* Diagram Window: Box Views "Exploded"

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dbnut
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Diagram Window: Box Views "Exploded"

Post by dbnut » 21 Jan 2022 13:43

This request concerns provision of quick and easy access to comprehensive detail for an individual (and perhaps family) while browsing tree diagrams (e.g. as ancestry or descent, but not limited to those) that show only summary detail.

It builds on ideas arising from Wish List Request "Diagram Text Schemes: Family of Variants", but does not depend on that.

Context:
  1. A frequent need while browsing is for more comprehensive detail about an individual (or family) than available in the current summary diagram.
  2. That need is more likely to arise in diagrams with "skeleton" detail boxes (e.g. as used for wide-scope ancestry & descent) than when "verbose" boxes are used by some users as "working" diagrams" (no terminology here!).
  3. This is already available with the property box, or by opening (if Preferences are set to allow that) another Diagram Window (and changing the Text Scheme).
  4. However, what I miss is an in-window pop-up displaying comprehensive person/family data.
  5. A feature of that type is available elsewhere and will likely be familiar to many other users, so has good prospects of being popular in FH.
Suggestion:
  1. Provide for non-modal "pop-up" diagram windows to overlay a regular diagram window.
  2. Provide access to this by context menu and keyboard shortcut from a selected individual box.
  3. Display content for an individual (and perhaps, as an extension, immediate family).
  4. Style the content according to an existing text scheme.
Remarks:
  • Although "Text Scheme Families" are not a prerequisite, I'm suggesting they would be a good "partner".
  • In a "Text Scheme Family" context, invoking the pop-up could offer a choice of schemes from the current (main diagram) family. It would be helpful if that selection stage could optionally be skipped via Preferences.
  • Obviously, single-text-box provision for an individual would be easier to implement than a family diagram.
Benefits:
  1. providing a widely-familiar feature that seems to be lacking in FH
  2. quick and efficient access to comprehensive person/family detail when browsing a "summary detail" diagram
  3. possibility to customise content & style according to user preference

For future consideration (outline, food for thought).
As many users will be aware, some other systems provide neat navigation paths from within a similar "diagram-context" active "property box" (avoiding stepping back to the main diagram to navigate).
For me, that would be a most welcome development, and that "property box" would be customisable.

My reference in "Context" above to changing the text scheme for a diagram reinforces my undocumented wish for: "a diagram window context menu item to change the text scheme directly from a pop-up list box", ideally populated with a list of "favourites" identified through the main text scheme manager.

This has been a little rushed, so I can complete this train of thought, unload it and move on.
Hope it's good enough.
Paul White
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Re: Diagram Window: Box Views "Exploded"

Post by tatewise » 21 Jan 2022 14:41

Unless I have misunderstood, FH can do some things very similar to that already.
  1. Double-click any Diagram box to open its Individual's Property Box.
  2. Select any Diagram box and click the toolbar Focus magnifying glass icon, Display in Focus Window, to focus on that Individual in the Focus Window.
  3. Select any Diagram box and use Charts > Custom Diagrams to display any other style of Diagram/Text Scheme with that Individual as the Diagram Root or similarly for any Report.
  4. Select any Diagram box and use Tools > Plugins > Quick Family Facts to display a family summary.
Use the Window > Cascade and Tile options to view those displays simultaneously.
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history ~ tatewise ancestry

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Re: Diagram Window: Box Views "Exploded"

Post by dbnut » 21 Jan 2022 17:30

tatewise wrote:
21 Jan 2022 14:41
Unless I have misunderstood, FH can do some things very similar to that already.
Thanks for taking the trouble to help, Mike. (You weren't trying to discourage me?) :)

As always, I agree with you, up to a point: FH can do some things very similar to that already. But not the way I would like it to do them. Sadly, none of your suggestions anywhere near complies with the combination of all these attributes (not in any special order):
  1. floating non-modal pop-up over main (navigation) tree diagram
  2. in-window shortcut invocation
  3. customisable format as a diagram display [I should have remembered to add "easy text scheme chooser"]
  4. (implied before, but I might as well say it) with the quality, features, and ease-of use provided by some online tree displays
All elements of my 4-part suggestion are important to me, as well as other relevant elements of my proposal, which is a feature request, not an invitation for signposts to other features or ingenious workarounds. Although, at my level of experience, there is every chance I missed something that's the "real deal".

To address your suggestions in turn:
  1. The property box is an excellent (and still improving) tool for data entry/editing. But it does not suit everyone as a method for displaying summary data - that is why I am a "diagram man", and making this suggestion for a new request.
  2. The focus window has less "summary data" about the individual of interest than even the property box.
  3. Every "diagram man" can do that, and every one of them knows how awkward your suggestion is in practice, with messy menu navigation and the full Diagram Options dialog (that direct "scheme chooser" in my "Families" request could still be implemented in the software now). Not to mention the pop-up attribute I emphasised.
  4. The plug-in has two modal layers, has no shortcut invocation, and cannot be customised.
I'm really sorry for sounding so ungrateful.

