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Help on Views
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      (Jump ahead to sections on deleting a view, editing a view, filtering (by author, category, link or annotation, name, search, time, view, vote) saving views, sorting and grouping by author, category, idea name, search matches, time, votes; showing ideas, view title and intro, windowing.)

To talk to a human, send email to bakesperson@gmail.com.

Overview
A view is a list of ideas. The ideas can be selected according to different criteria and formatted in various different ways. The halfbakery has always had views; new in version 3.0 is that users can customize their views and create new ones.

Creating a View
The easiest way of creating a view is to take an existing view, modify it, and save it under a new name. The next paragraph talks about that. To start from scratch, go to http://www.halfbakery.com/view/.

Editing a View
Editable views have [edit] links on top of the page, next to the view's title (on top) and name (on the bottom). To edit a view, select the [edit] link. Most of the rest of this document is about the page that leads you to.

Deleting a View
To delete a view, pretend that you want to edit it and select the [edit] link on top or bottom of the view. Once you're in the editor, note that there is a [delete] link next to the view's name on top. Click on that. The view's name, if any, is deleted from the idea: menu to the left. When a user deletes all views, the initial default set of views is restored.

The thing being deleted is the way of looking at ideas, not the ideas themselves. Ideas can only be deleted one by one, or as a side effect of deleting the account that created them.

Filtering
The first section of the view editor lets the view's owner select ideas that match certain criteria. Only ideas that satisfy all the criteria are selected. Criteria are turned on if the check box in front of them is checked; criteria that are turned off are disregarded when selecting ideas.

Filtering by time
To filter ideas based on the time of their creation or most recent modification, select the check box in front of the "Filter by time", and choose the options below it.

Once the filter is fully parametrized, it forms a sentence of the form "show only ideas that have been affected-by-an-event since point-in-time." You have to pick the event and the point in time.

The first two options "created" and "commented on or created by", select the event. "Created" means just that, the initial entering of the idea into the database. "Commented or created by ..." means the idea's creation, the addition of an annotation, or the addition of a link.

If you want only annotations from a certain set of people to be of notice, enter their names in the text area below the "comment or created" line, and change the option menu to "one of".

If, conversely, you want to filter out annotations from a certain set of people, change the option menu to "someone other than", and enter the names of the people you wish to exclude. (You will still see all annotations, but they won't be events that propel an idea into your selection.)

The options after the "since" represent the point in time after which the event should have happened. "I last took part in the discussion" means the last time the viewing user modified the idea or added a link or annotation. In "the end of my last session" and "the start of my current session", a "session" is any period where accesses to the halfbakery are less than half an hour apart. To start a new session, take a half-hour break. The item below these two lets you enter a specific date, either absolute, as a day, or relative, as a number of hours, days, weeks, months, or years.

Filtering by Category
Check the checkbox in front of "filter by category" to restrict the categories that your items can be in. Use the text area below that line to enter the categories you want to select on (e.g., "Halfbakery: Users" or "Culture"), one per line. Switch the option menu to "not in" to exclude the categories you list, or to "in" to limit the selected ideas to the category or categories.

Filtering by Author
Check the checkbox in front of "filter by author" to restrict the users whose ideas you would like to read. List the users in the text area, one name per line. To limit yourself to ideas of these users, change the option menu to "by". To exclude users you don't want to read ideas by, change the option menu to "not by".

Filtering by Link or Annotation
Check the checkbox in front of "filter by annotation" to select or exclude ideas based on their annotations and links. As above, list the users in the text area, one name per line. To limit yourself to ideas that these users have annotated or added links to, change the option menu to "annotated by". To exclude ideas that these users have annotated, change the option menu to "not annotated by".

Filtering by Vote
Check the checkbox in front of "filter by vote" to select or exclude ideas based on their votes.

Select the first option, "with ... or more ...", to limit the view to ideas based on the number of individual votes. Change the option menu to select whether you want to filter based on the number of positive, negative, positive and negative, or total votes. Enter the fixed number in the first text field in that line.

The second option, "whose .. total at least ...", lets you select based on the overall outcome once the votes are summed up, either scaled to the halfbakery's -2.5 ... 2.5 scale, or unscaled.

The third option lets the viewer select ideas based on his or her own opinion of the idea; change the two option menus to select or exclude ideas you voted against, for, or that you had any opinion about at all.

Filtering by Name
Check the checkbox in front of "filter by name" to select or exclude specific ideas based on their name. The textarea below the line contains the names of the ideas that should be excluded or included, one name per line.

