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Author Topic: Teaser screenshot  (Read 9774 times)

mouser

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Teaser screenshot
« on: August 02, 2005, 05:50:23 AM »
i've been working hard on the new CHS - ive written and deleted and rewritten some code quite a bit, trying to figure out the best way to manage the clip groups and stuff..   so many design issues...

but here is a preview of the interface as it is; eventually you will be able to customize the display.

« Last Edit: August 02, 2005, 10:27:24 AM by mouser »

nudone

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Re: Teaser screenshotsw
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2005, 06:32:50 AM »
 :up: looking good, dude. can't wait to try this one.

kfitting

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Re: Teaser screenshotsw
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2005, 09:01:13 AM »
Looks nice.  A couple of questions, basically just some functionality questions.

- Is the filter going to apply only to the node you are in?  In other words, if you are in a node and want to search all clips are you going to have to click on the "ALL" node and then search? (maybe you could have two buttons for filtering, one for all and one for current node... I dont know)
- Is there any way to delete clips?  Based on criteria?
- What about having a hotkey that, when pressed, copies something to the clipboard and brings up an input box so you can enter in desired info (eg. clip group, clip title, etc)?  Ctrl+c would STILL be a normal copy and CHS would capture it and use the default settings specified in the options dialogue.  However, if say ctrl-alt-c (user defineable) were pressed, the user would be able to specify that data.  This would be helpful if you were collecting articles from the internet or any other time you wouldnt mind the extra time if it makes finding the data easier!
- What are the clip criteria (sorry cant think of what databases call them... maybe fields?) stored in the database?  (eg. windowname, date/time, etc)  In other words, what can you filter on?
- (not an interface question)  You had mentioned at some point about making CHS talk nicely with other notes managers.  Any further info on that?

Awesome screenshot!  Cant wait to see this implemented!

Kevin

mouser

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Re: Teaser screenshotsw
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2005, 09:08:41 AM »
Quote
- Is the filter going to apply only to the node you are in?  In other words, if you are in a node and want to search all clips are you going to have to click on the "ALL" node and then search? (maybe you could have two buttons for filtering, one for all and one for current node... I dont know)

there will be two ways of searching, one is the quick search box where you can instantly apply a filter to whatever group you are looking at; in this case you would click ALL to have it show ALL clips which meet the filter criteria.

there will also be a more complex search function which will launch and filter all based on keywords or any other criteria.

Quote
- Is there any way to delete clips?  Based on criteria?
of course; you can just ctrl+A to select all "visible(filtered)" clips and hit delete, or select them any other way you want.

Quote
- What about having a hotkey that, when pressed, copies something to the clipboard and brings up an input box so you can enter in desired info (eg. clip group, clip title, etc)?  Ctrl+c would STILL be a normal copy and CHS would capture it and use the default settings specified in the options dialogue.  However, if say ctrl-alt-c (user defineable) were pressed, the user would be able to specify that data.  This would be helpful if you were collecting articles from the internet or any other time you wouldnt mind the extra time if it makes finding the data easier!

absolutely - i think we discussed this before; there will be a hotkey which pops up a small preview window showing the currently highlighted text, and allowing you to enter a custom title, and select the GROUP to play it in (and default to last selected group), so this will be perfect for this task.

Quote
about making CHS talk nicely with other notes managers.  Any further info on that?

i fully intend on supporting import/export to Keynote, Treepad, generic cvs, xml, maybe onenote; whatever is most popular.
i expect that you will be able to import and export to the major notes tools.

i do intend for this tool to be a complete hierarchical note taking + clipboard tool, able to compete with the best of them.

mouser

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Re: Teaser screenshotsw
« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2005, 09:10:28 AM »
Quote
- What are the clip criteria (sorry cant think of what databases call them... maybe fields?) stored in the database?  (eg. windowname, date/time, etc)  In other words, what can you filter on?

i didn't show it on the screen shot, but there are tons more columns you can show/hide, including creation date, modification date, last view date, deadline date, some checkboxes for marking favorites, a keyword field, various other custom user settings.

kfitting

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Re: Teaser screenshotsw
« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2005, 10:06:39 AM »
Quote
i do intend for this tool to be a complete hierarchical note taking + clipboard tool, able to compete with the best of them.

