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Author Topic: Basic Q's from a drowning butterfly  (Read 1646 times)
KirbyKrieger
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« on: December 07, 2014, 05:03:35 am »

I really like the program.  I _love_ the interactive guide.  Brilliant.

I'm trying to jump in with two feet — I'm like that — but now I've got wet I find I can neither swim nor fly.  A few basic questions about how to operate the program (the tough questions will have to wait).

 - Can I "unfold" a diagram created by folding?  If folding is equivalent to "indenting" in an outline, my question is "How do I 'out-dent'?"
 - - So far I have been copying, pasting up one level, and then deleting the drill-down diagram.  It works.  In the planning stage of a project, this clumsiness retards creation.

 - Is it safe — conceptually — to consider the program topologically equivalent to an outline?  The Desktop is the single top-level item (the outline).  The Desktop holds Folders (which _are_ outline items), and Projects.  Folders can hold only other Folders or Projects.  Projects hold the Processes, Resources, and some other diagramming items (what are all the called as a group?).  Processes themselves can hold child Projects.
 - - Is there a visual display of _all_ of the information in the inShort database?
 - - Is there a visual display of _all_ of the information in a Project (something topologically equivalent to a 3D stacked view)?  Some sort of "Show All"?
 - - Doing and learning may be best engaged with fewer than 20 inputs at a time; designing, however, regularly requires seeing a map of everything important.

 - Are there simple ways to move whole "levels" of items?  For instance, to move a Process with a sub-process to a level one higher in my Project?  To take a Project I've been noodling with on the Desktop, and make it a Process within an existing Project?

 - Is there a way to increase the size of the desktop/workspace using only the mouse?  I find selecting the Inspector tab, and then clicking on one of the two sets of dimensions, and then inputting a number or using the mouse on the scroll arrow to fall short of the simply functionality of clicking-and-dragging a border.
 - - Does it auto-size larger?  Should it?

 - Likewise with "Fit Width", which I finally found on a drop-down from the Toolbar.  Is there a mouse-control (such as a Toolbar Icon) that will execute this very commonly used command with one click?

 - Likewise showing/hiding the Navigator and the Inspector.  One click?  Two clicks?  Anything that is part of the GUI and not from a menu?

 - How do I change the default font?

- What is the "Description Label" field?  I changed the font but could find nothing different.

- Where is the global search/replace for text?  I misspelled a word 8 times in my first Project, and would like to correct it (and perhaps it is there more than 8 times).

 - Other than the 2014/04/07 Use Guide ed. 5.0 for Mac — which is a great teaching tool, but not an _exemplary_ one :-) — are there any samples of inShort Projects available to registered users?  Examples would be so helpful — like the little bug I started this post with, I feel as though I have fallen out of one world and into another, one suffused with an entirely different medium, and I would love to see how others propel themselves through it.  I get bogged down just trying to understand what is, and what is not, a "Common Process".

 - On a larger scale — are there any other links, guides, etc. to inShort and to the kind of process-oriented organization it features?  The only resources I know of are the above-mentioned User Guide, the PDF also (confusingly, imho) called a User Guide (ed. 3.1, 2014), and the Help system.

Thanks.
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shortki
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« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2014, 11:09:51 pm »

Thank you for a detailed analysis of your wishes, as for me it is not
always obvious what is difficult for new users.

- Can I "unfold" a diagram created by folding?  If folding is equivalent to "indenting" in an outline, my question is "How do I 'out-dent'?"
 - - So far I have been copying, pasting up one level, and then deleting the drill-down diagram.  It works.  In the planning stage of a project, this clumsiness retards creation.

 - Is it safe — conceptually — to consider the program topologically equivalent to an outline?  The Desktop is the single top-level item (the outline).  The Desktop holds Folders (which _are_ outline items), and Projects.  Folders can hold only other Folders or Projects.  Projects hold the Processes, Resources, and some other diagramming items (what are all the called as a group?).  Processes themselves can hold child Projects.

If you think about it, folding is not equivalent to the reverse operation of unfolding, since folding creates a new object in the pre-localized place, and unfolding removes the old one, and its contents should be placed in some accessible location. Moreover, it is clear where the links of the folded objects should go — to the new parent, and during unfolding it is impossible to match the link of the parent object with one of the embedded.
As a result, we have the deterministic folding operation, and unfolding leads to an undefined result involving loss of data, so it is absent in the list of the application functions.

