Author Topic: Feature Requests  (Read 24164 times)

Offline LMAshton

  • Administrator
  • No flame
  • *****
  • Posts: 20
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • A Canadian in King Pararkramabahu's Court
Feature Requests
« on: December 25, 2005, 11:40:44 AM »
It's probably handier for Fahim to have all feature requests in one place, so please, feel free to post them here.


My first request is that, when it installs, it creates shortcuts to the program in the Programs menu along with options for it to create shortcuts to Desktop and the QuickLaunch area.

That's it for now!

Offline erosomniac

  • No flame
  • *
  • Posts: 2
  • Karma: +0/-0
Great Job thusfar!
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2006, 01:23:14 PM »
VERY cool program. This is going to make my February 10^177 times easier.

Suggestions:

1) Installer: Quidscribis already said this, but allow user to install quicklaunch & desktop shortcuts? Also, the start menu shortcuts begin with Readme and end with the program executable, which bothers me every time a program does it. Could you re-order it so that the executable comes first?

2) Allow import/export of the information to a transferrable file? This is especially important to people like me, who use more than one computer on a regular basis. Also important for backups' sake.

3) Add project types other than Novel - e.g. Short Story, Poem, Poetry Anthology, Photo, Art, Play, etc., or make the field editable.

No bugs encountered, though! Great job, Fahim.

[EDIT]

Quidscribis pointed out to me how the project types (among other things) are editable, and I had this to say:


On second review, I see where you can define your own Project Types under the Status tab. My suggestion still stands, however, to make that field directly editable - much like Quicken/QuickBooks does it (drop down with categories, or simply type a new one).

Alternately, I'd suggest getting a technical writer to help with the documentation, as it wasn't immediately apparent from the documentation exactly how to go about editing any of those options, and that first screen is pretty intimidating. This coming from a web designer, so I'm not a complete computer imbecile - so I can only imagine what it might look like to the less computer-literate.

Offline theCrowsWife

  • No flame
  • *
  • Posts: 5
  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Feature Requests
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2006, 09:29:08 AM »
First, let me say that I like this program so far. Even at its current functionality, it's still mostly superior to the one I had been using. So, thank you, Fahim, for writing it. Here are some features I would like to see.

Submissions:
I would like to have a field in the Submissions dialog for the Return Date of a submission. I would also like for that field to have a column in the Submissions pane.

Contacts:
I would like to see a "Guidelines" section that is separate from the Notes section. Guidelines would be for general information about a contact, Notes would be for my experiences dealing with them. This is a minor feature wish; the software is fine without it.

I would really like to have a way to mark whether I wish to submit to a contact anymore. Some of the magazines I have submitted to have since gone out of business, so I would like to not see them as a choice when making a new submission. Something like a radio button "Submit to? Yes/No" would work.

Projects:
I would like for both the Synopsis and Notes text areas to be visible when a project is highlighted.

General:
I would like to see the dropdown menus alphabetized. As I write more stories, it will become more difficult to find the right one in the dropdown menu if it isn't alphabetized. The same goes for the Contacts dropdown menu.

For some reason, the first column of each pane (ie, Contact Type in Contacts, Type in Projects, and Title in Submissions) doesn't alphabetize properly. I'll gather some information on this and post it in the Bug topic.

The alphabetization algorithm treats lowercase separate from uppercase, so all lowercase titles show up after the uppercase titles. This isn't an issue for me at the moment, but it could be in the future.

--Mel

Offline theCrowsWife

  • No flame
  • *
  • Posts: 5
  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Feature Requests
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2006, 10:07:52 AM »
I would also really like for the program to remember what order the columns are in when it is closed.

--Mel

Offline Fahim

  • Administrator
  • Inferno
  • *****
  • Posts: 663
  • Karma: +4/-0
    • http://www.farook.org
Re: Feature Requests
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2006, 03:30:48 PM »
1) Installer: Quidscribis already said this, but allow user to install quicklaunch & desktop shortcuts? Also, the start menu shortcuts begin with Readme and end with the program executable, which bothers me every time a program does it. Could you re-order it so that the executable comes first?

Done :) The original installer did have the option to create a Start Menu group but not desktop and quick launch items. Plus, none of it was optional. I hate that. So have re-done the installer so that it fixes all this. And the excecutable now comes first in the Start Menu :p No program changes were made but the new installer is already up.

