Some ideas/feature requests for ALL pedias

Tell us about your wildest feature dreams. Or just harmless suggestions for improvement.

Some ideas/feature requests for ALL pedias

Postby Waldbaer » Sat Jul 26, 2014 6:52 pm

Hi,
I'm adding more and more items to my pedias and wrote down some ideas you might consider to add to your ToDo-List:
  • 1. Search all databases at once. In most cases, there is no perfect entry in one of the databases, so I edit my entry as soon as I add an item. Normally I search manually again in the databases, to add information that is not found in the first entry. Many of these clicks result in "not found", so I think there should be a command to search all of them at once and maybe mark the databases whithout any results and show a number next to those with results.
  • 2. Highlight automated changes when an edit via a manual search in another database took place (e.g. with a red frame around changed fields). This would make it much easier to find them to make sure there is no stupid stuff or even wrong data added. It also might be useful to mark if there is alternate info in the searched database, but blocked because of already entered information in the local database (maybe an icon with mouseover preview).
  • 3. Add Amazon links if there is an ASIN. This one should be possible quite easily... just add a small icon/button next to the ASIN field or even add a hyperlink to every entered ASIN. Maybe you should add a preference to select the preferred Amazon Country (.de/.com or whatever).
  • 4. Add Amazon Databases easier, ideally always (near to impossible because of Amazon; it was easier in the past but Amazon did not like that). That's probably not so easy but it's not mac-like in any way at the moment (it took me about half an hour as soon as I found it in the manual). The biggest problem is that Amazons Databases are very powerful and add much to the pedias capabilities, but as a user you won't probably ever notice that if you don't find the corresponding part in the manual by accident and even if you do find it, it's still not easy because the AWS sites are huge and complicated with tons of features you'll never use but I'm always scared to click an expensive button because I had to enter my credit card information. So maybe you can find a way to shorten this adventure... :)
  • 5. Add a details view that simply shows all information entered (solved - if you don't see everything make sure that in preferences/fields/details view all fields are checked). This does not have to look perfect but it would be useful not to be forced to open the edit window to be sure you see all information.
  • 6. Allow several edit windows, at least two (maybe two types: floating showing each selected entry's data and normal/connected to a specific entry; just like cmd+i and cmd+opt+i in the Finder). This would especially be useful to copy between entries.
I think that's it for the moment in this category. I'm interested to read what you think about these ideas here, maybe you even have some workarounds for me since I'm still quite new to the pedias.
Last edited by Waldbaer on Fri Aug 01, 2014 10:49 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Some ideas/feature requests for ALL pedias

Postby Conor » Sun Jul 27, 2014 7:05 am

Thank you so much for the thoughtful feedback. Some of it is brand new and some we've been thinking about for quite some time.

Brand new is command-option-i, that blew my mind. I've been using the Mac for over 20 years and never knew there was an inspector option for the info window. :oops: The Pedia edit window is an inspector window in that it changes with the selection, never ever considered having dual windows, but that's something to investigate.

In the past we had experimented with a a single window with a dual view (like the old Address Book merge window). Specifically for presenting the changing information from gathering more info as you mention in suggestion 2. But with the large number of fields in the Pedias it always proved too much data on screen at once and overwhelming. We ended up refining the feature into your suggestion for 2; highlighted changes and click to toggle for differing info. But that has not made it into the app for technical reasons that have to do with backwards compatibility. Hence suggestion 2 and "find and replace" are high on our priority list for a major release, when we drop 10.5, 10.6 and 10.7 support. But definitely features we've been thinking about for quite a while.

1. One of our competitors actually merges information from several sources all at once. Works wonderful when they get the matching right, but as soon as one result is off the final output is a mess. Your suggestion is slightly different as it would let you pick the best result with a single unified search. It's a good idea that would require an interface change and more importantly a change to the internals so that the interface could update in real time as results come. This would keep the user active and engaged and not slowed down by waiting for the slowest search site before displaying results. I like that idea and shall give it very serious consideration. I am worried about the tradeoff in bandwidth and strain on search sites. Where a search on (fast) Doghouse might have been enough, you are now slowing down all results by searching several sites. I know you're thinking of the feature by using it only from the gear button, but I am thinking it might actually be useful as the search all result.

3. True that the ASIN field in the edit window should have an open link button like the URL. I should do this for the IMDb number as well. The DVDpedia beta version has a test version of this button. It will not be in the next release as it's too late to add it for the debugging cycle but I shall work on it for another release as I also want to update the icon to a gray arrow or gray icon to more closely resemble other controls of this type in OS X. You should take a look at installing a details template like the excellent moderator templates by Finewine as it has a number of links embedded into it. The default ASIN display in the details should likely have the link also added, so I will look into that. On a related note about number 5, do take a look at Preferences -> Fields -> (Pop up) Details View and enabling all the fields you would like to see in the details view, including the ASIN.

4. Does need to be easier, but most of the setup is beyond our control. The goal is to be able to improve the experience and make it seamless with improvements to Doghouse and then it won't even be necessary for most users to sign up.

