zznu-D8z
07.08.22


If you like multidimensional space, you'll love our structure.
Rational Visible Paradoxical Useful

The ZIGZAG® DATA ENGINE


®
ZigZag holds a new, liberated form of data and shows it in wild new ways.  Its uses range from database and spreadsheet to unifying the internals of large-scale software.

Almost no one understands the ZigZag concept without trying it hands-on, so we urge you to do so.

SEE THE MOVIE
(9 minutes).

Adam Moore, raconteur and biochemist, takes us on a tour de force of bioinformatics-- with explorable animations based on hyperthogonal data (zzstructure).

40 meg download (right-click), or watch it directly hence.

Be sure to watch all nine minutes-- the animation of the Krebs cycle at the end is not to be believed.

TRY IT HANDS-ON

Adam Moore has kindly set up a demo showing the royal families of Europe in zzstructure.  Walk through it on your Mac or PC.

Download our ZigZag-gzz Starter Kit.  Inside the zipfile you will find a folder, "ZigZag-gzz".  Put it in Windows C: or on Mac Desktop. 

(Requires Java.)

Inside you will find
 - Mac fireup directions
 - PC fireup directions
 - walkthrough instructions
 - power-user instructions, in case you really love it.

ENJOY!

READ ALL ABOUT IT

Our peer-reviewed article on zzstructure (now also called hyperthogonal structure) is available at the British Computer Society's on-line Journal of Digital Information.  Once you get past the title the rest is easy.
(The title is "A Cosmology for a Different Computer Universe: Data Model, Mechanisms, Virtual Machine and Visualization Infrastructure". )
 

ZIGZAG VERSIONS

We are working on an industrial version of ZigZag (Rzz); meanwhile we are giving away Gzz, the beautiful Finnish prototype  by Tuomas J. Lukka (elegant graphics and interaction, but unstable).  It's in the Starter Kit.

Les Carr's web-based Lzz at the University of Southampton is a delightful variant.  Other previous versions (Azz, Ezz, Zzz and Mantra Server) are of theoretical and historical interest but we don't have time to explain them right now.

THE MOST GENERAL DATA STRUCTURE?

We believe we have discovered the most general data structure, subsuming tables, arrays, spreadsheet and relational database, and intrinsically offering built-in visualizations and hands-on controls.

That structure we call zzstructure, or hyperthogonal structure.  Cells are connected orthogonally one-by-one, with no overall spatial coordinates.
 


  You may think of hyperthogonal structure as--

- sculptures of cells in three dimensions or more
- crossed lists in multiple dimensions
- irregular constructions of cells at right angles and side-by-side
- crystals of lists in corresponding connection
Hyperthogonal structure adheres to no formal model anybody knows.  Nobody's come up with a correct mathematical description, though a number of people have tried (without hands-on experience).

To understand this structure, try it hands-on, and build your own examples.

A NEW FRONTIER OF VISUALIZATION
Why would a data structure have built-in views?

Answer.  Just as a spreadsheet adds views and operations to a 2D table, allowing you to see and manipulate it, ZigZag adds views, operations and animations to hyperthogonal structure, allowing you to see and manipulate its rich possibilities.

ZigZag views may show any aspect of hyperthogonal structure in any way, adapting it for particular user purposes.  Designing these new views is a frontier of visualization.

Our logo says it all:

locally rational,
globally paradoxical,
yet somehow comprehensible.