[request] Resources opening to the Left/Right Panel

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Kendall Sholtess | Forum Activity | Posted: Fri, Apr 17 2015 1:10 AM

 It seems that I remember that in past editions of Logos Bible software (or Libronix), resources initially opened up to the left side of the visual panel area upon initual opening. At some point, it was annoyingly (for me) changed to the right side of the panel. This makes me do an extra step of dragging it to the left side every single time. I like to have my Bible on the left and commentary on the right.

  Please give us a choice how we want to open it. I would suggest a button in program settings.Smile

  Let me surmise that the reason it was changed was because Faithlife found that the majority of users prefer the right pane. Maybe, the majority of users are left brained, highly analytical people. Or maybe just the programmers are.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Apr 17 2015 1:14 AM

The pattern of opening is a bit more complex than you describe but you are right that it doesn't meet everyone's preference. Many of us use the drag and drop method of opening a resource whenever it is practical so that we can place the resource at our choice of location.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 178
Kendall Sholtess | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Apr 17 2015 3:20 AM

I just want to clarify that my commentary was done with a smile, which y'all cannot see.

I hope, kindly, that this issue can be helped. Smile  I love Logos, truly, which is why I keep buying new resources when I could have spent the same for a new car.

Smile (Not the most expensive new car, but nevertheless...)

Posts 178
Kendall Sholtess | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Apr 17 2015 3:23 AM

@ MJ Smith

Over 17,000 posts! WHEW!  I wish well for your wrists.  My count is low because I always peck a bit at the keyboard. It's a real trial to sstop sstuttering on the kkeybboard. typ-os

Posts 101
Dan Langston | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Apr 17 2015 4:36 AM

I enjoyed reading your post and agree wholeheartedly.  It seems the fix could be easy.  I have spent hours searching through tutorials, wikis, and forums trying to figure out how to adjust it.  I know we can use default layouts, but it's not the same as putting the resource where you want it when you want it.

Thanks for bringing it up.

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Graham Criddle | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Apr 17 2015 4:49 AM

Dan Langston:
but it's not the same as putting the resource where you want it when you want it.

Have you looked into the capability which MJ outlined above allowing us to drag resources to exactly where we want them when we open them?

Posts 101
Dan Langston | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Apr 17 2015 10:35 AM

Yes, I"m glad at least we can do that in even more places than vertical left or right

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Eli Evans (Faithlife) | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Apr 20 2015 9:56 AM

This question comes up periodically. 

Short answer: There's broad consensus that the tiled layout we have in L4/5/6 is great, except that panel opening is kind of mysterious. We'd like to fix that, too, but it's much more complicated than it might first seem.

Long answer:

L2 and L3 were what's called a multi document interface, or MDI. An MDI is basically windows-within-windows where can open multiple "document" (in our case document, resource, tool, and guide) windows inside of the main application. These child windows work like regular application windows in all respects, except that they are contained within their parent window (the app). They can be maximized, minimized, and most importantly, they can overlap.

The new window opening algorithm was simple: New resources on the right, new tools/reports on the left. This worked really well as long as you never deviated from the two vertical halves left and right layout.

When we did our user research for the L4 design, we found that many many users were experiencing frustration because their windows were overlapping and partially or wholly obscuring windows "behind." (L3 had a sort of rudimentary "tab" interface, but that would only work if you locked in two or more windows to exactly the same X,Y coordinates and size. So it failed easily and often.) Minimizing a window didn't really make it go away, it just made it tiny and shoved it to the bottom left corner, behind everything else.

We also asked users to send us screen shots of their favorite work setups. We found that every single one of them used all the empty space on the screen with no gaps. When we watched users creating these layouts, we also found that they spent a lot (and I mean A LOT) of wasted clicks and drags fiddling with the borders of child windows to cover the gaps. We found several people intentionally left a small strip of empty space in the lower-left corner of the screen. Puzzled, we asked those users why they set it up that way. It was so that minimized windows wouldn't get "lost" but would go into this little gap in the lower left.

Our design solution to both of these problems was to create a tiled layout system where every window is "docked" into a portion of the screen and all of the screen real estate is used (with the exception that we only use one half when there's only one tile). This solved all of the foregoing problems very elegantly. It's a very sophisticated docking/tiling system that (if I may say myself), I've never seen equaled. With the true tabbing system on top of the automatic space-filling tile layout system, it's really second to none. 

In the L4/5/6 layout system, the screen is divided into tiles that a) must occupy all the available space, and b) cannot overlap.

But every design comes with trade-offs. In the old system, the panel opening logic was dead simple. In the new system, you could create any layout with impunity and be certain that no windows were lost. But the rule that tiles cannot overlap means that the panel opening algorithm has to choose which tile to open a new tab into.

Turns out, there isn't a right answer, because sometimes you want like panels stacked on top of each other (eg, all Bibles in the upper-right corner) but sometimes you don't (eg, you're reading these translations side-by-side to compare). We decided on this heuristic, which isn't perfect:

(1) Some panels should open in a new floating window because their content is large. For example, Timeline. Other panels we think should open in sidebars, for example, Favorites.

(2) Of the remaining panels, we first check for open empty space, and open there. If there's no empty space, we compare the metadata of all open tiles and open the new panel into the tile that most closely matches. So, if you stack a lot of Bible dictionaries into a corner, it's more likely (but not guaranteed) that opening another Bible dictionary will stack on top.

