b4l4nc3r
Currently, saved Expanded Views can be found and used via View > Load Extended View. The problem is that it's not possible to use sub-categories  and the list does not support scrolling. Thus the amount of visible saved Expanded views (SEV from now on) is limited to the height of your screen, which depends on the screen resolution.

First I thought I've to delete least used SEVs, to make room for the more often used ones. But I found out that there is a folder called "extras" in the brain's root folder, which contains a separate file for each SEV! That gave me the idea to move some of them to a new folder, but that folder will not be visible to load in your brain.

Thus my current workaround for the lack of sub-categories, is to use dot (.) separated words/characters/strings for the name of the SEVs, and move the least used ones to a backup folder in the extras folder. This way I could reload a complex SEV without having to recreate & rearrange it again from scratch, because I thought I was forced to delete them, to make space for new ones. Although sometimes the brain would have changed so much, that the old SEV would now get bloated with each click, and might need to be rearranged. But that's always inevitable to rearrange, or start from scratch. At the very least, much less time is wasted on recreating complex SEV to switch between them without too much hassle!!!

So, by now, I hope that the need of sub-categories is unmistakably very clear.

Please vote over here: http://thebrain.uservoice.com/forums/4597-thebrain/suggestions/869577-sub-categories-folders-for-saved-extended-views-

Or over here for the much smarter approach: http://thebrain.uservoice.com/forums/4597-thebrain/suggestions/93599-save-expanded-views-as-attachments?ref=title

IT wouldn't make much of a difference for the PB team, because they'll choose the one they think is best anyway. This is just to let them know where we stand while attracting some of their attention.
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b4l4nc3r
When I say currently, I mean for users like me still using v5.5.2.4, as I'm not sure whether this limitation still exists in v6.
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PatrickW
It's a problem I also encountered.
Personally, I like the following solution for this problem :

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rhodes
I agree with balancer that having to dig through a folder of saved expanded views is possibly the strongest argument against using expanded view.

PatrickW's suggestion about attaching SEVs to Thoughts is better than the present situation but still messy so I won't be voting for it. What use is an attachment when the only app to view it is PB? The only solution I'd accept would be that:

1) the user is offered the option to save numbered (cumulative) backups of an expanded view each time a save is made; this should be fully automatic and the backup has the thought name and the number, e.g., mythought001. brainview.

2) when switching into Expanded view from any other view, PB see what the Thoughts ID is and if there is one or more SEVs for that Thought, *automatically* loads the most recent one.

This should make the whole task as seamless as possible.

What I would really like is for Expanded view to be got rid of as a separate view and combined into Normal and Outline view so there's no changing screens. The user can drag thoughts away from their usual positions without them snapping back. Thoughts could be expanded, etc. There'd be no more shortening of names since the plex could be dragged sideways or any which way, and everyone could breathe easier.

Alan Rhodes
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b4l4nc3r

PatrickW wrote:
It's a problem I also encountered.
Personally, I like the following solution for this problem :
http://thebrain.uservoice.com/forums/4597-thebrain/suggestions/93599-save-expanded-views-as-attachments?ref=title


That is actually a much smarter solution! This way the user will not be bogged down with legacy problematic trees, which for example you can't quick search through. One could use pinned Thoughts for the most used SEVs.

BUT, yes there is that big but again, I might right now see why the PB team has yet to reach a solution for the basic problem, what to decide to do!!! Right now SEVs are also managed with a separate manager for renaming and deletion. The current approach might be to the liking of too many users whom don't use that many SEVs, so the PB team might be hesitant to go on a limb and think just a bit radically.

The current approach has to be completely abandoned for the new approach to be used, or so it seems!! It just stroke me that both approaches could just be integrated, although it feels a bit like overkill. Nonetheless, I'll share this idea anyway. The SEV attachments can be easily tracked through the file extension index, if I understood it right. My idea is to link to those SEVs found as attachments, so to be collected automatically to be viewed and used in the same manner the current SEVs are loaded and managed! It certainly is doable, since one can view attachments per extension. It might sound pretty cumbersome, but it won't be hierarchical, just alphabetically sorted (GTD-friendly) just like it's now the case, but with the addition of easy scrollable feature, just for correctness, as the current implementation simply doesn't care about screen height limitations!