So this won't be a "clipboard extended" with a more advanced clip management system?  This will be a notes manager with a more enhanced clipboard integration?  If so, I think the interface should reflect that.  Right now, it still seems to be more for managing little chunks of data.  One discussion over on the Keynote forum is from writers who want advanced text-editing qualities in a tree structured note manager.  I'm NOT saying you have to incorporate these features, but if you release this as a hierarchical notes program, manual text entry/editing will have to become a bigger piece of the puzzle. 

In other words, it seems the goal has changed, but only some of the features have changed to support this goal.   Dont get me wrong, I'm not saying you shouldnt create a notes program, or anything of the sort.  Just pointing out that if you are trying to "compete" (said loosely here!)  with the other note programs other features will be requested (creating/importing tables, picture support, picture in text support, printing, paragraph/font styles, etc).

Overall, keep up the good work!

Kevin

mouser

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Re: Teaser screenshotsw
« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2005, 10:19:52 AM »
i think you are really right about making sure interface and features suit the task..

perhaps i was too quick to talk about it being primarily a note taking tool..

i'm still open to discussing how much it should focus on clipboard stuff vs. note stuff...

it started as a clipboard tool and i wouldnt like to make too many concessions that make it less useful for that task..
and you're comment about supporting advanced text-editing is a good point.

i'll give you my biases up front:
i use both clipboard tool and hierarchical notes tool, separate programs.
i ONLY ever store pure plain text, no images, no sounds, no rich text.
in fact i get annoyed when i copy text from web page and it gets pasted as rich text with colors and fonts and stuff.

so my personal bias would be to create a tool designed mainly for quick and easy plaintext clips and entries, which had a real focus on making it really easy and fast to add notes, rearrange notes, and search for notes.  with a fairly uncluttered interface that makes these main tasks easy.

that's my personal bias.  now i'm open to adding other stuff that people want in their clipboard/note taking tools, but id prefer quick+easy notes+clips versus super powerful but messy interface.

kfitting

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Re: Teaser screenshot
« Reply #7 on: August 02, 2005, 10:52:06 AM »
Right, I dont think you're going in the wrong direction, I just think you're "advertising" got out of line with what you're making!  I personally think that a clipboard tool with the search/archive features you are including is a great idea.  Two ideas, probably been mentioned before, but that I think help bridge the gap between your concerns:

- The format conversion stuff (RTF,text, html blah blah) could be selectable.  IE, default to pasting in text.  Or default to RTF, or default to whatever the original format is.  This allows you to always have clips come out as text with the option of the others if something comes up.

- Bridging the gap between notes managers and the clipboard is often overlooked (in fact, until we started discussing this program I hadnt really thought about it much!).  Keynote 1.x has this in a very basic form, but I havent seen it too many places.  This is why I think you could realistically target CHS as a clipboard extender AND an in-between program: from clipboard to notes manager.  That's why I beat the "export to notes manager formats" idea to death (sorry!).  If a piece of text is just a clip, let CHS store it.  If it's a little bigger, but not that important, let CHS store it.  If it fits in with something you have in another one of your other notes programs, copy it and format it in CHS, then transfer it to your "official" notes manager.

Those are just my thoughts on the matter.  I think your interface is good (maybe a tad busy, though I dont see how you will get away from that entirely!!) and your intentions are fine.  Just gotta figure out this in-between stuff!  (and please everyone, of course ;) Yeah, right.........)

Kevin

mouser

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Re: Teaser screenshot
« Reply #8 on: August 02, 2005, 11:31:50 AM »
it's a little busy for my tastes as well.. i'm thinking i might try to offer like a couple easy-to-switch-between modes that would show progressivly less information.

we are on the same page about format conversion i think.  it will definitely be easy to tell the program you always want to work with plain text.  i would like to hear more about your idea wrt converting formats.  clipmate is probably the most powerful and flexible clipboard tool and its useful to look at how they do it.  i think basically clipmate by default captures all formats for a clip.  so a single clip might exist in several formats; you can access the format you want to at any given time.  so richtext is always available both as plaintext or richtext. etc.  maybe we can think of a nice way for dragging and dropping the format you want at any given time.

currently im working on group and clip management and moving stuff around between groups, etc.  it's a bit intricate because im using databases for the groups and clips.  the benefits are worth it though, in terms of scalability.

anyone have any use for a networked-synchronized version, so that multiple computers all share the same database?

kfitting

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Re: Teaser screenshot
« Reply #9 on: August 02, 2005, 01:10:45 PM »
I'll think about your GUI comment... but, concerning the format conversion.  What I've imagined (throwing reality to the wind, mind you!) is the ability to copy a clip from a plain text editor and paste it as rtf into word or keynote.  Or, the ability to copy something out of an internet browser with html formating and paste it into word in rtf format (I personally prefer rtf over plain text!).  But, that's the idea.  In my thinking, I imagined that you would have a button in the format window to convert between formats.

