Question

Hi all. Thought I’d let you know where I’m working on. Below is a screenshot which I’ve made to let you give your opinion:

Clicky

As you can see, I’ve added a contents drawer. Clicking an item scrolls the page to the corresponding paragraph. But should you be using all that screen real estate just to show the contents of a page? A second option is to embed a button in the horizontal divider between the page web and the page browser. You would then click it to bring up a pop-up menu with a hi�rarchical contents structure. Upside: It’s non-obtrusive. Downside: you’ve got to click twice (and scroll in some cases) to achieve the same.

Please help me out and drop a line in the comments :-)

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25 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    David Brandon said,

    October 13, 2006 @ 2:30 am

    First: love the app. Very cool.

    I like the side bar with the contents. There are a lot of articles that are kind of short, so it wouldn’t show a lot most of the time, but still I think it’s a good idea.

    Actually, I’d like to see the page browser off to one side instead of above the page. I like to see as much of the page as possible when I read, and Mac screens are wide, not tall, so there’s plenty of horizontal space.

    Anyway, my $0.02.

  2. 2

    Chris R said,

    October 13, 2006 @ 6:50 am

    I’m a fan of the app, except for one thing: It doesn’t work well on wide screens (say, macbook pro?) — the view with the graphical depiction of page relationships occupies a LOT of space that it doesn’t have to, and the page view is too small.

    I’m not sure what the solution is — perhaps an alternate layout with 1/4 of the left of the screen containing at its top the article history list (currently the left sidebar) and at its bottom the graphical pathway, with the right part of the screen containing the article?

    Also, if that’s the case, allow it to be adjusted.

    Great program, though — I love the wikipedia wanderings…

  3. 3

    Dennis said,

    October 13, 2006 @ 7:04 am

    Well, with widescreens becoming so common on a mac, I recognize that the current layout is restrictive.

    But 0.6 wil sport a detachable web view pane, so you can position it, for example, on the left or right of your main Pathway window.

  4. 4

    Dylan said,

    October 14, 2006 @ 5:21 am

    Looks great!

    I agree about the layout problem and I am glad to see that will be addressed.

    Glad to see progress is being made. Keep up the good work.

  5. 5

    Jak said,

    October 14, 2006 @ 5:40 am

    Very good work so far, Keep up coming with improved features and yet better ideas.

    Regarding the subject of this thread, I would vote for the sidebar; it is a powerfull way to see the stucture and access the content of an article.

    May I suggest the following :
    1)have a way to “zoom out” of the node view so that the user can see more nodes and relationship between nodes without reducing the article zone size.
    2)allow the user to save the article (or a piece of the article) within the .pathway file.

    Otherwise, Great work so far ! waiting to see what will come next

  6. 6

    Jay said,

    October 18, 2006 @ 5:20 pm

    I agree with the layout changes. Also, the user should be able to select a few items and create a new pathway. I have found this to be a need. Copy paste or select create new pathway either or both.

    j

  7. 7

    Kadoma said,

    October 27, 2006 @ 4:52 pm

    Two another methods:
    - put a pop menu under the title of the page ?
    - “onmouseenter” the right side on the content section a small window appear with the table of contents?

    I would like to suggest a behavior: offer a zoom action (with the mice for example) to top frame content.

    Thanks for working on PathWay

  8. 8

    Dennis said,

    November 5, 2006 @ 11:57 pm

    A short note (isn’t worth an entry):

    I’ve more or less finished 0.6 feature-wise; currently I’m squashing out some remaining bugs.

    It won’t be too long anymore before I get the volunteering translators to work ;-)

    There’s a lot of obvious usability (more mac-like behavior, keyboard shortcuts), reliability and aesthetic fixes coming, as well as some handy new features (article contents, automatic node layout, zooming, detachable web view….)

    Thanks again for all your suggestions!

    And on topic: I’ve decided to keep the contents bar as in the screenshot (of course you can hide it)

    Jay: 0.6 will automatically connect new items (nodes) to existing nodes if they link to each other (this can be turned off). So there’s no need anymore to create connections manually, I think….

    Another screenshot:
    Screen 1

    And, by popular demand:
    Custom wikis

  9. 9

    Brendan said,

    November 6, 2006 @ 12:43 am

    Hey Dennis, great looking app…this is exactly what I’ve been looking for…excellent work…only problem is, I’ve got Panther (10.3.9)…I’ve no idea how easy/hard it is to make an app support an older OS, but if it is easy, that would be awesome.

  10. 10

    anon said,

    November 6, 2006 @ 4:53 pm

    I like Pathway a lot. It would be nice if you mention the version number or release date on the download page – that would help users know whether it’s been updated or not (if they didn’t bother to read the blog regularly).

    Thanks! :)

  11. 11

    Dennis said,

    November 7, 2006 @ 12:55 am

    Brendan: I’m sorry, but Pathway’s rather heavily dependent on Apple’s Core Data framework, which is only available as a part of Tiger. Making it Panther-compatible would require a rewrite and a much more complex data management part, for which I don’t have the time…

    I’m all for backwards compatibility, but Apple makes it rather hard to do so. It’s a part of their OS selling strategy I suppose.

  12. 12

    Andrew said,

    November 8, 2006 @ 2:33 am

    I love pathway and what is coming in .6 looks great. The one thing (since this comment area seems to be for suggestions) that would be great is to be able to attach notes to pages. I have been using pathway for some research and being able to a ttach a note to the page would be great. (that way I know why I was there) in context to the wiki. Just a thought. But love the product.

