The Disappearance of N
September 26, 2013 9:33 AM   Subscribe

The Disappearance of N
Last year, a friend of mine disappeared, and I found him in jail. I had a blizzard of thoughts about that experience; here are many of them. They didn't fit in a linear essay, so I wrote some code to present them in a tree.

Caveat: It's not quite mobile-ready yet, but I'll work on it. OK on an iPad, though.
Role: writer, developer
posted by ignignokt (14 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
This project was posted to MetaFilter by aniola on October 14, 2013: The Disappearance of N

that was really interesting! and the tree format is a nice refection of the way your thoughts unfolded. In a few of the longer entries, for some reason, the top line was cut off, though.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 9:43 PM on September 26, 2013

Thanks — I don't suppose you remember which ones? If so, I'll fix them!
posted by ignignokt at 4:35 AM on September 27, 2013

Really nice work, and I can imagine the code being useful for all sorts of similar things.
posted by malevolent at 8:20 AM on September 27, 2013

This is really cool.
posted by sweetkid at 12:11 PM on September 27, 2013

hmm, looking now - the charge, transcript, picking a college, OCP, normal to me...

there may be others; anything that was long enough that I had so scroll down to see the end of the text (I have a very small laptop), the top seemed to be hidden by my bookmarks toolbar- when I hide all the toolbars, I can see the top of the text boxes that were hidden before.
Hope that helps?

do more of these, it's a really interesting non-linear way to tell a story!
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 1:05 PM on September 27, 2013 [1 favorite]

Thanks, guys. 5_13_23_42_69_666, I do plan to do more. And to let others make some. Let me know if you're interested. And I'll try to see if I can add some padding that'll prevent the top from being obscured.

malevolent, I may put the code up on Github at some point. Until then, if there's anything you're particularly interested in, feel free to ask!
posted by ignignokt at 9:37 AM on September 28, 2013

This is awesome. Clicking the back button does something I can't quite understand. Like there is an animation that happens but I don't think I actually back up anywhere.
posted by jessamyn at 9:55 AM on October 7, 2013


It's intended to move you back to the node you were on previously. Which browser are you on? And is there a particular place where this happens or does it happen throughout the document?
posted by ignignokt at 11:53 AM on October 7, 2013

I'm using firefox/mac. And I think it happens throughout the document. So if I click on can't find the guy - google to the rescue - local news sites and then click back back back the righthand notes don't change and the animation does something non-intuitive (I'm not even sure what it is doing, sorry to not be more helpful.)
posted by jessamyn at 12:17 PM on October 7, 2013

Very interesting, both your writing and the interface. Personally, I'd prefer it if once a branch got expanded, it stayed that way, instead of the way it currently seems to operate where clicking on a higher node recollapses the sub-nodes.

Do you plan to write more on it?
posted by Lexica at 6:50 PM on October 8, 2013

jessamyn, thanks! It does look like at some point, I did something Firefox hates. I'll get on it.

Lexica - Yup, I do plan to write more. I took a small break to do various experiments, but I should be back in it this weekend. I'll look into changing the collapsing behavior – that's the second time I've heard that. And thanks!
posted by ignignokt at 7:50 PM on October 9, 2013

Awright, I've fixed a few things:

- The longer text nodes do not get cut off in Firefox now when the window is short.
- Back and forward now cause the text to be synced instead of just updating the position in the graph and nothing else.
- The crazy accidental ring animation in Firefox was removed.
- Hitting the up key/clicking on a higher node no longer collapses a subtree. (Double-clicking does that now.)

It's also now readable on an iPhone. It's certainly not the definitive ultimate mobile design, but I do think it's an improvement over what it did before.

If I didn't really fix a thing that I thought I fixed, please let me know! And thanks for letting me know these things needed fixing.
posted by ignignokt at 10:25 PM on October 13, 2013

So, I've let the domain expire. The story has been moved over here.

And I've wrapped it up. The last stretch is here, in case you remember the rest of it from a couple of years ago and want to jump straight to that.
posted by ignignokt at 9:00 PM on September 2, 2015

Thanks for the update, it's great to get the end of the story, nice work!
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 2:25 AM on September 3, 2015 [1 favorite]

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