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New Post 11/12/2008 12:13 PM
User is offline RebeccaH
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Writing Requirements for Tree Hierarchy? 

Has anyone ever written any requirements for a tree hierarchy?

We are going to employ a tree as our main navigation on our web site. I am not sure what detail/level of requirements I need to write to explain how the tree should function versus what is "standard"/inherit functionality build into the code base. Any thoughts or examples would be greatly appreciated.

 
New Post 11/12/2008 1:35 PM
User is offline David Wright
141 posts
www.iag.biz
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Re: Writing Requirements for Tree Hierarchy? 

Tree Hierarchy? this sounds like a design choice to me. If so, I think you are looking for a standard design or template or something else, but not Requirements. Woulld you have an example of what you might expect as a Requirement for this?


David Wright
 
New Post 11/12/2008 1:44 PM
User is offline RebeccaH
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Re: Writing Requirements for Tree Hierarchy? 

It is a design choice in how to display the information but we need user interface requirements around how it functions. What happens when you first view the page; is the tree collapsed? When you select a node, do we highlight the area you selected? If the user selects another category, do we collapse anything that is open and then open the new category? When you select a link on the page that also lives in the tree, do you automatically expand the tree to that section?

Does that help clarify the issue?

 
New Post 11/13/2008 5:12 AM
User is offline KJ
243 posts
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Re: Writing Requirements for Tree Hierarchy? 

RebeccaH,

A tree is a strange thing. I encountered them in computer science a few decades ago. We had to write programs to implement trees using recursive programming, the bane of every young programmer.

 

Here is my take on your issue.

 

Its actually very simple and also complicated.

 

Lets start with the simple parts. A tree consists of nodes and branches that connect nodes.

 

The complex part is when you then define the types of nodes: parents, child, sibling and leave nodes etc. You define the rules that govern the behaviour of each node, including when a node is expanded or collapsed. Typical operations on the components include add, remove, display, find, and group etc.

 

Now since a node is just a complex object that has different states, you can most likely use a UML state diagram to show the transitions: a collapsed node can be expanded and an expanded node can be collapsed etc.

 

Heres how Microsoft describes their state transitions for Outlook Hierarchy at

 

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb905306.aspx

 

I sometimes us a state diagram to fathom the transitions of a complex item during requirements gathering.

 

I hope this helps a bit.

 
New Post 11/13/2008 9:43 AM
User is offline David Wright
141 posts
www.iag.biz
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Re: Writing Requirements for Tree Hierarchy? 

OK.   Presuming you don't get any help on this from MA or elsewhere, how would you then elicit these requirements? Would you work with known or potential users? Or would you look at sites that already have tree hierarchies too see how they do it?

I am just saying that this still sounds like "how" (design), not "what" (requirements). I mean, you can call it whetever you want, but if you say one when you mean the other, other people (like me) will not know what you are really after.


David Wright
 
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