And as a general comment on the features and tools you use as examples:
    • When the Focus Window was introduced, my thought was "Great way to make former users of XYZ feel at home, and improve FH ratings for approachability/usability". But I find it an annoying distraction and wish I could disable it. Except that it is the "default" method of adding a new, unrelated individual. And as an aside:
      • As far as I know, there is no direct way from within the records window to add a new (unrelated) individual. Obviously, my preference would be via the property box.
      • Similarly from within a diagram, a circuitous (3rd-level menu) operation.
      • Both those points highlight Calico's apparent insouciance in failing to provide better menu structures, and especially making much better use of better-crafted context menus, to make a wide range of operations so much easier. I'm amazed by that, considering the very high quality and features in FH.
    • "Secondary" Diagram windows don't always cut the mustard, and fail me here specifically. Workspace window switching is OK, but not what I asked for. Tiled windows are hopeless: the records window cannot be closed so always takes up space (OK it can be minimised, but not hidden); two tiled diagram windows work, but are a struggle to size to requirements as tiling does not have the benefit of a splitter bar.
    • Plugins are a brilliant FH add-on that opened up a wide range of new possibilities. Plugin writers have been generous in time and effort spent providing solutions freely to other users. There are 10 in my toolbox at present (one disabled). When I reviewed that list, 7 out of 9 cover operations that should be (IMO as always when I express strong views) core FH features.
      I said this before: Calico should take note of what we want to do, implement those as features, make a variety of plugins redundant, trim back plugin developers' support burden, allowing them to focus better on other emerging needs.
    Finally, remember, I offered the suggestion not as a stand-alone request, but as building on the foundation of two lower levels.

    For now (like everyone else), I get by with the tools & techniques available in the here-and-now.
    Paul White
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    Re: Diagram Window: Box Views "Exploded"

    Post by davidf » 21 Jan 2022 18:01

    Trying to understand what you are after:

    Over say a simple "name, BMD" diagram you would like to be able to hover the mouse over an individual and if you hesitate - for say a second (configurable) - you get a "pop-up" box which can display for the name over which you are hovering a specifiable higher level of detail?

    In the current state of FH this could mean having a diagram with one text scheme, but being able to specify a different text scheme for the pop-up - via the Diagram Options dialog?

    I can see significant benefit in that - particularly for navigating complex trees. You would however want a right click on the pop-up to take you to the Properties box for editing. One particular benefit is that you could select one individual and bring up its Properties box and then hover over another individual so as to do a comparison.

    (I would then want to be able, via a right-click, to switch between the individual in the Properties box and the individual in the pop-up - which would mean using something like the "find in diagram functionality" to position the correct individual under the pop-up!)

    (CSS would enable you to define the style of the pop-up! - content visibility, size, borders, scrolling, etc.)
    David
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    Re: Diagram Window: Box Views "Exploded"

    Post by tatewise » 21 Jan 2022 18:11

    May I correct some of your apparent misunderstandings without detracting from your feature requests?

    When choosing a Custom Diagram Type that also chooses its associated Text Scheme.
    You don't have to use the Diagram > Options > Text tab to choose the Text Scheme.

    The Quick Family Facts plugin can use the shortcut Alt+T+Q once it has been added to the Tools menu.

    In the Records Window, right-click New Individual will add an unrelated person, but first hover cursor over the [+] or icon near left margin or a blank area outside the rows and columns.
    Then double-click the [unnamed person] entry to open the Property Box.

    From any workspace, Add > Unrelated Individual works as does the Alt+A+U+Enter shortcut.

    Any workspace window (except Focus Window) including the Records Window can be closed by right-clicking its icon in the lefthand Navigation bar and choosing Close Window.
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    Re: Diagram Window: Box Views "Exploded"

    Post by dbnut » 21 Jan 2022 21:53

    tatewise wrote:
    21 Jan 2022 18:11
    May I correct some of your apparent misunderstandings without detracting from your feature requests?
    Yes, please!!!
    When choosing a Custom Diagram Type that also chooses its associated Text Scheme.
    You don't have to use the Diagram > Options > Text tab to choose the Text Scheme.
    I'm prone to mis-naming, this is my fault, I need to edit wherever it was I said that. :oops:
    I probably didn't mean "Custom Diagram" at all, and most likely meant "customised diagram, in the sense of having its text scheme changed.
    I never use Custom Diagrams at all (as far as I'm aware). In any diagram window I'll extend navigation by toolbar Charts > [one of the top three items]. Modified very recently when I changed toolbar size and noticed the option "Include Key Diagrams on Main Toolbar" (nice, easier now).
    That suits me quite well because the new diagram inherits text scheme from the one I launched it from.
    My "standard" working text scheme is shown as "Verbose" below. It works for most of my daily operations, including moderately long-range navigation, and is my default... for "standard"??? diagrams.
    Sometimes, when navigating by diagram, I'll need a more compact form for "global-ish" views.
    My (possibly inefficient) way to get that is launching e.g. "Both" (Ancs+Descs) from the current diagram, then changing text scheme to "Birth, Marr, Death" or similar, and exploring from there. "All Ancestors" then "All Descendants" normally suffices from there.
    Hence my strong desire for a really quick way to change text scheme for any currently visible diagram window. And, as mentioned, preferably Favourites to have a tiny list to choose from. Text schemes are the Daddy of all Diagram Options and deserve shortcut accessibility. IMPO ;)
    By the way, I do like Ancestry's global navigation facility with movable window.

