Feature Request: line numbers

Feature requests, and in-depth discussions of features and the way Mellel works

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pacito
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Feature Request: line numbers

Post by pacito » Fri Jan 14, 2011 3:07 pm

I apologize if this has been mentioned before (I can't imagine that it has not, but my search for 'line number' was returned empty as both words were too common).

I am a rather new Mellel user, and I have loved everything about Mellel thus far. When I attempted to format a critical edition I am working on with line numbers I was rather shocked to discover that Mellel seems to be incapable of line numbering.

This seems a rather basic feature, especially when the software has serious writers in mind. Perhaps line numbering is already in development? If so, I would like to request that it be included in the development cycle as soon as possible.

rpcameron
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Re: Feature Request: line numbers

Post by rpcameron » Fri Jan 14, 2011 8:30 pm

No, Mellel does not offer line numbering. It may be in the works, but no one really knows. Back in August 2010 (a little over 5 months ago) Ori posted The state of Mellel (a road map of sorts), but not real information has been provided since then.

If line numbers are necessary for your work, I suggest looking elsewhere, since there is no timeline when they will (if ever) be implemented in Mellel.
— Robert Cameron

pacito
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Re: Feature Request: line numbers

Post by pacito » Mon Jan 17, 2011 8:13 am

Thanks for this information - even if it is rather disappointing.

I've enjoyed Mellel tremendously in every other respect. I suppose I can't really get my mind around the fact that software engineered for serious writers does not include such a basic feature.

Mart°n
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Re: Feature Request: line numbers

Post by Mart°n » Mon Jan 17, 2011 9:59 pm

I guess Mellel was not initially developed or designed to be a tool for »serious writers« but was chosen by many people because of its robust features. Unfortunately, line numbering is not among those.
Currently (and since December) a beta of Mellel 2.8 is in the hands of some beta testers, waiting for further refinement. So there is still some hope! While it does contain some nice new features, line numbering is still not there, so if you need that feature now (or in the next months) I wouldn’t wait for it to appear in Mellel and chose another application.

Eyal Redler
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Re: Feature Request: line numbers

Post by Eyal Redler » Wed Feb 02, 2011 11:17 pm

We're currently thinking about the scope of this feature. I would love to hear people's opinions about it. What do you need in line numbering? what do you like/hate about the implementation in other word processors? What kind of options would you like to see?
Last edited by Eyal Redler on Wed Feb 02, 2011 11:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: punctuation
Eyal Redler
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Flo
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Re: Feature Request: line numbers

Post by Flo » Thu Feb 03, 2011 9:22 am

Although I regard other improvement of features to be more urgent (due to my specific use of Mellel, like splitting tables over pages and tie captions to diagrams/pictures so they are not separated onto different pages), line numbering would indeed be useful. We use it to discuss texts (like interviews) in a detailled manner and to be able to refer quickly to a specific point in a text.

Line numbering could include the following options:
- The option of not only numbering every line, but also every other/third/fourth/... line (eg. 1,5,10,15 or 2,4,6,8 etc.)
- The option of numbering the lines only in one or several parts of a document (eg. to include a line numbered section of an interview in a text that is not line numbered). There should be the option of choosing for every line numbered section the starting point for numbering.
- Horizontal placement: to the left and/or right of the text (only on one side or on both sides), not dependent on whether you write from left to right or right to left. It may be a good solution to place them 'outside' of the text area, ie. between the page border and the margins, as one should not be required to ‘indent’ all the paragraphs to make room for the numbering. One should be able to have the numbers placed automatically in the margin area or to place them manually.
- The option, of course, to choose fonts, color etc. Maybe a line numbering style would be a good thing to vary appearance in different style sets.
- The option of a vertical separating line between numbers and text.
- The option to align them left or right (by what kind of 'tab' they are aligned)
- The option whether or not to print the line numbers (as it is now planned for the track changes feature).
- Maybe an option to 'interrupt' numbering. Eg.: In a discussion of an interview, show the first 7 lines (numbered), interrupt the numbering to add a few lines of comments and then continue with the next section of the interview and pick up line numbering where it stopped (8, 9, 10 ...)
- Maybe an option to use cross references to point to lines (eg. "see line No 7 of the interview…")
- For typographic control: Maybe an option to choose where to place the numbers vertically in relation to the line (on the baseline or a certain amount of points above or below the baseline).
- From a user’s point of view, I am not sure where it makes most sense to 'locate' this functionality. Maybe make it part of the Mellel ‘section’? Or ‘tie’ it to an auto title element? A paragraph? For numbering large amounts of texts, the section version might make sense. For numbering small portions, a paragraph option might be ok. And for continuing the numbering with large portions of unnumbered text inbetween, an option linked to tag flows might make sense.

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Re: Feature Requests

Post by Flo » Thu Feb 03, 2011 3:28 pm

A question to the Redlers: I've got a couple of other suggestions for improvements of existing or adding new features. Where shall I post them? I've lost track over the multiple threads on feature requests in the two forums (one was just opened again). Would it perhaps make sense to open a third forum for feature requests?