2) Allow import/export of the information to a transferrable file?

Hmm ... I'll have to figure out the mechanism to use. An SQL dump is probably the easiest but not quite user (or computer) friendly. CSV would be better but much harder to implement. I might go with an SQL dump for the moment and consider CSV for a post 1.0 feature :)

On second review, I see where you can define your own Project Types under the Status tab. My suggestion still stands, however, to make that field directly editable - much like Quicken/QuickBooks does it (drop down with categories, or simply type a new one).

That would actually be very user-friendly, I did consider it when I originally did the code. The downside is that it would be rather CPU intensive in that each time a change was done to any of the dropdown lists, I'd either have to delete the whole lot and start again or iterate through all the items, query the DB for each of them, check for changes and then update accordingly. I will see if this can be done in a different mannter though since it really would be much easier for the end user :)

Offline Fahim

  • Administrator
  • Inferno
  • *****
  • Posts: 663
  • Karma: +4/-0
    • http://www.farook.org
Re: Feature Requests
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2006, 04:32:50 PM »
First, let me say that I like this program so far. Even at its current functionality, it's still mostly superior to the one I had been using. So, thank you, Fahim, for writing it.

You're welcome. And thank you for the kind words about the app, the appreciation of the user community always makes the work worthwhile :)

I would like to have a field in the Submissions dialog for the Return Date of a submission. I would also like for that field to have a column in the Submissions pane.

I thought at first you meant a way to track the various dates involved, such as when you got a response back from the agent, when you sent out a partial etc. I originally planned to capture all those dates but realized that it makes things a bit too cumbersome and so went for the manual approach - track all those dates in the Notes field :) quid explained to me that what you meant by a Return Date was simply a way to be warned when you had not heard back from somebody for a certain period of time about a submission. If that is what you meant, will certainly implement it. I was thinking of some sort of alarm feature originally but forgot all about it along the way :p

Contacts:
I would like to see a "Guidelines" section that is separate from the Notes section. Guidelines would be for general information about a contact, Notes would be for my experiences dealing with them.

I have no problem with the feature wish itself - it's the naming that I'd have a problem with since somebody else would come along and say I want to track something else, why don't you add a field for that? :p So how if we call that Custom Information or something and add it in?

I would really like to have a way to mark whether I wish to submit to a contact anymore.

Will add this for the next release - if I forget, bug me :p

Projects:
I would like for both the Synopsis and Notes text areas to be visible when a project is highlighted.

My reasoning for leaving out Synopis was that you would know the synopsis for your story pretty well without having to see it there on the screen. The only reason the Synopsis field is there in the database at all is to be used in the submission template. Of course, I might be wrong in my assumptions and if you can point out where I've gone wrong, I'll be happy to add it :)

General:
I would like to see the dropdown menus alphabetized.

I will fix this for the next release though some of the results might not quite be what you expected :P For instance, the Contact dropdowns usually have different variations depending on what is entered - if you have a Company Name, I believe it's Company Name - First Name + Last Name but if there is no Company Name, then it's just First Name + Last Name. The sorting order will be by whatever is the first letter in the name - not the last name.

For some reason, the first column of each pane (ie, Contact Type in Contacts, Type in Projects, and Title in Submissions) doesn't alphabetize properly. I'll gather some information on this and post it in the Bug topic.

I think I know what you're referring to :) This is due to the way things are set up internally ... internally, the Contact Type is a numerical value and when you sort the column, it probably goes by the numerical value instead of the character representation assigned to that numerical value - if that makes any sense :p I didn't think anybody would really bother sorting by the Type column but will check to see if there is a way to fix that ...

The alphabetization algorithm treats lowercase separate from uppercase, so all lowercase titles show up after the uppercase titles.

Will check into this as well.

Offline Fahim

  • Administrator
  • Inferno
  • *****
  • Posts: 663
  • Karma: +4/-0
    • http://www.farook.org
Re: Feature Requests
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2006, 04:35:51 PM »
I would also really like for the program to remember what order the columns are in when it is closed.

