What's the best way to view a deep hierarchy?
In a desktop application what are the innovative, alternate methods to a tree structure?
Provide me some example links to go through.
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Google's Image Swirl is a web based tree browsing of images - similar presentation could be used for a desktop application - and in any case a web browser is a desktop application. Modern application development tools can make including a browser window in an application a good choice.
The Open Source Walrus Program provides interactive 3D visualizations of very large trees.
Any method for showing networks can equally show a tree, because a tree is just a network with the least links necessary to stay connected in one piece.
GraphViz can be used to generate displays of trees of all kinds. This circular example below is for visualizing the hailstone sequence. Another program, Circos, specializes in diagrams in a circular format, and as well as networks can also show tree structured data.
Menus are a form of tree. So are menus in disguise like Microsoft's Ribbon.
Miller Columns http://www.google.com/url?source=imgres&ct=img&q=http://www.informit.com/content/images/chap03_9780789742292/elementLinks/03fig06.jpg&sa=X&ei=Np_QTOyzFIKBlAemrNHvBQ&ved=0CAQQ8wc4Qg&usg=AFQjCNHUJc55AvHYbMaw_m9TrZfFoV_gDQ
One nested inside the other to get to two levels.
A table with a column for each level, each row representing one leaf node and giving the full breadcrumbs-path to the node represented.
Table using indents