That means the users that don't have that many SEVs will not notice a lot of change!!!! But they will be able to expand overtime and add more SEVs and use the Thoughts and Pinned Thoughts for the most used ones to activate them!!! And those Thoughts containing the SEVs, unlike Tag Thoughts, and like you've probably implicitly meant it too, are treated like regular Thoughts, in the sense that one should be able to link them and make notes in them, and maybe go on a crazy limb and even put more attachments in them too!!!! So, users that want to activate it with one click, would simply not add extra attachments. This makes it very easy to search & find SEVs like regular Thoughts, and legacy fashioned users would less likely complain.

But until the PB team comes to this, and decide, there is now at the very least that SEV backup workaround I've discovered and mentioned in my first post, to make room for new ones, and at the same time to preserve the work instead of deleting SEVs just to make room for the new ones. And if the PB team doesn't have that much time for such an issue that seems to only concern heavy SEV users, at the very least they should let folders in the extras folder be treated as subcategories in the Load Extende View menu item. That way the whole screen height limitation and long list info-overload can be side stepped.


rhodes wrote:
I agree with balancer that having to dig through a folder of saved expanded views is possibly the strongest argument against using expanded view.


First let me thank you for your support and positive professional attitude you bring to the table!
And let me say that I'm not sure whether we're on the same page, as it doesn't seem to in this case.

The digging into the extras folder is only the workaround I've suggested in case you have much more SEVs than your screen height lets PB show you, and don't want to delete any SEV, but instead could backup the least used ones into a separate folder, just in case you change the SEV sets you more often use than the other, then you could switch the files between the OFF/BACKUP folder and the extras folder where they're loaded into the PB View > Load ....  menu.

rhodes wrote:
PatrickW's suggestion about attaching SEVs to Thoughts is better than the present situation but still messy so I won't be voting for it. What use is an attachment when the only app to view it is PB? The only solution I'd accept would be that:


My addition to PatrickW's suggestion makes sure that you still be able to use the SEVs like you're used to. And btw, the new approach on top of that will allow you much more power & freedom! Just like all of your other Thoughts!

rhodes wrote:
1) the user is offered the option to save numbered (cumulative) backups of an expanded view each time a save is made; this should be fully automatic and the backup has the thought name and the number, e.g., mythought001. brainview.

2) when switching into Expanded view from any other view, PB see what the Thoughts ID is and if there is one or more SEVs for that Thought, *automatically* loads the most recent one.

This should make the whole task as seamless as possible.

What I would really like is for Expanded view to be got rid of as a separate view and combined into Normal and Outline view so there's no changing screens. The user can drag thoughts away from their usual positions without them snapping back. Thoughts could be expanded, etc. There'd be no more shortening of names since the plex could be dragged sideways or any which way, and everyone could breathe easier.


About that last part you're talking about, you might want to checkout the Accelerator: View > New Expanded View. This way you can follow the following sequence of steps to get the desired result you're looking for:

1. Activate a Thought in Normal View  for example, preferably a Thought with a lot of parents and children and perhaps jumps too, to get the merit of this approach.
2. Extend it (not Expanded View yet, just extend it), by using the + sign for example, or advisably using an Accelerator. Now you should see a lot of linked Thoughts in your Plex.
3. Activate the New Expanded View Accelerator, and now you've and Expanded View that contains all of the Thoughts that were visible in the Normal Extended View, which of course can save, giving you a new SEV!

Does that do it for you? Otherwise you might need to adopt breathing exercises for a very long time, otherwise your health might take a turn for the worst, believe me, it's very far from fun, when waiting for hell to freeze over! And those sequences of steps I've described, certainly was an ahaaaa moment for me and perhaps Dys too, and I hope for you too.

Peace anyone?

