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Reference for Paper on Best Graphical Presentation Practices
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John-Silver



Joined: 30 Jul 2013
Posts: 631

PostPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2017 10:15 am    Post subject: Reference for Paper on Best Graphical Presentation Practices Reply with quote

I'll re-post this here as it wasn't being picked up on the General forum

A while back during discussions on the new native %pl I think, someone posted a reference to a paper and/or author which if I remember is a kind of 'reference' concerning efficient effective presentation of data graphically.

I found a copy of it at the time but since I lost a hard drive back in May it got obliterated.

I now have a 'Bad Memory - FATAL' error LOL

Can somone who remembers it or who posted it (mecej4 ? wahorger ? silicondale? ... are the potential 'suspects' names that ring bells) remind me of the author please.
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LitusSaxonicum



Joined: 23 Aug 2005
Posts: 1683
Location: Yateley, Hants, UK

PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2017 12:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

John,

I don't remember a paper exactly as you describe it, and I guess nobody else does through the lack of replies. However, you might just mean the paper mentioned by Kenneth_Smith on getting the ideal scales, which appeared many pages ago and was:

https://people.sc.fsu.edu/~jburkardt/f77_src/toms463/toms463.html

Eddie
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John-Silver



Joined: 30 Jul 2013
Posts: 631

PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2017 2:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks Eddie, but no it wasn't that one it was a reference to a 'bible reference paper' which studies the best ways to present data.
I'll just trawl through the posts and see what I can find
thanks again
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LitusSaxonicum



Joined: 23 Aug 2005
Posts: 1683
Location: Yateley, Hants, UK

PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2017 3:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry John, the lack of replies prompted me.

I have a couple of Edward Tufte's books (https://www.edwardtufte.com/tufte/) that are both beautiful and useful. You may find what you are looking for on his website.

Eddie
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John-Silver



Joined: 30 Jul 2013
Posts: 631

PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2017 7:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's the man !
thank you Eddie !
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DanRRight



Joined: 10 Mar 2008
Posts: 1645
Location: South Pole, Antarctica

PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2017 10:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hope you will tell us the essence of what was in his lessons. I looked briefly at his figures and found nothing that catched my eye or was worth of being useful
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John-Silver



Joined: 30 Jul 2013
Posts: 631

PostPosted: Sun Nov 26, 2017 4:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

will do Dan.
there are a few reviews of his latest tome on the net if you google

better still he's in action right next door to you in San Francisco in 10 days time, 1 day courses (3 days) .... if you've got the $380 burning a hole in your pocket, although that includes all 4 of his books too !

looks like he's got a topic re- future utilisation of 4D and higher displays in there

https://www.edwardtufte.com/tufte/

Paul could fly over to go with you on a Xmas jolly ! Wink to get some tips for the fine tuning of native %pl !
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DanRRight



Joined: 10 Mar 2008
Posts: 1645
Location: South Pole, Antarctica

PostPosted: Sun Nov 26, 2017 7:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I looked at this site and even at Google search and my eye was not pleased by a single thing. What do you want to learn from him? Does he have any short video teasers somewhere ? There are so many lecturers here promiss to cure, teach and enrich you for a flat or subscription fee
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LitusSaxonicum



Joined: 23 Aug 2005
Posts: 1683
Location: Yateley, Hants, UK

PostPosted: Sun Nov 26, 2017 12:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dan,

To mention just a few things, there is a criticism of Powerpoint 'style'. (You can find it online if you search for tufte-powerpoint.pdf where it was posted by a University staff member who is no respecter of copyright). He also criticises 'chart junk' or shading patterns that early (monochrome) graphics packages used. He talks about different types of charts, and how some conceal the truth rather than disclosing it.

Tufte's website is an engine for selling his lectures and books - the man has to make a living, after all. The best content is in the books, and you need to read and digest, then apply the ideas to your own context. He is not publishing self-instructional texts or 'Design for Dummies'.

He also doesn't know everything. WHat he does know is thought-provoking.

Eddie
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DanRRight



Joined: 10 Mar 2008
Posts: 1645
Location: South Pole, Antarctica

PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2017 12:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eddie, was laughing after reading his final paragraph with comparison of PowerPoint style with Stalin's propaganda. Leaving aside if latter was a propaganda or reality (what 90% of present Russia now thinks) his vendetta against PP is an absurd. His propaganda about Powerpoint propaganda style indeed sounds like a propaganda of nothing. When all use PP now no one pays attention to the propaganda style of PP as actually it became a bit boring now. My opinion about this guy's works now exactly expressed by the slang word "tufta".

Read this pdf just for your attention and reminding you few commonly known rules, and don't waste your money, John. Better buy the PowerPoint if you don't have one which helps anyone without graphics artist's talents quickly make the presentation way better then on all handmade transparencies circa 1980.
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John-Silver



Joined: 30 Jul 2013
Posts: 631

PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2017 4:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Poerpoint is a witch ! Burn the Witch !