Two problems I see with my vision of format conversion:
1. When do you stop?  If you take this to the end, you'd essentially be writing a WYSIWYG program!  Perhaps restricting to just text, or doing something default-ish with pictures.  Converting text or tables could be native though.
2. What about programs that dont copy formats?  For example opera doesnt give the html formatting.  Could CHS apply html formatting to clips copied from opera?  How would CHS handle excel?  Word?  Random program no one knows about?

The idea with format conversion is to be able to copy as much or as little formatting as you wish, with the option to put it into the format that suits your purposes.  If I'm just archiving a random clip of data, I want plain text.  If I'm archiving a full article, I'd like to preserve formatting.

Those are my ideas.  I'm sure this could balloon into something unwieldy... like being able to choose exactly what things you want to stay formatted, etc.  But, I personally think that a general conversion button would be fine.  As far as keeping all different versions of a clip at all times... seems kind of wasteful to me.  Generate them as the user demands them.

Kevin

mouser

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Re: Teaser screenshot
« Reply #10 on: August 02, 2005, 01:32:21 PM »
well let me explain a little about how the windows clipboard works.
it's actually designed to let you copy between apps that may or may not support advanced formatting.

so when you copy some text from a web page to the clipboard, it actually creates several different clip items.
one is plaintext, another is richtext, etc.

then when you paste it into an app, that app grabs the best format it can.

so you really dont have to know if the target app can handle richtext or plaintext, you create both, and let the receiver decide.

as far as writing a wsiwyg program - this is where software reuse comes in; there are nice wsiwyg editor components that i can just drop into the program and connect with a little bit of effort.  just like CHS already has with a very nice spelling component.

this is probably a good time to point out that it is donations from users like you, plus thankfully the generosity of some companies which give me big discounts and sometimes free copies, that lets me use these commercial components.  without the donations from you guys and gals i simply wouldnt be able to build these things.

REDONDOS

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Re: Teaser screenshot
« Reply #11 on: August 02, 2005, 02:36:50 PM »
Finally, a free alternative. Thank you for your dedication, mouser. This thing will rock!

kfitting

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Re: Teaser screenshot
« Reply #12 on: August 02, 2005, 03:44:40 PM »
Concerning the GUI.  There are two main things that confused me about the GUI in the screenshot:

1. Couldn't you combine the TreeView and the Form view (Upper right view)?  in other words, couldn't the treeview have all the clips in it as the lowest level?  I think the second view (more database like) is excellent for searching or filtering, but it makes everyday usage kind of clunky; you have to choose the clip catagory on the left, move and find the clip up top, then do whatever action on the bottom.  If you simplify the main view down to the treeview and the editor view you can choose clips and edit them immediately.  If you need an advanced search based on criteria, open up a seperate window and get the "raw data" from the "database" view.  Just an idea to reduce the amount of stuff on the screen

2. The misaligned toolbars.  I realize that each toolbar is above the section that they control... but it would be nicer if they were at least on the same level.  This may be alleviated if you get rid of the one view from the main window.

Obviously, GUI layout is crucial (something most open-source projects don't seem to understand, but fortunately, people on this site seem to!).  I think you're close.  You have a lot of functionality to squeeze into a small space.  Once people can get their hands on it and use it in actual working conditions I think you'll get a better idea of where things need to go.

Kevin

mouser

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Re: Teaser screenshot
« Reply #13 on: August 02, 2005, 05:02:09 PM »
i have been struggling with the issues you've raised over and over and over again in the last week.
i agree with you 100% about everything you've said.

i would like to find a way to let user switch between the view you see in the screenshots and a view which has only tree + memo, with as you say the clip titles as the leaves of the tree.  i *think* i should be able to pull this off.  that is actually what i am most used to using.

but firth i am going to get this view working first since it is the one capable of showing all information.

regarding the toolbars - they will be dockable so you will be able to combine them all on one dock at the very top of the window if you like, or move them wherever you want.

to summarize, i agree that gui layout is crucial, especially in an app for taking notes.
and i've been struggling with it for this app for a while; hopefully you can help me to perfect it once i have a protoype to play with.

this grid-based view is 100x more functional than a pure tree based view in terms of sorting/filtering/search/viewing all info.
but in terms of maximum convenience for quick note taking, a two panel tree+memo can't be beat.. so let's try to support both.

what i would like is some quick buttons to change between views to make it really easy to switch between them.
i have a feeling we are going to have a lot of fun perfecting this app.

