Users Guide/Bookmarks

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This is a small how-to on how to use the Bookmarks available in old versions of VisTrails. This was discontinued and will be replaced by a much more powerful framework called Medleys.


The Bookmarks application was the first prototype of a framework to help users without programming expertise to better manipulate collections of workflows. Here we show how to create bookmarks and how to interact with them.

Creating a Bookmark

A bookmark is a workflow view that provides a simplified interface for a workflow by only exposing a designated set of components to the user. These components are identified by an alias map which associates a name to a workflow component. In this prototype, users can name only parameters, but the concept can be applied to modules and to subworkflows.

So, in order to create a bookmark you need first to give names to the parameters you want to expose.

Naming parameters

In the pipeline view, open the workflow to which you want to create a bookmark. For example, we will open the terminator.vt file and choose the Isosurface workflow as shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1: Isosurface workflow is selected in the VisTrails Builder Window

We want to expose only the dataset name and the isovalue in the bookmark. We first select the vtkStructuredPointsReader module and in the Set Methods panel we click over the parameter type (the word String) of SetFileName. This will pop up a window where we can type a name, as shown in Figure 2.

Figure 2: Clicking on a parameter type pops up a window to give it a name. Here the name filename is given to to the String parameter of the vtkStructuredPointsReader's SetFileName method.

After clicking ok, this will create a new node in the version tree. Now we do the same to the Float parameter of the SetValue method of the vtkContourFilter module. We will give the name isovalue.

We will tag this node as Isosurface Ready and this is going to be the workflow to which we will create the bookmark. The Volume Rendering HW workflow has already some named parameters. Now it is important that you save your work so the workflows are persistent to the vistrails file and you can add them to your bookmark collection.

Adding a Bookmark

To add a bookmark for a workflow, right-click the workflow node in the version tree and select Add to Bookmarks in the context menu, as shown in Figure 3.

Figure 3: Creating and add a bookmark based on the Isosurface Ready workflow.

After adding a bookmark for the workflow Isosurface Ready, we'll do the same to Volume Rendering HW'.

Interacting with Bookmarks

Users can interact with the bookmarks using the Bookmarks Window shown in Figure 4. It can be reached through the Builder Window Toolbar also shown in Figure 4.

Figure 4: Activating the Bookmarks Window.

On the Bookmarks Window users can select the workflows they want to explore. By marking the checkbox beside the bookmark name, we can view the parameters we are able to change in that workflow. For example, in the case of the Isosurface Ready bookmark, we can access only the filename and the isovalue. If multiple bookmarks are selected, the union of the parameters will be shown on the parameters panel. If the workflows have parameters with the same name, they will be collapsed into one, which means that they will be automatically synchronized. In this example, we can explore two rendering methods for the same dataset at the same time.

To run the workflows, just press the Execute button on the top left of the Bookmarks Window. All the bookmarks that are checked will be executed at the same time.