Conzilla - The Concept Browser

Advanced Editing

Creating and Editing Concepts and Concept-relations in Context-maps

Creating Concepts and Concept-relations

First, you need to choose what to create in the type-display on the right. The available types are divided into groups which you can choose among via the drop down menu at the top.

To create a concept, just select a concept type and click in the background of the map where you want to have the concept positioned. The type selection will now be undone (unless you have pressed shift at the same time as you clicked in the map, in which case you can continue to click out more concepts of the same type until you are done). The new concept will have a generated dummy title and you are automatically in title-mode which allows you to edit the title of the concept directly without further clicking. To stop editing the title, i.e. go out of title-mode, just click once anywhere else or you can also go on to create another concept directly.

To be able to create a concept-relation you need to have at least two other concepts in the context-map to draw the relation between. To create the concept-relation, simply select a concept-relation type and click once on the start concept and once on the end concept of the new conceptrelation. Just as in the concept case the type selection will now be undone (unless you have pressed shift).

Moving and resizing

You can always move a concept by dragging it (unless you are editing the concepts title in which case dragging means selecting text, just click elsewhere to stop editing the title). When you move a concept all the concept-relations which starts or ends at that concept will follow automatically, you can turn this behavior off via the small glue tool in the toolbar. To resize a concept you simply drag one of its handles that are positioned in the corners. If no handles are visible for the concept you need to select it by clicking on it once (if you are editing the concepts title you need to click once elsewhere before you can select it). When you resize the concept the concept-relations that start or end at this concept will be moved as well if the glue tool is enabled.

Moving a concept-relation is not as easy as moving a concept simply because it consists of several (two at a minimum) independent handles. To see the handles the concept-relation need to be selected just as a concept, see above. Each handle may be moved independently and even dragged away from a start or end concept (even if it is discouraged to do so for other purposes than esteticalalignment). Handles may be added or removed if the tie-tool is enabled. The line may be of two types, straight or curved. Straight means that between every two handles in the concept-relation line there is a straight line. Curved means that between every two handles in the concept-relation line there is a curve (a cubic parametric curve) which curvature is decided by two additional handles (see the hello world screenshoot in section 3.2). You can convert a straight concept-relation line to a curved by right clicking on it and choosing curve line and straighten line inverts the operation.

It is possible to select multiple concepts and concept-relations at once and move them together. This is done via drawing a rectangle in the background around the concepts / concept-relations to be selected, alternatively it is possible to shift-click to include or exclude things from the selection. When a selection is made it is possible to copy and paste within or between maps preserving graphical layout and referencing the same concepts in other contexts.

Editing Concepts, Concept-relations, and the Context-map

Concept-relation box and box-line

To every concept-relation there is a box and a box-line that can be made visible. Both are by default not shown but can be made visible by right-clicking on the relation and choosing show box and show line respectively. The box is essentially the same as the box of a concept, i.e. it may contain a title that can be edited and it can be resized and moved in the same manner. The box and box-line may be hidden again by choosing hide box and hide line respectively.

Editing titles of concepts and concept-relation boxes

The titles of Concepts (and concept-relation boxes, see below) can be edited in the map (observe that the map has to be zoomed to 100% for this to work properly) by clicking a concept twice (click to select + click to edit title). When the title is given for the first time (or removed and given again) its language is specified to be the chosen language in Conzilla. The title can also be edited among other information if you right click on the concept and choose edit..., see below.

Editing Information

To edit information for a concept or concept-relation you right click on it and choose "Edit...", to edit information for the context-map right click in the background and choose "Edit...". In the window that appears you can provide information like name, definition, description, purpose, and target group by default for concepts and concept-relations. For context-map the information you can provide by default is name, description, surrounding context, purpose, and target group. It is possible but at the time of writing not recommended to change the kind of information that is expressed since the support for this is under development.

Observe that the information is stored according to the session you work in.

Creating Contextual Neighbourhoods and Hyperlinks

In conzilla there are two ways to move between context-maps, contextual neighborhood and hyperlinks. In this chapter we will first see how contextual neighborhoods works and how they are implicitly created. Second, we will see how to do hyperlinks.

