Couple of usability suggestions

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Couple of usability suggestions Fri Jul 05, 2019 6:25 pm • by carpii
Two suggestions on this screenshot (one yellow, one orange)

Image

Yellow:

If a directory has been excluded from Spotlight (via Spotlight Prefs -> Privacy), then a lot of file attributes are unavailable.

I excluded ~/Downloads from Spotlight some time ago, but then it took me quite a while this evening to understand why my Hazel rules were no longer working (because the downloaded-from attribute was not available for any file in ~/Downloads).

Also would be worth mentioning this in the TroubleShooting tips thread.

Orange:

When troubleshooting a rule, it would be great if there was a tickbox you could untick to just disable that rule or action, without necessarily deleting it).
Right now you have to either delete the rule/action, or tweak the criteria in a way that negates it, yet still allows the rest of the rule to run.
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Re: Couple of usability suggestions Mon Jul 08, 2019 11:22 am • by Mr_Noodle
I'll consider checking Spotlight but there are several things to check and there may be no really good definitive way to tell for sure. Nonetheless, I'll add it to the feature database.

As for the second one, I'm not so sure on that. I feel it adds an extra level of complication and yet another thing to double-check every time a user reports their rules aren't working. Are you using the preview function? If so, then it shouldn't matter as you can see the results of all the conditions.
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Re: Couple of usability suggestions Tue Apr 21, 2020 2:14 am • by ScottDellar
Mr_Noodle wrote:As for the second one, I'm not so sure on that. I feel it adds an extra level of complication and yet another thing to double-check every time a user reports their rules aren't working. Are you using the preview function? If so, then it shouldn't matter as you can see the results of all the conditions.


Disabling an action would be useful when debugging a rule. For instance, I'd like to run an Applescript and check that Hazel has picked up some return attributes before allowing the other actions to be processed based on those values. I could take a copy of the rule and muck around with it, but that could introduce other issues when trying to update the original rule. Keyboard Maestro allows you to disable actions, and I have used this both when developing actions and when adjusting them later on down the line when conditions have changed in the environment. I can see this being useful in Hazel too.
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Re: Couple of usability suggestions Tue Apr 21, 2020 9:52 am • by Mr_Noodle
Thanks for the suggestion. I'll consider it but again, I think it does add an extra complication leading to more confusion. Even the checkmarks for enabling/disabling rules causes problems for some users, but that's already out there and not something I would easily revoke.
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Re: Couple of usability suggestions Tue Apr 21, 2020 7:01 pm • by ScottDellar
True, this behaviour might confuse users, I can understand that. Let's make it easy to toggle enabled yes/no and make it immediately obvious what actions are disabled.

Within Keyboard Maestro, disabling actions is implemented by clicking a gear icon on the right hand side of the action and toggling "Disable Action" and "Enable Action". The first action has been disabled, and it appears greyed out - we can see that it will be skipped for sure. The remaining enabled actions still look active.

Image

I think Hazel can improve on Keyboard Maestro though. Actions could display the same green tick and red cross that you show for triggers, which could be toggled by clicking on it.

Image

I don't think we need to change the functionality of triggers (preview works well), but the functionality of actions could be improved by giving the user more control of the outcome, especially when tinkering. I imagine trigger preview solved a lot of user woes, disabling actions could solve more.
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Re: Couple of usability suggestions Wed Apr 22, 2020 10:00 am • by Mr_Noodle
Those preview indicators are just that, indicators. They shouldn't be used as a toggle by the user. They should indicate successful or failed execution, if they are there at all.

For now, you can add an action which fails. That would effectively disable any actions after it. A shellscript that returns non-zero should work here.
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