Feature Request: line numbers

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

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Flo
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Re: Feature Request: line numbers

Post by Flo » Mon Feb 07, 2011 1:44 pm

Thanks for the remark on the widow/orphan rule for autotitles! (And for switching windows, although this has not worked yet.)

Regarding line numbering: I just looked at a book that has the lines on every page numbered anew, so every page starts with line 1 and ends – in this case – with line 35. Line numbers extend to the very end of the page, including footnotes (with the footnote text having different size and line height).
This would call a) for an option to include footnotes or not; b) an option to restart numbering at every page or not (maybe restart numbering at every paragraph, eg. A1, A2, A3, B1, B2, B3, B4 ... (A and B being paragraphs) ?); c) to place the line numbers vertically in relation to the line of text they number; d) an option to format line numbers like ‹surrounding text› or ‹x points smaller/bigger than surrounding text›; e) If a book is line numbered in its entirety and there are sections that are line numbered ‹again› (eg. interview passages), Mellel should not only allow for multiple, but also for parallel line numbering. (Maybe there should be the possibility to ‹outdent› a line numbering flow from the margin into the text area, with the line numbers being placed ‹below› the main text, like another layer.)

For the implementation, I’d go with the suggestions of Patrick which I find convincing.

For appearance and placement: style for line numbers
For attribution to the text, there could be three parallel logics (even 4?):
1) ‹Number everything›: attribute line numbers to sections, with the section style containing a simple yes-or-no-option of line numbering and, when ‹yes› is marked, an association to a style for line numbers would be necessary. Everything else is defined in that line number style (placement, style, size, what number to start with, where to restart numbering etc.)
2) ‹Number only small or selected amounts of texts›: attribute line numbers to a paragraph style, which also has the yes-or-no-option like the section style and then refers to a character style for line numbers.
3) ‹Number larger portions of texts, interrupted by non-numbered text›: line number flows that can span across anything, ie. sections, pages, paragraphs, endnotes, bibliographies, autotitles, tag flows. The portion of the text which is numbered can be chosen freely, and numbering continues when the same flow is applied again. It’s a bit difficult to imagine how to use them in the text, since it would not be useful to paste several pages of numbered text ‹in› the flow element (as it is now done with autotitles and tag flows: The whole title or caption is contained within the autotitle or tag flow). Maybe define start and end points?
?4) ‹Number text headed by autotitles›: associate line numbers to a certain autotitle, and the text will be numbered until the next autotitle on a higher structural level is inserted.

nicka
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Re: Feature Request: line numbers

Post by nicka » Mon Feb 07, 2011 2:02 pm

… for switching windows, although this has not worked yet.
Well, according to Mac Help (topic: 'Shortcuts for navigating the computer'), strictly speaking the keyboard shortcut is:
Move to the next window in the active application: Command (⌘)-accent (`)
So if the keyboard (and keyboard layout) you are using has the accent character on a different key from the tilde this might explain why it isn't working for you. On many keyboard layouts, -- including at a quick check, the UK, US and Dutch ones -- the accent character is on the key between the 'z' and the Shift keys. Tilde is on the same key, but accessed with Shift.

Again, according to Mac Help, you can go backwards through the open windows with:
Move to the previous window in the active application: Command (⌘)-Shift-tilde (~)
These are OS-wide, not application specific. They ought to work.

Flo
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Re: Feature Request: line numbers

Post by Flo » Mon Feb 07, 2011 2:57 pm

Thanks for the reply, nicka. It does indeed work the way you describe it: the key between the "y"- and the "shift"-key does it, and it works great eg. in Safari. But: As I was unaware of that, I changed the shortcut for using lists in Mellel to exactly the very same short cut. So I just have to assign a different shortcut for using lists.

nicka
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Re: Feature Request: line numbers

Post by nicka » Mon Feb 07, 2011 4:10 pm

Now I'm curious what keyboard layout puts the 'y' all the way down there...

Anyway, glad it helped.

nicka
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Re: Feature Request: line numbers

Post by nicka » Mon Feb 07, 2011 7:03 pm

Eyal wrote:
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".
I suspect that one person's necessity is another's luxury item.

Still, my must-haves:
From Flo's magisterial list:
  • 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)
  • The option to choose bibliography placement before or after the endnotes
  • Outdenting
Not on Flo's list:
  • Endnotes per chapter/paper in edited book. (More important for me than bibliography per chapter)
It strikes me as a little bit too idealistic focussing only on bringing new features that have huge benefits. I hope that you are actually thinking about the balance of costs and benefits, and considering bringing in a lot of useful features that are relatively quick for you to code.

