dyslucksia
In (New) Expanded View, in order to stop PB from rearranging Thoughts ad lib I find I have to anchor everything down as soon as Expanded View opens. It seems logical that PB should offer to do this for us. I don't mind PB rearranging Thoughts when I want it to, but not when it chooses to do so itself.

There's been a lot posted in the forum about making Thoughts dance around less in Expanded View, and I actually believe that 5.5 has improved on this over 5.0, but I still think there needs to be both a Preference to Anchor All Thoughts ON when Expanded View opens and also a switch to toggle All Anchors ON/ All Anchors OFF (or maybe Anchor All / Release All), somewhere in the View or Options menu.

No one has requested this on UserVoice that I can find, and the only similar plea for some control was made by jostber here:

http://thebrain.websitetoolbox.com/post?id=3576121

At least, if all thoughts are anchored, they won't fly off the plex when I add another thought (I hope).

Some may argue "If they're all anchored down to begin with, how are you going to move them around? If they're not anchored, you can simply drag the active thought and the rest will follow." Well, remember that we can also drag the Plex to position the active thought and the rest, so that's not a problem.

It might be worth submitting this to Uservoice as the best way of solving this problem. Also maybe we should be able to lasso a group of thoughts and anchor/release them, great when there is more than one bunch of related thoughts in the Plex.

PB 5.5.2.1 on Windows XP, J-1.6.0_17
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tcahill
I agree. In outline mode, often I'd like to expand the neighborhood of an outline thought without blowing everything else out of the existing outline arrangement.

One way to implement this would be to take the particular view you have and then be able to "Save as an Expanded View."

PB's thought anchor fixes a thought to the plex. That is very useful, but I'd really like to be able to toggle a thought's gate to bind its linked thoughts to force them to move rigidly with it. This might be accomplished with a link property for elasticity or stiffness.



Be vewy quiet. I'm hunting wabbit.
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Darkstar

Wow! Links who have "Rigid" length options! Of course, you get into problems in Expanded view when you add new sibling thoughts, add new links, or display thoughts that are ALSO linked to what is already displayed.

-Darkstar
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dyslucksia
Not just rigid length but rigid angle, according to my interpretation. But isn't that virtually what we normally get when Expanded view opens and nothing's anchored? If I drag the active thought, its satellites move with it with hardly any relative displacement and when I stop dragging, they return to exactly the same position.

Maybe it's because PB has a horror of thoughts overlapping, so the Plex has to resort to all kinds of acrobatics to give each Thought its own little space. Perhaps if they changed this philosophy to allow thoughts to overlap as we drag them, we could be the ones who decide if the appearance is confusing,, then move only what's necessary to read them clearly. This would also enable us to pack Thoughts more densely.

The principle here is adding LAYERS to the plex so that overlapping can occur. Thus we should be able to bring items from the back to the front, like overlapping windows or web page components in the z-plane. This would require only a paradime shift (didja like that one?) in the programmers' perspective.

For lassoing to work, all we need is a context menu option on a Thought which appears only in Expanded View: Anchor/Release all satellites. Releasing them would make them follow the dragged thought. Releasing all satellites would seem a lot faster than manually clicking the anchor of each to free it. Or I guess first collapsing all, moving the Thought then re-expanding would do it, though laborious. Any other suggestions here?

Darkstar, do you like my original suggestion that we should start Expanded View with everything tied down?

PB 5.5.2.1 on Windows XP, J-1.6.0_17
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tcahill
dyslucksia wrote:
Not just rigid length but rigid angle, according to my interpretation.


Yes, exactly. Although angle can be problematic, as I discuss below.

dyslucksia wrote:

But isn't that virtually what we normally get when Expanded view opens and nothing's anchored? If I drag the active thought, its satellites move with it with hardly any relative displacement and when I stop dragging, they return to exactly the same position.


My impression has been that an expanded view algorithm places thoughts, and after initial stability is attained, the thought location remains dynamic, according to that algorithm, relative to other thoughts. This impression naturally arises when one switches from Outline to New Expanded view. The algorithm seems to explode the outline structure into an unrelated expanded state of equilibrium.

A specific difficulty occurs when a thought is linked to more than one thought. PB's physics seems to try to arbitrate the distance between two or more linked thoughts weighted by their relative positions. So, let's call the thought I'd like to move the independent thought, then the dependent thought(s) are those directly linked to it that ( I wish would ) automatically move relative to it. In this case, as I forshadowed above, preserving the angle of the link is less important than preserving the distance.

dyslucksia wrote:

Maybe it's because PB has a horror of thoughts overlapping, so the Plex has to resort to all kinds of acrobatics to give each Thought its own little space. Perhaps if they changed this philosophy to allow thoughts to overlap as we drag them, we could be the ones who decide if the appearance is confusing,, then move only what's necessary to read them clearly. This would also enable us to pack Thoughts more densely.


Perhaps another way to describe this would be a default of "no autoarrange"? Wouldn't it be nice to be able to make a selection of thoughts and then exclusively toggle autoarrange on just those thoughts? (I see how these concepts can diverge in so many ways.)

dyslucksia wrote:


The principle here is adding LAYERS to the plex so that overlapping can occur. Thus we should be able to bring items from the back to the front, like overlapping windows or web page components in the z-plane. This would require only a paradime shift (didja like that one?) in the programmers' perspective.


I'm all for a n-dimensional plex (with n being more than 2) and I certainly would not want to discourage that approach. So permit me to segue

dyslucksia wrote:


For lassoing to work, all we need is a context menu option on a Thought which appears only in Expanded View: Anchor/Release all satellites. Releasing them would make them follow the dragged thought. Releasing all satellites would seem a lot faster than manually clicking the anchor of each to free it. Or I guess first collapsing all, moving the Thought then re-expanding would do it, though laborious. Any other suggestions here?


Again, it is important to distinguish between anchoring a thought to the plex and making a link rigid relative to another thought. With this distinction, it is then possible to freely move satellites (or dependent thoughts) in a group by moving just one thought, even when some of those satellites are linked to other thoughts in the plex.
Be vewy quiet. I'm hunting wabbit.
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tcahill
tcahill wrote:
preserving the angle of the link is less important than preserving the distance.


Of course, the angle is much more important to me after I've spent 15 minutes finessing a hundred thoughts to exactly where I want them.
Be vewy quiet. I'm hunting wabbit.
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FransJehoul
Good afternoon,

Extra view "Sticky expanded" is ok as long as the current expanded view keeps existing or possible.

Regards,

Frans
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dyslucksia
I was wrong about PB not allowing thoughts to overlap in Expanded View.



In this 5.5 pic I've dragged and dropped ParentB to partially overlap ParentA. As you can see, PB is unhappy about ParentB's child Thoughts overlapping Parent A's child Thoughts (there  is repulsion), but allows me to drop the active Thought (ParentB) over ParentA.

"Sticky", "disable Auto-Arrange", "Anchor All" - no matter what we call it, we gotta have it! I'll be posting this on UserVoice.

PB 5.5.2.1 on Windows XP, J-1.6.0_17
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dyslucksia
I've posted it on UserVoice here:
http://thebrain.uservoice.com/pages/4597-personalbrain/suggestions/318920-anchor-all-thoughts-when-expanded-view-opens

That's my last vote gone!

PB 5.5.2.1 on Windows XP, J-1.6.0_17
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Darkstar

Dyslucksia--- that's because you PUT that thought there. PB is letting you do what you want--- put the thought where you want it. It will try to keep them from overlapping when it can, but if you put two thoughts too close together, it presumes you want them that way.

-Darkstar
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