r9 - 29 Mar 2004 - 08:45:16 - MimiYinYou are here: OSAF >  Projects Web  >  UIDesignArchives > DesignProgram > ItemCollection


Collection Basics

A collection, as used herein, is a user-level term for a set of items. Collections will play a visible and prominent role in Chandler.

Items get into collections either by an explicit action on the part of the user or the program or by rule. Examples of ways items can be placed into collections:

-- by a user action, e.g. by dragging and drop or stamping an item

-- by a program action, e.g., when a mail message is sent, its added to the Sent Mail collection. Agents can take action which explicitly add items to collections or remove them.

-- by rule which is associated with the definition of the collection, e.g., the Foo collection contains all items whose Bar attribute has value Baz.

  • Collections may be named.
  • An item may be in more than one collection.

  • A thread or "thread + task(s)" or other clusters of items is modelled as an explicit collection. Typically such threads will be unnamed.
  • "Email from the Dev mailing list" and "My Calendar" will be modelled as explicit collection.
  • "All items containing 'RSS'" will be modelled as a rule-based collection

  • [OI] What's the content model for the different types of collections?


  • We have some terminology issues to work out for different sorts of collections. We have a variety of different names that mean different things to different people. We need to deprecate some of these terms, and rename some, and end up with just a few terms that are well defined and mean the same thing to an
    • attribute-based collection
    • explicit collection
    • collection
    • item collection
    • playlist
    • smart playlist
  • I vote again to call them collections (as opposed to ref-collections). I suppose I need to get everyone to buy in to this.
  • We need a focused discussions on the benefits and disadvantages of this. It should include Brian, Mimi., and Mitch.

Interactions with Collections (which will need UI design)

  • Detail view of items shows collections of which they are a member
  • [OI] Allow collection types in content model, e.g., calendar, mailing list, thread
  • [OI] Allow user-defined collection types?
  • In-place display of a collection in a summary view (or pop-up window?)
  • Collection manager showing all collections?

Rule-based Collections and Drag and Drop

What happens when an item is dropped onto a rule-based collection?

It's a matter of policy. Options:

  1. disallowed
  2. allowed, and a record is kept of these manual additions and deletions. UI affordances to show/hide these. Cool feature!
  3. other, as defined by user/program

Needs to be a way to convert a collection from rule-based to explicit. This cannot be undone.

Collections and Views

  • [Q] A collection can be dragged into the sidebar. [A] There is a default way to wrap a view around a collecion, so if you repeat the action it doesn't create a second view instance.
  • Apps group needs to answer this: What aspects of a view persist between invocations? The view should come back as it was last seen. Hence all aspects of a view persist (with the possible exception of the current selection). Get Mimi's view on this.
    • scrollbar positions
    • current selection
    • column widths, etc
  • [Q] We have some terminology issues about the word view. If you click on a tab that shows a "page" where there is a summary table above and a detail area below, are you seeing one view (the "page"), or two views (the summary view and the detail view), or three views (the "page" view, with nested views for the summary view and the detail view? Is there such a thing as a "view type" (like month view or week view or a table view)? [A] Id propose to say that a tab of the content area contains a single view which can have one or more panes arranged in a layout. One tab per view.
  • What's are the relationships between views and queries and blocks? If I change what columns are visible in my Inbox, what other "views" are affected? Are "Sent" and "Outbox" really two views, or just one view that is sometimes populated by one query and sometimes populated by another?
  • Which columns are visible is a function of the particular view only.
  • The content-spec(s) of a view are defined by . [terminology needs to be supplied by the apps and repository groups].
  • "Sent" and "Outbox" are two different views, but some views will have a user-settable query, e.g., calendar views, in which case the view is sometimes populated by one query and sometimes by another.

Collections use cases

  • Collection trays
  • Inbox
  • Dashboard view (Processing bin)
  • Sharing manager

  • Threads
  • Email threads
  • Invitation threads (notifications and email)
  • [.4] Thrasks

  • Quick notes
  • Grocery list

  • Calendars
  • [.4] My calendars: Home and Work
  • Other people's calendars: Spouse, family, working group, administrative assistant
  • Organizational calendars: Company, soccer team, performance series
  • FYI calendars: Holidays

  • To facilitate searching
  • [.4] Prefiltered set: Mitch's "important email" archive
  • Ephemeral collections: Rule result set
    • Common searches: Who, timeframe, subject, status, project, category, text

  • Archives
  • Mailing list
  • [.4] Projects

  • Resources
  • Contacts
    • [.4] Groups based on sphere of life
    • [.4] Groups based on organization
    • [.4] Groups based on activity groups (ie.
    • Auto-generated: most frequently used contacts
    • All items associated with a contact
  • Notes
    • Next time in Paris...
    • Zagat's restuarant ratings
    • ie. Vindigo

  • Cataloging collections
    • For keeping track of large volumes of data (ie. Bear's Customer A, Food Vendor B, Import tool C example: to be elaborated upon, most similar to iTunes functionality)
    • [OI] What is the OOTB set?
    • User-created from scratch

  • To facilitate searching
  • Prefiltered set: Mitch's "important email" archive
  • Ephemeral collections: Rule result set
    • Common searches: Who, timeframe, subject, status, project, category, text

  • Administration
  • Notifications
  • Sharing manager
  • Recent changes
  • Recently created items
  • [.4] ALL items (as well as ALL items per Kind)

  • Trash
  • Junk mail
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