Workflow Editor Improvements

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Reuben Helmuth | Forum Activity | Posted: Sat, Nov 3 2018 5:07 AM

I've started a list of the features that I think should be added to the Workflow Editor. These are in the order of importance (as I see it) which may change based on the input of others. The purpose behind this post is to provide a "hub" for discussing workflow editor improvements. Each item will become a link to a thread dedicated to that item (as I get those started).

  1. Multiple Note Support
    • Any step should allow multiple notes to be added, especially in light of the fact that a reference workflow will generally be on multiple verses.
  2. Option to specify Commentary Collection 
    • The commentary section should allow a collection of commentaries to be specified and display this within the workflow.
  3. Allow Defining of Note Attributes
    • Allow us to define tags etc, to Notes created within a WF step.
  4. Option to specify a resource for “Read” step
    • The Read step needs to allow us to specify a text other than the default Bible.
  5. Project Name Field
    • This is especially important as it relates to Notes and Notebooks.
  6. Pass the key to a link
    • We should be able to use the key value as part of an embedded link.
  7. Pass the key to Search
    • The key value should be able to be passed as a search parameter
  8. Deep-link WF notes
    • Clicking the Workflow anchor of a WF note in Notes should go to the exact location of the note in the WF.
  9. Key type: Date
    • Provide a key type for Calendar dates (MJ, will this suffice for liturgical dates or no?).
  10. Key Type: Multi-Passage
    • Studying interconnected passages would benefit from this
  11. Guide Section: Collections
    • This would allow a collection of non-commentaries that mention the key reference.
  12. Set Preferred Bible
    • A Workflow should be able to set its own default Bible.
  13. Definable label for the Expandable Text section
    • Allow us to choose what is displayed (e.g. “Help”)
  14. Additional sub-level
    • At least one additional level would help in organizing more complex/thorough workflows.
  15. Indicate opened resources
    • By simply changing the font color on a link once clicked (as in a web browser), the user will be able to see which commentaries, for example, have already been opened/consulted.
  16. Add an "Open Layout" option
    • This would open the specified layout with all applicable resources located at the WF key.
  17. Option to make a Note mandatory
    • This would help ensure that research is being noted at critical junctures.
  18. Display "Question" text in note
    • This would provide context for the note/observation
  19. Embedded video player
      • The ability to play a LogosPro video within the workflow (preferably in an expandable text section) would allow a robust “help” system to be integrated into the workflow.
    1. Reference filter per item
      • Each item (rather than just each step) should have the ability to show/hide based on a reference range.
    2. Subsidiary Workflows
    3. Preview/Update/Refresh button
      • This would provide the ability to view the results without closing the editor.
    4. Convert Text object to Expandable Text object and vice-versa.

    Implemented in 8.2 beta 1:

    1. Guide Section: Journals
      • This section would be a complement to the Commentaries section.
    2. Define a resource set for Text Comparison
      • Allow us to set a list of Bibles to display in TC.
    3. Guide Section: Textual Variants
      • Original language work isn’t complete without engaging with textual criticism.
    4. Guide Section: Textual Variants
      • Original language work isn’t complete without engaging with textual criticism.

    Implemented in 8.2 beta 3:

    Please use this thread primarily to discuss a feature's Placement in the list (priority) or to suggest additions. Use the dedicated threads (once created) to discuss the details of a particular feature.

    Posts 898
    Justin Gatlin | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Nov 3 2018 8:39 AM

    I would really like the ability to open a layout from the workflow editor, where the reference fields of the layout are set to the key under consideration (if defined for that resource, otherwise they should stay at their last place). So I could have an observation layout, an illustration layout, etc. 

    Posts 1
    Jeffrey Palen | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Nov 3 2018 8:39 AM

    This is great! Many of these changes will really take the tool to the next level for productivity. Number 7 is huge. If your preferred bible is set to an English translation, you may want to use a WF specific to the original languages. This seems to inspired by workflow tools used for project management, and as such i would expect be more flexibility to accommodate what a user wants to accomplish. 

    I think the 'product' of the tool should be an organized document of some kind. For instance this could be leveraged to export to detailed notes, or even a rough draft for a paper. I was drawn to this under the impression i could build a workflow based off a instructors guidelines (for exegesis) and streamline the process coherently. Maybe I just have not figured it out yet, but this does not seem to be the intention for the initial release. 

    Posts 1998
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    Reuben Helmuth | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Nov 3 2018 10:23 AM

    Justin Gatlin:
    I would really like the ability to open a layout from the workflow editor, where the reference fields of the layout are set to the key

    Great suggestion, Justin. I've added this to the list (now #18). Please feel free start a new thread (linked back to this thread) detailing how this would be helpful and how it might work, then post back here with the link and I'll add the link to the initial post.

