A
counselor introduced her to Inspiration, which is essentially a
"mind-mapping" package for Windows, and it is absolutely amazing to me
how much it helps her get her ideas on paper in an organized fashion.
I've tried it, and it drives me nuts, but for her, it clearly lets her
see things on paper in the same way she sees them in her brain.
On Tuesday 27 February 2007 13:00, Steve Litt wrote:
> Hi all,
> This guy made use of a "mind mapping" software that produced a pretty
> picture, but as far as I can see, it's entirely hierarchical, which
> means it could have been done in about 5 minutes with VO.
> I have to ask myself why someone would use "mind mapping" software over
> VO. Are they visually oriented or something?
I, too, am a visual thinker. I can also use outlines really well but I see
them in my head as I write them.
www.noels-lab.com Chips, firmware and embedded systems
www.vimoutliner.org Work fast. Think well.
On Tuesday 27 February 2007 18:44, Noel Henson wrote:
> On Tuesday 27 February 2007 13:00, Steve Litt wrote:
> > Hi all,
> > This guy made use of a "mind mapping" software that produced a pretty
> > picture, but as far as I can see, it's entirely hierarchical, which
> > means it could have been done in about 5 minutes with VO.
> > I have to ask myself why someone would use "mind mapping" software over
> > VO. Are they visually oriented or something?
> > SteveT
> I, too, am a visual thinker. I can also use outlines really well but I see
> them in my head as I write them.
Sounds like we need a VO to mindmap converter, and I think I'm just the guy to
do it (when I get the time).
At Santa Monica College in 1983, the Cobol instructors made us make "VTOCs",
Visual Tables of Contents, i.e. mindmaps, of every Cobol program we turned
in. I HATED it. I was lousy with a pencil and ruler in 3rd grade, and haven't
progressed much. At this point I had under my belt 1 semester of
Microprocessors (6800 hex machine langauge), 1 semester of beginning Cobol,
and 1 semester of Pascal.
One day I was griping to my buddy Jeff Jones, THE PREMIER intellectual honcho
in the Santa Monica College computer lab. I said "I hate these VTOCs! I
should make a program to turn a Cobol program into a VTOC."
Jeff said to me "You can't do that -- you're not a good enough programmer."
I said "For two cents I'd do it!"
Jeff reached in his pocket, pulled out two cents, and gave them to me.
Three months later I put the finishing touches on my source code to VTOC
program, written entirely in Cobol so it could convert itself :-). The
program printed boxes with dashes and pipe characters, and also printed
connection lines with dashes and pipe characters. The hierarchy started at
the top left, and extended down in sequence and to the right in depth.
Jeff Jones reluctantly admitted he might have underestimated my programming
ability. My program became famous as students asked their instructors whether
they could "use Steve Litt's VTOC program" to create their VTOCs. The
programming experience I gained from writing that program gave me knowledge
above that of most of my classmates, and gave me a HUGE reputation. Even
though the early 80's were a terrible time to break into programming (the
late 70's and mid to late 90's were much better), I got a programming job a
year later while all my friends were still computer operators (kind of like a
dumbed down sysadmin who's adept at placing and removing 9 track mag tapes).
Anyway, yeah, I've got some graphical hierarchy programming under my belt :-)
On Wednesday 28 February 2007 05:07, Lucas Gonzalez Santa Cruz wrote:
> I've done a little Cobol myself. UK, circa 1979, no more than 200 lines in
> all, typing each line in a punch-card machine and then feeding it into the
> "mainframe" (bought 10 years earlier second hand).
> Your VTOC story makes me dizzy. Wow!
> Do you keep the "source code" for that? It belongs in a horror museum,
> much as my assembly code to turn an Apple II+ into a piano.
Unfortunately no. Back in the late 80's I still had a printout of the program,
but I haven't seen it in years. In 1989 I moved from Venice California to
Reseda California, then in 1998 to Apopka Florida, then to Longwood, Florida
in 2000. I have a feeling it got thrown out or left behind during one of
I remember the basics. I called the main routine A. Then looked for all called
subroutines *and loops* AA, AB, AC, AD, etc. Then I took all those
subroutines and loops, parsed them for called subroutines and loops, and
labeled them AAA, AAB, etc. In other words, I did it one level at a time
rather than diving via recursion. My more experienced buddies (especially
Jeff Jones :-) suggested I recurse, but I didn't know how, so I just kept
shaving off a level at a time, keeping partially completed stuff in arrays.
What I don't remember is whether I made a single pass through the program,
storing each subroutine and the loops and subroutines it called, or whether I
repeatedly scanned for each level. Given my newbiism of the time, I'd guess
Finally I had a list of subroutines and loops, each with a name like ACBAD
etc. I then sorted the names, and it produced the hierarchy.
From there on it was simply a matter of representing it graphically. Boxes
were the width of the subroutine name plus 2.