[FEATURE] Autocomplete, Mail.app, Growl, Multiple files

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Kicweed
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[FEATURE] Autocomplete, Mail.app, Growl, Multiple files

Post by Kicweed » Wed May 18, 2011 1:54 pm

I love that Launchbar is finally seeing some updates with 5.2b. Here are some ideas I've had that I think will make LB even better than it already is. I know that 5.2 is already late in its development to include any of the below. I'd like to hear if you (the Objective Development team) or the LB community agree with the following:

Autocomplete / Autosuggest
In the case of actions that accept string parameters (ex. the iCal action to add and manipulate events), it would be useful to have some way to guide the user around the required parameters. It could either be a direct autocomplete feature inside the input box, or a hint pop-up to tell you what the expected syntax for the command is.

Deeper Mail.app integration
Make Launchbar able to handle individual mail messages. Give Launchbar knowledge of the mail folder structure so I can move messages from the Inbox to my other folders with it.

Handle messages:

Code: Select all

1. Select a message in Mail.app
2. InstantSend it to Launchbar
3. Tab, select a Mail.app folder
4. Hit enter and the message is moved


Traverse folders:

Code: Select all

1. Select Mail.app in LB and hit the right arrow
2. You are presented with your mail folder hierarchy
3. Select a folder, hit enter
4. Mail.app goes to the selected folder


Work with Notes:

Code: Select all

1. Select Mail.app in LB, right arrow
2. Select the Notes item from the list, right arrow to get a list of notes
3. Select a note, hit enter to go to that note
  i. Select a note, hit space to enter text entry mode and append text to the note
  ii. Select a note, hit Cmd+Backspace to delete the note


Growl Support
Implement optional Growl notifications for the following events:

Code: Select all

1. Status of lengthy file operations (ex. copy, compress etc.)
2. Return status of actions (ex. the result of an iCal operation, was it successful?)
3. Index updates


Handle multiple files at the same time
It could be presented as a special, "Marked Items" category, similar to the smart filetype categories.

The basic principle of the Marked Items functionality is to be volatile. A temporary holding place, not a long-term management tool.

It would work like this:

Code: Select all

1. Select a file or Instant-Send it to Launchbar
2. Hit Tab and select the special "Mark This Item" action
3. Repeat 1 & 2 for any files needed
4. Select the Marked Items category:
    i. Pressing Space shows you the list of files, allowing you to operate on
    individual items:
        a. Selecting an item from the list and pressing Cmd + Backspace removes
        the selected item from the list
        b. Pressing Tab allows you to perform an action to all the items of the list:
            1. Label, move, copy, delete them in a single action
            2. Attach them to an email
            3. Compress them into a single zip file
            4. Perform calculations on a series of numbers:
                i. Select a number in some text
                ii. Instant Send it to LB
                iii. Add it to the Marked Items
                iv. Repeat 1-3
                v. Select the Marked Items category, hit Tab, select the "Add numbers"
                   action and get their sum
    ii. Pressing Cmd + Backspace clears the Marked Items category

There would exist a way to automatically empty the Marked Items category after an action is performed on them.

There would also exist a way to mark an item directly, similarly to how InstantSend works. For example you would select an item in Finder, hold a key combination and the file would be instantly added to the Marked Items list.
Last edited by Kicweed on Mon May 23, 2011 8:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

manfred
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Re: Suggestions: Autocomplete, Mail.app, Growl, Multiple files

Post by manfred » Thu May 19, 2011 10:22 am

Thanks for sharing your ideas (and the detailed descriptions!) to improve LaunchBar.

Kicweed
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Re: Suggestions: Autocomplete, Mail.app, Growl, Multiple files

Post by Kicweed » Thu May 19, 2011 11:11 am

I thought about sending an email but I realised that it'd be better if others could see my ideas and improve them. I hope you found them interesting. Are there any plans you can reveal about the Launchbar roadmap, after 5.2 is released?

Thanks a lot for keeping Launchbar alive.

aristidesfl
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Re: Suggestions: Autocomplete, Mail.app, Growl, Multiple files

Post by aristidesfl » Fri May 20, 2011 4:20 pm

One of the things people seem to request a lot, is a faster way to use the currently implemented multiple selection system.

Right now, the only 2 ways of selecting multiple items are (correct me if wrong):
- selecting all the items in a folder using Command+A (excelent)
- using the double copy trick (is very slow)

Improvements:
- Implement the shift+up/down shortcut like in finder, to select block of items, highlighting them in blue.
- Add a shortcut to highlight (select) individual items. Comma (,) seems to be a good choice. People who come from quicksilver are already used to it, it's easy to press, and it not being used to anything. Besides it has a semantic meaning that relates to the action.

Kicweed
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Re: Suggestions: Autocomplete, Mail.app, Growl, Multiple files

Post by Kicweed » Mon May 23, 2011 8:39 am

I think that the shift+up/down shortcut must be implemented. It's such a natural thing to do, that you do it instinctively and it feels broken when it doesn't work inside LB like it works everywhere else.

The famous Comma Trick is also very useful. Maybe the comma key could be used to add the selected items directly to the Marked Items smart category.

In my approach I re-used the idea of Smart Categories to temporarily hold files. Initially I thought about just calling it "the shelf" which makes it easier to understand. But the concept of Smart Categories is under-utilized in LB. They are meta-collections, so it only makes sense to use one as temporary holding place for items that you want to act on.

Was
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Re: [FEATURE] Autocomplete, Mail.app, Growl, Multiple files

Post by Was » Fri Jun 10, 2011 6:46 pm

I'd like to add my voice to the small chorus. Devs, thanks for keeping LB alive (obviously). But when can we expect a new release of Launchbar, and what features/changes can expect from it? Obviously we all prefer LB to its competitors (Quicksilver and Alfred being the main ones). I'm sticking to LB because its powerful and non-intrusive, but I'm also aware that its partly because I've got used to it and am loath to switch to QS (due to the steep learning curve). But with both QS and Alfred being developed rapidly, I'm tempted to switch. So it'd be good to know what's in the pipeline for Launchbar?

And on that note, I'd be interested to see what other users would like in the next release (without adding too much feature bloat). These have already been suggested in this thread:
- Quicker way to make multiple selections, perhaps with a shift+up/down shortcut, an equivalent of the comma trick or shelf/Marked Items category
- The ability to index the Mac Mail email folder. It's the only reason I still use spotlight, and LB could do a much better job.
- (Optional) use of Growl for more events

Also:
- The option to show calculator results in LB, rather than large-type (esp. useful if you want to use them immediately)
- Use favicons for bookmarks
- Preference for exclusion or browsing of Firefox RSS folders
- Browse faces and locations in iPhoto library? (is that possible?)
- Some way of grabbing the current browser URL without it being the active window?
- FIX: Firefox 4 bookmark and history indexing (at the moment bookmarks occasionally disappear, only coming back when places.sqlite is vacuumed using an extension. And even then history doesn't work properly)
- FIX: Stop Launchbar opening two Terminal.app windows when running terminal commands from LB
- FIX: Some sort of workaround for MS Office apps (including 2011) only working intermittently with LB (realise this might be a carbon issue only resolvable from MS side)

Oh, and some central repository for additional actions/scripts would be good. I realise another user has put lots up on github, but it'd be cool for new users not to have to search through the forums to find that out!

manfred
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Re: [FEATURE] Autocomplete, Mail.app, Growl, Multiple files

Post by manfred » Wed Jun 15, 2011 11:21 am

Was wrote:But when can we expect a new release of Launchbar, and what features/changes can expect from it?


5.1 final will be available soon ;) But please understand that I can not speak about new features.

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