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Topic Assignment

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Topic Assignment

Postby ChrisH » Tue Mar 25, 2008 7:31 pm

I am a new (demo) user, and like a lot of what ClearContext has to offer. However, I have two feature requests, both aimed at making the interface for the selection of topics better.

#1) Have you seem "SimplyFile" by TechHit? It has a great algorithym for guessing topics and suggesting a top 5 likely matches when no topic has been defined. I think it is a great product and strongly suggest you consider something similar.

which brings me to...

#2) The interface for selecting a topic takes too many clicks/too much text entry, and does not allow you to add topics within the tree structure as neatly as you can in Outlook's dialog (again see SimplyFile.) It should just be a either (a) accept the guess from the algorythm, (b) select from a likely list of 10-20 likely exisitng topics, or (c) select using a dialog that looks like the Outlook MoveTo folder list, all selectable through a dropdown.

I do kind of like the "<--- Add topic" entry when the topic is not assigned, so then the accuracy of your algorythm need not be very precise, as long as you get the top 10-20 most likelys...

I am concerned that as-is, ClearContext makes it too easy for me to make a typo and add a new topic, or add a topic with caps reversed, etc. (e.g. tOPIC versus Topic)

Great product thus far, though.

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Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2008 7:16 pm

Postby deva » Tue Mar 25, 2008 8:41 pm


This is something we're working on. This type of functionality touches a lot of the workflow in terms of how people use ClearContext, so it's something we need to get right before making big changes. But we agree that making the app a little smarter in terms of things like suggesting possible topics is an important area, and it's one we'll be tackling. We're not going to have this functionality in the release that's about to start testing, but it's something that is going to be coming up for sure.
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Postby brad » Tue Mar 25, 2008 10:33 pm

Chris - I wanted to follow up on one thing. Are you using the Topic Selector to assign Topics? Use ALT-P or click on the Topic button next to the drop down and start typing a folder name. The selector should quickly narrow the list of choices down for you. See this demo for more detail.
Brad Meador
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Joined: Wed Jun 16, 2004 5:35 pm

Postby ChrisH » Wed Mar 26, 2008 5:27 am

Thanks for the speedy replies!!

Yes, I am using the topic selector dialog box, but I find the following:

If you type the selection in as you mention, but have many subtopics, the selector does not does narrow the choices, but if you get to say one choice, you still have to down arrow to choose it...if you hit enter, you will have added a new topic at the root of the tree.

I would like to see the hierarchial view be "sticky" so you could select it as the first one you see when you open the dialog box. And in that hierarchial view, there should be a "new topic" choice, where you could navigate to that part of the tree and add a folder then, if needed....that keeps me with my mouse, no keyboard work unless I need to add a new topic, and it gives better assurrance that I have not misfiled something because of a typeo, since I am just clicking an existing choice. Once you have a fairly big tree, the list view gets hard to read and easy to make typos.

I guess my preference would be for the power of adding topics on the fly to be one step harder to do (by mistake) so the default behaviour would be to select from exisitng topics.

Right now I am using both CC and Simplyfile together, because Simplyfile is much quicker for assigning folders/topics.....usually its guess is right (70-80% of the time), or the drop down list will have the other "best fit" choices near the top, or I can hit select folder, and access a tree dialog that works like Outlook's. (The nice thing about CC is that it will auto-assign replies, and reminds me to assign a topic on sending, but again that interface is just a few too many clicks to make the choice, in my opinion, to make it the killer app it could become.)


- to choose
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Postby brad » Wed Mar 26, 2008 7:45 am

Thanks for the additional detail. As Deva mentions, all of these requests are on our list and we expect this functionality to start making it into the product in one form or another in future releases.
Brad Meador
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Joined: Wed Jun 16, 2004 5:35 pm

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