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Possible Workpad additions

Posted: Fri Jul 16, 2004 6:26 am
by squeg
I've become quite dependent on the workpad. I find it particularly useful for dealing with very active channels where i only want to actually read the linked articles for a few of the posts. I scan the new items when they're added, place the ones I want to read on the workpad, and then let Awasu mark the contents of the channel as read when i close it. This gives me a pretty good list of things on the workpad that i either want to remember, or read more about. And since the workpad retains the links even after the channel clears the items, I don't have to rush to get to something for fear of it disappearing the next tday.

Even better, with syncing, I can stick leisure reading on the workpad and then view it from home, later.

The problem i'm running into is that the workpad is really very simplistic and it becomes unwieldy as it gets long. Right now the best i can do is run a workpad report to generate a more readable/informative list of items. (The report includes the description field for any items still remaining in their respective channels. There are a few things that I'd love to see that would make the workpad an even greater tool.

- Sorting/Filtering: I'd love a variety of ways to sort/process the data on the workpad. Simpler possibilities include allowing the user to sort the list originating channel, alphabetic sequence, and date added to the list. (Date added is of course the current and only sort.) Optionally, perhaps you could filter or sort the items in the workpad based on the category of their originating channel.

What I'd really like to see even more though, would be a way for the user to actually have either multiple (named) workpads (making use of addional "readme" tabs to seperate them) or to be able to break the workpad up into user defined groups (perhaps using some kind of tree-view for navigation). Ideally, the user would have both the ability to send a new items to a specific workpad/category as well as a way to move items between them.

Items on my workpad include daily news, leisure reading, things i may want to respond to, and research related items relating to C++, javascript, CSS, and a variety of other programming topics. When I sit down to go through the workpad, I know which kind of item i'm looking for, but sifting through the list can be a little hit and miss do to volume and lack of organization.

Having a way to keep different kinds of information seperate while still preserving the links over an indefinite length of time would be ideal. Obviously, this still wouldn't be a place for long term data storage, that's what bookmarks, or better yet, databases are for. But even for short term storage, this level of organization would greatly improve the workflow.

- Item Modification: The other major addition i'd like to see would be some way for the user to actually edit items that are stored on the workpad. Obviously, the workpad has some form of data storage associated with it. For items that originate from an Awasu feed, you remember the item's title and originating channel even if that item has been purged from it's channel do to age.

I'd like to see a way for users to edit the title name at will. This way, when an item was added from the clipboard or the browser context menu, you could go back and give it a more meaningful name. URL's are often quite cryptic and/or long. When they appear in the workpad list, they're mostly just distracting as it's difficult or impossible to tell what they're pointing at without actually following them.

- Reporting: Reporting for the workpad is actually pretty handy. As i said above, the addition of the description tags for items remaining in channels is very useful. My first wish for the reports would be teh ability to add the originating channel info (that's currently displayed on the workpad) to the report page. My second would be to upgrade reporting based on any changes made to the workpad per the above suggestions. For instance, if multiple named workpads were introduced, then I'd like to be able to generate a report that contained all workpads (or categories) broken up by section titles as well as reports that only included a single (or selected list) of workpads/categories.


I get the impression, as i use the software, that something similar to the above has probably crossed your mind, but that there hasn't been time to code it. I would imagine that implementing these extra features adds a good bit of complexity to the existing workpad set up. However, I really feel like something like this could turn a handy tool into an exceptional one that many users would find compelling.

Re: Possible Workpad additions

Posted: Sat Jul 17, 2004 5:26 am
by support
Some really good ideas here and yes, we have had had something similar in mind for a while now and yes, they haven't been implemented yet because of time constraints and prioritization of features :-( :whip:

What we have in mind is basically what you described: multiple workpads, each one getting its own floating window. Users will be able to define as many as they want, perhaps organized in a tree hierarchy, and be able to drag-and-drop items and URL's to them. There will also be user-definable hotkeys to send items to a given workpad, as CTRL-R does for the current one. You will be able to generate reports from each one. Given that you will be able to have many workpads, sorting and filtering probably won't be that important.

Being able to edit the entries is a good idea and we'll probably add something like that. Something we have on the cards is the ability to attach notes and other (user-definable) metadata to channel items so it'll probably tie in with that in some way.

I actually don't use the Workpad much myself so suggestions from people who actually use it are very helpful :-) Complexity-wise, I don't think it'll be too hard. We wil probably just throw away the existing Workpad and scavenge the code to implement Workapd NG :-)


Posted: Thu Mar 17, 2005 8:31 am
by rlmrdl
This is still one of the best ideas that Awasu has had, amongst a serious pile of great ones.

I go along with squeg about its worth so here's a couple more.

When I drop some items into workpad, and generate a report, it comes up fine, but when I select the content and try to launch it into Zempt, Zempt Picks up the title OK "Channel report Workpad"

But instead of dropping the selected text into the window as it does with a real channel, all I get is <a href="" title=""></a>

While I'm at it, I often use Furl to save clips and comment on a bunch of websites, pull up the RSS feed in Awasu later, select an item and drop into Zempt for posting. However, to get the whole item I have to open the link to the furl archive because Awasu picks up the title and the comment fields, but not the clipping which, according to Mike is is contained in a custom RSS 2.0 element <furl:clipping>

Is there any way I cen tell awasu to read that element as well as the rest?

THEN, when I drop it into the Workpad, have it appear there as a complete item, not just a link to the story.

THEN, when I read all items through the workpad report, be able to launch them into Zempt.

Which is where I came in.

Exit, pursued by arm-waving Taka.

Re: Workpad

Posted: Thu Mar 17, 2005 8:42 am
by support
rlmrdl wrote:pursued by arm-waving Taka.

Actually, this time it's me waving "come on in! come on in!" The existing Workpad is going to be thrown out and completely revamped for (probably) 2.1.2 i.e. not the next beta but the one after) so <b>get your suggestions in now or forever hold your peace</b>!

So Anyway

Posted: Thu Jun 23, 2005 2:13 am
by rlmrdl
How is the workpad rebuild going?


Re: So Anyway

Posted: Thu Jun 23, 2005 8:44 am
by support
rlmrdl wrote:How is the workpad rebuild going?

Um, not been paying attention? It's already finished >-)