Contextual neighborhoods

A contextual neighborhood is a list of context-maps that have a specific concept in common. Hence, in the concept browser you can switch to another context-map by right-clicking on a concept and then choosing a context-map (a contextual neighborhood) from the list displayed. This list of context-maps cannot be manipulated directly, though it is of course affected by how concepts are reused across context-maps. Note, that it is impossible to know that the list of contextual neighborhood is complete, i.e. that all context-maps that reuses a specific concept is therein. It might always be the case that someone reused a concept without your knowledge. The list of contextual neighborhoods that you will see dependens on the browsers knowledge, i.e. which sources it has loaded.


Hyperlinks are, contrary to the contextual neighborhoods, under the direct control of the context-map creator. A hyperlink is a link to a context-map going from a concepts in a specific context-map.


  1. A concept may have different hyperlinks in different context-maps.
  2. There is only one hyperlink on a concept in a specific context-map.
  3. A hyperlink does always point to an entire context-map.

To create or change a hyperlink you have to choose edit hyperlink in the edit-menu over a specific concept and then specify the identifier (URI) of the context-map you want to link to. In more detail this can be achieved by:

  1. Copy the identifier (URI) of the context-map you want to link to into the clipboard. The best way to do this is by right-clicking in the background of the context-map you want to link to and choose copy in the menu that pops up.
  2. Switch the context-map where you want add the hyperlink into edit-mode. You do this by choosing edit in the File-menu.
  3. Add the hyperlink. This is achieved by right clicking on the concept where the hyperlink should be and choose edit hyperlink in the menu that appears. In the dialog that pops up, press paste to paste the context-map identifier from the clipboard. Press ok to close the dialog.
  4. Save you changes (optionally, this can of course wait if you want to do more changes first). This is done by pressing the save tool (looks like a diskette) in the toolbar.

To see the result you have to go into browse mode (choose browse in the File-menu) and then you will notice that the concept now is clickable. A single click will show you a small half transparent preview of the linked to context-map as an overlay, a double click will take you there.

Creating Content on Concepts

A single content-component can be tied to a concept (or a concept-relation) in two ways:

  1. content-on-concept means that the content-component is tied to the concept globally. That is, the content-component is available on the concept regardless of which contextmap the concept is inspected in.
  2. content-on-concept-in-context means that the content-component is tied to the concept only in a specific context-map. That is, if the concept is inspected in another context-map the content-component will not be available there.

Furthermore, to tie a content-component to a concept in any of the two ways involves expressing information in a container. Hence, you will only see a specific content-component on a concept if you have the containers where the relation is expressed loaded. Consequently, and this is the same for all kind of editing in Conzilla, it is important which session that is used when adding content.

To create content on a concept, do the following:

  1. Make sure you are in edit-mode in a map where the concept (or concept-relation) is that you want to add content on, if not, go to the map and choose edit in the File-menu.
  2. Right-click on the concept (or concept-relation) where you want to add content and go into the Edit Content submenu and choose "Manage Content...".
  3. In the content management window that appears, press create or create-in-context to create content-on-concept or content-on-concept-in-context respectively.
  4. In the dialog that pops up you should fill in a identifier.
    1. If the content that you want to add has a known public identifier in the form of a URI, e.g. a URL in the case of web content, put that into the dialog and press next.
    2. If the content you want to add doesn't have a public identifier that is a URI, e.g. a book, press generate to generate a globally unique identifier for it.
  5. In the resulting form fill in the metadata for the content. Do not forget to mark the content as retrievable if it should be possible to launch a regular web browser on its public identifier (typically a URL).

It is also possible to create content outside of the content manager, just right on the concept (or concept-relation) where you want to add the content and go into the Edit Content submenu and choose Link to content or Link to content in context for content-on-concept or content-onconcept-in-context respectively.

If you want to copy and paste existing content-component onto a concept (instead of creating a new one) you need to first copy the relevant content (right click on it and choose copy in the popup-menu) and then choose paste or paste-in-context in the content management window. If you created or pasted a content-component wrongly you can either remove it or just change from content-on-concept to content-on-concept-in-context by clicking the down and up buttons respectively.

Observe, the content management window is specific to the chosen concept in the current context-map with the current session. If the concept / context-map / session is wrong you have to close the window, change the session / the concept / the context-map to your liking and open up the content management window again.