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PatrickW
rhodes wrote:
PatrickW's suggestion about attaching SEVs to Thoughts is better than the present situation but still messy so I won't be voting for it. What use is an attachment when the only app to view it is PB? The only solution I'd accept would be that:

In my comment on the voting site, I explained my own version of saving an expanded view to a thought.
You would have a button or menu item "Save Expanded View to Thought" (no multiple saved views per thought possible, to keep it simple).
When you select that thought while in Expanded View Mode, the corresponding Expanded View would load : no mess, simple, elegant and logical.

And as I explained on another place, you can couple this idea with the "Save a different background" to a thought.
If that would be integrated, and a different Expanded View, and a different background would load, simply by selecting a thought in Expanded View mode.

The current system to save Expanded Views can still be kept as an alternative.
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b4l4nc3r
PatrickW wrote: rhodes wrote:
PatrickW's suggestion about attaching SEVs to Thoughts is better than the present situation but still messy so I won't be voting for it. What use is an attachment when the only app to view it is PB? The only solution I'd accept would be that:

In my comment on the voting site, I explained my own version of saving an expanded view to a thought.
You would have a button or menu item "Save Expanded View to Thought" (no multiple saved views per thought possible, to keep it simple).
When you select that thought while in Expanded View Mode, the corresponding Expanded View would load : no mess, simple, elegant and logical.

And as I explained on another place, you can couple this idea with the "Save a different background" to a thought.
If that would be integrated, and a different Expanded View, and a different background would load, simply by selecting a thought in Expanded View mode.

The current system to save Expanded Views can still be kept as an alternative.


Ok, before this thread gets buried by the chaos of the dynamics of human thoughts & communications, let me suggest that we keep this thread focused for what it's meant for, that is at the very least making sure that there is no limitations to the amount of simultaneously usable views in a Brain. Right?

And I suggest starting a new thread for the discussions about the much smarter approach, because it's on the right track, but far from bug free conceptually.

Order please.
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rhodes
Thanks both of you for replying to my response. I can see that different people would use Expanded view in different ways.

Me, I rarely keep EVs for long, whereas others might have 2 or 3 drafts of an EV they need. On second thoughts it would make sense to keep all EVs other than the latest stored as attachments to the active Thought, as PatrickW suggests. The only danger is that an EV in which two (or more) thoughts got activated could end up being stored as attachments to two different Thoughts. But it would be better to have them lying in the Plex where you can see them than for them to be buried in the extras folder.

I dunno if PB would let you make the extras folder a virtual thought, ie a window into it, so you could drag old brainview files out of it and attach them to your thought. Interesting idea.

Maybe the first thing PB should do when you're about to switch out of EV to some other view is ask you do you want to save the current EV? If the answer is no, it gets discarded. If yes, it's saved to that thought's ID - only one EV per ID. That means that if you want to overwrite it with an older EV you saved (as an attachment, maybe), PB should ask you if you want to overwrite it, just like it does when you do a brainzip. That seems like a sensible compromise to me; no more messing around with "Manage Saved Views".

Alan Rhodes
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b4l4nc3r
I guess there goes the thread....
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rhodes
OK, getting back to your original topic...

The basic problem with (1) having subcategories of the extras folder to store more .brainview files, and (2) attaching .brainview files to thoughts is that, even though these are only simple text files, PB is not document-centric enough to recognize them. In other words, even if you specified in Windows Explorer > Tools > Folder options > File types that the correct app to open them is PB, nothing happens. So even if you tied them to a Thought as an attachment, clicking the attachment wouldn't open them. Obviously they dont want us to run these .brainview files anywhere except from inside PB. Possibly theyre concerned that they might lose control over these files to some 3rd party app.

It's my opinion that you won't be able to work with these files in subcategories until this hurdle is overcome.

Alan Rhodes
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b4l4nc3r
And there we're again, like so many threads, awaiting PB team's enlightenment....
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zenrain
Quote: And there we're again, like so many threads, awaiting PB team's enlightenment....

I think this is primarily a user forum, and folks from TheBrain choose to jump in when they can. I'm not saying they won't respond to this thread, just setting some realistic expectations.

