Notes, observations and suggestions

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rhacer
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Thu Nov 13, 2008 11:42 pm Post

OK so I've been playing, and enjoying myself for the most part.

Thanks again Matt, much appreciated.

I do have another suggestion. It would be nice if the date in the entry box for adding an event was a bit smarter, at the moment I believe smarter should be the last date entered + 1 day (or something like that).

Currently it appears the date defaults to the birthday of the first character created.

[Edit]
In addition I really hate that the time component includes seconds by default. Could the date be set to nothing for new events?

ma
matt
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Thu Nov 13, 2008 11:53 pm Post

Hi,
At the moment, if you click 'Add Event', the date defaults to the start of the timeline. I agree this isn't ideal. Maybe just having the last date would work alright.

Note that if you double-click on the timeline, you automatically get a new event at exactly the time you click.

Regarding seconds: I'm afraid due to the internals of the system, seconds will always need to be stored with an event. It would be possible to hide them, I guess, and have them default to 0, but I am concerned that may make the calendar look uneven.

Matt

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antony
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Thu Nov 20, 2008 5:12 pm Post

Just started assembling an Aeon doc for a new story, an arc of one of my comic series - figured a bit of real-world stress-testing might throw up some useful stuff.

Which it has. Apologies if I'm duplicating requests from others here.

- First, I have to say I've still yet to see any 'bad' behaviour from Aeon. No crashes, glitches or anything. It seems very stable, which for a 0.1 alpha is impressive!

- Being able to drag characters around would be great. (Being able to change the order in which they're presented left-to-right is essential, even if it's just a menu of some kind, but being able to just grab and drag their names to do this would be even better.)

- In the same area, being able to change the width of character columns would also be good. I have many characters, and I know them well enough that just a single first name is enough for me to know who's who; therefore, I would like to be able to squash them all up so I can see more than 4-5 of them at a time (and that's on a 17" screen...).

- I fell into the 'not confirming notes text' trap; I didn't realise the notes pane was a plain text field like Scriv's synopsis field, and clicked off it to drag an event around (the same one, fwiw) and of course lost all the stuff I'd entered in the field. I know KB fixed/hacked this in Scriv after similar issues, so is there any chance it could be sorted here, too?

- The first click on a timeline/character cross-section brings up the 'observer' symbol, which seems illogical. I would expect that most of the time characters will be a 'participant', so making that the first symbol in the cycle would make sense.

- I know I mentioned colour labels for characters before, but doing this has really brought it home to me how useful it would be, especially in a story with many characters and subplots, where I primarily want to keep track of where and how many times characters appear, rather than tying events together into groups. A thought on implementation; place a colour chip next to each character's name in the top bar. Clicking on the colour chip brings up a dropdown menu with the available colours and a "New label" option at the bottom (which leads to the colour picker/label namer, of course).

Looking forward to the new/next release :)
Antony Johnston
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matt
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Sat Nov 22, 2008 4:02 pm Post

Hi antony,
Sorry, I somehow missed this post a couple of days ago.

1. You should be able to drag characters already to reorder them - although they will automatically jump to the same spacing. There may be a couple of display bugs when you do so that I have since cleaned up, but if you do something to cause it to recalculate (for example, add a character, edit a name, etc.) then it should fix itself up.

There is probably no reason i cannot have the characters go to exactly where you drag them (it actually does this, and then shuffles there positions around). I wonder if this would perhaps cause too many problems with overlaps, and people getting frustrated at having to shift them all around.

2. Notes have been fixed up in the next version so they auto-save, and have a scrollbar.

3. The reason it was Observer first was because it seemed logical to me to loop "no participation", "some participation", "full participation". But I take your point. At some point I hope to do a little more than open/closed circle, but I am yet to think this through.

4. Colours for characters is still on my list, but I am trying to think of a good way to implement them. I am not sure where you are suggesting that colour gets used - should it be used to colour the intersections, instead of the event colour? Do you want the events themselves to somehow display a colour for the characters - kind of like the pins in Scrivener corkboard, but it would need to allow multiple colours?

Matt

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antony
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Sun Nov 23, 2008 12:30 am Post

matt wrote:1. You should be able to drag characters already to reorder them


Hmmm, you're right. I was on my PPC iMac at the time - I'll try again tomorrow on that machine. It's entirely possible it could be 'pilot error'... ;)

There is probably no reason i cannot have the characters go to exactly where you drag them (it actually does this, and then shuffles there positions around).


If this is in response to my question about changing the column widths (?), I don't think it's a bad idea that they snap to position after dragging—in fact, I think that's the best behaviour. But I'd like to be able to adjust the column widths, like the metadata columns in iTunes for example.

