Author Topic: Allow user entry of the Date Range for File-Based Events  (Read 276 times)

Tveloso

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Allow user entry of the Date Range for File-Based Events
« on: May 23, 2022, 09:30:07 PM »
As discussed in this post:

    https://www.photools.com/community/index.php?topic=11735.0

...the ability to "manually set" the Date Range for a non-Date-Range-Based event can be very useful.  In particular, these points from that post are good examples of when that might be needed:

(2) If I go on an expedition, it has a beginning date and an end date but I might not have taken a photograph on the first day of the expedition or on the last day - nevertheless I would like the date range of the expedition to be accurate;

(3) I would like to add an event with a date range and add files that are outside the date range but still concern that event - e.g. after an expedition you take photographs of items you collected on the expedition

Perhaps this could be available for File-Based Events only?...and IMatch could ensure that the Start Date the user has entered is less than or equal to the latest File in Event, and that the End Date is greater than or equal to the earliest File

That way we could add Files dated well after the Event actually ended, without it's End Date being extended into the future, per that File's Date (point #3 above), or we could set a Start Date that's a few days before the first file that the Event contains, so that the Event's true Start Date is accurately placed on the TimeLine (Point #2 above).

Another example might be wanting to add Files to the Event, that are Dated several days prior to the Event's actual Start Date (perhaps some amusing aspect of preparing for the event), without actually changing the Event's Start to that earlier date.

So being able to set Dates for an Event (a File-Based Event only?), so that they can differ from the Date Range of the Files the Event contains, would be a useful option.
--Tony

Mario

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Re: Allow user entry of the Date Range for File-Based Events
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2022, 09:49:06 PM »
Sounds complicated.

For file-based events, you select the files you want to create the events from. Done.
Later, you can add/remove files if needed.

Why such a complicated procedure.
You can easily use a date filter to restrict the files you see in a File Window, and then select the files which you want in the event.

Tveloso

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Re: Allow user entry of the Date Range for File-Based Events
« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2022, 02:40:30 AM »
Yes, but I think it would be valuable if, for a File-Based Event, we could add files that are dated prior-to, or after, the Event’s (current) Date Range, without that causing the Event’s Date Range to change.

So we have created a File-Based Event, instead of a Date-Based one, because there are files within the Date Range that don’t belong in the Event.  Now we want to add a few other files that are dated either before or after that date range, but we want to keep that original Date Range on the Event Timeline…(so it would be nice to have the ability to “lock in” the event’s Date Range, for a File-Based Event)…
--Tony

ubacher

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Re: Allow user entry of the Date Range for File-Based Events
« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2022, 08:28:44 AM »
I see it this way: you want to have an event display on the timeline based on dates you put in.
Otherwise you would have difficulties to find your event on the timeline.

The display of events on the timeline for "events" which are not time based (like events based on
categories or a set of selected files) has been my gripe about the events functionality.

One way I use to get around this is to include a dummy file with a date I set. But this only allows you to position the event
at the start of the timeline.

Maybe it would help if one could specify the starting date (meaning the position on the timeline) at the creation of an event?

Mario

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Re: Allow user entry of the Date Range for File-Based Events
« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2022, 11:29:40 AM »
The display of events on the timeline for "events" which are not time based (like events based on
categories or a set of selected files) has been my gripe about the events functionality.

The start time and duration of an event is always controlled by the files it contains.
Whether you assign the files manually to the event, or you 'reuse' your existing organization forms by creating files based on folders or categories you already have.
I've added folder- and category-based events so users who already organize their files by some 'event' using folders or categories can easily move that over to the Events concept in IMatch.

This feature request would allow the user to set a fixed start date and duration for an event, and then put in files from everywhere and any time.
I wrote than down as bucket event feature request in my list.

I can see that this would allow to do some flexible things with events, but I'm not sure that an event showing as January 1. to January 5. but containing files from January, December and March would be necessarily a good thing - or maybe just confusing?

Tveloso

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Re: Allow user entry of the Date Range for File-Based Events
« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2022, 03:18:14 PM »
This feature request would allow the user to set a fixed start date and duration for an event, and then put in files from everywhere and any time.
I wrote than down as bucket event feature request in my list.
I think it would be great to have such a bucket event Type.  The File-Based Event Type is already almost that...so perhaps it can be given another configuration option that can be enabled when needed.

I can see that this would allow to do some flexible things with events, but I'm not sure that an event showing as January 1. to January 5. but containing files from January, December and March would be necessarily a good thing - or maybe just confusing?
When you put it that way, it does sound like something that wouldn't make sense to do...(and could even cause "extra" support cases).  But with a bucket event feature, expressly designed for that situation, it could be made plain that the Event Tile for an Event of that type has been "manually placed", and that its placement "completely violates" its contents.

IMatch gives us so many features that are intended only for very unique situations, and this could be another of those...
--Tony

Mario

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Re: Allow user entry of the Date Range for File-Based Events
« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2022, 04:39:26 PM »
IMatch gives us so many features that are intended only for very unique situations, and this could be another of those...

That is true. But it is also true that adding options / features for unique situations which are useful for maybe less than a handful of users, makes IMatch more complicated and less appealing for new or casual users.

It's all about balance...

I don't try to dumb down IMatch to the level of simple / entry-level catalogers. Not my target audience.
But I always try to make IMatch easier to use and less intimidating for new users. Like, recently hiding a lot of the more complex options behind an expert mode setting.
Adding more options/features/switches/toggles or, in this case, event variants, is something that requires some deep thinking and evaluation.

I do see some appeal in a bucket event type, allowing users to fix an event manually on the time line, and then filling it with files from any point of time.
And I'm always looking into things I can improve to support IMatch users better.
Which is why I keep this on my list for the next major release of IMatch (because this would be a substantial addition to events and it would affect quite a lot of code, documentation and UI).

But if only one or two users see a need for a new type of event, I think it may not be that important. Always difficult to decide without solid user feedback and +1's.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2022, 07:41:43 PM by Mario »

Mario

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Re: Allow user entry of the Date Range for File-Based Events
« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2022, 09:35:31 AM »
After pondering this for a while I've decided to implement a concept I named pinned events. For IMatch 2022/2023.

All event types, except date-based events, now support an additional "Pin this event" option.
When enabled, the user can pin/place the event at a specific day on the timeline and also enter a pinned end date (>= pinned start date).

So, if an event contains files from Feb. 1., 2022 to June 19., 2022, the user can now pin this event on January 1. 2022, if so desired.
Or pin it to the original start day, but reduce the duration of the event visible on the timeline by entering an earlier pin end date.

If a user creates events based on categories or folders, sometimes there are outlier files, with dates way outside the date range covered by the actual files in the event.
This can result in events with an excessive duration (months or even years). Pinning such an event and entering a more realistic pinned end date solves this problem neatly, reducing the length of the event bar in the timeline.

The Timeline View indicates pinned events with a special pin icon in the event tile.
The start and end date shown in the tile are the original (calculated) start and end date, as before.
The pin icon tooltip displays the pinned start and end date.

A pinned event on the timeline. The actual event spans 2015 to 2020 but is pinned to June 29. and limited to a 7 day duration:


Tveloso

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Re: Allow user entry of the Date Range for File-Based Events
« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2022, 02:00:55 PM »
An elegant implementation of this feature!  Thank you so much Mario.

I’m getting excited for what these hints of IMatch 2022/2023 features might mean!…
--Tony