Windows 7
J-1.6.0_22
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OSX 10.6.3
Java SE 6
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b4l4nc3r
zenrain wrote: Quote: And there we're again, like so many threads, awaiting PB team's enlightenment....

I think this is primarily a user forum, and folks from TheBrain choose to jump in when they can. I'm not saying they won't respond to this thread, just setting some realistic expectations.



Sure. But this user forum is also meant as a feedback source, from the users of PB to the developers of PB. And I believe that the whole idea is that when an idea or a thread is decided to be desirable or mature enough by the insights of the PB team, that then they would do something about it.

At some point any further speculations on the count of the users of PB would become pointless, and that point for the original topic of this thread -according to my insight- has been reached. So I'll quote myself below, what I've added to my first post starting this thread, after the reference of the much smarter approach by PatrickW, but before your post in this thread.

b4l4nc3r wrote: IT wouldn't make much of a difference for the PB team, because they'll choose the one they think is best anyway. This is just to let them know where we stand while attracting some of their attention.


So as users we need the feedback of the PB team, either in an implicit form, pure public silence in regard to particular topics or threads, in this case this one, or some explicit feedback in a form of a relevant announcement, discussion or an actual completion of a user voice entry.

I'm not asking for heaven's gate to open its doors with a portal on earth for the masses, I'm asking for the guardians, to drop us a line from time to time, or little by little to give us what we need to reach it, thus to be worthy. I don't think that's too much to ask, thus I find my expectations realistic enough. Or will you adopt the role of a skeptic also in this regard? I do find your skepticism healthy, so I appreciate it, as I too adopt it from time to time, especially against myself.
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zenrain
I think both this forum and the UserVoice forum (perhaps more so the UserVoice forum as it can more accurately record the interest in a particular request) could be considered feedback, and as far as I can tell, are considered when planning features for future releases.

However, folks from TheBrain have openly stated that they don't discuss features being considered for future releases until they are imminent (as in a very closely upcoming beta).
There are good reasons for this, both from a competitive standpoint and a user expectation standpoint which have been discussed elsewhere. This is the general stance of most medium-to-large software companies, and is not unusual (although it may be unpopular from the forum members point of view).

This thread could be considered a feature request, and the maturity of the discussion or validity of the request non-withstanding, may not be commented on because of the future feature standpoint. I don't really think it's a skeptical standpoint, just one with reasonable expectations given the market and other software forums.

Anyway, I don't mean to detract from the validity of the request, or the discussion, just adding my 2 cents on the expectation for comments on feature requests by TheBrain employees based on previous trends in the forum and my own experience in the software industry.

/ thread hijack.

Windows 7
J-1.6.0_22
--
OSX 10.6.3
Java SE 6
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b4l4nc3r
Ok. Noted as an agreed upon insight

But like you could infer from my previous post, my sentence on which you replied had another important function, rather than only calling for the attention of the PB team. That function is letting the reader know my final conclusion on the thread, that is that I think any further speculations and brainstorming would be relatively pointless for the original purpose of the thread, and that it would only add further noise that the PB team would have to filter through to get the actual summarized message, meaning, adding another resistive layer, which is requiring more time from their already limited time, which would be on the cost of their development time. The best feedback I'd be expecting, which you could easily deduce from my previous context, is the marking of the completion of one of the relevant UserVoice entry, that is with a fix from their perspective. I like sentence chaining, sorry for that

So I'll reuse that sentence as a function call for the context we've together drawn to become explicit

So the next time a reader reads my post: "And there we're again, like so many threads, awaiting PB team's enlightenment...." could be referred to this context as a shorthand to potentially reduce off-topic (none-perfect-on-original-topic) noise in a thread

<edit type="addition">On a relevant note to what I've seem to have been trying to amplify, and in line with your insight, here is JJS's explicit shared insight as a similar reaction to my similar attitude back then: http://forums.thebrain.com/post/show_single_post?pid=33829959&postcount=13. And btw, any further posts will end up on page 2, making this thread another ridiculously long one for what's it actually tries to say.</edit>

I love tiny URL's , if you know what I mean



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