I remember reading Renee's excellent blog about her SLCC final project when she first posted it, but it was good to have a reminder to read it again. For all my occasional whining about certain aspects of RM, it does a large number of things extremely well and sometimes I'm afraid I forget all the good things it does. Having said that in a very heartfelt way, sometimes there are differences in perspective that can be most interesting.
In particular, I was struck by how much Renee likes RM's Edit Person screen because the Edit Person screen is so much like a spreadsheet. My reaction is that RM's Edit Person screen is one of my least favorite parts of RM because it's not like a spreadsheet at all. How could two such very different perspectives exist?
Well, the Edit Person screen certainly looks like a spreadsheet (looks like a duck, smells like a duck, must be a duck). But it doesn't act at all like a spreadsheet. I can't type into it. (That's the biggie). I can't rearrange the columns. I can't just start typing into a new, blank row at the bottom and thereby add a new row. Etc.
Suppose Microsoft Excel worked like the following. There is an empty cell into which you want enter some data. But you can't just click on the cell and start typing. Instead, you have to click in the cell and a new window pop-ups into which you have to enter the data. And to add insult to injury, you are locked out of the rest of the spreadsheet until the pop-up window is completed and closed. That's the way RM's Edit Person screen feels to me. It's really rigid, inhibiting, and clicky. Plus, you can't see much of what you really need to see in any kind of easy way, such as your sources and your media files.
So what about the following. What if the Edit Screen's spreadsheet were bigger - both the screen space it occupies and the fonts. What if there were always a blank row at the bottom into which you could type a new fact. It would fill in as you type - for example, type B and then I into the fact type column and it should say Birth, at which time you could tab to the next column.
If you single clicked the Note box (the Note box with or without a green checkmark), a non-modal window would open off to the side containing the note (or an empty window if there is no green checkmark). The non-modal Notes window would not lock you out of the rest of the Edit Person screen, and you could type directly into it. You could resize it as necessary, and the resizing would be remembered.
If you single clicked the Sources box (a Sources box with our without a green checkmark), a non-modal window would open off to the side containing a list of the citations for that fact. The non-modal Sources window would not lock you out of the rest of the Edit Person screen, You could resize it as necessary, and the resizing would be remembered. You could sort the Sources window by any column by clicking the top of the column, and the sorting you choose would be remembered.
The sources window would include a narrow column which would be blank or would contain a green checkmark to indicate that media existed for the citation or its master source (or better yet, there would be two narrow columns, one with or without a green checkmark for media for the Master Source and the other with or without a green checkmark for media for the citation). Single clicking one of the media boxes would open a non-modal window that would not lock you out where you could see and the edit the media information.
And back on the original spreadsheet, the existing narrow column for media which does or does not have a green check mark for media would work exactly the same as the way I described media working under sources.
So in summary, I think the Edit Person screen is not at all like a spreadsheet, and could benefit hugely from being made to be much more like a spreadsheet than it is. The duck really does need to be a duck.