  13. 13

    Donna said,

    November 13, 2006 @ 8:10 pm

    Love the app. Great job. It would so much more useful if it would look at any wiki you specified. If it does this – or if there is a way to make this happen – I haven’t discovered it.

  14. 14

    Charles said,

    November 24, 2006 @ 6:39 pm

    Couple things.
    1) include a link to this site somewhere in the app! It’s impossible to work out where to go to get more info/downloads/etc.

    2) it would be good to have a contextual menu, or at least a way to copy the link of whatever page one is looking at – eg, I was looking at a page and then wanted to copy the link. No way to do it – had to open the URL in browser, then copy that, so I could paste it (into a blog post). Copy/paste for the URL is perhaps not top-ranking.

    ..OK, I found I can do the second by clicking on the “article” tab, but since the URL is staring at me in the dialogue, it would be nice to be able to grab that directly.

    Otherwise – very clever. I like this app.

  15. 15

    Jules said,

    November 29, 2006 @ 6:36 pm

    Pathway is definitely the best way to browse Wikipedia on the Mac. Is it possible to better integrate Pathway into the OS X operating system, so that, for example, if I click a link that refers to Wikipedia in my web browser, or any other app, the page will automagically open in Pathway instead of my default browser? I am not sure whether this could be achieved but I’m thinking along the lines of “dict://” and “itms://” so maybe a browser plugin that converts “http://en.wikipedia.org…” into “wiki://en.wikipedia.org” and have “wiki://” registered in the OS to Pathway.

  16. 16

    David said,

    March 30, 2007 @ 7:30 am

    Awesome program! Very fast. Big smiles.

    Is it possible to configure it so that it could be used for viewing other wikis built on the MediaWiki source?

    Thanks for sharing your hard work.

    -David

  17. 17

    Dennis said,

    April 14, 2007 @ 11:48 am

    Jules: Pathway 0.5 had this plugin, but I’ve removed it because it strangely crashed Safari when there was Java involved. Maybe I’ll revise it in the future, but Input Manager plugins will be disabled in Leopard, so I doubt if it is worth the trouble.
    Please try dragging links to the page web (in the next build, out soon :) or to the app icon.

  18. 18

    Dennis said,

    April 14, 2007 @ 11:50 am

    David,

    Configuring it for other wikis is possible – just add them to in Preferences -> General.

    I plan to compose a modest help/guide for the next update, because these things seem not as obvious as they should be…

  19. 19

    Ed B said,

    April 22, 2007 @ 5:26 pm

    I just found this app and recreated some research I did two days ago without it. This is slick! Thanks!

    Just a few things I noticed…

    1. I couldn’t get it to Print from the file menu.?.
    2. Why don’t “Collections” stay visible in the “sidebar” when you launch – I have
    to go to “Open Recent” to get them.?.
    3. Do you plan to make this a “scriptable” app.?.

    A why for #3 – I use an app called Journler ( journler dot com ). It woud be great if I could take my research from Pathway into it.

    Just my .02¢ worth. Off to play some more with Pathway.

    Keep up the Great work and I look forward to the future.

  20. 20

    Dennis said,

    April 22, 2007 @ 7:30 pm

    Ed:

    - I haven’t included a print option yet. In the mean time, you get a large degree of printing possibilities by choosing “Export Page Network”, saving the file and opening the generated .dot file with OmniGraffle (shareware) or Graphviz (free). You can then customize away before you print.

    - Pathway works with documents. The collections too, are part of documents you save, and as such, only visible when you open the document you created them in.

    - With pleasure! I’ve been thinking which properties to make scriptable. But I use AppleScript only to do Finder and other general tasks, so any inspiration you can give me on what scriptability would make it easier for you, is welcome :)

  21. 21

    Torsten said,

    April 22, 2007 @ 11:39 pm

    Howdy,

    while I love this app, I do find one restriction quite hindering. We have some groups working in restricted areas in a mediawiki and I cannot find a way to log on thorugh PathWay.
    Therefore these non-public articles cannot be browsed in Pathway.

    Is there a way or can I just hope for future releases?

  22. 22

    Dennis said,

    April 22, 2007 @ 11:50 pm

    Torsten:

    Other people have mentioned to me that a workaround is to log in once to the wiki using Safari. The wiki should work then in Pathway for the length of that session.

    If that doesn’t work, or if it’s too great a barrier, tell me, and I’ll make a priority of integrating authentification.

  23. 23

    Ed B said,

    April 23, 2007 @ 4:08 am

    Thanks for the response David…

    Guess I’ll wait for the Print options to be implemented. Not really wanting to add yet another app to keep things organized. Currently I try to use two…

    Journler and iGTD.

    Now I’ve added your app for the research part. However your app could also prove useful for a new app that is being developed called Lex. You can read about it in the Journler Forums. I posted your app there in the General Forum to get some feedback. Take a look it’s a Freeware/Donation app as well.

    Eagerly awaiting the Print options.

  24. 24

    Lukas said,

    May 20, 2007 @ 6:17 pm

    Is it possible to change the text-size of the articles? (Like the increase text-size in Safari)

    And thanks for a great app!

  25. 25

    Dennis said,

    May 20, 2007 @ 11:39 pm

    Ed: Printing options will be scheduled for the next version.

    Lukas: Currently not, but I’m making sure the browser window is better controllable in the next version.

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