Filtering by Search
To restrict the matching set to ideas that do or do not contain a specific search expression, select the checkbox in front of "filter by search". The text field below that line contains the expression to search for; the search language is the same as in the dedicated search form.

Filtering by View
To build more complicated expressions from multiple view specifications, check the box in front of "Filter by view" to use results from another view. (The other view must be named.)

The first suboption can be used to restrict the results of one view to those ideas that also match another view's filter (A and B), or, conversely, to those ideas that were excluded by that filter (A and not B).

The second suboption can be used to add the ideas selected by the second view to those in the current view (A or B).

Sorting and Grouping
Ideas can be sorted according to up to three criteria, and are optionally grouped together according to the topmost sorting criterion. Ideas that compare equal according to the selected sorting criteria are sorted alphabetically by name.

To activate grouping, select the option "by the first sorting criterion" in the "Group ideas" submenu.

Sorting and Grouping by Time
The criteria "modification date", "creation date", and "your last change" all result in ideas that are sorted by time, most recent first. When grouping according to time, a logarithmic scale is used; the closer a time gets to the current time, the finer the scale.

Sorting and Grouping by Category
Ideas can be grouped by "category" or by "major category", in alphabetical order of category name. (The "major category" of an idea is the string in front of the colon in the category name.)

Sorting and Grouping by Search Matches
Select "number of search matches" to sort by number of matching search phrases, highest first (similar to the search results in the special-purpose search).

Sorting and Grouping by Author
Select "author" to sort alphabetical by idea author. When grouping by author in the three-column layout (see below), the selection must be restricted to some specific authors; showing the first N ideas of every single author in the halfbakery just gets too big otherwise.

Sorting and Grouping by idea name
To sort ideas alphabetically by name, select this option. When grouping by name, the actual thing being grouped by is the first letter of the name.

Sorting and Grouping by votes
The "votes" and "votes (worst first)" items sort by overall voting score, either best to worst or worst ot best. Select "conflicting votes" to sort by the number of both positive and negative votes that an idea received, from highest number of conflicting votes to lowest.

Showing ideas
The last section of the form determines what the output actually looks like. The user selects the overall layout schema, and can then turn on and off individual fields within that schema. Different basic layouts allow for different individual fields, although there are common fields like the idea name, author, and votes that are possible in every single layout.

The first layout, a table, is the easiest to read, most structured. It's quite literally an HTML table, with each line corresponding to one idea. (Sometimes I cheat and it's really two lines corresponding to one item, but don't worry about that.) The old layout closest to that was the "high score" table.

The second layout, "an unstructured list of names", tries to pack as much information as possible into as little space as possible. It's similar to the old "recent ideas" layout; a big piece of text with idea names linked to the individual ideas.

Layout number three, "groups in three columns", is the default halfbakery home page layout. The column headings are taken from the grouping criterion (which must always be on for this layout - one can't have three columns without group headings).

Layouts number four and five are machine-readable, not human-readable; they produce the RSS 0.91 and RSS 1.0 XML files. These don't work with grouping, since the formats don't have a fixed way of expressing groups.

Windowing
You can pick how many ideas you see per page, from between 1 and 100 ideas. In the case of the three-column layout, the count applies for each group individually; you'll probably want to keep it a lot lower than the fixed maximum of 25. In case of RSS 0.91, the format limits the number of entries to 15.

If there are more ideas in the selection than can be shown on the current page, a small [more] item will appear in the lower right corner of the HTML layouts, allowing a user to go to the next displayed page. Use the browser's "back" button to go back a page after using [more] to go forward.

View Title and Intro
Supply an optional title and optional introductory text below the windowing size in section 3. A view's title is shown in large font on top of the page. Below it is the view's introduction, in smaller font. Long introductions can lead to overly long URLs that some browsers can have trouble with; keep it short.

Within an intro, the following special macros are active:

<created> expands to "Ideas in bold have been created this week."

<changed> expands to "Ideas with a gray background have been modified since you were out - that's since date."

<br> and <b>...</b> work as in HTML.

<u>...</u> encloses text that only gets printed if the person viewing it is logged in.

<last-session-end> expands to the date of the user's last access before the current session.

Saving Views
At the bottom of the view editor page, the view can be given a name. If a view has a name, the name appears in the idea: menu to the left of every page; it has the same status as "overview", "recent" and the other system default views. A view named x can be accessed as http://www.halfbakery.com/view/x by its owner. (You have to be logged in for this to work.)

If a view doesn't get a name, it can still be seen; but it's up to you to remember and reuse the URL that points to it.

Bugs
Send bug reports to bakesperson@gmail.com. Thank you!