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Re: Feature Request: line numbers

Post by Eyal Redler » Fri Feb 04, 2011 3:11 pm

Thanks for the detailed list. I think it covers most possible options, obviously we will need to pick and choose. Any thought regarding that process would be welcome.
Regarding more feature requests, if you have a new one, by all means, send us an email or start a thread in this section (nitty and gritty), otherwise, if there is already a thread, you might want to "revive" it and vote for it again and we could discuss that.

As a side/general note: I'm sure we said that already in the past but it worth mentioning again: We welcome any feature suggestions and requests but we actually have no shortage of planned features. The hard part is deciding which are more important. I think an effective way of discussion must acknowledge that and enable us to distinguish between the "would be nice" and the "must have".
Eyal Redler
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jannuss
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Re: Feature Request: line numbers

Post by jannuss » Fri Feb 04, 2011 5:20 pm

Eyal,

I started a2.9 wish list thread http://forum.redlers.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=2463 two weeks ago asking users what their top priority feature is. So far the answers are
-- line numbers
-- improved sections with text flow between columns
-- improved tables
-- reworking the Mellel GUI
etc.

Janet

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Re: Feature Request: line numbers

Post by ahankinson » Fri Feb 04, 2011 6:36 pm

One suggestion might be to start a third forum *just* for feature requests. One thread per request.

The problem with adding a "feature request" thread in an existing forum ("nitty and gritty") is that the actual feature requests get lost in the discussion of the feature requests -- people offering up alternative solutions, or putting in a "me too" for a certain feature. I find it hard to browse the 2.9 request thread because of this, and many times good ideas get lost in the shuffle.

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Re: Feature Request: line numbers

Post by Flo » Sat Feb 05, 2011 12:38 pm

Before I list the features I’d suggest, let me note this: Mellel is already very good regarding stability and speed while working with large and complex documents (600 pages, tables, pictures). Please no new features that threaten stability (and speed) or contribute to ‹corrupted› style sets and auto-title flows.

It is indeed difficult to rank the features; some are equally important. While I don’t need them for the current project, it is likely that I need them for future projects. I usually work with long documents and prefer features that 'automate' layout taks that are time-consuming to do manually (cf. the first request).
  • The option to «attach» captions to pictures, tables etc., so they flow with them and don’t get separated onto different pages (I use tag flows for captions).
  • Tables: The option to split or not to split tables across pages, while the option of splitting across pages should include repeated rows/columns on the next page and an automatically added remark («continued on the next page» etc.)
  • An ‹orphan›/‹widow› rule for text after titles: Most of my autotitles are actually, well, titles, but not unfrequently, they get placed at the bottom of the page and the following text starts on the next page. In this case, I manually move the title to the next page. It would be nice if autotitles have an option that checks how many lines of the paragraphy immediately following the title are on the same page. You could then choose a minium of lines of text (eg. 3). If there’s three or more lines of text immediately after the autotitle on the same page, than the title stays there. If there are less than three lines on that page, the autotitle gets moved to the next page automatically.
  • Floating text boxes (eg. to be able to include «boxes» within a lager text for summaries, comments etc.).
  • Multiple bibliographies (eg. when publishing a book with chapters written by different authors, the bibliographies usually are at the end of every chapter, only containing the references of that chapter).
  • Height of headers and footers should be stable; the way the header «sometimes» collapses feels broken. (I am sure this is not a bug, but it does not feel consistent and makes it difficult to define the height of the header and footer.)
  • Outlines and background colors for paragraphs
  • Line numbering
  • Index
  • The option to choose bibliography placement before or after the endnotes
  • Keyboard short cut to switch between open windows (alike the cmd-tab combination in OS X to switch between applications)
  • Footnote delimiter line: The option to place it at a specific distance from the left or right margin (ie. freely placable starting point horizontally)
  • Outdenting and in addition to that, as rpcameron put it, "perhaps we can add exceptions to punctuation in justified formatting (i.e., hyphens, quotation marks, &c. extending beyond the margin the maintain a better visual flow)". http://forum.redlers.com/viewtopic.php? ... +indenting
  • Multiple table of contents (eg. at the beginning of every chapter, only covering one chapter)
  • Track changes: Comments
  • The option of changing the names of the character style variations from style set to style set, ie. to specify them for every style set individually. Reason: There are different logics of using the variations, varying from style set to style set, which I like to be reflected in how they are named. (Eg. in one set, I use the variations for «ordinary text» (1), «scientific terms» (2) and «foreign laguage terms» (3). In another set, I use them for «italic» (1), «semi-bold» (2) and «bold» (3) type. It would be useful to name the variations accordingly.)
  • Style replacement (eg. in a document from someone who has not worked with styles): When viewing the styles to be replaced, there should be an option to jump to the the place(s) in the text where the unknown style occurs to better decide which style to replace it with. And: the dialogue window should be larger. I often don’t see the full range of attributes of the style to be replaced.
  • Show what style changes in the text make a style to have a «+», ie. the option to jump from change to change to see whether these are accidental changes to disregard or changes that should be incorporated into the style set.
  • The possibility to ‹exclude› a change from the style set, so that when switching style sets or reapplying a style, this manual change is not affected (eg. selective application of OT features like ligatures only at a few places).
  • Track changes to style sets: When working collaboratively using the same style set, the option of being able to track changes to the style set that have been made by different users and being able to decide which changes to cancel and which to accept.
  • Organizing style sets: The ability to group certain style sets together for a better overview – using several style sets for each of the different projects quickly turns the list of sets into a mess (but that may be due to my organizational skills ;-); viewing them like the list view in OS X with the option of collapsing certain parts of the list could be useful.
  • GUI improvements
  • Is there a possibility to use a new version of the dictionary without losing ones own additions?