Will see what I can do :)

Offline erosomniac

  • No flame
  • *
  • Posts: 2
  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Feature Requests
« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2006, 06:27:06 PM »
Done :) The original installer did have the option to create a Start Menu group but not desktop and quick launch items. Plus, none of it was optional. I hate that. So have re-done the installer so that it fixes all this. And the excecutable now comes first in the Start Menu :p No program changes were made but the new installer is already up.

Awesome sauce.

Hmm ... I'll have to figure out the mechanism to use. An SQL dump is probably the easiest but not quite user (or computer) friendly. CSV would be better but much harder to implement. I might go with an SQL dump for the moment and consider CSV for a post 1.0 feature :)

Cool.  I'm very unfamiliar with most coding (beyond XHTML, some Javascript and a bit of XML and Perl), so I have no idea how difficult the things I ask for are :-D.

That would actually be very user-friendly, I did consider it when I originally did the code. The downside is that it would be rather CPU intensive in that each time a change was done to any of the dropdown lists, I'd either have to delete the whole lot and start again or iterate through all the items, query the DB for each of them, check for changes and then update accordingly. I will see if this can be done in a different mannter though since it really would be much easier for the end user :)

It would be much easier, and again, I have no idea what goes into this sort of stuff, or what operations are most CPU intensive.

Offline LMAshton

  • Administrator
  • No flame
  • *****
  • Posts: 20
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • A Canadian in King Pararkramabahu's Court
Re: Feature Requests
« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2006, 06:33:36 PM »

Awesome sauce.
Would that be hot sauce, sambal oelik, or chilli sauce? :-P
Cool.  I'm very unfamiliar with most coding (snip), so I have no idea how difficult the things I ask for are :-D.
Yeah, me either.  But that's never stopped me from asking.   :-D

Offline theCrowsWife

  • No flame
  • *
  • Posts: 5
  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Feature Requests
« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2006, 05:09:23 AM »
I thought I had responded to this, but apparently my post got lost somewhere.

I would like to have a field in the Submissions dialog for the Return Date of a submission. I would also like for that field to have a column in the Submissions pane.

I thought at first you meant a way to track the various dates involved, such as when you got a response back from the agent, when you sent out a partial etc. I originally planned to capture all those dates but realized that it makes things a bit too cumbersome and so went for the manual approach - track all those dates in the Notes field :) quid explained to me that what you meant by a Return Date was simply a way to be warned when you had not heard back from somebody for a certain period of time about a submission. If that is what you meant, will certainly implement it. I was thinking of some sort of alarm feature originally but forgot all about it along the way :p

No, you were right the first time. However, I see what you mean about it being too cumbersome to have a field for every date. I didn't think of that because I'm only working the short story market right now, so there's generally only one date to keep track of. I like quid's idea, though. I think it would be useful to be reminded that a story has been out for too long. I know that Will Briggs (on the writers forums on Hatrack) wanted that feature in a submission tracking program.

Contacts:
I would like to see a "Guidelines" section that is separate from the Notes section. Guidelines would be for general information about a contact, Notes would be for my experiences dealing with them.

I have no problem with the feature wish itself - it's the naming that I'd have a problem with since somebody else would come along and say I want to track something else, why don't you add a field for that? :p So how if we call that Custom Information or something and add it in?

Whatever you want to call it is fine. I just want a way to separate out generic information about a contact from my experiences with them.

Projects:
I would like for both the Synopsis and Notes text areas to be visible when a project is highlighted.

My reasoning for leaving out Synopis was that you would know the synopsis for your story pretty well without having to see it there on the screen. The only reason the Synopsis field is there in the database at all is to be used in the submission template. Of course, I might be wrong in my assumptions and if you can point out where I've gone wrong, I'll be happy to add it :)

Well, Synopsis doesn't have to be visible from the main screen, but I would like there to be a way to display it that is more intuitive than editing the record. Perhaps there is and I just haven't figured it out yet.

For some reason, the first column of each pane (ie, Contact Type in Contacts, Type in Projects, and Title in Submissions) doesn't alphabetize properly. I'll gather some information on this and post it in the Bug topic.

I think I know what you're referring to :) This is due to the way things are set up internally ... internally, the Contact Type is a numerical value and when you sort the column, it probably goes by the numerical value instead of the character representation assigned to that numerical value - if that makes any sense :p I didn't think anybody would really bother sorting by the Type column but will check to see if there is a way to fix that ...

