Larger proposal for discussion: multitasking / navigation

Is your feature request related to a problem? Please describe.
I have the same struggle when using Anytype as I had when I had to start using Microsoft Teams: I am limited to a single screen with only one Object open at a time.

Describe the solution you’d like
Let me start by listing and categorizing the feature requests that have been raised on this forum so far:

Describe alternatives you’ve considered
I think multiple solutions can exist next to each other/simultaneously. I think multiple instances/windows and tabs are straight forward, but for split or multiple panes/panels that make up the Anytype window requires some discussion. The main ideas that are suggested seem to be (order from low to high complexity/flexibility):

  • Split pane for editing and preview. This is what Evernote, Bookstack, Discourse, and many other WYSIWYG-like and markdown editors support. You type on one side, you get a live preview on the other side.
    Configuration items that I can think of:
    • Live preview on/off
    • Panel size (drag the separator between editor and preview left and right)
  • Predefined panels for specific content/functionality. I think these three kinds of panels make sense:
    1. Navigation Panel (like the sidebar, search bar, graph)
    2. Metadata Panel (a bit like suggested here: a panel showing Relations of the opened Object)
    3. Content Panel (Canvas, Page, whatever we want to call it. The place where you add your block to fill Anytype with interesting stuff!)
      Configuration items that I can think of:
    • Toggle the pane on and off
    • Panel size (drag the separator between the panels left and right)
  • Full multi-panel framework: multiple panels - each fully featured, essentially acting as it’s own “application”, but all within a single application instance.
    Configuration items:
    • Resize and reposition panels (note I’m not talking about floating panels/windows - just multiple subdivisions of the main application window). Remnote has this feature.

Additional context
I would love to see the combination of all of these options to allow users to navigate Anytype however they feel comfortable.

20 Likes

Multiple windows finally arrived, thank you!!

1 Like

Never saw this, but I have a lot to add here so this comment WILL be edited over time.

Multitasking.

one thing I’ve been thinking about is split windows AND tabs. it’s kind of a staple in the VIM world and I feel like it’s a great option it lets you efficiently manage your real estate depending on what you are working on at the time. Obsidian / vscode (I’m going to mention vim, vscode and obsidian a lot here) both do this well. Vim has tabs as the master in the hierarchy, while obsidian has split as the master in the hierarchy. both work well, but in the context of multitasking as the aim, splits being higher (obsidian / vscode style) works better. lets you dedicate a split to something like a set or project page, while any child objects can be opened in the split in other tabs for easy navigation. Multiple windows / Multiple instances (the same thing to me) are pushing the responsibility to the OS, and I don’t think that’s a good option since none of them has nailed multitasking.

My vote: Splits which tabs inside them. (possibly with a WYSIWYG preview window as an option)

Edit Preview

I like the suggestion of a WYSIWYG preview split, and I think it should be an option but I think Obsidian has the best live MD editing system that I’ve ever used. it’s responsive but is always WYSIWYG until you edit it. I feel like it would be a much easier option since it would just need to be appended to the current markdown editor you currently have. if you do use the split, I feel like the editing window should just revert to raw text, and the preview takes over the rendering. if you disable the split, it reverts to Obsidian style editing.

Object Preview

With regards to sets, it may be worth considering that everything might not want editing there and then. in some cases, it might be worth having a setting to split to the right and have that be a preview of the selected object in the set. if not it would be an editor instead. this might also extend to inline sets. if you interact with an object on an inline set in another object instead of closing the object you would have the option of opening a preview/editor split, with the preview option having an edit button which converts the preview pane into an edit pane (this won’t be needed if you go with something like Obsidians method of MD editing, preview and edit wouldn’t need to be distinguished.)

Sidebar Navigation

I’m not sure what to do with this. I don’t. I don’t think it is functionally complete.


I mean, I can’t access everything. I’ve defaulted to putting the sets that I use a lot in favourites and using the Graph view to navigate because at least I can always get directly where I want from graph view (through a modal :rage:, but still).

I just think it’s missing a structure. there are niceties, but no base hierarchy. although I feel like this could possibly be fixed by putting types as their own dropdowns here. each type gets a drop-down (after the current main trio; Favorites, Recent, and Sets). that way everything is always accessible, but if you use custom types a lot I can see this getting crowded, so a search bar at the top might be a good idea.

another alternative is pinning objects as a top-level entry point. in a similar vein to favourites, but they stand alone and are instantly accessible.

here is a suggestion:


(updated design)
as you can see I’m no designer, but you get the point… my only issue with this is it basically replaces favorites functionally as there is no reason to use favorites anymore, so I don’t know how you guys feel about it, but at least it would use the space in the sidebar more efficiently…

5 Likes