Open multiple pages of the same notebook in separate windows

Bug #306256 reported by nachiket on 2008-12-08
This bug affects 13 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone

Bug Description

I use zim to keep daily notes which I like to summarize periodically. Is there a way I can open a new note while navigating previous notes and keep both the new note and the previous note open at the same time in separate windows? This way I can quickly create summaries in the new note by looking at previous notes in a parallel window and not have to switch back and forth in the same window for that notebook.

Main interface design is now around a single page. Need to think how the interface would look for multiple windows showing different pages. Would secondary windows be more minimalist only showing a single page (possibly locked read only) or should all windows be equal and keep separate histories etc. ?

Changed in zim:
importance: Undecided → Wishlist
status: New → Confirmed

If we stick to a single main window with lean secondary windows, the secondary windows should behave as static views to a single page. Clicking a link in such a window does not change the page in that window, but instead makes the main window open the link.

This would make sense as a way have static views at index pages, e.g. a page with bookmarks. Also this is similar to the behavior of e.g. clicking a link in the search dialog or the linkmap dialog. ((Yes the python remake has a graph dialog showing page relations...))

dotancohen (dotancohen) wrote :

Instead of separate windows, I could image this being a tabbed interface for Zim. That would be great: having multiple notes open in separate tabs, and clicking Ctrl-Tab to cycle between them like Firefox does. I currently do this with the History but it is a bit of a kludge.

nachiket (nachiket) wrote :

That's a good idea... I would very much like an option to pop-out a tab into a new window (read-only window if necessary). The idea is to be able to see data in a non-linear order from several previous notes... I think this is really useful feature to have...

In the python branch there is now an "open in new window" showing a read-only window (rev 164).

Changed in zim:
status: Confirmed → In Progress
Marc Zinnschlag (marc-zpages) wrote :

Are you still planning to make the "secondary" window writeable? The current "open in new window" feature is already a substantial improvement, but it is still a bit limited (sorry, I am just so used to applications that offer multiple fully functional windows of the same document).

Yes, this is on my list. But there are some other features I want to
work on first. So it will take some time.

See also bug #607696

From related bug report (flagged duplicate):

== pages in new window not updated ==

Steps to reproduce:

- open a page
- select "Open in New Window" from the index context menu for this specific page
- both the new window and the primary window now show the same page
- edit the page in the primary window
- the page in the new window is not updated

(Zim 0.47, 64 bit Ubuntu 9.04)

Since Zim is using gtk TextView, which already comes with a Model-View-design, it might be a good idea to let all views of a single page share the same model.

An alternative would be to not allow the same page to be opened twice, but unless you are willing to drop the primary/secondary-window distinction (which would be a Very Good Thing IMHO), this would have a negative effect on usability (navigating through the main window could randomly close secondary windows).

tags: added: missing usability
K. Bauer (k.bauer) wrote :

I noticed, that I can open the same notebook twice in --standalone mode, which might become useful for summarizing (where the current read-only implementation of the "New Window" isn't sufficient, as changes to both source and summary may be needed).

It first happened when I followed an interwiki-link, and subsequently I also tested it with Ctrl-O. As expected though it causes inconsistencies:

The index view breaks when pages are moved in one instance, e.g. take the notebook structure

CopyEquations (2)
    Source (1)

This notebook was opened twice in zim Windows A and B. In Window A I moved :CopyEquations:Target to :Home:Target.

CopyEquations (1)

In Window B however it looked like:

CopyEquations (1)

i.e. the number of subpages was updated, but not the overall tree. Gtk also complained in the log file (Attachment), I guess about the inconsistent data. When I moved back "Target" to the old position in Window A, Window B also showed the correct index again.

When trying to open a notebook a second time with Ctrl-O _without_ --standalone, zim simply crashed.

Yes, you should not open the same notebook twice. This is exactly why
"--standalone" is not the default.

Sparhawk (sparhawkthesecond) wrote :

An additional enhancement to multiple windows would be having split windows, with an option to split horizontally and vertically. Even better, recursive splitting, ala terminator.

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