The workflow I envision is based on someone, initially a student, writing a paper on a topic they are learning about. When doing this, key terms and references will emerge, which the author may want to cluster in order to better see and communicate their relationships. These key terms or concepts are related to what we call glossaries, since that is a place the user can define them, both for themselves and for the reader.
I now have to finish my Upgrade Paper by the end of this month and there will be quite a lot of re-arranging of what I have written already and having a map of the concepts and key references is becoming increasingly useful. I can imagine writing about the capabilities augmented text gives the user, such as augmented citation copy, augmented glossaries and augmented views, then taking this into a dynamic view and further listing the views. I can then see myself defining each of the capabilities as glossary terms right inside the dynamic view (which cannot be done currently) and connecting them with how they are used in Visual-Meta.
The useful results of all this will be that when I work, I can instantly cmd-d shift to the dynamic view to make sure that what I am writing in the word processing view matches the structure of the dynamic view and then double click on any text in the dynamic view to see all the occurrences of that text in the word processing view, to make sure its covered.
One of the most useful functions we already have now for the dynamic view is that I can select text and cmd-d to toggle to the dynamic view with that text copied in, ready for me to place anywhere I think it useful. This should be expanded to allow me to do the same for headings and citations:
I can also click on a heading and do cmd-d to copy it into the dynamic view and it will appear in the same typeface as the headings in the word processor view (though not as large). This will help me organise the dynamic view by manually dragging text around and placing them under the headings I want them to be.
I can further click on a citation, either in the body of the document or in the References section and in the Citation Dialogue which appears when I click, there is an option to Copy To Dynamic View (or I can cmd-d in this dialog) which results in the Glossary Dialogue appearing, allowing me to quickly write or copy/paste the name of the document into the Term field and the citation is already connected as a Citation. The reason for this step is that document titles can be long and if it is too quick and easy to add citations to the dynamic view it can become messy. By letting the user define a glossary term for he document the user can write why it’s important/relevant and write the relevant name, which may be a short version of the name, without relying on auto-truncation. The field ‘this is a’ will be auto-filled with ‘citation’.
I can also double-click a button next to the name of any author and choose to Copy to Dynamic View and I now also get a Glossary dialog, with the name of the author filled in, which I can add other versions to (such as ‘Doug Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart). The field ‘this is a’ will be auto-filled with ‘person’.
There may or may not be a check-box in the glossary term to ‘show connections to documents by this author’, this is something we need to experiment with.
And this is where the workflow breaks down. Having written all that, and thinking while writing, which is part of the point of all this, the complexity of how it can be easy to add to the dynamic view but hard to manage, rears its big head again. Until we have a real architecture and the interaction means to fold in the dynamic view, to show only certain levels of depth, certain nodes etc. and the means through which we can save different layouts, I have to accept that we will be using the basics for a while.