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Manually sort agent contents (Read 1464 times)
Will Duquette
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Manually sort agent contents
Jan 13th, 2016, 3:31pm
 
I've written an agent that finds all notes whose text contains "@todo".  In Outline view, the agent nicely shows me aliases for all of the relevant notes, which is very cool.  However, although I can sort them on some attribute, I can't manually reorder them in Outline view.  I tried changing the CleanupAction to "none"; that lets me move them around in Map view, but not in Outline view.

Is there a way to do this?  Would a different scheme work better?  I don't want to actually move the original notes; they are in a particular context, and need to stay there.
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Mark Anderson
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Re: Manually sort agent contents
Reply #1 - Jan 13th, 2016, 4:51pm
 
Why not seed the searched-for notes with an attribute on which you can sort? For instance, a user atribute to which you know you can set deisred sort values.

What sort of thing are you trying to do in the arbitrary outline sort? I ask not to pry but simply to understand the task in case a more simple alternative solution is possible.
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Will Duquette
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Re: Manually sort agent contents
Reply #2 - Jan 13th, 2016, 4:58pm
 
Mostly I want to be able to drag the items into priority order...where the priority relates to how important the item is, whether I have enough information to work on it, whether I feel like working on it, and the phase of the moon.  I *could* do that by defining a "Priority" attribute, and setting it various values...but what I really want to do is just drag and drop.

Of course, I could explicitly create a note for each todo item, and link it back to the original note in context; but I gather I would have to do that by hand.
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Mark Anderson
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Re: Manually sort agent contents
Reply #3 - Jan 13th, 2016, 6:03pm
 
I can see, from this, the utility in being able to drag-reorder an outline list of agent aliases to manifest an arbitrary order that could then be captured. The hard part is you'd need to do this with the agent turned off (so the list can't change) but when off the agent's action couldn't then capture the priority order. I'd also accept that setting such an order via an attribute is hard. You have to add 1.5 to place an item between an existing 1 and 2, but then 1.75 to fit between 1.5 and 2, etc. Very messy. Especially when you can 'see' the order by eye, but not capture it. It sounds like a feature request in the making.
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Mark Bernstein
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Re: Manually sort agent contents
Reply #4 - Jan 14th, 2016, 9:47am
 
Remember that agents can add or remove aliases whenever occasion arises.  If a new @todo appeared out of the blue, it would need to be put somewhere; if the agent were sorted manually, then it's sudden appearance would be confusing or misleading.

What you could do, instead, is to provide an attribute -- say $Priority -- and sort by that.  Rather than resorting to fractions, I'd suggest an approximate scale like this:

0:  newly-added and unassigned priority
1:  extremely urgent; the very top priority
10: fairly urgent
100: moderately urgent
1000: not very urgent at all

This gives you plenty of latitude for intermediate values.

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« Last Edit: Jan 14th, 2016, 9:53am by Mark Bernstein »  
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Mark Anderson
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Re: Manually sort agent contents
Reply #5 - Jan 14th, 2016, 10:19am
 
If going the route above, consider turning on column view to show the priority attribute (whatever you name it). Then you can sort of the attribute and as you add values the list will resort and you'll see existing values so you don't use the same value twice. Even if you edit the priority via a note's KA's it is still worth displaying the priorities as a column so you can see already used values.
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Will Duquette
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Re: Manually sort agent contents
Reply #6 - Jan 14th, 2016, 9:39pm
 
If manual sorting were possible, then I'd say that new aliases should be put at the top: where you'll see them, and could then drag them into their place.

Column view: I did not know about that.  Just went and looked.  I like it.

What would be neat is if I could define an attribute of an enumerated type, so that column view could show a pulldown for the enumerated value--like the link type when you define a link.  Then I could define a set of priority classes, and move items around by picking from the list.


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Mark Anderson
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Re: Manually sort agent contents
Reply #7 - Jan 15th, 2016, 4:04am
 
Column view allows entry of data only manually.
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Will Duquette
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Re: Manually sort agent contents
Reply #8 - Jan 16th, 2016, 12:12pm
 
Of course, the other solution is just to switch to Map mode, and arrange the tasks in whatever order I like there, provided that I've switched the CleanupAction to none.  And then I can link the tasks to show dependencies, which is both useful and cool.

Thanks for bearing with me as I figure things out!  Smiley
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