Actions that can include other actions


#1

As my list of actions grows, I'm finding that the "checkbox" interface for applying actions isn't always very convenient. Since the list is long, many actions scroll off the bottom and you always have to be careful to see whether any are checked, otherwise you get unexpected (or worse) results.

I'm trying to think of what a better approach would be... One thing I'd like is the ability for a user defined action to include other user defined actions. This would give the ability to create a complex action and use it within more than one other.

So instead of doing something like:

[x] Action A
[x] Action B
[ ] Action C
[x] Action D
[ ] Action E
[x] Action F

You might have Action A call Action B, D and F. Similarly, Action C could call those same actions. This would be analogous to using subroutines in a procedural language.

Now, with this ability, the "sub"actions might not need to appear in the interface. So also give the user the ability to 'hide' any unchecked actions. In the example above, the user might hide B, D, and F so that the action list in the interface isn't as long.

(By the way... While we're on the subject, do you think it would be wise to rename the "actions" that are created by users, so that they're differentiated from the atomic "actions" from which they are created? Maybe call the user defined actions "scripts" or something similar.)


#2

I see the problem, but I don't think that adding another level of complexity would be a wise idea.

You can resize the dialog using the gripper on the bottom right corner.

They're called "Action groups" here.

Best regards,
~ Florian


#3

I don't know about complexity. Actually, I'm talking about simplifying the user interface.

Another, similar approach, would be (instead of 'hiding' actions) would be to call these "user defined actions". Don't show "user defined actions" in the dialog box. They can only be called from within "action groups". This is as simple as you can get.

Here's my major point, even disregarding the long list of actions in the dialog box and all the checkboxes: It only makes the user interface more cumbersome when, if when action A is selected, I also always select action G. And when action B is selected, I also select action G. And action C, the same. Then later I execute action D and uncheck all of the others. The next time I select any of A, B, or C, I always have to remember to select G.

But I won't allow that possibility for a mistake. Right now, I open the .mta files and copy action group G into all of A, B, & C (renumbering each action as I go). Of course, if I then wish to edit action G, now I have to edit it in any action group where I inserted it. This includes bug fixes, changes, or additions. This is its own avenue for mistakes.

I've never seen that term used here before, but plan on using it now to avoid confusion.

Thanks for the response.