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    NB.Mick | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Nov 3 2018 10:39 AM

    Thanks Reuben.

    You often write about the "key" and mean the bible verse reference one has to input before starting a workflow. I personally don't see this as a key - and not even as a suitable identifier. I'd ask Logos to let us add any name (just as with other Logos documents) to identify it. One good example comes from a Logos supplied Workflow for Sermon preparation: selecting the bible verse/passage to preach about (only one, currently) is actually a substep in the WF! 

    Then there could/should be several variables I can use in a Workflow, such as one to four bible verses, a calendar date and a liturgical date, maybe a preferred English and preferred OL bible, maybe any other things Logos has indexes for which could later be used when opening guides, resources or whatever from the WF.    

    IMHO, this would make the WFs much more suitable to the various use cases they can be employed for, and should be quite near the top of a list of proposed improvements.

    Running Logos 8 latest beta version on Win 10

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    Reuben Helmuth | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Nov 3 2018 11:08 AM

    NB.Mick:
    You often write about the "key" and mean the bible verse reference one has to input before starting a workflow.

    I'm simply using Faithlife's terminology and it's not a Bible reference when the workflow is one of the other "key" types (Person, Place, Event, Topic, etc).

    NB.Mick:
    I personally don't see this as a key - and not even as a suitable identifier.

    I can see advantages and disadvantages to using this as an ID. Initially, I was shocked that each instance wouldn't get a UUID but then during the beta process when there was some corruption and I had to delete my Workflows DB, I was pleasantly surprised to have all my notes reassociated once I started a new instance on the same reference as before...

    NB.Mick:

    I'd ask Logos to let us add any name (just as with other Logos documents) to identify it. ... Then there could/should be several variables I can use in a Workflow, such as one to four bible verses, a calendar date and a liturgical date, maybe a preferred English and preferred OL bible, maybe any other things Logos has indexes for which could later be used when opening guides, resources or whatever from the WF

    So you're asking for a more "free-form" workflow, right? Perhaps we need a "Key Type: Free-form". 😜By the way, I'm not at all opposed to your proposal, provided I can wrap my mind around the ins-n-outs of how it would work. Also, I'd be hesitant to do away with the more structured approach (if you're even proposing that).

    If you'd like to start a dedicated thread for your suggestion, with details of the how and why (and link back to this thread), I'll put it in the list and link to your thread! I'd love to see a lively discussion around this one!

    Posts 506
    Tim Taylor | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Nov 3 2018 11:32 AM

    I'm loving these suggestions! I'm especially hoping for #3 and/or #5 for what I'm needing to use it for. Without either of these, the functionalities are quite limited. With these additions, the Workflow Editor becomes much more powerful and useful! I am really hoping these suggestions get implemented. Thanks for taking the time to give this feedback.

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    Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Nov 3 2018 11:48 AM

    I'd like the ability to add hyperlinks to questions. I'm creating my own sermon prep workflow, and I'd like to link to some preaching text books for some of the questions, so I can periodically remind myself of the purpose and importance of the question.

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    Reuben Helmuth | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Nov 3 2018 12:15 PM

    Mark Barnes:
    I'd like the ability to add hyperlinks to questions

    I heartily agree. Other text formatting should be available as well. I've added it to the list.

    Posts 898
    Justin Gatlin | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Nov 3 2018 1:06 PM

    Reuben Helmuth:

    Justin Gatlin:
    I would really like the ability to open a layout from the workflow editor, where the reference fields of the layout are set to the key

    Great suggestion, Justin. I've added this to the list (now #18). Please feel free start a new thread (linked back to this thread) detailing how this would be helpful and how it might work, then post back here with the link and I'll add the link to the initial post.

    https://community.logos.com/forums/p/174525/1008406.aspx#1008406 

    Posts 9
    Dirk Boersma | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Nov 3 2018 2:31 PM

    Hi Reuben,

    This is a great initiative.

    I would like to suggest an addition to your list: exporting notes created in a workflow.

    After using a workflow I need to get an overview of my notes in one document, with all notes shown in the order followed in the workflow, including the headings and descriptions of the sections under which they were created.

    Currently, there is no easy way to export my notes in the right order. The only way to export notes from a workflow is by going to 'Notes' but it is cumbersome and it does not present the notes in the right order.

    I went to 'Notes' and filtered my workflow notes. This only shows notes sorted by 'date created' or 'date modified' and only in decreasing order. This is very limited: 1) it starts with the most recent note, so it is mostly in an order opposite to the steps I followed in the workflow. 2) If you edit any notes later on, the order is mixed up.

    Also, the notes created do not have any reference to their location in the workflow.

    It would be better if the workflow provided a direct export function, including ways to tweak the sort order.

