forum Brand New User, some bugs(?) and suggestions!
Started by @lunarballoons group
tune

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@lunarballoons group

Hey all! Brand new user here, I am loving Notebook so much so far. It reminds me of CharaHub from back in the day - I've been seeking a good replacement for years and I'm happy that Notebook pretty much fits all the bills!

I do have a couple of things that I think may be bugs, and a couple things I would love to point out as suggestions - I didn't see any particular topics about these at the top of the discussion, so decided to make my own. :)

  1. There is no progress bar when loading images that indicates when the image has been loaded - it just sits there until the whole page is saved, and there were a couple times I saved the page and the image hadn't actually uploaded. More clear indication here of successful upload/download would be nice!

  2. I don't know if there's a way to move fields from one category to another: I want to keep the field in Nature, for example, but I want it to be under "Social" instead. If there's not a way to do that, can that be added? It would save so much work rather than deleting the field (which reloads the whole page) and then re-adding the exact same field under a different category

  3. Same with #1, when changing the names of the fields, there is no indication that the change actually took - I think this may be a bug? The button greys out while it's thinking, then becomes clickable again - but you have to trust the change actually took and leave it be until you save the whole template. More clear indication whether or not the change was successful would also massively help there! The reason I think it's a bug is that some changes load the entire page over again, and some don't - is this one of the ones that is supposed to load the whole page? If not, the indicator is necessary.

  4. In addition, I saw a couple suggested this already - but the ability to make fields other than just plain text fields would be nice. Specifically when wanting to make new link fields! Because if I want to combine the automatic Character page fields in Family and Social, I can only delete them to move them currently… and then my only option would be to make the plain text field, and link it with the @ tag, which doesn't visually look the same on editing or looking at the page itself. I actually do like having the separate link fields and text fields (meaning one can't go in the other) but not if I can't create new link fields like the default that are available!

  5. I don't know if this is a possibility on the back end - but in a future update, could it be done where individual pages set to private within a public universe could keep its privacy settings? I see the workaround of creating a separate universe for the "surprises", but for organization sake I would prefer to keep them all in one universe while still maintaining my ability to have a 'public wiki' of sorts.

That's it so far - I've only been playing around for a few hours and again, other than these few small issues (which I can live with, but would love some QOL improvements) Notebook is awesome and I'm so glad I found it! I'll add more if I run into more. :)

I am on Windows and Google Chrome, if that helps at all too!

@andrew health_and_safety flash_onAdmin

Hey @lunarballoons, glad you're enjoying the site! :)

There's a lot to unpack here, so I'll respond piecemeal:

There is no progress bar when loading images that indicates when the image has been loaded - it just sits there until the whole page is saved, and there were a couple times I saved the page and the image hadn't actually uploaded. More clear indication here of successful upload/download would be nice!

This is a good point and could definitely be improved. We're relying on browser-based progress bars right now (usually in the bottom-left of the screen), but obviously that's not super noticeable. The upload actually happens when the page is submitted, so I'll have to see if I can streamline that process a bit.

I don't know if there's a way to move fields from one category to another: I want to keep the field in Nature, for example, but I want it to be under "Social" instead. If there's not a way to do that, can that be added? It would save so much work rather than deleting the field (which reloads the whole page) and then re-adding the exact same field under a different category

This gets suggested occasionally and I think it can be added, hopefully soon. :)

Same with #1, when changing the names of the fields, there is no indication that the change actually took - I think this may be a bug? The button greys out while it's thinking, then becomes clickable again - but you have to trust the change actually took and leave it be until you save the whole template. More clear indication whether or not the change was successful would also massively help there! The reason I think it's a bug is that some changes load the entire page over again, and some don't - is this one of the ones that is supposed to load the whole page? If not, the indicator is necessary.

Ah! What you're seeing (and why there's a dichotomy of some actions reloading and some not) is the result of being mid-way through improving the template editor. When I'm done with it, nothing should need to reload the page – changing things like names are on the new system so they just "happen" without having to reload, but I'll definitely add some more obvious indicators as I keep working on the rest of the editor.

In addition, I saw a couple suggested this already - but the ability to make fields other than just plain text fields would be nice. Specifically when wanting to make new link fields! Because if I want to combine the automatic Character page fields in Family and Social, I can only delete them to move them currently… and then my only option would be to make the plain text field, and link it with the @ tag, which doesn't visually look the same on editing or looking at the page itself. I actually do like having the separate link fields and text fields (meaning one can't go in the other) but not if I can't create new link fields like the default that are available!

Unfortunately the back-end makes adding additional link friends extremely difficult to implement, so I've added @-mentioning pages in text fields to create links as a stopgap until I can rewrite all of that and make it easier to add new types of fields other than just text. I'd like to add other kinds like links, image fields, checkboxes, sliders, and so on – but a lot of the backend system needs reworked before any of that is possible – and that rework is a pretty huge task, so it keeps getting pushed back while I work on other, smaller, more pressing improvements.

I don't know if this is a possibility on the back end - but in a future update, could it be done where individual pages set to private within a public universe could keep its privacy settings? I see the workaround of creating a separate universe for the "surprises", but for organization sake I would prefer to keep them all in one universe while still maintaining my ability to have a 'public wiki' of sorts.

This is absolutely doable; I have a bunch of updates for sharing on the roadmap coming up soon that includes more granular sharing/privacy settings. Making pages private in a public universe isn't difficult in itself, but making the UI easy enough for everyone to easily understand what's private and what's not is a bit more difficult – and very important!

I appreciate all the feedback, and there are definitely more QOL updates on the way – as well as larger updates and reworks that should help alleviate a lot of these issues. Again, thanks a ton for the suggestions and comments! I built the site for my own writing, but getting everyone's opinions helps me make it better for everyone else, too. :)

@lunarballoons group

Thanks so much for taking the time to go through all of my points, @andrew ! I don't think I can stress enough how happy I am to have found a site like this. I don't know if you have ever heard of CharaHub (I believe it shut down in January 2019) but Notebook is the closest thing I've found to a replacement and, frankly, Notebook has so far been much better. I'm glad you decided to share all the awesomeness with all of us. I've greatly enjoyed organizing my writing and getting pages added. Your free version model is also excellent and I'm impressed there is so much that can still be done without the subscription fee - although TBH, once some of these QOL fixes are put in place, I'd be more than happy to pay for a subscription because I like the service so much as it is! lol

Thanks again for all your hard work!! :)