So much time lost producing them, and Tufte's ,main point is true - no one listens to you because they're reading their copy (which has become obligatory to hand out BEFORE the peěresentation starts !

I've even worked for companies who as k now for reports to be produced in PP as the default !!! - just so the PM can pih it and use it will ynilly without an idea what he's talking about !
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DanRRight



Joined: 10 Mar 2008
Posts: 1645
Location: South Pole, Antarctica

PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2017 6:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok, then next time when you come in front of your scientific public somewhere on the conference don't show them anything and just talk. Start your talk with the words "PowerPoint is a witch" (change "PowerPoint" to other presentation software like Slides, Camstudio, Wink, FlowVella, Slidesnack, Slideshare, VisualBee or all of them). Tell us here about your experience Smile
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LitusSaxonicum



Joined: 23 Aug 2005
Posts: 1683
Location: Yateley, Hants, UK

PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2017 1:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Powerpoint is a tool, and it has its uses. It shares with 35mm slide shows a degree of inflexibility, best demonstrated when someone in the audience asks a question, because you can't depart from the preset order. Only a lousy presenter reads the slides anyway. I never lecture from notes, and know from experience that I can lecture on subjects in my discipline easily for many hours every day.

If you have 10 to 15 minutes in a conference, interruptions are rare. and Powerpoint works. For 1 or 2 hour lectures where 'teaching' is required, the effort of preparing PPTs is out of proportion to the delivery and the lack of flexibility shows. A one hour evening lecture for a professional body (yes, I do those too) also takes days to prepare.

Unfortunately for one of Dan's criticisms, I do have graphic artist's skills. Indeed, if I don't like the quality of illustrations in papers submitted to the scientific journal I have been editing in recent years, I redraw them myself!

The point about reading Tufte (and I don't know what 'tufta' means in the variant of English used in England) is to have your thought processes stimulated, not to be given a set of prescriptive rules. There are plenty of criticisms of Tufte on the internet, some of which are themselves thought provoking and very probably true.

Incidentally, Stalin's propaganda is used as an example because, due to Godwin's Law, one can no longer cite Hitler's!
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DanRRight



Joined: 10 Mar 2008
Posts: 1645
Location: South Pole, Antarctica

PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 10:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Use PowerPoint from day 1, used few other presentation software titles before and during these years, saw thousands of presentations and never heard any complaints and even never complained about PP myself.

Me never complained? this is hard to believe anyone will say! I complained a lot about Adobe PDF, Word and formula editor in it, Excel, Latex, Windows, Linux, all other Fortran compilers besides Salford/Silverfrost, C/C++ and other things, countries, religions and politics. And though i do not love PP i never complained about it. Because it gave me a lot. And because we here are programmers, and what is missing in it we can program ourselves, specifically with such compiler like FTN95. For example showing animations from the hydro and PIC codes on the conferences. I just ran my codes there and people were thrilled seeing for the first time how fusion capsule explodes in front of their eyes or laser target expands. My first animations programs were made with FTN77 in the beginning of 90th. At that times that was harder (and everyone though impossible in Fortran) then making all PowerPoint prsentations

Takes a lot of time to prepare the talk? Takes hell much more time to prepare what to talk about.

I perfectly remember times when there was no PP and the only that all used were transparencies. Talk preparation was may be faster but i hated not only my own talks but the ones from all other people. So when the first overhead LCD screens first appeared (as well as tri-lamp projectors later) i've been probably the first in my area who used computers for presentations starting from around 1993-94 and perfectly remember that excluding may be couple naysayers and eternal technophobes all liked both what was said and how it was presented. Today when i see other presentations i admit that the majority makes better looking slides then me.

Even more, my experience tells that there exist a correlation between quality of graphics and the quality of work. The explanation of that is simple: if you happen to find something truly outstanding, you spend much more time, money, and involve more people including sometimes professional graphics artists into delivering better presentation!

Last decade fashionable also became to make huge size posters with the PowerPoint. I tried and so far like this very much.
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John-Silver



Joined: 30 Jul 2013
Posts: 631

PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 7:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The worděst thing with powerpoint presentations is undisputedly (and I challenge anyone to counter this argument) is that at the beginning the audience clammers like a rabid zombie mob toere have to be the capabilities in the package to have quite a variable set of features (the gridlines is a good example get a PAPER copy ! It's as if gold ink is used.
The world would be a much better place if it was FORBIDDEN to hand out before the lecture. The audience would be then forced to LISTEN to the person giving the presentation (no, nobody can read the paper copy and listen at the same time).

Second worst is the QUALITY of the slides, and this is one of Tufte's points made loud and clear in his tome's.
How many times have we all been squinting at a slide 'cos it's too small, or just unable to understand what's been cobbled together.

And this is where relevance to ftn95 and more specifically plotting comes in. There have to be a certain level of parameters included to make things a) readable b) interesting. The example of labels and spacings and formats is a good example, with hopefully all the little gremlins we've been encountering soon fixed. Gridlines - tick v.g. - if they're working seamlessly.
Eventually we'll be into 3-D territory one day, and that will be a challenge
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