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on data and views


First post on the newly created spaces category! Partially taken from an email I sent yesterday to the dev-list...

A couple of days ago Greg Greg posted an entry on 'Data Views' and some things he would like to see in software that deals with information. I agree with most of what he says, although I think that sometimes it's not so easy to make views purely "virtual" while making it clear for the user what's going on. Many people assume that information is "physical" somehow, and they might be confused by seeing that an item deleted in a certain place disappears from another. So UI elements are really important to making this work properly and to avoid confusing the user. That said, spaces will definitely include a way to create "dynamic spaces", essentially views generated against a query. A space today is already that, although you're not allowed to really modify the query that creates them. That mechanism just needs a bit of an extension for dynamic spaces to exist.

Besides the idea of dynamic spaces there is something else I'm calling "cross cutting filters" (the 'cross-cutting' liberally borrowed from 'cross-cutting concerns' such as those that AspectJ deals with) that basically define an orthogonal category of filtering on a space. This is not new, other programs do it as well, although I want it to be easier and more frequently used in spaces. An example of a cross-cutting filter would be "see unread only" or "see sent msgs only" or "see RSS msgs only" and so on. Additionally, cross cutting filters will be accessible for user-defined tags for the items. (kind of like categories). This will allow to make a space (which is commonly a reflection of a real-world activity or task) to be filtered by information-dependent parameters, and so make it much easier to navigate. I will talk about this in more detail over the next few days, and post some screenshots.

Categories: clevercactus, soft.dev
Posted by diego on February 28 2003 at 7:29 PM

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