jsPlumb: how to make Flowchart connectors avoid intersecting elements?

Is it possible to make jsPlumb Flowchart connectors not to cross connectable items or specified elements (in the example: elements with 'item' class)?

Default Flowchart behaviour:

A desired result:

Here's what I tried:

http://jsfiddle.net/CcfTD/1/

Edited to clarify

HTML
 <div id="root">
        <div class="item" id="item1">Item 1</div>
        <div class="item" id="item2">Item 2</div>
        <div class="item" id="item3">Item 3</div>
        <div class="item" id="item4">Item 4</div>
        <div class="item" id="item5">Item 5</div>
  </div>
JS
   jsPlumb.connect({
    source: $('#item2'),
    target: $('#item7'),
    anchors: [ "Continuous" ],
    connector:[ "Flowchart" ],
    paintStyle: {
        strokeStyle: "#000000", 
        lineWidth:1
    }
});

Basically to have jsPlumb engine (SVG or canvas) be aware of the relevant DOM elements and have a object-avoidance scheme

http://jsfiddle.net/adardesign/2ZFFc/

Answers


While I am actually trying to find a proper method for doing this (which led me to your question). I do have a solution that I am using in the meanwhile to get jsPlumb to work in the way that I want it to.

Basically you have to add in a zero height/width div to act as an intermediate node. You then make connections to and from that node instead of directly between the real items.

I have modified your jsfiddle (updated link) to provide an example of this.

The important things to note are ability to set the anchor placement using coordinates and the ability to use two different endpoint shapes. In addition, since the default length from the anchor to the first turn is too long in your example, it can be controlled by using the stub argument.

Below are the relevant modifications with comments.

HTML

<div id="root">
    <div class="item" id="item1">Item 1</div>
    <div class="item" id="item2">Item 2</div>
    <div class="item" id="item3">Item 3</div>
    <div class="item" id="item4">Item 4</div>
    <div class="item" id="item5">Item 5</div>
    <div class="item" id="item6">Item 6</div>
    <div class="item" id="item7">Item 7</div>
    <div class="node" id="8-12"></div>            <!-- Midpoint -->
    <div class="item" id="item8">Item 8</div>
    <div class="item" id="item9">Item 9</div>
    <div class="item" id="item10">Item 10</div>
    <div class="item" id="item11">Item 11</div>
    <div class="item" id="item12">Item 12</div>
    <div class="item" id="item13">Item 13</div>
    <div class="item" id="item14">Item 14</div>
</div>

CSS

.node {
    position: absolute;
    height: 0px;
    width: 0px;
    visibility: hidden;

    /* change these to place the midpoint properly */
    left: 285px;
    top: 160px;
}

JS

//connection from item8 to midpoint(8-12)
jsPlumb.connect({
    source: $('#item8'),
    target: $('#8-12'),
    connector:[ "Flowchart", {stub:5} ], //<== set stub length to be
                                         //    as short as you need it
    paintStyle: {
        strokeStyle: "#000000", 
        lineWidth:1
    },
    anchors:[ [0,0.5,-1,0],[0.5,0,0,-1] ], //<== connection position/direction
    endpoints:[ ["Dot", {radius:2}],["Blank"] ] //<== Blank connector at end
});

//connection from midpoint(8-12) to item12
jsPlumb.connect({
    source: $('#8-12'),
    target: $('#item12'),
    connector:[ "Flowchart", {stub:5} ], //<== set stub length to be
                                         //    as short as you need it
    paintStyle: {
        strokeStyle: "#000000", 
        lineWidth:1
    },
    anchors:[ [0,0.5,-1,0],[0.5,0,0,-1] ], //<== connection position/direction
    endpoints:[ ["Blank"],["Dot", {radius:2}] ] //<== Blank connector at start
});

Actually, the solution to your problem is deeper, especially if you're working with dynamic data.

After some hours of digging I finally found a "crack", not a pretty solution, but a crack.

I just did this change for Flowchart connectors, also I am not familiar at all with the other connectors, never used them.

After considering various things like midx and midy and initial stubs (those should be used in the complete solution but I abandoned them), simplest thing to do is to search for the addSegment function in connectors-flowchart.js file. That's where the segments are added.

Prior to adding the current segment (push it in the segments array), you check if it will intersect with any of your elements, just calculate some intermediary points (thus adding additional segments, breaking the initial one into pieces) so it basically takes a detour around the intersected element.

If more details are needed, I'd be happy to share.


I just had a similar problem, where connections of a dynamically generated diagram intersected with elements.

What worked for me was to specify the "midpoint" argument for the Flowchart connection. Maybe this helps in you case as well.

The stub argument also accepts arrays (not in documentation). I just set:

jsPlumb.Defaults.Connector = [ "Flowchart", { stub: [10, 50], midpoint: 0.0001 } ];

Hope this helps!


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