Turning on or off Notes within a hierarchy


(Paul Walters) #24

I don’t know why the processing for the filtering feature would be more that that for an agent, and we know many users have complex sets of agents and rules in their documents already. (Indeed, if Outlines could have filters applied, maybe people would turn less to agents, so the processing cost would be net zero.)

Obviously I can only speculate since understanding processing cost is an Eastgate job. I’m not concerned if the feature is for “advanced users” or beginners. The feature is for anyone who needs it. No doubt if someone needs the feature (like the OP in this thread) then they will look for it and learn it.


(Michael Prenez-Isbell) #25

Well your approach would certainly work, I think there are better ways to do UX.


(Malcolm) #26

I’m worried we are getting close to the proverbial a camel is a horse designed by committee ! :slight_smile: I mean it in a positive way as it reflects an welcome interest in the subject and the different ideas of this community.

Putting together the various strands:

  • A general agreement that a filtering capability would be a powerful and useful feature. It’s a feature of many outliners and is widely used (to my knowledge) in this context. It allows for selections and editing of notes based on filter criteria while maintaining the hierarchical structure of the document as a reference and additional information.
  • An agreement that this is not Agent based but rather part of the software (like the current view tabs) with options to filter based on text, attribute settings etc…
  • The need to clearly indicate that the view is filtered (various ideas on how to do this). Software such as OO has solved this by having the filter name displayed on top. Personally I prefer this or a button of some kind like @prenez. Others might use thin lines or similar to indicate hidden content.
  • The option to store and name the filters (e.g. like stamps). Ok that was my idea but I hope you’ll agree would be useful.
  • The ability to edit notes in the filtered mode
  • Some concern about scalability

I can’t think of anything else at this moment in time beyond a humble feature request along the lines above to @Eastgate. I’m guessing (hoping) that some of the machinery is already in place that could allow such a development. My motivation remains getting the most out of TB, a software I wish I had discovered many years ago instead of this year.

Please flag if I’ve not captured something properly. Back to using TB for my current satellite project !


(eastgate) #27

I’m listening! I’m inclined to like filters, though I’ve always thought of them in connection with maps, rather than outlines.

One key idea raised here is that, if a filter is being used, the filter ought to be visible at all times. This addresses the problem that a forgotten filter might lead people to think they’d deleted some or all of their notes.

A useful early reference: http://ijcai.org/Proceedings/83-1/Papers/034.pdf


(Paul Walters) #28

That’s interesting – I would never have thought of filtering on maps. Though, in a sense, it could be like turning layers on and off. (If maps had layers).

The OP’s request related to turning visibility of levels of the outline hierarchy on and off. On a map, that equates to making the content of containers appear and disappear, which doesn’t seem visually meaningful. So what is being filtered on a map? Certain notes at the same level of the hierarchy – filtered by attribute values or similar factor?


(Malcolm) #29

Good to hear and I enjoyed the paper you provided. Key sentence from my personal perspective is

The user selects axes, a guide, and a set of filters. All three choices serve the same function: cutting down the size of the space of information nodes to display, determining what structure to give them in the display, and deciding where in that space to start the user off initially.

Translating into the TB world I see the axes as the different views and dimensional cuts at the TB notes (e.g. Outline, Treemap, Attribute view and so on). In the same paragraph the authors talk about combing the axes and filters much like the TB filters discussed in this thread as opposed to pure filters without axes e.g. agents.

Like most in this thread I originally thought about filters in the context of Outlines. They could be more general e.g. a treemap of filtered notes, attribute view of filtered notes and even a map view of filtered notes (still trying to get my head around that one).


(Malcolm) #30

…actually a filtered map view is also starting to make sense. One could for instance exclude containers such as Agents, Prototypes at the same level and simply focus on the Notes and Note containers and in the process simplify or streamline a complicated layout. As things stand a user is forced to view all elements at a given level.

While I’m at it the “Guide” function in the paper is still somewhere in the distance. Here I imagine a layer of AI working with TB notes e.g. functions like look up similar or related notes similar to what exists in DevonThink.


(eastgate) #31

Though see Get Info ▸ Similar, too.

Planning to do a good deal more natural language analysis going forward, too.