I only noticed the alphabetization problem when I tried to sort the Titles, but then I went through and checked all of the columns to see if it happened everywhere. I just noticed a few days ago that I was incorrect when I thought it was just the first column of each pane. It appears that every column has this problem. Do you want me to put together a step-by-step bug report?

I appreciate your hard work.

--Mel

Offline Fahim

  • Administrator
  • Inferno
  • *****
  • Posts: 663
  • Karma: +4/-0
    • http://www.farook.org
Re: Feature Requests
« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2006, 03:44:54 PM »
I only noticed the alphabetization problem when I tried to sort the Titles, but then I went through and checked all of the columns to see if it happened everywhere. I just noticed a few days ago that I was incorrect when I thought it was just the first column of each pane. It appears that every column has this problem. Do you want me to put together a step-by-step bug report?

Let me first try to reproduce the error at this end - haven't really done anything with WriteTrack in a while since I've been busy with other projects (and writing :p) Will see if I can reproduce the issue here and if I can't, I'll ask for a step-by-step ... or at least a screenshot :)

Offline theCrowsWife

  • No flame
  • *
  • Posts: 5
  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Feature Requests
« Reply #11 on: March 12, 2006, 11:16:38 AM »
I really like the UI changes in version 3. It's very cool to have the submissions grouped by story.

It would be really nice to have an import feature so that newer versions of the software can import the old database. It wasn't too bad to re-enter everything this time, but that will get old fast.

By the way, my husband (Paul) is now using WriteTrack and he likes it so far.

--Mel

Offline Fahim

  • Administrator
  • Inferno
  • *****
  • Posts: 663
  • Karma: +4/-0
    • http://www.farook.org
Re: Feature Requests
« Reply #12 on: March 12, 2006, 03:32:00 PM »
It would be really nice to have an import feature so that newer versions of the software can import the old database. It wasn't too bad to re-enter everything this time, but that will get old fast.

By the way, my husband (Paul) is now using WriteTrack and he likes it so far.

The import feature is built-in :p I hate software which is not backward compatible as far as data goes. The installer is supposed to detect your current installation folder (there might have been issues with the installer in the first few builds since I did make a few changes) and it will not overwrite your data files if they exist - it simply upgrades the program file. The program file checks the database versions when it's a new version and does any necessary changes to the data to bring it all up-to-date. I take it that you uninstalled your old version and re-installed or had some other snafu? Otherwise, the old data should have remained there ... I simply went from one build to another at this end ...

Great to hear about Paul :) Please let me know if either of you have any further suggestions for WriteTrack and I'll see what I can do ...

Offline theCrowsWife

  • No flame
  • *
  • Posts: 5
  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Feature Requests
« Reply #13 on: March 13, 2006, 02:05:51 AM »
I had no idea if the new version would overwrite the old database or not, so I installed it to a different folder. Good to know that it will update on it's own. You might want to add some text to the installer saying that it will do this, because with free software I tend to assume that newer versions are not backwards compatible unless it specifically says they are.

The only feature request I have left is this (from my first post):

Quote
I would really like to have a way to mark whether I wish to submit to a contact anymore. Some of the magazines I have submitted to have since gone out of business, so I would like to not see them as a choice when making a new submission. Something like a radio button "Submit to? Yes/No" would work.

You've put together a really useful piece of software here. It blows the previous one I'd been using out of the water.

--Mel

Offline Fahim

  • Administrator
  • Inferno
  • *****
  • Posts: 663
  • Karma: +4/-0
    • http://www.farook.org
Re: Feature Requests
« Reply #14 on: March 13, 2006, 08:28:37 AM »
You might want to add some text to the installer saying that it will do this, because with free software I tend to assume that newer versions are not backwards compatible unless it specifically says they are.

Good idea! I never thought of it because all of my software upgrades from the previous version and so it seemed a given to me :p


The only feature request I have left is this (from my first post):
Quote
I would really like to have a way to mark whether I wish to submit to a contact anymore. Some of the magazines I have submitted to have since gone out of business, so I would like to not see them as a choice when making a new submission. Something like a radio button "Submit to? Yes/No" would work.

Ah, sorry about that one - I missed that one somehow :P I will be sure to add that in to the next release which should hopefully be the 1.0 final for WriteTrack ...