Holy cow y’all, I’m away for just a few days and WOW look what happens. I skimmed all the above, then spent a few minutes playing. I need to spend more time (both playing and thinking), but some initial thoughts:
This all feels like a strong start in a positive direction that just needs some final tweaks. I think a lot of folks are going to like this, especially the prefix-hiding (though I do like to see them, so thanks for the option). I will might hide the Heading prefixes while keeping the others via 0% opacity styling…but the 3-lines icon is nice, so maybe not. And the hotkeys are good!
The first thing that jumps out at me is how the different ‘sizes’ of both Heading and Project behave very unpredictably as Panes change. An H2 heading will render as H1 if the “from anywhere” option is picked. Zooming ‘resets’ the baseline indent, so a P3 item is drawn in P1 style when you zoom into it. It’s also completely possible to apply “inverted” styling (H2 above H1) … maybe there’s an edge case for that, but it makes my soul hurt to see it. I haven’t even tried mirroring a Project or Header yet, but that was already janky… Tiered styling has a lot of value to me – but if I can’t rely on it to be consistent I won’t use it at all.
I really appreciate that the H or P “size” auto-decrements as the item is indented. That is very “right”. I think it should cascade, though – If I have H1, H2, H3, H4 and then drop the indent on the H1 down to H2, I expect all the child-headings to also decrement by one level, with the H4 getting un-heading-ed if necessary.
I do see now (I didn’t support it earlier) that there is value in having both Headings and Projects.
HOWEVER, having both of them really calls for differentiating them more. Intuitively, Headings seem structural while Projects could be anywhere…The G-B Heading & G-B Project PaneTypes just underline this blurring of purpose – what’s the difference? How is GBHeading better than an Outline view that’s just filtered to “show headings”?
My immediate inclination for using them is to apply Headings according to Outline indent, to emphasize structure and improve visual orientation (especially when zoomed or heavily filtered). Then I’d use Projects – at any indent – to designate “container” items, as you would expect. I currently do this with unadorned Parents and it works fine – but they are hard to ‘extract’ with a filter or to differentiate from other parents. Using Project-prefixes for them, combined with the Headings (if they didn’t change sizes constantly) would be a wonderful improvement for me in look & feel, plus utility.
Based on the above (and admitting that I haven’t thought it all the way through), I’d like to discuss the following ideas. I don’t know myself, which of these I like best. Some are a LOT more restrictive – know that I don’t wish to reduce Legend’s wonderful flexibility at all, but the option to choose structure also has a LOT of value to those of us with squirrels in the attic:
The problems with displaying in multiple sizes depending on zoom would be helped if there were simply fewer variables to deal with. I’m thinking of ways to have multiple “sizes” but less direct user control over them.
One way is to peg Headings to absolute Outline indent (regardless of zoom or filter), while keeping Projects independent of position. So, the Heading prefix would not “cycle” through the sizes as it does now – whatever indent level the first Heading-item appears at, that becomes “H1”. Each tier below that goes down a step – across the whole Outline.
This could be an optional behavior, with a user setting for “Heading style by indent” or such.
The above would probably require supporting all the way down to <h6>.
With the above Heading-based structure, There would be no question what size to display a Heading-item at when zoomed or mirrored!
Projects could behave as now, so user can manually cycle through the sizes. This would allow for both the usage style we had before, and a more rigorously structured style (which I’d like). And some in-between stuff, too.
Leave Headings manually-sized as they are now but down-sizing or up-sizing a Heading ripples through all of its children.
Then limit Projects to a single style/size. I don’t see how a “big project” or a “small project” has meaning now that we have Headings.
Also, a few tag-on thoughts:
The current GB Heading Pane seems to be wildly missing an opportunity: This should not be a “group by” Pane but rather should allow user to specify a range of indent-levels to display. So I could ask to only see indents from 0 (root)–>3, and then cut it off below that. Or show me items from 2–>∞. Or indents 4–>4 for a very thin slice. You could also get rid of the Heading Filter entirely if you did this, as the function would be duplicated – and ‘filtering’ on headings seems…weird. This would be especially powerful in more strictly-formatted Outlines (such as indent-dependent Headings would create). Otherwise this Pane just adds noise without having any real function. I’d rather see it left out entirely than included as a G-B.
Also, let’s talk about the Move-to dialog box, which currently pre-filters for Projects. What should it do now? Headings only? Projects only? Both?