rpcameron
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Re: Feature Request: line numbers

Post by rpcameron » Sat Feb 05, 2011 3:29 pm

I agree with much that Flo has to say, except some of her features are already present in Mellel:
Flo wrote:An ‹orphan›/‹widow› rule for text after titles: Most of my autotitles are actually, well, titles, but not unfrequently, they get placed at the bottom of the page and the following text starts on the next page. In this case, I manually move the title to the next page. It would be nice if autotitles have an option that checks how many lines of the paragraphy immediately following the title are on the same page. You could then choose a minium of lines of text (eg. 3). If there’s three or more lines of text immediately after the autotitle on the same page, than the title stays there. If there are less than three lines on that page, the autotitle gets moved to the next page automatically.
This is already possible. Make sure the paragraph style you use for your Auto-Title has the "Keep with next" option set, and make sure you use the widow/orphan setting on the paragraph style for the first paragraph of the text that follows the Auto-Title.
Flo wrote:Is there a possibility to use a new version of the dictionary without losing ones own additions?
This second one isn't really dependent on Mellel. Mellel uses the system dictionaries (or other program if you use it to replace the system dictionaries). Therefore, this one falls to OS X, not Mellel.

Now, as to line numbering, there are several aspects that I would like to see implemented, many of which Flo hit upon:
  • Numbering styles should be a new level of style. This level is larger than paragraph, and may also span multiple sections. A text may have multiple numbering streams.
  • Numbering will have its own associated character style.
  • Line numbers should be part of the marginalia. This means that they will appear in the margin(s). The style setting for numbering will allow the line numbers to be set for the left or right side of the text, or appear on both. Also, different settings may be chosen for recto/verso allowing line numbers to appear only on the binding side of the text. (Perhaps this will also see the introduction of note streams in the marginalia, too …) For numbering streams appearing in sections with multiple columns, there should also be some way to decide which gutter will hold the numbers.
  • A line between the numbers and the text should be optional. This can be part of the section style, or part of the paragraph style—in either case this would be an excellent time to add border options to both paragraph and section styles.
  • Number streams can begin at arbitrary numbers. Also, the numbering system will be smart enough that when there is a break in the numbering stream, it will resume numbering on its own.
  • Number styles should include more comprehensive numbering types. The current numbering schemes are nice, but there are other numbering schemes that should be included. For a more comprehensive list, look at which numbering styles are supported by Mozilla (and, therefore by extension, all gecko-based browsers). (Personally, the numbering style for lists that I most desire are the Japanese type, hiragana and katakana, both a, i, u, e, o, ka, … and classic iroha ordering.)
Those are most of the points I can easily think of right now. Also, since proper numbering would most likely need its own meta-type of style that can encompass multiple paragraphs, perhaps this will also be the time to introduce another meta-style to mark language. Also, for smaller language streams, perhaps glossing and ruby could be added.
— Robert Cameron

Eyal Redler
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Re: Feature Request: line numbers

Post by Eyal Redler » Sat Feb 05, 2011 6:23 pm

Regarding multiple line numbering flows. What are the possible uses for that?
Does putting line numbers in flows means that if we have discontinuous sections using the same flow then we continue the line numbering from where the last section left off?
Eyal Redler
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Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/mellelwordprocessor
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/MellelRedlex

rpcameron
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Re: Feature Request: line numbers

Post by rpcameron » Sat Feb 05, 2011 7:17 pm

Eyal Redler wrote:Regarding multiple line numbering flows. What are the possible uses for that?
Does putting line numbers in flows means that if we have discontinuous sections using the same flow then we continue the line numbering from where the last section left off?
That's exactly the point. My idea with a numbering flow was to separate numbering from the paragraph. If someone can put forward a flexible idea that ties numbering to the paragraph, then perhaps that should be the manner to implement this. However, by separating the two, numbering can continue across different paragraph styles.
— Robert Cameron

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Re: Feature Request: line numbers

Post by nicka » Mon Feb 07, 2011 8:35 am

Keyboard short cut to switch between open windows (alike the cmd-tab combination in OS X to switch between applications)
Cmd-tilde works fine here. It's an OS X standard keyboard shortcut.

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