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Timeline View - Lack of Interface Consistency


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#1 MVS

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 04:21 AM

I have spent a little bit of time looking at the enhanced Timeline view. There is no doubt that the ability to edit any item listed (whether belonging to the main person or the related individual is a big improvement). What I do not understand is the reasoning behind the inconsitency in how the details of the event are displayed in the right hand pane.

For example; in the standard Edit Dialog if we select an event we see on the right, middle section of the window the three buttons Note, Sources and Share and on these it will indicate whether a Note, Source or Share exists and also how many Sources and Shares there are.

However, in the Timeline view this part of the Edit dialog is missing entirely; the number of shared is shown in a new column to the left and the presence of a Note or Source or Multimedia shown with a tick (or absence of tick).

So why do we not treat all of these the same way? If we can show the number of Shares why dont we show the number of multimedia or the number of sources in the columns as well (rahter than just a tick showing there is at least one - but could be a hundred)?

Or alternatively; why do we not show the same format in the right hand side of the TimeLine windows as we show in the Edit dialog?

Implementing a feature in a different way in a new part of the program does not help usability and it baffles me as to why it should be done this way.

But perhaps I am missing something. Perhaps the implentation of these inconsistencies is a way of testing the market to see which is preferred by the user base?


MVS.

#2 Renee Zamora

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 07:21 PM

Confirming issue is noted in our tracking system.
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#3 MVS

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 02:48 AM

For what it is worth, having used the Timeline view a little longer I would prefer if both the TimeLine AND Edit Dialog showed the Quantity of Shared, Sources and Multimedia items stored against each event, in the grid.

But only providing it was combined Tick with the quantity over it (a bit like you get on iPhone on the home screen to indicate unanswered calls or outstanding meeting requests).

The reason for this is that I find the TimeLine view, witht the column and a number in it, not nearly as clear as the green ticks you get to indicate Yes. So if it were too much development work to introduce a Tick with a number over it then for consistency I would prefer the view in the TimeLine to be the same as the view in the Edit Dialog; ie the right hand pabe has the buttons showing the number of items Shared, Source or Multimedia.

#4 Laura

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 04:18 AM

I have had no trouble.adapting to the Timeline setup. And there are space constraints that are not the same.as on tbe Edit person screen.



#5 MVS

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 06:09 AM

I cannot see any space contraints in making the Timeline right hand panel the same as the Edit right hand panel - all the other elements are there and the three buttons showing Note, Sources Share can be put there (plus others underneath if required).

I accept we can all adapt - but it makes no sense us to ask us to do this when there can easily be a consistent interface. This is one of the basics of windows programming, making it easy for people to understand how to use an application.

regards,

ark

#6 TomH

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 11:13 AM

In principal, I agree that consistent user interface design is a good thing when carrying out like functions, especially identical ones, but recognize that constraints can have an overriding effect.

To be fair, on my very conventional 1366x768 15.6" screen, the entire right pane of Edit Person would just fit in the Timeline view only if RM is in full screen and if the graphic timeline is turned off. With the graphic turned on, the Sentence gets obscured by my Windows toolbar, which could be auto-hid, I suppose, but I prefer to have it on. The Sentence is the only thing that wraps and uses a variable amount of vertical space. Smaller, lower resolution screens would necessarily lose more.

Having the Sidebar Index open can prevent the Timeline View from having as much width available to it as Edit Person and not as much as may be desired for working. So that, too is a space constraint. The auto popup when hovering over a truncated field is a great help while devoting sufficient width to the right pane to see field values more fully as one steps through the fact list has been a given even with Edit Person. I actually find a full screen Edit Person to require too much eye movement and always work in a reduced window so I'm not much bothered by the tighter constraint in the Timeline View.

In the left pane, there are changes in layout from Edit Person, for good reason. Should Edit Person be revised to match? Relocation of the Age column is trivial but splitting Edit Person Details into Details and Place in the Timeline View was a good idea because the Place is frequently masked by the prepended Name-Nbr and/or Description. I think Edit Person would benefit from this change. The addition of the Shared column would be a welcome change to Edit Person and I agree with MVS that the number of Citations and Media should also be shown in the grids of both Edit Person and Timeline with a background checkmark (I think I have asked for this before; if not, Vyger has!). Having the leading phrase for the Note in the right pane is really all that is needed from the current Details area of the Edit Person screen if the numbered checkmarks in the grids are provided (but I am ignoring what might be preferred from a touch-screen interface ;-)); I don't see why this could not be a scrollable window allowing the entire Note to be viewed without opening the Editor. Someone has already asked for another column for WebTags - that would be for both screens but is definitely a sacrifice of space for Timeline View.

Tom user of RM7550 FTM2017 Ancestry.ca FamilySearch.org FindMyPast.com
SQLite_Tools_For_Roots_Magic_in_PR_Celti wiki, exploiting the database in special ways >>> RMtrix-tiny.png app, a bundle of RootsMagic utilities.


#7 Alfred

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 11:48 AM

I think the difference just slipped someones mind in the rush to get it out.
There is really no need for the Notes or Sources boxes in the right pane as long as there is a column for them, so when the Share column was added, they were removed from the timeline edit person dialogue.

I look for a column to replace right hand buttons in the old edit person dialogue sometime in the future and maybe and a number to be used in place of the check-mark in the sources and media columns.
Alfred

#8 TomH

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 12:23 PM

There is really no need for the Notes or Sources boxes in the right pane as long as there is a column for them, so when the Share column was added, they were removed from the timeline edit person dialogue.

I look for a column to replace right hand buttons in the old edit person dialogue sometime in the future and maybe and a number to be used in place of the check-mark in the sources and media columns.