- - Is there a visual display of _all_ of the information in the inShort database?
 - - Is there a visual display of _all_ of the information in a Project (something topologically equivalent to a 3D stacked view)?  Some sort of "Show All"?
 - - Doing and learning may be best engaged with fewer than 20 inputs at a time; designing, however, regularly requires seeing a map of everything important.

Gantt chart gives a good overview of the structure of the project tasks in relation to time periods. If you need a more specific sample, use the reports, this is a very adaptive instrument.

- Are there simple ways to move whole "levels" of items?  For instance, to move a Process with a sub-process to a level one higher in my Project?  To take a Project I've been noodling with on the Desktop, and make it a Process within an existing Project?

Holding Alt, you can drag a copy of the object to another diagram in an adjacent window. Or use Copy/Paste. The original can then be deleted.

- Is there a way to increase the size of the desktop/workspace using only the mouse?  I find selecting the Inspector tab, and then clicking on one of the two sets of dimensions, and then inputting a number or using the mouse on the scroll arrow to fall short of the simply functionality of clicking-and-dragging a border.

This feature will be available in the new update, now I am testing it.

- - Does it auto-size larger?  Should it?

During editing, objects may slightly violate the boundaries of the diagram, and it should not lead to pushing the boundaries. That is why there is no such an automatic function.

- Likewise with "Fit Width", which I finally found on a drop-down from the Toolbar.  Is there a mouse-control (such as a Toolbar Icon) that will execute this very commonly used command with one click?

 - Likewise showing/hiding the Navigator and the Inspector.  One click?  Two clicks?  Anything that is part of the GUI and not from a menu?

I'll think what new items of the toolbar can be introduced here.

- How do I change the default font?

No, I'm not ready yet to introduce such a possibility, there are a number of fonts, the use of which results in displaying objects with abnormalities — I need to first rule out such situations. For me it is important that an inShort diagram would always look professional, even if the user has made an effort in the opposite direction.

- What is the "Description Label" field?  I changed the font but could find nothing different.

This font is used to display system labels like "Time", "Period" on the objects, as well as the names of shared resources.

- Where is the global search/replace for text?  I misspelled a word 8 times in my first Project, and would like to correct it (and perhaps it is there more than 8 times).

Global search runs through the reporting system, but there is no global replacement yet. So far I'm only getting ready for the implementation of the search function in the Navigator, maybe later I will introduce the replacement function there.

- Other than the 2014/04/07 Use Guide ed. 5.0 for Mac — which is a great teaching tool, but not an _exemplary_ one :-) — are there any samples of inShort Projects available to registered users?  Examples would be so helpful — like the little bug I started this post with, I feel as though I have fallen out of one world and into another, one suffused with an entirely different medium, and I would love to see how others propel themselves through it.  I get bogged down just trying to understand what is, and what is not, a "Common Process".

 - On a larger scale — are there any other links, guides, etc. to inShort and to the kind of process-oriented organization it features?  The only resources I know of are the above-mentioned User Guide, the PDF also (confusingly, imho) called a User Guide (ed. 3.1, 2014), and the Help system.

Common process can be used almost always, as it incorporates the abilities of all other types of processes, but it is always useful to narrow the understanding of a particular process to a more specialized type.

I've been looking for a long time for good examples to put them as samples. I studied my own diagrams, users' diagrams and came to the conclusion that the strength of these diagrams is in detailing, which is important only to the project participants and will be superfluous to an outside observer. If these details are removed, the examples become trivial and not suitable for imitation. So I always give examples fragmentarily and make them deliberately imagined. You should not constrain yourself and your projects by the framework of "samples", the main thing is that you understand, on the example of the interactive and the printable user guides, what opportunities are available to you.

However, I'm still looking for "perfect examples".
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KirbyKrieger
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« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2014, 01:37:53 am »

Thank you for a detailed analysis of your wishes, as for me it is not
always obvious what is difficult for new users.

In turn, let me thank you for taking the time to read, understand, and respond.  I can't say much more than "I appreciate that", but I can at least say it twice:  I appreciate that.   Smiley

I am going to spend some time reviewing your answers before replying further.   I'm looking forward to understanding better how to use — and how to best use — inShort.

—Kirby.
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