Conzilla - The Concept Browser

Navigational Instructions

Conzilla allows you to investigate contexts-maps, concepts (including concept-relations), and content. A context-map graphically presents a selection of concepts and every concept may be connected to a range of content. In addition, every context-map, concept and content may have descriptive information (metadata) which often shows up in labels and popups.

To understand how to best use Conzilla, we first remind ourselves of two of the features of Conzilla:

  • Concepts have a life of their own – A concept (and concept-relation) is not owned by a context-map instead it is a independent entity which might be included in many maps.
  • Anyone can contribute – A context-map, concept or content is initiated only once. After that anyone is allowed to make further contributions to them without asking for permission (similarly to how you can hyperlink to any webpage). For context-maps a contribution means including more concepts or changing the context-maps descriptive information. For concepts a contribution means providing more descriptive information or additional content. For content a contribution means providing additional descriptive information.

Investigating Concepts


Right click popup menu


Popup with information

Right-clicking on a concept brings up a menu with three choices: Contexts, Content, and Information:

  • Selecting Contexts opens a sub-menu which lists all the other context-maps where this concept appears.
  • Selecting Content opens a content panel (to the right of the context-map) where the content-components of the concept are listed. Pointing to a content-component brings up information about it, and double-clicking opens either another Conzilla window (if the content-component is a context-map) or a browser window showing the content (for all other content-components).
  • Selecting Information brings up the information window containing all information that Conzilla is aware of for this concept. Note that information may come from different containers (think of files) and you may need to switch between them to see all information (this allows you to see who provided which information).

Note, if you right-click over the background of the map you get the same menu but only the last alternative, information, is available for selection.

If you hoover with the mouse pointer over a concepts in approximately 2 seconds (or over the background of the context-map) a popup with information is displayed. Pressing 'space' will make it stay up, pressing 'esc' will remove all popups. The information shown is a simplified version of what is shown in the information window. If there is an small arrow at the bottom of the popup it means that someone contribution further information, press '+' or 'arrow down' to display it. In the expanded popup, information from several containers are mixed in a non-tracable manner. To investigate who contributed which information you need look in the information window instead. Press '-' or 'arrow up' to go back to the smaller information popup where only the original information (made by the person that initiated this concept / context-map) is shown. More information about how Conzilla handles information (metadata) can be found here.

Besides appearing in several different contexts, a concept can also be hyperlinked to a special context-map, which is called a detailed map for the concept. When the cursor is placed over such a concept, the cursor changes its shape from an "arrow" to a "hand". (Left)clicking once on such a concept brings up an small preview of its detailed map, and double-clicking on the concept brings its detailed map into the navigation window. It is important to note that a Conzilla concept-relation is treated exacly as a concept, which means that a concept-relation can:

  • appear in different context-maps.
  • reference content.
  • have descriptive information (metadata).

Layers and Contributions


Layer pane visible


Contributions pane visible

A context-map may have both layers and contributions. A layer groups concepts together according to an arbitrary intention of the authors. A contribution on the other hand corresponds directly to what an individual author contributed to a context-map, typically a set of included concepts, referenced content and some descriptive information.

To see which layers and contributions that are available on a map activate the layers pane and contributions pane to the right of the context-map. From the layers pane you can mark and select / deselect layers to investigate what is contained in each layer. In the same manner, in the contributions pane can you mark and select / deselect contributions. Both layers and contributions may have metadata which can be inspected through popups that are shown on hoover. The popups can be made to stay up by pressing 'space', pressing 'esc' will remove all popups. Contributions are divided into a 'Standard Perspective', 'Optional Contributions' and 'Local Contributions'. Only contributions under 'Standard Perspective' are loaded by default. 'Optional Contributions' corresponds to contributions made by someone else than the originator of the context-map. The 'Local Contributions' are contributions that are made by you and not yet published for the world to see. If you construct a new context-map all contributions will be under 'Local Contributions' until they are published.

Conzilla Controls

The toolbar looks like:

As you see, there are 'seventeen icons' in the toolbar, below we go through each one of them and describe their functionality briefly. Additionally, tooltips are available in Conzilla to help you remember their functionality. Rightmost you have a dropdown box with languages, choosing a language makes the context-map to display all labels and popups in the selected language given there is an appropriate translation. The other icons have the following functionality (listed from left to right):

  1. Contributions: Toggles the contribution pane visible to the left of the context-map.
  2. Layers: Toggles the layer pane visible to the left of the context-map.
  3. Sessions: Toggles the session pane visible to the left of the context-map. Note that if Conzilla is in pure browse mode this icon will not be visible.
  4. Edit: Switches to edit mode for this context-map. Note that if Conzilla is in pure browse mode this icon will not be visible.
  5. New window: Opens a new window with this context-map in it.
  6. Back: Takes you to the last map that was in the navgation window. Right-clicking on this icon gives you the "history list" of the maps that you have already visited.
  7. Forward: Takes you forward again (if you have already moved backwards).
  8. Home: Takes you to the default start context-map.
  9. Zoom in: Increases the size of the concepts and information pop-ups in the map.
  10. Zoom out: Decreases the size of the concepts and information pop-ups in the map.
  11. Contextualize: If a content-component is in fact a Conzilla-map, this map is brought into the navigation window by clicking on the "Contextualize" icon.
  12. Highlight context switches: This icon toggles information about which concepts and concept-relations that fuction as "context switches", either by appearing in other contexts, or by being linked to a detailed map.
  13. Highlight content containers: This icon toggles information about which concepts and concept-relations that contain content.
  14. Mark information: Marks all concepts and concept-relations with a black dot if there is information available.
  15. Enable/Disable information pop-ups: This icon toggles whether the information about concepts, concept-relations and contexts should pop-up or not.
  16. Online/Offline: Toggles Conzilla offline or online.
  17. Fullscreen: Toggles fullscreen mode for Conzilla.