    The Quick Family Facts plugin can use the shortcut Alt+T+Q once it has been added to the Tools menu.
    Hadn't realised that, thanks.
    In the Records Window, right-click New Individual will add an unrelated person, but first hover cursor over the [+] or icon near left margin or a blank area outside the rows and columns.
    Then double-click the [unnamed person] entry to open the Property Box.
    Well I never! Bye-bye Focus Window.
    From any workspace, Add > Unrelated Individual works as does the Alt+A+U+Enter shortcut.
    But that uses the Focus Window in every case, doesn't it?
    And in a diagram I was moaning about lack of a context menu shortcut, hating the Alt A D I <Enter> which I never remember, and is why I have to muck around in the main menu.

    Any workspace window (except Focus Window) including the Records Window can be closed by right-clicking its icon in the lefthand Navigation bar and choosing Close Window.
    Er, yes, Mike. Or click "X".
    Verbose.png
    Verbose.png (67.25 KiB) Viewed 796 times
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    Re: Diagram Window: Box Views "Exploded"

    Post by dbnut » 21 Jan 2022 22:09

    davidf wrote:
    21 Jan 2022 18:01
    Trying to understand what you are after:

    Over say a simple "name, BMD" diagram you would like to be able to hover the mouse over an individual and if you hesitate - for say a second (configurable) - you get a "pop-up" box which can display for the name over which you are hovering a specifiable higher level of detail?
    Nope, not exactly.

    For any Individual box, right-click. See Properties at the bottom? A menu item above that (I suppose "My Properties" would do for now).

    Action: open a non-modal, floating, pop-up window (movable, so with a title bar) whose content and style conform to that in a predefined text scheme. For example "Paul Custom (2)" which displays as shown in a recent reply to Mike.

    Window scope exactly the boundaries of that text box.

    Zoomable, in case main diagram zoom is not good enough.

    Close with click on "X", better still <Esc>.
    Paul White
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    Re: Diagram Window: Box Views "Exploded"

    Post by dbnut » 21 Jan 2022 22:22

    davidf wrote:
    21 Jan 2022 18:01
    In the current state of FH this could mean having a diagram with one text scheme, but being able to specify a different text scheme for the pop-up - via the Diagram Options dialog?
    Yes. At the moment it's straightforward (if clumsy via menus & dialog) to add any Individual of interest in the current diagram again, as a new tree.

    Of course, that uses the same text scheme, but would be an acceptable (if horribly messy) approach if it could have a different text scheme.. which will never happen.

    And I'd expect a shorter-cut for Text Scheme selection only.
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    Re: Diagram Window: Box Views "Exploded"

    Post by dbnut » 21 Jan 2022 22:28

    davidf wrote:
    21 Jan 2022 18:01
    I can see significant benefit in that - particularly for navigating complex trees. You would however want a right click on the pop-up to take you to the Properties box for editing. One particular benefit is that you could select one individual and bring up its Properties box and then hover over another individual so as to do a comparison.
    Nope, unnecessary, as it's not modal. The "main" property box is always there (or can be) and reachable for editing, synched to whichever currently-selected diagram Individual.

    Forget the "hover" bit.

    But you have certainly opened my mind to the possibility of multiple "My Properties" open simultaneously. Why not?
    Paul White
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    Re: Diagram Window: Box Views "Exploded"

    Post by dbnut » 21 Jan 2022 22:31

    davidf wrote:
    21 Jan 2022 18:01
    (I would then want to be able, via a right-click, to switch between the individual in the Properties box and the individual in the pop-up - which would mean using something like the "find in diagram functionality" to position the correct individual under the pop-up!)
    Sorry, must be getting tired. Can't quite figure out what you mean.
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    Re: Diagram Window: Box Views "Exploded"

    Post by dbnut » 21 Jan 2022 22:40

    Idiotic choice of Subject, that. How about:

    "Diagram Window: Pop-up, Movable, Non-Modal, Multiple Instance, Read-only, My Custom View of Properties that I'm used to using via my favourite Diagram Custom Text Scheme"?

    P.S. What's the deal with "Famous" now? I didn't ask for that. In fact "Diamond" felt "empowering", like cold, hard, cutting, expensive. Should have buttoned my lip. "Infamous" feels more appropriate, anyway.
    Paul White
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