(3) HOWEVER, there's a final rule, and that is that if you open a new panel from a hyperlink, we try very hard not to open that new panel on top of the one you just clicked in (ie, the one you're working with). We originally didn't have this rule and found a lot of users weren't happen that clicking a Bible reference in a commentary was likely to open the Bible over top of the commentary they were reading (and other similar situations -- clicking anywhere in a Passage Guide pretty much assured that Passage Guide was going to get covered up).

This heuristic creates a certain unpredictability to panel opening that we don't particularly care for, either, but it's the least-worst alternative.

We have several ideas for how to give a panel a user-specified preference on where to open. Current thinking is that the simplest approach is to attack rule #1 in the heuristic above: Let people decide for new default locations (main layout, left sidebar, right sidebar, or new floating window) for whichever panels they feel most strongly about. Some people, for example, almost always drag Text Comparison out of the right sidebar into the main layout, because they want to see the comparisons side-by-side instead of stacked on top of one another. You should be able to tell Logos that's your style, and to stick to it.

Other ideas have users drawing out empty tiles in their preferred layout, with some sort of rule system to guide newly opened panels to those tiles, sort of like Collection rules. For example, you could draw a rectangle on the upper-right corner and declare that "type:bible" goes there, no questions asked. (Lots of corner cases here.)

Maybe one or the other. Maybe both. Maybe, maybe — someday.

One thing we won't do is go back to a classic MDI interface. Those have (thankfully) mostly died out.

I hope that's a helpful explanation of how we got where we are and were we might go from here. Happy hunting!

Posts 101
Dan Langston | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Apr 20 2015 11:12 AM

Thanks Eli.  That's very interesting.  I like the current thinking simplest approach.  It may even ease the learning curve for new users.

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Raif | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Aug 18 2015 12:50 PM

Would it be possible to allow the option to choose placement with a right-mouse-click?

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NB.Mick | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Aug 18 2015 2:31 PM

Eli Evans:
(3) HOWEVER, there's a final rule, and that is that if you open a new panel from a hyperlink, we try very hard not to open that new panel on top of the one you just clicked in (ie, the one you're working with).

This is a very sensible rule. Could you (as a kind of stop-gap measure against a regular frustration of mine) please apply this to "copy this panel to a new tab", too? I can't imagine a use case for this where the user wants the copy on top of the original, hiding it - which to me counteracts the idea of having it in the firstplace - but which happens regularly in the current setup.  

Running Logos 8 latest beta version on Win 10

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Mike Binks | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Aug 19 2015 12:27 AM

Eli Evans:
Some people, for example, almost always drag Text Comparison out of the right sidebar into the main layout, because they want to see the comparisons side-by-side instead of stacked on top of one another.

This is one panel, another is the library, where I always want it to open in a floating window.

I have a mental model of some panels being of the type 'overview' in that I want to scan information in bulk rather than in detail.

In most of my work I tend to have the passage guide in a floating window as well.

However my biggest frustration is that Logos often opens with floating panels behind the main box. When a layout designed on a multi-screen environment opens on a single screen there should be a rule that floating windows always get loaded on top.

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Graham Criddle | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Aug 19 2015 12:41 AM

NB.Mick:
I can't imagine a use case for this where the user wants the copy on top of the original, hiding it

I actually find this quite helpfulSmile

I often use it where I have a number of commentaries open in one panel and Bibles open in another. I often create a copy of my "main Bible" and set it to receive hyperlinks so that when I click on a reference in a commentary it goes to the copy and then I can easily switch back to my main Bible afterwards. That way I can have the commentary and the referenced text visible at the same time while studying it.

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Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Aug 19 2015 2:03 AM

Raif:
Would it be possible to allow the option to choose placement with a right-mouse-click?

What would be the benefit of that over the current option of choosing placement by dragging?

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Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Aug 19 2015 2:08 AM

NB.Mick:

Eli Evans:
(3) HOWEVER, there's a final rule, and that is that if you open a new panel from a hyperlink, we try very hard not to open that new panel on top of the one you just clicked in (ie, the one you're working with).

This is a very sensible rule. Could you (as a kind of stop-gap measure against a regular frustration of mine) please apply this to "copy this panel to a new tab", too?

In the meantime, you can CTRL+drag to copy a pane to a new panel (presumably CMD+drag on a Mac).

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NB.Mick | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Aug 19 2015 2:39 AM

Graham Criddle:

NB.Mick:
I can't imagine a use case for this where the user wants the copy on top of the original, hiding it

I actually find this quite helpfulSmile

I often use it where I have a number of commentaries open in one panel and Bibles open in another. I often create a copy of my "main Bible" and set it to receive hyperlinks so that when I click on a reference in a commentary it goes to the copy and then I can easily switch back to my main Bible afterwards. That way I can have the commentary and the referenced text visible at the same time while studying it.

In this same situation I want to still see my main bible at its orginal location (i.e. the copy showing the referenced verses to be in another location, not covering it) - otherwise "go there" and "switch back" would be identical to just keeping the main bible visible and have it jump to the referenced position and then back to the one under study.   

Running Logos 8 latest beta version on Win 10

Posts 21
Alan | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Sep 19 2016 2:46 AM

I would prefer a simple method of remembering where the resource was last positioned and for it to open in in the same place again.

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