I want customizable Categories, do you?

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While using Synapse, I feel a little bit “confused” by all those categories on top.
Most of the times I only want 3-4 things: Applications, Documents, Media files, Internet History.
Maybe some of you wants only 2 categories: Applications (as Default) and All (without Applications).

So I think it’s time to make categories customizable.
I started writing a configuration, but before I go ahead, I need to know what you think about that.

So this is the mockup:

Synapse Customizable Categories Mockup

Customizable Categories Mockup

Basically you can:

  • Add or Remove categories
  • Edit (Rename) current category
  • Set current category to default category when you open Synapse
  • Set what you want in the current category
  • Move current category before or after other categories

Vote, and if you don’t like the settings UI, please tell me why in comments ๐Ÿ™‚
Suggestions are welcome, here or on WebUpd8 ๐Ÿ™‚

  1. Ok, I’ll go first. This is my totally unprofessional opinion: I love the idea, I’d remove the websites from ever showing up in Synapse because they are so many and also the music because I use Grooveshark and such lately, but leave the rest.

    However, I think the implementation (the mockup I mean) is a bit confusing. From my experience I can tell you that users don’t like reading too much when doing anything so they’ll want to be able to tweak it without reading a description. If you could somehow do that, it would be great (I have no idea how, I’m really bad with UIs) ๐Ÿ™‚ Maybe some drag and drop thingy?

    P.s.: I’ve voted “Yes, it’s useful, I like the settings ui, but maybe someone could find it difficult” because I actually like it for myself “but maybe someone could find it difficult” ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Tom Syroid
    • March 25th, 2011

    Honored (indirectly) to meet you Alberto. I’ve been looking for someone involved with Synapse to contact for a long time.

    I love synapse. It’s one of my “core” apps that go on a new system install immediately after the base OS is laid down (along with vim and aptitude). I support any new/unique features you have in mind to add; if they work for me, I’ll use them; if they don’t I won’t. But nothing you could add as a tweak would hinder my core use of synapse.

    I’m not a programmer, but if there’s anything I can do to help with the development of synapse, let me know. Love to be involved (I’m a published author, so maybe some help with documentation? although synapse is so intuitive to me, I’m not sure what there is to document :-))

    • Nice to meet you Tom. Feel free to contact me here on the blog anytime you want!
      If you want to help, you can contribute to improve the wiki when new features will come out, or maybe just explaining how to use Synapse.
      Feel free to contribute (the Wiki is linked in the post)!
      Also if you have some suggestions to simplify this settings UI, please, let me know! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Oh, and I forgot to say that we need a sleek website for Synapse!

    • Michael
    • March 25th, 2011

    Yes i like the idea. Especially if synapse could search pdf-metadata like recoll. It would be the perfect tool to search my documents with customized categories.

    • David
    • March 25th, 2011

    Execllent idea!
    However, it would be great to have a checkbox for a text field, in order to filter specific extensions (sepparated by commmas, for instance) to appear in a certain category. For example, I would like to have a category to see only .py files.
    Good job!

      • Taylor
      • March 26th, 2011

      That would be spiffy! I agree generally. It would be great to be able to include custom scripts/checking for what could be included – filetype, certain included/excluded directories, whatever. This makes it as open-ended as the user wants.

    • well, there’s no need to have an option for that..
      you simply need to type “py what you want”
      or look into the Documents category typing only “py” =)

        • David
        • March 28th, 2011

        Actually that’s the first thing I tried before posting the idea ๐Ÿ˜‰
        I got, naturally, other files with “py” in the name but not in the extension; however, I also got other completely unrelated files.

    • qfqq
    • March 26th, 2011

    What I would like to see would be category profiles.

    This way I can define ways to make categories and easily switch between them.

    Need the finest level of detail to build the categories, thus per-application/place should be possible.

  2. This is definitely a must for such an amazing utility in an Linux distro. Absolute yes; but it’d be nice if there was a way to export/import settings as I use Synapse on multiple systems.

    • You can export/import your settings by copying “~/.config/synapse/config.json” ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Interesting! Now, I’m very curious about hacking a little link into the window to add this feature; UI is always welcome.

    • N
    • March 28th, 2011

    Folder customization: It would be grate to be able to choose how many levels it is possible to map and/or select manually which folder can be called that are besides the favorites…

    • Well, we’re working on folders, but I can tell you that for now, folders are retrived by searching files with zeitgeist, so you’ll not be able to set folder map from config.

    • Noder
    • March 29th, 2011

    more than customizable categories i would appreciate the customizable tray icon – because the default one is so ugly i can’t stand it, for now i disabled displaying it .. (sorry if i offended u)

    the most thing i love in synapse is this that after resume from suspend (laptop) it doesnt kill your cpu like gnome-do does … and it feels speedier than gnome do – thank you for your work on synapse ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Well, we discussed a lot the tray icon problem.
      The problem is that we can’t provide both light and dark monochrome icon.
      But you can use an icon theme that provides those icons.
      In example, if you have the lastest Faenza theme (from PPA) the Synapse’s monochrome icon is included ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. How about a related searches bubble? Like a fading in and out window to the right, top, or, left that shows activities or things you’ve used or done when interacting with the selected item?

    (Me being a bit forgetful would fine such a feature useful).

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