At the moment we have paused all new feature development and been working on all the necessary Yosemite fixes that are now ready for version 5.3. There is still more to do for Yosemite but it's now minor tweaks, such as updating toolbar icons, but we do not want to get too far down that road until the final version of the new OS is out.
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Re: Some ideas/feature requests for ALL pedias

Postby Waldbaer » Sun Jul 27, 2014 11:00 am

Thanks for your nice answer. I'm pleased to have shown you a useful Finder-Feature. I especially like that for adding sizes and to get fast changing info for many files without flooding the screen with info-windows. :wink:

It makes sense that you concentrate on making the pedias compatible with Yosemite these days. Nevertheless I think the time to think about features before implementing them is no waste and it's nice to feel that you agree in some way with this. 8)

1 (search all dbs): Your thoughts are interesting. I agree that manual merging will be much better than completely automated. It seems that we'll have to split this feature idea into two different parts:
a) searching all dbs simultaneously instead of one after another when adding. Sounds nice for single items to add. At the moment I actually always scan a bunch of things in using my barcode scanner and the add several feature ("Mehrere hinzufügen" button in German version) and after that go over all of them in detail. The first searches will probably be completed for a while when I get to this step so I don't lose time waiting and the benefit will be minimal. Maybe you could at first send out a search to all databases just to get the number of their matches and add the results to
b) the list when searching manually later. The list could just write down the matches for each database to prevent you from searching databases without results again and again. And you'd download the actual data only if you actually choose one of the databases (as it is now already). The matches list won't take much space to save and there should still be the "search all" command to update them so it could better be called "Update match count" or something like that. This should save some of the bandwith. Hm, still not great...

2 (highlight changes): Nice to read that you think and work on that, even if it's sad to see the 10.5-10.7 going, but it's . Find and replace will also be great. I use TuneInstructor to add some of these database features to iTunes, like Find&Replace, copying between fields, crop/expand tags... Sooner or later these features should be available in the pedias, too. I'm looking forward to see them implemented one after another. :)

3 Amazon links: thanks for the link to the Moderator template, that one is actually extremely useful to moderate one's own database. Maybe you should consider adding it to the standards... oh, and we'll need this template for the other pedias as well.
BTW what is ref=nb_sb_noss (included in the Amazon search link)?

4 AWS Signup: I just read some of the old posts in the blog about Amazon and hopefully understand now why you have it that way... OK, let's work on the Doghouse since Amazon does not like you. :roll:

5 All Details view: You did not comment on that until now... maybe too simple to think about. Or is there even something like that already there which I just overlooked? Well, as soon as I have put in all my items into my databases, I'll maybe take some time to edit layouts or even build my own ones. It's great that you gave us the possibility to do that (I loved this one in Appleworks, too).

6 More than one edit window: You are right, at the moment we have an inspector window, but the Layout is not really consequent with this and actually I was surprised about this some times. I'm thinking about it a little longer and what I have come to for the moment would be the following:
- the inspector as part of the main window, opening as a broad column on the right side and populating with the selection (an of course to be closed as well if you're just browsing)
- option to open Info windows that look basically the same as the edit window now but do not populate.

...damn, my posts get too big...
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Re: Some ideas/feature requests for ALL pedias

Postby Conor » Mon Jul 28, 2014 2:46 am

2. Downloaded TuneInstructor to take a look at the features, another discovered new app.

3. Internally we use the links generated by the API, that contain information about being created by the API as well as the associate tag. I believe the ref=nb_sb_noss is an entry point for Amazon when creating links on the fly from either the title or ASIN. Since we did not write the Moderator template I can't say with certainty.

5. I did not comment on the all details as I was a bit confused by it. The details view should have all the information for an entry or at least it can, do check your Preferences -> Fields as some fields are off by default, such as ASIN. They can all be enabled and all the information for a single movie will appear in the details view. If your talking about multiple selection and fields that are all the same among the selection, then use the edit command and it will show a special multiple edit window that will have values for any fields that are the same across the selection.
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Re: Some ideas/feature requests for ALL pedias

Postby Waldbaer » Mon Jul 28, 2014 8:50 am

3. OK, so you internally already have these links - can they be found by the normal user (like me) anywhere at the moment?

5. You're right, I just found the options in the preferences, too. I just turned everything on and I'm happy. :)
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Re: Some ideas/feature requests for ALL pedias

Postby Conor » Tue Jul 29, 2014 9:32 am

3. If the entry came from Amazon directly. The link will be in the main URL field. If you would like to edit the URL field do make sure to turn it on for the edit panel, as it's also off by default. Otherwise if the ASIN is part of the entry, but the main URL field is not for Amazon then the link is created on the fly from the ASIN (such is the case for Doghouse downloads). But if you want to have control over the link, you can create a specific link as the Moderator template has, that uses the ASIN information to create it's own unique link to Amazon. A few users also have this customized links that go directly to smile.amazon.com instead of the regular Amazon for shopping.

5. Excellent. Thank you for updating the original post for those not reading the entire thread.
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