I do wonder about this and how well it works. I tinkered around with trying to use $ReadCount and $SelectionCount a while back and found them less useful than I thought. This is not disparage the concept above or the app’s affordance of these attributes. Rather, I found that counts didn’t quite work as I’d imagined.
Interestingly, testing now, it seems $ReadCount sits obstinately at zero. I think this is because it used to track (IIRC) when you opened a note window in the old (pre-v6) app. $SelectionCount was added in v4.5.0 (see) though I don’t recall why. $ReadCount was probably added at the same time, certainly after v4.2.5 (the cut-off for the first aTbRef (see). Aha, found as note $seq 1551 in the old app’s Release Notes TBX. It states:
Two new, read-only numeric attributes, SelectionCount and ReadCount, track the number of times that a note has ever been selected and the number of times it has been opened in a text window.
These attribute could be useful for answering questions like,
“Which references have I checked most often?”
“Which note inside Goals have I read least recently?”
I also found an old email stating that $SelectionCount is intrinsic but $ReadCount is not. This makes sense as an alias can have its own selection count, but opening a text window (pre-v6) opens the same (text) object whether called from an original or an alias. As selecting a note in v6+ also shows the selected notes text ‘window’ in the text pane, $ReadCount is essentially moribund (yes - I’ve tested, opening a stand-alone text window in v8 does not increment $ReadCount.
The problem I encountered is that it is far too easy to select a note by accident. A selection can occur in in any view/tab and, for example, using the arrow key to move up or down an outline counts as a selection as the cursor indexes through any given note. Selecting a note to move it on the map adds to $SelectionCount. By comparison, my intuited concept was the attribute stored the number of times I’d deliberately selected/viewed that note—which is not what is recorded.
I don’t blame the app. It can’t guess why a note is selected, only that it has been. Thus the exercise further above using $SelectionCount to size notes may prove less fruitful than imagined.