4. Colours for characters is still on my list, but I am trying to think of a good way to implement them. I am not sure where you are suggesting that colour gets used - should it be used to colour the intersections, instead of the event colour? Do you want the events themselves to somehow display a colour for the characters - kind of like the pins in Scrivener corkboard, but it would need to allow multiple colours?


Yeah, it's definitely a problem if the events are coloured as well. Personally I'd be happy with colours for characters and no colours for events, but I understand I'm probably in the minority on that one. I envisaged the character line, and yes the intersection symbols, being in the char colour.

I think trying to incorporate the colours into the events themselves is a disaster waiting to happen (much as I do like the idea of pins stuck into each event, it would just get insane once you had more than a couple of characters linked to one event).
Antony Johnston
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Sun Nov 23, 2008 2:50 am Post

antony wrote:If this is in response to my question about changing the column widths (?), I don't think it's a bad idea that they snap to position after dragging—in fact, I think that's the best behaviour. But I'd like to be able to adjust the column widths, like the metadata columns in iTunes for example.


The easy solution is to have the size fixed, and just have it as another of those display options to go into preferences - width of the events, spacing between characters, etc. Is it particularly important that you can change this individually for each character, or do you just want to fit more on in general?

antony wrote:Yeah, it's definitely a problem if the events are coloured as well. Personally I'd be happy with colours for characters and no colours for events, but I understand I'm probably in the minority on that one. I envisaged the character line, and yes the intersection symbols, being in the char colour.

I think trying to incorporate the colours into the events themselves is a disaster waiting to happen (much as I do like the idea of pins stuck into each event, it would just get insane once you had more than a couple of characters linked to one event).


Yeah, I wasn't too keen on the pins idea, although it sounds good in theory, in practice you could have 10+ pins.

It is possible to have a setting to choose between the intersections being coloured by event or by character, though.

Matt

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antony
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Sun Nov 23, 2008 12:32 pm Post

matt wrote:The easy solution is to have the size fixed, and just have it as another of those display options to go into preferences - width of the events, spacing between characters, etc. Is it particularly important that you can change this individually for each character, or do you just want to fit more on in general?


The latter, really. I assumed just making the columns 'draggable' would be easier, but a "narrow/wide" column width setting would suffice, sure.

It is possible to have a setting to choose between the intersections being coloured by event or by character, though.


Ah, that could work. Although you'd then almost certainly get users asking for both ;)

PS: The dragging characters thing was my error. It works on my PPC machine, too. No idea what happened the first time I tried it, but it was almost certainly just my mistake.
Antony Johnston
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antony
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Sun Nov 23, 2008 3:29 pm Post

Two more "behavioural" observations from use:

[1] When you create a new event, it should be automatically selected (or, at least, there should be a prefs option to make it so). At the moment this is a big pain because you can't select the colour label or duration during creation, so every time you create an event you have to then find it, select it, and finally start inputting the metadata. It's not the extra clicks that make this cumbersome so much as trying to find the blasted thing when you have an area already full of events, some of which are already labelled red ;) (Which brings up another thought - how about new events are uncoloured until manually labelled?)

Even if the creation process is changed so you can select label and duration at the time, though, auto-selecting would still be useful so that you can just click into the notes field and start writing.

[2] If an event is selected during a zoom in (or out, but especially in) the view should centre in on that event. It's a bit frustrating having to re-scroll or shift the overview bar every time I zoom in or out. If multiple events are selected, focus on the chronologically first event.
Antony Johnston
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Mon Nov 24, 2008 12:16 am Post

Have added labels, tags, notes to the add event panel, and you can also set the default label now.

Have made a note of the other two.

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Mon Nov 24, 2008 3:02 am Post

Let me agree with a few points to which Antony has beaten me.

antony wrote:When you create a new event, it should be automatically selected


antony wrote:I'd like to be able to adjust the column widths


antony wrote:I'd be happy with colours for characters and no colours for events


ps
You can't conquer stupid — or cure it — with more stupid.

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antony
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Mon Nov 24, 2008 5:18 pm Post

Matt: excellent.

And much as it may sound like I'm a moaning bastard, let me reiterate that I'm using the 0.1 alpha right now for a live, working project, and I'm already very impressed :)
Antony Johnston
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vic-k
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Mon Nov 24, 2008 7:22 pm Post

antony wrote:it may sound like I'm a moaning bastard,


Don`t worry! :wink: We all love y`, in spite of y`re faults. :D

Take care
vic
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