Enhancements to WebGrid
With the widespread usage of WebGrid in research leading to publications, the availability of a network of servers, and advances in web technologies, some enhancements of WebGrid have become both desirable and feasible.
We are currently developing the capability to upload grid files to the WebGrid server, making it easier to move between servers, use grid data in a variety of formats without having to re-enter it, and restore data saved on a local machine to any of the servers. The underlying program will already load data stored in WebGrid pages, any of the past formats we have used in previous grid programs over the past 40 years, the simple text and spreadsheet formats defined for ease of grid data entry to RepGrid, and the wide variety of formats used by FlexiGrid, GPack, Idiogrid, GridSuite, and so on. Hence, it should be possible to use a wide variety of existing grid data with WebGrid.
The current graphic output from WebGrid analyses is generated with a resolution suitable for viewing on the computer screen, but printers have substantially higher resolution. The underlying program makes available the graphics in SVG format which is scalable to any size without artefacts, PNG and JPEG with a range of scalings. This supports high-resolution printing of the graphics when pasted into word-processor documents. We are developing the capability in WebGrid to download the graphic analyses in a range of high-resolution formations for publication purposes.
Of the various multi-grid analysis capabilities of Rep 5, only pairwise grid comparison is available in WebGrid. It is technically possible to analyze multiple grids with common elements, constructs, or both, and output Socionets, Histograms, and so on, but effective use of these requires some degree of graphic interaction with the output (that is also desirable for the principal components analyses -- automatic layout algorithms are not as good as the human brain), and this was not available when WebGrid was developed. However, it has become feasible in HTML 5 and we are investigating the possibilities.
Suggestions from WebGrid users about features that would be useful in their research are always welcome. Most of the current features originated in this way.