It's hard for us users to judge the cost side, though, so all we can do is say which features we would each find useful, or 'must-haves', and additionally suggest when we can imagine what looks like a small change that make a big difference to us. Examples of such apparently small changes:
  • pdf export to produce clickable TOC links -- you already wrote the link code for cross-references;
  • access to word count for sections and subsections by clicking on relevant autotitle in left pane -- Mellel already counts the words in selected text.

Mart°n
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Re: Feature Request: line numbers

Post by Mart°n » Tue Feb 15, 2011 6:34 pm

nicka wrote:Now I'm curious what keyboard layout puts the 'y' all the way down there...
The German one for example (called QWERTZ, because Z and Y are switched)

redlers
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Re: Feature Request: line numbers

Post by redlers » Wed Mar 23, 2011 12:30 am

To all who participated in this discussion...

To start - thanks. Many useful recommendations. They've helped us a lot, as this (line numbering) is one feature where we relied quite heavily on your experience, thoughts, recommendations and suggestions.

I'm happy to say that the feature is already implemented in Mellel and looks pretty much like the sum of your wishes and recommendations. I don't think we've missed anything there.... I believe you'll enjoy this, and soon (a spring release).

Ori

loquat149
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Re: Feature Request: line numbers

Post by loquat149 » Thu Mar 31, 2011 4:37 pm

Thanks,Ori...line numbering is mandatory when submitting manuscripts to some publishers. Looking forward to it.

Dave

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Re: Feature Request: line numbers

Post by Vaissiere » Fri Apr 01, 2011 7:34 am

yes, line numbering is mandatory for 5% of publishers… but try to publish a book without an index… the path of development of Mellel should be seriously reconsidered

redlers
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Re: Feature Request: line numbers

Post by redlers » Sat Apr 02, 2011 10:44 am

Vaissiere wrote:yes, line numbering is mandatory for 5% of publishers… but try to publish a book without an index… the path of development of Mellel should be seriously reconsidered
All in good time - and our index feature will be quite a thing to behold, I can assure you.

Timotheus
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Re: Feature Request: line numbers

Post by Timotheus » Mon Apr 04, 2011 7:17 am

Yes, Ori (or Eyal?) but that's what you already told us five (yes, five!) whole years ago. Now the time has really come to deliver!

Vaissiere
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Re: Feature Request: line numbers

Post by Vaissiere » Mon Apr 04, 2011 8:24 am

Yes, I agree. I do still have a private email of Ori saying that in 2006. What I am saying is that on the front page of www.redlers.com
"Mellel is a powerful, reliable word processor, and a long time favorite with writers and scholars, for long document writing." is simply a joke, something false. I am a scholar and many of my colleagues are on Macs. Each time I mention that I am writing with Mellel they seem to be interested, each time I have to add "no indexing", it is the end of the discussion. As harsh as it is, this is ridiculous to pretend to be a tool for scholar without indexing.

ealvarez
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Re: Feature Request: line numbers

Post by ealvarez » Thu Apr 07, 2011 6:38 pm

Quite happy with this new feature. The only feature that was missing for my needs! Can't wait for the 2.9 version : )

Flo
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Re: Feature Request: line numbers

Post by Flo » Thu Apr 21, 2011 7:13 am

Indexing is an important feature, of course, and I’d like to see it too, but I am using Mellel in an academic environment and nobody has ever mentioned anything about indexing. So that Mellel is also a tool for "scholars" is not a joke or false, it simply correct. There are scholars that don’t need indexes, and I am not talking about a minority. There are, of course, certain types of publications that need indexes, but how often you need this obviously differs from discipline to discipline. (If something prevents people who I know to work with Mellel, it's not so much the lack of features, but mainly the operating system (Windows) and/or a kind of locked-in situation – most of their peers, including the 'significant others' at academic journals etc., use other word processors.)

Timotheus
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Re: Feature Request: line numbers

Post by Timotheus » Thu Apr 21, 2011 9:20 pm

Well, Flo, just take a look at the books published by Oxford UP, Cambridge UP, Harvard UP, etc. etc., on English (or any other) Literature, Philosophy, Theology, History, Music etc. etc., and you'll see they all have indexes, and often rather elaborate ones. Indexes may be less common or in some cases even inexistent in (branches of) other disciplines, like medicine, chemistry etc., but in the world of the humanities indexes are an absolute MUST. That's not my opinion, that's simply a fact.

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