Struggling with Managing Attachments *En Masse*

A place for users to ask each other questions, make suggestions, and discuss Bookends.
Post Reply
DrJJWMac
Posts: 54
Joined: Sat Jun 22, 2019 8:04 am
Location: south east USA

Struggling with Managing Attachments *En Masse*

Post by DrJJWMac »

I am struggling with limitations to manage attachments *en masse*. Here are two specific issues.

* I have attachments that somehow go orphaned. However, the main view panel shows that an attachment is present. The only way that I find out that an attachment is missing on a reference is to go to the right side panel and open the Attachments tab. Or I use the Inspector. If Bookends knows that an attachment is missing (orphaned), why can't it show me this visibly in the main window? Why does this discovery take extra steps?

* I have attachments that somehow end up with bad names (e.g. '- 0235'). I might have expected to be able to review the names of the attachments in Bookends, e.g. as a list. But, apparently not. I have to go out to the Finder level. Or, I have to create an SQL search to find the bad names. Why does this discovery take extra steps?

I almost wish that the built-in "Attachments" view might be the one place to manage these issues. This view seems to be a filter to show references that have attachments. OK. All well and good. But ... really ... not ... that ... useful ... to MANAGE attachments. I would think that, switching to the Attachments view would ...

* Show the attachments as the center of interest
* Allow one to manage all administrative aspects of the attachments ... remove / rediscover orphans, rename the file, detach the attachment, delete it, attach it to a different reference, make into its own new reference, view it in the side panel ...

In some regards, I feel that Bookends treats attachments almost as second class citizens by how it structures options for handling them.

Perhaps this might prompt some thoughts on ways to improve how we can manage attachments in Bookends.

--
JJW

Jon
Site Admin
Posts: 8986
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2004 6:27 pm
Location: Bethesda, MD
Contact:

Re: Struggling with Managing Attachments *En Masse*

Post by Jon »

1. Bookends can show them in the library list view. One was is right-click -> Select References with Orphaned Attachments.

2. I don't know if that's a "bad name" or not. Bookends will add a random number to a PDF's name if another PDF with the same name exists. It's required for disambiguation. There is no built-in function for seeing the names of all attachments in your library, but you could generate that by creating a format that output just the attachment name (or path).

The Attachment Inspector lets you remove, rename, etc. But it's on a per reference basis, not global. There ARE Global Change functions for Consolidate Attachments (move them from ad hoc folders to the default folder, Rename Attachments, Remove Orphaned Attachments, and Modify PDF (i.e. attachment) Tags.

Jon
Sonny Software

DrJJWMac
Posts: 54
Joined: Sat Jun 22, 2019 8:04 am
Location: south east USA

Re: Struggling with Managing Attachments *En Masse*

Post by DrJJWMac »

I will simply say that having a dedicated view panel/window where one can administer everything related solely to attachments will significantly lower the friction that any user might otherwise face when trying to manage attachments, let alone when trying to manage them *en masse*.

--
JJW

Jon
Site Admin
Posts: 8986
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2004 6:27 pm
Location: Bethesda, MD
Contact:

Re: Struggling with Managing Attachments *En Masse*

Post by Jon »

I already pointed out that we do -- the Attachments Inspector. I don't know if it does everything you conceivable want with an attachment, but right click on an attachment in that palette and you can:

Open
Show in Finder
Detach
Move to Trash
Copy Attachment Path
Rename Attachment

The Global Change functions handle bulk operations where it makes sense.

Jon
Sonny Software

DrJJWMac
Posts: 54
Joined: Sat Jun 22, 2019 8:04 am
Location: south east USA

Re: Struggling with Managing Attachments *En Masse*

Post by DrJJWMac »

> I don't know if it does everything you conceivable want with an attachment, but right click on an attachment in that palette and you can:

The Attachments Inspector does not do this:

* Show the file name and date added and ... (other administrative information) about the attachment
* Allow me to sort on file name or date ... (or other administrative information) for the attachment
* Show directly whether the attachment is or is not orphaned
* When a reference has more than one attachment, show the individual attachments one line at a time rather than lumped together

So, while the Attachments Inspector gives the options to do things, it is not really an "attachments" inspector. It is a "files that have attachments" inspector.

I suggest that this all means that I want a real ATTACHMENTS Inspector.

--
JJW

Jon
Site Admin
Posts: 8986
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2004 6:27 pm
Location: Bethesda, MD
Contact:

Re: Struggling with Managing Attachments *En Masse*

Post by Jon »

1 and 2 are Finder functions to be performed in the attachment folder.

3 is done in the reference list view (which is of course the most logical).

4 -- I don't understand, because the attachment inspector does just that, show each attachment on a separate line.

You can cavil about the implementation if you like, but Bookends provides most of what you say you want. You seem to want some other kind of app focusing on file management, which is not a reference-centric app like Bookends. Maybe the DEVONTHINK apps would be helpful. I don't see the point of addressing these issues again (and won't).

Jon
Sonny Software

DrJJWMac
Posts: 54
Joined: Sat Jun 22, 2019 8:04 am
Location: south east USA

Re: Struggling with Managing Attachments *En Masse*

Post by DrJJWMac »

> You seem to want some other kind of app focusing on file management, which is not a reference-centric app like Bookends. Maybe the DEVONTHINK apps would be helpful. I don't see the point of addressing these issues again (and won't).

(sigh)

I respect your decision.

I simply want to be able to manage file attachments within Bookends with far less friction.

I am sorry that my vision for doing so has fallen flat.

--
JJW

Post Reply