People and Organizations Involved
TextArc has been a pet projecta gentle obsessionfor one person over the last year, but it couldn't have existed without the essential support of many people and organizations. I'll try to make some of their critical contributions clear.
Digital Image Design Incorporated provided the base technology to make it work. Hundreds of thousands of lines of Java code, developed over the last few years, provided the technological base for developing something that's more of a living illustration than the usual collection of buttons, tables, and input fields. Didi continues that work; looking for huge, hard, and complex datasets that people need to understand and turn into knowledge. Hai Ng, JueyChong Ong, and Greta Peterman were especially helpful in providing feedback and encouragement as it developed.
Clifford Beshers was a founding member of Financial Workbench (a company building tools not unlike TextArc to deal with the circus of financial data sophisticated investors need to integrate). While working on StockSlate, he did careful re-engineering on some of the base code shared by FW & TextArc. Perhaps more important, his ideas of partial evaluation and just-in-time graphics computation inspired the graphical cacheing in TextArc, allowing upwards of 10,000 graphical objects to be live on the TextArc screen at one time, even with medium-powered computers. Conversations with him always make the code and interaction design better.
Project Gutenberg provided the data that made it all not just possible, but interesting. What's a search tool without an intersting space to search? They provide one of the richest information treasures I've come acrossand do it for free! A fine place to donate some time or spare cash to. They graciously allowed this site to become a mirror, and provided early encouragement by their interested reactions.
Michael Rosenthal, of Walrus Internet generously provides the computer space and bandwidth to host TextArc. He's also been a good sounding board for the development of the (Still work-in-progress!) interactive search tool that lets you browse through the PG archives. You see it as the front-end for the "Thousands of Texts" section of this site.
And important feedback, conversations, and analysis of the tool in
its early stages came from Audrey Fleisher, Karen Sideman (at whose
party it first saw an audience), Grahame Weinbren (who first convinced
me it might be called art),
Sara Diamond, John F. Simon, Jr., Gordon Gray, Wayne Ashley,
Kevin Mutch, Bruce Ferguson, Bob Henrik,
Larry Rinder, Bill Buxton, Joe Marks, Steve Feiner, Jock MacKinlay. These
people and dozens of others were kind enough to share my
excitement at having discovered this unusual way of organizing words,
and tough enough to offer guiding criticism when I needed the focus.