Scapple Beta - New Users Please Read

ta
tardigradae
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Wed Jan 09, 2013 6:06 am Post

Hi,
I just played around with the beta and found dragging a note onto another while holding "alt" produces an arrow, which is a nice feature. But the arrow points to the original note from the note is dropped onto. This seems a bit contra-intuitive to me. I would expect the arrow to point into the other direction.

Cheers,

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KB
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Wed Jan 09, 2013 11:23 am Post

Hold down Command to create an arrow pointing the other way - the "Alt" key is the alternative version of this, creating a backwards-pointing arrow.

All the best,
Keith
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ki
kinnon
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Thu Jan 10, 2013 8:54 pm Post

I love Scapple. I'm a long-time user of NovaMind for mind mapping — a very good, but rather expensive tool.

Scapple is much better for brainstorming in my not humble opinion — and is proving a very effective tool as I work to complete my first novel (in Scrivener).

Scapple should easily be a $10 program in the Mac App Store. I'd pay that for it today! :D

Thank you, Literature & Latte.

Bill

BTW I make my living in television production where software costs are an order of magnitude higher.

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KB
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Thu Jan 10, 2013 9:23 pm Post

Thanks, Bill! And welcome to the forums!

All the best,
Keith
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ca
cartel
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Sat Jan 12, 2013 3:49 pm Post

Regarding more Scapple feedback. It is great so far, helping me to do exactly what it was designed to do. I put down my pen and paper, and have been sketching out ideas with Scapple.

One suggestion. While considering that its strength is in its simplicity, and not wanting to clutter it with useless and extraneous bloat, have you considered the following?:

1) add a basic pen tool that allows freeform lines drawing to circle & sketch ideas.
(this can be done with a mouse or even track pad easily, but later potential for touch screens)

2) add a basic shape tool - I would like the ability to add behind notes - squares, rectangles, circles, maybe even the "coffee stain" :) to highlight or group, set off ideas/notes.

Thanks,
Chris

af
afcondon
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Mon Jan 14, 2013 12:39 pm Post

Hi Keith, can you point me to any info on how the arrow keys are supposed to behave when you are in "Selection Mode"?

I'm hoping there's a way to "walk the graph" with keys but it seems to be almost random which node it hops to (could be creation stamp time or something, haven't investigated).

all the best, A

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KB
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Mon Jan 14, 2013 3:11 pm Post

It will go to the next note in the direction pressed. Of course, if you got the right arrow key, the next note in the right could be anywhere vertically. The exception is when notes are stacked, in which case the up and down arrows will navigate the stack regardless of other notes to either side.
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af
afcondon
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Mon Jan 14, 2013 5:29 pm Post

Okay, thanks!

I'm not sure what use case you have in mind for the arrows in that case - it looks like it would be a bit hit or miss, kind of frustrating, to find a node in a scapple with the arrows. And yet it is tantalizingly appealing to imagine flying around making edits without resorting to the mouse or trackpad.

There's a particular use case where you are writing a document based on notes that are in a scapple and you would like to have Scapple open in a small window that you can flick over to it and navigate from node to node to jog your memory.

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KB
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Mon Jan 14, 2013 8:42 pm Post

Well, I suppose the use-case is when you want to move through your notes using the keyboard. :) It's definitely easier with the mouse, though. What you have to remember is that Scapple has no in-built AI; it is not as clever as a human and cannot possibly guess where you want to go when you hit the arrow keys except based on X and Y co-ordinates. In a freeform environment such as Scapple, there is no logical order to notes; the only order is superimposed by the human mind using it.

Imagine it trying to be smarter. Imagine that when you hit the right arrow key, it tries to find the next note on the right within a certain up/down buffer zone - sort of scanning across a row. Now suppose it finds one that is half an inch higher up than the note you started from. (That might not be the note you expected - there might be a note halfway between them that was an inch below and thus out of the buffer zone, but that was the one you wanted Scapple to find.) Now let's say you hit the left arrow key, expecting it to take you back to the note you started from. But given that Scapple (in this hypothetical example) is just scanning to the left within a certain buffer zone, there is no guarantee that the note you started from will be the one now selected, because there may be another note closer within the buffer zone of this note. So you could have the baffling experience of hitting right, then left, and left not taking you back to the note you started from.

The only way for Scapple to make its keyboard navigation consistent is by sticking strictly to right-to-left or top-to-bottom order rather than trying to scan across and try to find notes within a certain range or buffer zone. This is why it works as it does. It's that, or no keyboard navigation at all. I did start with it that way, but in the end I decided that strict keyboard navigation was better than none at all.
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af
afcondon
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Wed Jan 16, 2013 12:31 pm Post

I see what you're saying, of course because it's totally freeform there is no guarantee that nodes are linked, there could just be a hundred items on the page with no links.

For the long finger then, there _might_ be some possibility to have a third mode? graph traversal mode could follow links between nodes, tab could select siblings or go clockwise around the direct connections, i don't know. Haven't thought it out clearly, just i would imagine something could be done.

Whether it'd be worth doing, i don't know!

thanks for the response, all the best, A

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KB
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Wed Jan 16, 2013 12:42 pm Post

That wouldn't really work either, since you could get locked in a loop - you can have note A pointing to B pointing to C pointing to A. And working out clockwise motion and suchlike in a freeform environment is even more difficult than working out straight lines. :) Also, there is no concept of siblings or hierarchy at all - just notes with lines between them.

All the best,
Keith
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jm
jmm
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Wed Jan 30, 2013 5:15 am Post

I use Scrivener and am now testing Scapple. I like its simplicity, the ability to drag and drop images, pdfs and splited text.

I would suggest being able to import from OPML, not only export. Some people's workflow consists of outlining first and transfer to maps only later for presentations, etc.

I would also like to see better realignment capabilities. Not as impressive as clunky apps like yED but with the present state of align and distribute capabilities of Scapple I have been unable to come up with anything useful.

Being able to both mapping and simple outlining would be good but not a deal breaker for me as the previous two points.

Regards,

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KB
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Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:01 am Post

OPML import wouldn't really make sense seeing as Scapple wouldn't know where to place anything, as it would be trying to convert a structured, linear document to a freeform one.

I'm not sue what other realignment capabilities Scapple could add on top of the ones it already has?

All the best,
Keith
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Pr
ProfessorTom
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Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:59 am Post

[Edited because I found the latest beta]

I glanced at the L & L website but did not see anywhere to purchase the product. Similarly, I did not find Scapple in the Mac App Store.

When will Scapple move out of beta and be available for purchase?

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KB
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Thu Jan 31, 2013 9:13 am Post

When it's ready. :) hopefully February or March, though.
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