Don't you want to see the Note content in the right pane? I agree the buttons can be removed, except maybe an Edit button next to the Note content, assuming that editing inside the Note content cannot be done within the pane. It should be possible to edit inside a basic text box and switch to the full editor, somewhat like we can do in this forum.

Tom user of RM7550 FTM2017 Ancestry.ca FamilySearch.org FindMyPast.com
SQLite_Tools_For_Roots_Magic_in_PR_Celti wiki, exploiting the database in special ways >>> RMtrix-tiny.png app, a bundle of RootsMagic utilities.


#9 Alfred

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 02:17 PM

Don't you want to see the Note content in the right pane? I agree the buttons can be removed, except maybe an Edit button next to the Note content, assuming that editing inside the Note content cannot be done within the pane. It should be possible to edit inside a basic text box and switch to the full editor, somewhat like we can do in this forum.

I suppose that the first bit of a note is of some value.
I don't see any difference in clicking on the check-mark in the note column and clicking on the note button. Don't they both open a basic text box?
--- I am probably missing something obvious, --- I will blame it on dementia. ---
Alfred

#10 TomH

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 02:34 PM

Obvious only to me because I wrote it! I am suggesting a small scrollable text box for the Note preview or first snippet so that the whole note might be reviewed without opening the editor, indeed, even edit in basic fashion without opening the editor, and only open the editor for fancier stuff and long notes where we need to see more at a time, do paragraphing et al. Thus we would see more of the note on the Timeline view and Edit Person screen than that 1 line snippet that we see only in the Edit Person screen and without any action. We can enter a short note without opening the Notes editor. Notes editor could be left unused except when we need to do things beyond the capacity of the text box. I would like to think that said text box might have all of Note Editor's right-click and control-code functionality.

Which brings up a question - Note Editor has a Ctrl-W "Word wrap selected text" control. I don't see what it does nor is it described in Help. Is it new and not yet functioning?

Tom user of RM7550 FTM2017 Ancestry.ca FamilySearch.org FindMyPast.com
SQLite_Tools_For_Roots_Magic_in_PR_Celti wiki, exploiting the database in special ways >>> RMtrix-tiny.png app, a bundle of RootsMagic utilities.


#11 Alfred

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 04:45 PM

A "mouse over" the note check-mark in the note column opens a yellow background copy of the note, but no way to edit it there.
(mouse over the note button does not show the note.)
Clicking on the checkmark opens a copy of the note editor.
It sounds like you would like to edit that yellow view of the note without opening the note editor.
I don't really care, It isn't that much trouble for me to click to open the the note editor.

I never understood what the word wrap did either, I think it has something to do with taking out all the hard carriage returns in an imported note so that it doesn't look like a bunch of paragraphs. (I could be wrong here too.)
Alfred

#12 TomH

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 08:46 PM

No, the yellow tooltip has nothing to do with what I am describing. Imagine a white text box the width of the right pane and a few lines high, containing the note, word-wrapped , with a scroll bar if the note exceeds the height of the box. You type directly into the note box and see the content immediately upon selecting the fact. No need to open the Notes Editor unless its a big note. No need to Save the note separately from the fact unless you open the Notes Editor.

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SQLite_Tools_For_Roots_Magic_in_PR_Celti wiki, exploiting the database in special ways >>> RMtrix-tiny.png app, a bundle of RootsMagic utilities.


#13 Alfred

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 09:15 PM

I wasn't talking about the tooltip either.
Have you paused the mouse over the notes column check-mark ?
It displays the whole note for a little while.
But, since it doesn't display it very long, maybe it is called a tooltip.
Alfred

#14 TomH

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 09:36 PM

Yes, mouse over or hover pops up what I think is commonly called a "tooltip" or "tool tip". The editable text box I am suggesting is a multi line, glorified version of, say, the Description field that you see in the right pane of the Edit Person and Timeline view, scrollable, editable. Stepping down through the fact list or selecting any fact and the Notebox immediately fills with the relevant note, just like the Description. Click in and edit either one immediately. Need the big picture? Click Edit to open the Notes Editor.

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SQLite_Tools_For_Roots_Magic_in_PR_Celti wiki, exploiting the database in special ways >>> RMtrix-tiny.png app, a bundle of RootsMagic utilities.


#15 Laura

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 12:28 AM

Word Wrap in fact notes was a feature since an earlier version of Family Origins. I don't remember in which FO version that feature was introduced.

It is very useful when you copy and paste into the note or import a gedcom and get something like:

He was a good
man.

Highlight the text and click on the Word Wrap button and the line becomes:
He was a good man.

Or take text that you want to turn into a longer paragraph instead of several paragraphs, highlight the text and use Word Wrap.

#16 TomH

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 08:07 AM

Thanks, Laura. So I've been using FO and RM intermittently for a dozen years and never noticed Word Wrap until now! Its function is totally inconsistent with what it does in every other software with that option. In RootsMagic, the function of removing carriage return and line feeds should be called something like "De-Paragraph" so that users correctly infer what it does.

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#17 Renee Zamora

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Posted 21 December 2012 - 01:20 PM

Yes, mouse over or hover pops up what I think is commonly called a "tooltip" or "tool tip". The editable text box I am suggesting is a multi line, glorified version of, say, the Description field that you see in the right pane of the Edit Person and Timeline view, scrollable, editable. Stepping down through the fact list or selecting any fact and the Notebox immediately fills with the relevant note, just like the Description. Click in and edit either one immediately. Need the big picture? Click Edit to open the Notes Editor.


Confirming enhancement request is in our tracking system.
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