Prezi

ba
baisui
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Sun Nov 18, 2012 9:33 am Post

Just a thought -- I had been thinking of using Prezi in the way Scapple is designed to be used. Prezi has some excellent features for this purpose, but also some limitations appropriate for something that's designed for presentations. I particularly like their framing devices. Might be worth having a look at doing some similar things in Scapple -- eg it would be great for arranging text in relation to other text to be able to scale it by stretching...would be great to be able to select one or more text items and be able to place some sort of frame over the top.

Cheers

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AmberV
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Wed Nov 21, 2012 10:05 pm Post

The presentation of information, or the prettying it up, isn't really something this program is meant to be addressing. This is providing a way for you to work with the information that is coming out of your head. Its visual tools shouldn't be confused with aesthetic tools, but rather forms of information in and of themselves. Drawing decorative boxes and stretching out text and such isn't the sort of tools this software was meant to provide to you.
.:.
Ioa Petra'ka
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ba
baisui
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Thu Nov 22, 2012 8:31 am Post

@Amber

exactly - Prezi is too complicated for this task, but I think the way it is set up to enourage you to organise info spatially, placing text items arbitrarily with respect to one another, but sometimes loosely within a 'frame' and the infinite (or effectively unlimited) depth of zoom -- could be a good model for scapple.

Especially the zoom thing would be handy - It allows for spatially organised material to be hierarchically organised in an arbitrary number of levels. I've already run into the issue in scapple that the space where something logically belongs is used up - if I could zoom and zoom and zoom as in prezi, that wouldn't be an issue and I could just squeeze the details into the right gap. That's what I meant about stretching - just normal scaling of the text, nothing flashy - it's difficult to achieve very big differences in text size by increasing or decreasing text size step by step...

stretch (or squeeze) and zoom, stretch (or squeeze) and zoom repeatedly is a very intuitive way of achieving that.

po
postlex
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Fri Dec 21, 2012 1:04 pm Post

Hi,

I had exactly the same initial though as baisui: using Prezi as a "thought-pad.'

Prezi is made for presentations so their "path" idea (a fixed sequence of connected "objects") is great for presentations, but not for organizing thoughts. I think Scrapple could be that tool in its present form, however, I think the ability to curve lines would improve it substantially. Curvature of lines would allow two (or more) "stacks" or "areas" on opposite sides of the page to be connected without the (straight) line having to pass through areas that are placed in between them. This would allow for more clarity and be more visually pleasing.

also:

- the ability to enlarge a box generally and not only horizontally (this allows size of a box to reflect
importance or weight)
- the ability to put a box around several items or stacks so that a single line can be connected to this
box rather than having to have lines linked to all individual elements


I will certainly purchase Scrapple as soon as it comes out!

Many thanks,

Lex

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PJS
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Fri Dec 21, 2012 4:04 pm Post

I understand an interest in curved lines and zoom-able text, but for me, those features would seriously compromise the program’s underlying simplicity. Curved lines and infinitely-variable text are complicators.

If I cannot organize my ideas with straight lines and modest text variations, I probably don’t know exactly what I’m talking about. Not only will an overly-complex diagram not clarify sloppy thinking, it likely will further confuse the issue(s).

As for enlarging a box, that can be done with repeated carriage returns. (Forgive the obsolescent term.)

So my vote is “not needed, not wanted” for curved lines and zoom-able text. A “boxed set” feature, however, might prove useful.

ps
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postlex
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Fri Dec 21, 2012 4:18 pm Post

Hi PJS,

I certainly agree with your more general argument about curved lines, but my point is precisely that they might help during the process. Scapple would be handy to jot down several ideas onto the screen precisely so that one can then figure out a good way of connecting them/ find the connection you had intuitions about. Your point is nevertheless compelling since more options need not mean better thinking / finding solutions.

Thanks for the "repeated carriage returns" tip! *edit: (Just figured out that works via "cmd +" )

Cheers,

Lex

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Flur
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Sun Dec 23, 2012 12:51 am Post

PJS wrote:If I cannot organize my ideas with straight lines and modest text variations, I probably don’t know exactly what I’m talking about.


LOL, if I knew what I was talking about I wouldn't need mind-mapping software. :)

I think curved lines can be helpful in the same way that they can be helpful when you're mind-mapping on a piece of paper - if you've got too much stuff clustered around one idea and can't fit another one in, you can draw a curved line to maneuver around some other items to a place where you have room to write your next thought. Yes, with the software you can move everything out to make room, but not everyone likes to work like that, and some maps are just too complicated to make it work.

For me, when I'm working on a novel, I like to put all the ideas out there and then take down the ones that don't work once I know what does. But knowing what does may take until I have most of the novel figured out - things can get rather complicated in the meantime.

I'm currently mapping out a spy thriller and I can see that at some point I'm probably going to want to draw a connection between two different points on the map, and there are going to be other things in the way. Having the straight line pass under other stuff is confusing, but if I could draw (or ideally, have scapple automatically draw) a line to connect these two that bypasses the other bubbles rather than passing underneath them, that'd be helpful.

This isn't a feature that I think scapple specifically needs (I think scapple is pretty darn good just as it is), but it'd be nice to have the option for those of us that would use it.

cd
cdc
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Thu Jan 10, 2013 9:16 pm Post

The lack of ability to create curved lines is probably the only thing that would keep me from using this. Otherwise, it is great--minimal, flexible, etc. I don't see why a curved line would suggest that one doesn't know what he is talking about. I use them simply so that I don't have to draw a line through already-existing text. In fact, the lack of curved lines seems to make this more like mind-mapping software that imposes a hierarchy. I want to connect anything to anywhere. That is why I use this sort of thing.

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KB
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Thu Jan 10, 2013 9:22 pm Post

I'm not sure how curved lines would fit into Scapple. Either you have to allow the user to bend the lines, in which case you need a slew of bendy/drawing tools, waypoints and suchlike, or else the software tries to intelligently work out the curves, which would require a whole bunch of complex algorithms. Both are beyond the scope of Scapple, I'm afraid, most certainly for 1.0.

All the best,
Keith
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cdc
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Fri Jan 11, 2013 7:04 pm Post

Fair enough. Thanks.

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nate
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Fri Jan 18, 2013 7:12 pm Post

Just an aside - I've used prezi and powerpoint as composition tools where I was approximating toward the things I can do with Scapple. That's part of what I like so much about Scapple - I was trying to do what Scapple allows me to do, without clearly realizing it. One thing I liked about using prezi for this as well was the encouragement to think spatially, both in the relationship between notes by linking them and in the relationship between notes in terms of their relative size. I'd not considering trying to make notes about core concepts larger in scapple, in the way I would in prezi. I'm going to try that. Part of what I liked about using prezi, and I like even more about both Scapple and Scrivener, is that using the software and reading about their uses made me understand better what I'm trying to do and how. It wasn't until I started using Scrivener that I understood the differences between writing short pieces and writing long pieces. Trying to use software (like MS Word) which didn't speak to that difference, along with not being aware of that difference myself, made for a lot of extra headaches. I think that's one of the things that's so useful about Scrivener and Scapple, the pedagogical component, of teaching some users a bit more about ways to work and about their own work methods.

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KB
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Fri Jan 18, 2013 9:14 pm Post

nate wrote:I think that's one of the things that's so useful about Scrivener and Scapple, the pedagogical component, of teaching some users a bit more about ways to work and about their own work methods.


Thanks for the kind words! I don't think I know enough to write software that teaches users much about their working methods, but I'm glad that something in the software has that effect anyway. :)
"You can't waltz in here, use my toaster, and start spouting universal truths without qualification."