Carol Haynes

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Re: Teaser screenshot
« Reply #14 on: August 02, 2005, 05:02:37 PM »
Looks good to me (haven't had time to look too closely).

I like the idea of a "simpleton" mode and a "nerdie" mode - to simplify or add bells and whistles.

A couple of questions:

1) What is the count column for on the left (they all seem to be 0)? I presume it is a word count???

2) As someone else said why not integrate all the clips into the tree hierarchy? It would make it all look a little less cluttered.

You are a bit of a star ....

mouser

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Re: Teaser screenshot
« Reply #15 on: August 02, 2005, 06:22:40 PM »
the count column will tell you how many "clips" or notes are in that category.

i am going to try hard to add a pure-tree mode; maybe i should just say that i will do it, and do whatever it takes to do it.

most notes programs work either as a pure tree, or as shown above, with a group tree and then you click on the group to see its notes in a separate panel.

the pure tree mode is simpler to view and navigate and you don't have to move your eyes between two panels.

but for power use it display so much less information, and makes it impossible to do some very nice stuff like sorting, filtering, grouping by columns, etc.  ive hidden most of the columns on the grid so it might seem pointless as first, but really there is much more informaiton you might want to show, like creation time, last view time, application name, etc.  so having a grid view can really be useful sometimes.

different people prefer different views; and one might want to switch between them depending on what one wants to do.

i am going to try to implement both and make it easy to switch - that should give us the best of both worlds.

Carol Haynes

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Re: Teaser screenshot
« Reply #16 on: August 03, 2005, 03:57:53 AM »
i am going to try to implement both and make it easy to switch - that should give us the best of both worlds.

Sounds like a good idea - though you do like making things harder for yourself ;)

mouser

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Re: Teaser screenshot
« Reply #17 on: August 04, 2005, 07:45:33 AM »
i hope to have a new beta available on monday.
latest screenshots:


kfitting

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Re: Teaser screenshot
« Reply #18 on: August 04, 2005, 08:36:16 AM »
A few comments from the screenshots:

- Wow.  Lots of functionality here!  I hadnt even thought about automatic filing/purging.  Excellent!
- What is the "Windows Spell Object?"  (First options screenshot)
- Clipnaming: you have %windowtitle% in the textbox, should this be on the info label as well?  What are the options as far as bringing up a window to manually name the clip on a copy command (in the case of something you definitely want to keep track of? (ie, clipname, groupname, etc))
- Spelling error: on the backup/maintenance tab, BackUp Detials should be BackUp Details!
- Will there be a hotkey to bring a "quick paste menu" a la clipomatic?
- GUI looks nice.  I must say, it looks a whole lot cleaner than before.  I still think a few views would be helpful for newbies, but the screenshot you show is definitely more usable.


That's all for now.  Very impressive.  I will be waiting for it on Monday!  Incidentally, at work they have decided to get a little more rigorous about installing programs on machines.  Any way you could make this not-need-to-be-installable?  If not, dont sweat it... just asking.

Kevin

mouser

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Re: Teaser screenshot
« Reply #19 on: August 04, 2005, 09:30:31 AM »
automatic filing/purging: you will also be able to tell it that certain apps should not be monitored, or to send clips from certain apps to specific groups on capture.

windows spell object: i intend to implement the same functionality found in as-u-type: http://www.asutype.com/
which can add spelling highlighting to standard web forms, etc.

clipnaming, yes i noticed that too. adding %windowtitle% and %applicationname%

will add hotkeys for both a quick-paste, and a quick-add-note (as we discussed earlier).

multiple views will be available, from super minimal to full complexity.  i think this is going to be really important and look forward to having further discussions about gui layout options.

regarding installer: i will try to use a zip-compatible install with this tool, especially since it will be getting frequent updates.  this will allow users to download an exe and either just run it to install it, or unpack the zip-compatible exe manually to copy over without needing any install.