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4.1 Search and Scan Facility

The level-of-detail support provided in SLOG-2 and Jumpshot-4's timeline window tends to help locate states that either are longer in time or occur very frequently. States that are short and occur rarely in a big logfile are difficult to locate without a special tool. User can easily spot the rarest states from looking at column count in the Legend window as in Figure 3.6. In Jumpshot-4, a search and scan facility is provided to facilitate this goal. There are three search criteria: search time, searchable timeline IDs, and searchable categories.

  1. Search time is the time that search starts. It is marked by a yellow line called the search cursor. There are two different ways of setting the search cursor. When the timeline canvas is in hand mode, as described in Figure 3.12 of Section 3.4.1, left mouse clicking will set the search cursor. The other way can be done in either hand or zoom mode. First, one pops up an information dialog box of any kind, using right mouse clicking; then one presses the SearchInitialize button in the toolbar to replace the green line by the yellow search cursor. When more than one information dialog box is shown, the information dialog box shown last will have its green line used to initialize the search cursor. When the Timeline window first starts up, the search cursor is set at the starttime of the logfile.
  2. Searchable timeline IDs are the timelines that the search will operate on; only states on the marked timelines will be returned by the search facility. These marked timelines can be selected by clicking on their timeline IDs on y-axis label panel with rules described in Table 3.12. When nothing is selected, all timelines are searchable.
  3. Searchable categories are categories that have their searchable checkboxes enabled as in Figure 3.9. Only a drawable with a searchable category can be returned by the search facility. By default, all categories in the Legend window are searchable.
Figure 4.1: Search of state eos in preview stage. The returned state is a preview state containing state eos as shown in the Search Box and Drawable Info Box.
Image timeline_search_preview

After any needed search criteria have been set, the search operation can be carried out by pressing either the SearchForeward or SearchBackward buttons shown in Table 3.14. As shown in Figure 4.1, the search facility returns a searched state that is marked by a transparent 4.1box with a 3D raised border and whose starttime is marked by a yellow search cursor and an upper and a lower 3D arrowhead. The upper 3D arrow's color matches that of the returned state. In the figure, the returned state is a preview state, so the upper 3D arrow is gray, as shown in the Legend window. Accompanied with the 3D raised bordered box is a popup Search Box that shows the details of the preview state, like the Drawable Info Box in Figure 3.17. Since the search in the figure is looking for state eos, a Drawable Info Box is shown to indicate that the returned 3D bordered box does contain category eos graphically. In order to locate the real state eos, a dragged zoom is performed around the 3D raised bordered box; the result is shown in Figure 4.2. In the figure, the real eos is located in the middle of the original 3D bordered box, and it is pointed to by the Drawable Info Box.

Figure 4.2: Dragged zoom performed around the 3D raised bordered box in Figure 4.1 shows the real state eos.
Image timeline_search_preview_zoomed

In general, when one is searching in a big slog2 file, all preview categories should be set searchable; otherwise, searching for real drawables may not return anything because at the lower zoom level there may be no real drawables of the categories of interest. Only the preview drawable contains the categories of interest. Also, the search facility is carried out for the drawables that are in the physical memory. On rare occasions, drawables in the memory may have been exhausted for searching before the end of the logfile has been reached; thus, the user may need to advance the search by scrolling forward or backward to read in more drawables and to restart the search. For a very big logfile, the search process of a real state may require repeated operations of search and dragged zoom before the real state can be found. This process will be automated in a later version of Jumpshot-4.


The transparency of the 3D raised box can be made opaque by selecting the SEARCHED_OBJECT_ON_TOP true.

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Next: 4.2 Tuning of the Up: 4. Special Features Previous: 4. Special Features   Contents