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Map views and saving searches as agents (Read 5468 times)
Ben Worthington
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Map views and saving searches as agents
Sep 27th, 2011, 8:33am
 
1) Mind map view (or maybe 'Brain Storm' View in order to avoid confusion with the existing map view). †A flat view which shows hierachy as nodes and other links as connections between nodes, in the way of a traditional mind map. The $HoverExpression could be set to show the text inside the note ($Text?).

2) The find dalogue or Common Word search dialogue could have a 'save as agent' button. †This would create a container at route level called 'Saved Searches' into which the agent is automatically placed taking the search criteria from the dialogue box.

Nb not everyone may know that you can already choose Create Agent from the menu bar with a note selected in a save dialogue to achieve most of this.
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« Last Edit: Sep 27th, 2011, 8:38am by Ben Worthington »  
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Mark Anderson
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Re: Map views and saving searches as agents
Reply #1 - Sep 27th, 2011, 9:30am
 
Re the whole-doc map issue. What about adornments & smart adornments? The latter have map (container) scope - so how would they function in this wider view? I think most map users who use adornments wuold see them as necessary in some way in this flattened view. How would the nodes be laid out? If TB lays them out I'd warrant it would not be as users would like. Would the new view be read-only? If new view is editable, now TB is having to add full mindmap layout controls†encouraging "Not as good as X" comparisons with mind-map only software. Performance with †20 notes and a few containers will be fine, but a real TBX with thousands of notes, and much nesting? Imagine drag-drop repositioning in that context. I'm not being contrarian here but simply flagging up a few of the real implementation issues that stand between then the general concept and a usable solution. I'm not arguing agin this - I'd use it if it were there - but just pulling into view some of the practical issues that means this oft-discussed issue isn't top of the new feature list. We could make it easier for Eastgate by perhaps also stating what we potential users of the feature don't expect this new view to do/offer.

Re agent creation. I've found myself intuiting this feature quite often; I'd even settle for being able to copy the current Find 'query' s a TB query code string to paste into an agent's $AgentQuery box. For map users, might it not be more convenient if the new agent were added as a child of the current selection (i.e. the selected map note or added to the map if no selection)? Otherwise, unless the map is root level (something I'd deprecate in practice) the new agents will be somewhere else than the area of current focus - the map. Map-centric users often report 'losing' things because they aren't on the current map. Once the agent's made it's easy to move it. Both approaches are feasible, but my hunch from experience is the latter is probably closer to what map-centric users would intuit/want.
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« Last Edit: Sep 27th, 2011, 9:31am by Mark Anderson »  

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Mark Anderson
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Ben Worthington
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Re: Map views and saving searches as agents
Reply #2 - Sep 27th, 2011, 9:59am
 
Hello Mark - I thought you might have something to say about this! (this has I know been a topic at Tinderbox events)

"What about adornments & smart adornments?"

I would be happy to sacrifice them in this view. There's no reason that the views should reproduce the same visual information - indeed, they don't currently. †For instance, correct me if I'm wrong but adornments created in Map View don't currently come over into timeline view or chart view.

"How would the nodes be laid out?"

Yes I had not considered the problems raised here. †

An automatic layout view would be just fine with me. I suppose it wouldnt please everyone though. †I know that in some apps there are limited layout features rather than full blown diagramming (see Curio for instance). †But yes, I take the point this would give rise to endless complaints. †

Re performance: I know nothing at all about the technical considerations behind this. My Map views seem to be able to take hundreds (probably thousands) of notes; would the view proposed be more taxing? I've no idea. †

For map users, might it not be more convenient if the new agent were added as a child of the current selection

Yes, I can see that my suggestion might confuse. †Maybe a new 'parking space' on the little Toolbar from which the saved agent could be dragged into place. Oh, I would love that on my little toolbar.

This would probably take 100 years to code, I've no idea.

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Mark Anderson
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Re: Map views and saving searches as agents
Reply #3 - Sep 27th, 2011, 10:54am
 
[contributing here in my 'user' not 'moderator' hat...]

IIRC seeing a experimental radial view at a TB Weekend, where all items at a given $OutlineDepth where drawn in the same ring, the size of which adjusts to accommodate all such items. Though there might need to be some upper size limits for number of items the view could draw, that seems a quick way to get to see all nodes in one 'map'.  OK, you don't get to choose the relative layout but it might if nothing else be comparatively simple to engineer (total guess there) and perhaps provide scope for a more complex treatment based on experience of using it. I'm also assuming such a display could display all links - though of course in a TBX with many links the display may become pretty incomprehensible as links begin to overlie one another.

I like the other 'parking' idea. It might also offer a means for moving items if the view were to allow it. Drag an object (agent/container/note) onto a 'note parking button'. Drag/dropping from the toolbar to receptive major view types would move the associated object to the drop location. I'd suggest the action would - unlike link parking - clear the button as likely the move will occur the once (unlike links which might be re-used). Actually, the parking button could possible offer either task. As long as the behaviour to expect is documented, I don't think slightly different function would matter - except a 'loaded' button might need some visual clue as to the type if into (link vs object reference) that it holds.

Hopefully, Mark B will set us right if these ideas are more complex (in implementation terms) than envisaged so we don't debate something pointless!
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Mark Bernstein
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Re: Map views and saving searches as agents
Reply #4 - Sep 27th, 2011, 6:30pm
 
Parking space for agents: a new and interesting idea. We did something like it in Web Squirrel, ages ago, but I agree this would be nice.

"Mind map" style view: yes, we're looking at some ideas in this area. Itís easy enough for small demos, but can be quite challenging to make this right for large documents with lots of links.  Stay tuned.
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Charles Barnes
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Re: Map views and saving searches as agents
Reply #5 - Nov 3rd, 2011, 2:23pm
 
"you can already choose Create Agent from the menu bar with a note selected in a save dialogue to achieve most of this."

Could you explain this a little more? I don't understand what you're describing. What does it mean to have a  note selected in a save dialogue? Thanks in advance...
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Ben Worthington
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Re: Map views and saving searches as agents
Reply #6 - Nov 3rd, 2011, 4:31pm
 
I clearly wrote that whilst drunk. Let's try again (I've only had a cup of tea all evening):

Go to the Edit Menu and select Find Text (or hit cmd-F).  Type a search query in the Find dialogue box and hit 'Find'.  Now go to the Note Menu and select Create Agent.  

An agent will be created and its search query will match the search criteria in the Find dialogue.

I find this very useful.


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