    Posts 1998
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    Reuben Helmuth | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Nov 7 2018 12:38 PM

    Dirk M. Boersma:

    Currently, there is no easy way to export my notes in the right order. The only way to export notes from a workflow is by going to 'Notes' but it is cumbersome and it does not present the notes in the right order.

    If you open the Notebook created by the workflow (from the Notebooks tab; not the filter facet), the default sort order should be "notebook" which will initially be identical to "date created" but you'll be able to re-order manually if desired. Were you aware of this?

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    Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Nov 10 2018 2:06 AM

    I have two further suggestions:

    1. Allow us to specify the note icon for each note in the Workflow editor.
    2. Allow us to specify the Notebook for each Workflow (including an option to have one Notebook for ALL instances of the workflow).

    When I fill in a workflow, some of the fields will be really useful to have accessible in my Bible. But if all the fields show note icons in my Bible, some parts of my Bible is going to have more note icons than text! So I'd like to be able to specify that the most important fields have note icons, while others remain invisible.

    On the second issue, I understand that having a separate notebook for each workflow may make sharing easier. But 99% of the time I don't want to share. In the meantime, my Visual Filter and Notes Filter menu are getting clogged up with useless information.

    Posts 987
    Richard Wardman | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Nov 10 2018 4:32 AM

    Mark Barnes:

    1. Allow us to specify the note icon for each note in the Workflow editor.
    2. Allow us to specify the Notebook for each Workflow (including an option to have one Notebook for ALL instances of the workflow).

    I'd had the same thought about note icons, and it makes sense to have control over exactly where workflow notes end up going. 

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    Reuben Helmuth | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Nov 10 2018 8:09 AM

    Mark, I think both of your suggestions are already covered. Let me know if you disagree.

    Mark Barnes:
    Allow us to specify the note icon for each note in the Workflow editor.

    This one I think is covered by a couple existing suggestions. The 'WF Editor Suggestion: Auto-set Note Attributes' suggestion has:

    Reuben Helmuth:
    Please let us set the following note attributes at each step in the WF:

    • Tag(s)
    • Labels
    • Note Icon
    • Note Icon Color
    • Highlight Palette/Style
    • Notebook (as over-ride to default assignment)
    • Note Content Type

    The above would control the default per step. The 'WF Editor Suggestion: Support Multiple Notes per Step', on the other hand, allows for setting the icon/icon color within the WF step for each note as seen here:

    Mark Barnes:
    Allow us to specify the Notebook for each Workflow (including an option to have one Notebook for ALL instances of the workflow).

    I would say this is covered in 'WF Editor Suggestion: Add "Project Name" field (significant to Notebooks)'. Here's the main paragraph from that post:

    Reuben Helmuth:

    The project name field for a workflow instance would default to the project name last used by that workflow and would be editable at the same time as (or immediately after) entering the key. It would have auto-complete suggestions from previously entered names (much like the tags field in Notes). If this (optional) field contained a value, all notes from that WF instance would get assigned to a Notebook with the corresponding name. If the field were left empty, either 1) notes would be assigned to No Notebook or 2) notes would be assigned to a workflow type notebook (as Mark suggested).

     Are there nuances that you want that I'm missing?

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    Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Nov 10 2018 9:20 AM

    Yes, sorry, Reuben. I read through your list of suggestions before posting, but hadn't clicking through for the detail. That said, I think that Faithlife would think some of the "several things in one" suggestions overly complex, or may want to implement some parts of them and not others.

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    Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Nov 10 2018 11:53 PM

    One more suggestion from me.

    When I hover over a Workflow note in my Bible (or viewing it in the Notes tool), I'd like the Workflow question to be automatically added to the note. Without the question, lots of my notes don't make sense.

    It's a shame Faithlife deprecated the "Title" field for notes. It would have been ideal for this.

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    Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Nov 11 2018 1:33 AM

    And another.

    When I click on the Workflow anchor in the notes tool, I'd like to be taken to the correct step in the workflow, not just to the workflow.

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    Reuben Helmuth | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Nov 11 2018 2:14 AM

    Mark Barnes:
    I think that Faithlife would think some of the "several things in one" suggestions overly complex, or may want to implement some parts of them and not others.

    Would you care to elaborate? I'm aware that "Support Multiple Notes" has quite a bit of detail in the post. This is because it was part of a couple longer discussions during the beta period and I simply copied the result into this post. Are there others which you consider "several things in one"?

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    Reuben Helmuth | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Nov 11 2018 2:57 AM

    Mark Barnes:
    When I hover over a Workflow note in my Bible (or viewing it in the Notes tool), I'd like the Workflow question to be automatically added to the note. Without the question, lots of my notes don't make sense.

    Great idea! Perhaps this could be the "Full Anchor Text" of the Workflow anchor as well. I'll add this to the list.

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