Import dialog for .enw files

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finsiecle
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Import dialog for .enw files

Post by finsiecle » Wed Nov 27, 2019 2:35 am

Hi and thanks to Jon for your care in maintaining a great app over the years. I am a recent convert, thanks in part to floating citations.

I know Bookends offers its own search for Google Scholar, but I like to use it in the browser for access to pdfs and to benefit from Firefox and Safari plugins, etc. So I download .enw files from the browser, with Finder set to automatically open the file in bookends. But this causes a dialog box to appear every time. Is there a way to set defaults and avoid this extra step/click? Is there a filetype I should use instead of .enw for maximum bookends compatibility?

Jon
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Re: Import dialog for .enw files

Post by Jon » Wed Nov 27, 2019 8:05 am

Hi, .enw files contain just the metadata, right? All imports bring up the dialog, which has options that you may want to change when importing (e.g. import to hits list, move file to Trash after importing). Pressing Return accepts the settings, no need to mouse and click.

I could have Bookends just import with the settings last used in some cases where the extension identifies the content (like .enw, .ris, or .bib) but then you wouldn't have a chance to modify these settings.

What do others think?

Jon
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finsiecle
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Re: Import dialog for .enw files

Post by finsiecle » Wed Nov 27, 2019 12:44 pm

Thanks for the reply. Maybe just a toggle in preferences to automatically import with last used setting would be good

nicka
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Re: Import dialog for .enw files

Post by nicka » Mon Dec 02, 2019 8:12 am

Good idea - would reduce 'friction' of integrating with Bookends slightly, but significantly. Thinking back, I'm sure I've never changed the settings in that dialogue.

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Re: Import dialog for .enw files

Post by Jon » Mon Dec 02, 2019 9:50 am

The problem is that once you chosen this there needs to be a way to turn it off so that the dialog would show again. Easy to do, of course, but it will result in a lot of confused people because there is no intuitive UI -- they'd need to return to preferences, click on the appropriate tab, and change the setting. Better to have a temporary "opt-in" approach for pro users such as holding down the Option key when importing to bypass the dialog.

Jon
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Re: Import dialog for .enw files

Post by Jon » Tue Dec 03, 2019 4:47 pm

I can have Bookends default to the last import settings if you drag and drop a file onto the library window with Control-Command held down. This should also work for having files sent to Bookends from the Finder.

Jon
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finsiecle
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Re: Import dialog for .enw files

Post by finsiecle » Thu Dec 05, 2019 1:46 am

With admittedly zero software development experience, I can't imagine why someone would go into prefs and enable the toggle, which they would need to consciously and intentionally do, and not understand to disable it upon needing to change settings. Unsophisticated users would not ever see the toggle. Also, speaking for myself, my workflow never changes. I'd have little reason to mess with how Bookends imports the file once defaults are set.

Your solution just replaces the step of clicking through the dialog with the step of pressing a double hotkey combo for every single added reference. Unless you mean that the Finder workflow wouldn't require the hotkeys, only the drag-and-drop case.

Apart from this, I wonder if Bookends can one day automatically detect the file type and choose the appropriate action without need for user input. For example, recognize .enw file, import .enw metadata, automatically move file to trash. In that case, maybe the only toggle needed in prefs is for Bookends to move file to trash after import, or not.

Maybe it's a pain to implement such a change, in which case I'm fairly happy with the workflow as is, don't get me wrong.

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Re: Import dialog for .enw files

Post by Jon » Thu Dec 05, 2019 8:18 am

What you can't imagine I see routinely. Enabling BibTeX (in preferences) is a something you'd think only pro users do and would understand how to undo. But I commonly get tech support requests because they either inadvertently enabled it, or forgot they had, and now can't understand why scanning documents doesn't work properly or why they have "garbage" (i.e. BibTeX markup) in their bibliographies.

I'm not against bypassing the import dialog step (although it's trivial to accept it with a Return), but I'd want to do it in a way in which the user was aware they are doing this and can easily revert to the typical behavior. Take the case of deleting references -- normally you get a confirm dialog, but if you hold down the Command key you don't, it just deletes.

Although most files being imported are of type .txt, automatically importing files with unambiguous extensions would be easy (Bookends already picks out the correct import filter in the dialog). It's possible that we could allow this, using the Move to Trash setting in the import dialog window to be set independently of actually doing an import.

Jon
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P.S. Ironically, a forum post immediately after the response to this one had to do with the comma being used as a citation separator, which was no doubt turned on when BibTeX was enabled and then not turned off later)

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Re: Import dialog for .enw files

Post by Jon » Thu Dec 05, 2019 5:55 pm

Where are you getting .enw files? When I download citations from Google Scholar in Safari they have the extension .enw.ris, or in Chrome it's .ris. But in fact they are in EndNote Export Refer format, not RIS. Bookends would identify them as RIS based on the extension and they would fail to import.

Jon
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finsiecle
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Re: Import dialog for .enw files

Post by finsiecle » Thu Dec 05, 2019 7:58 pm

Firefox. I could get them to work in Safari, a few versions ago, only by adding .enw extension to Safari's 'safe download' list. (This was when I used Papers 3). Not sure if that addresses the .ris issue.

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Re: Import dialog for .enw files

Post by Jon » Fri Dec 06, 2019 8:12 am

It's a problem in that Bookends would rely on the file extension to determine which import filter to use. If the extension is .ris and the file is Refer the import will fail. This is even more of a problem is the import dialog is bypassed because the user won't have a chance to correct it.

Jon
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Re: Import dialog for .enw files

Post by Jon » Sat Dec 07, 2019 10:09 am

I've come up with a solution I think will work. If you drop a file with an unambiguous extension onto a library window Bookends will select the correct filter and use it without putting up a dialog. This will also work with files sent from Firefox (or any other app). The extensions are .ris, .bib, .nbib, .enw, and .ciw. For extensions that don't define the form of the tagged reference data, such as .txt or .xml, the usual import dialog will appear.

Using File -> Import References (Command-I) will bring up the import dialog as usual, and the defaults for adding to the hits list and moving to the trash can be changed.

This will be in the next update, we'll have to see once it's widely used if there are any edge cases that might cause problems.

Jon
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finsiecle
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Re: Import dialog for .enw files

Post by finsiecle » Sat Dec 07, 2019 3:21 pm

This is great. Thank you for all your hard work!

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