my misunderstanding


I just want to let you know how I misunderstood stacks and thought my scapple is broken. I figured the notes would be stacked vertically, hiding notes like in a stack of paper, just overlapping a bit to have it visualized. I kept hitting command-return and was getting nuts because nothing happened.
Probably due to my bad english and no fault of yours. But maybe interesting for you and maybe a suggestion for future versions. I could use a feature to hide notes beneath others, in order to achieve… order.

Think about it in terms of what is in front of you: your computer screen is very likely inclined at a nearly vertical angle before your eyes. The base of your screen is closer to the gravity well of Earth than the top of the screen. So the row of pixels along the top of the monitor is literally above the row of pixels vertically below it. Hence, a “stack” is a vertical composition of notes. But even if you conceptualise the Scapple board as being “flat” on a desk before you, this usage of ‘vertical’ as representing the direction from you and away from you is typical in drafting and mathematics. From Wikipedia:

But you might be right, I could briefly explain all of that in the manual for non-English speakers as it is a usage that has its roots in scientific jargon. It is something that I just take for granted.

As for a three-dimensional representation in Scapple, there are no plans for that. Part of its design concept is that ideas should spread outward on a flat plane, and that concepts should not be obscured into collective representations, by topical hierarchy, as folders do. Think of creative uses for all of that vast space you have at your disposal. The things you write in the board needn’t be all jammed up together; give them space to breathe and room to grow if you start feeling as though you need to hide things. You can achieve much of what a folder gives you merely by moving the things you would have put into a folder, far enough away to be outside of the current window space. The QuickZoom feature makes jumping around between groups of ideas very easy, especially if you use font sizes to create a “map” that you can read even all the way zoomed out. But unlike folders, everything will always be right in front of you. Nothing will be buried six layers below what you are looking at, or 4 layers deeper and 8 categories over, for that matter.

Wow, thanks for your lengthy answer. I was probably influenced by the way pictures are stacked on the iPad Photo App. You certainly need not explain “vertically” in your manual. But if you want to make sure stupids like me get it right, a single Picture at this point of the manual will explain more than words.

I totally understand and appreciate your explanations about the “philosophy” of scapple, that makes sense. I get now that I can drag away stuff to where it doesn´t hurt and I really like the idea of using different font sizes. That gives the whole thing another dimension.

I´m loving it more and more. I´m using it in full-screen mode on a large second monitor right now to brainstorm my new novel. It´s gorgeous.

Thanks! I’m glad to hear you like it. I have to say that it has redeemed full screen for me. For most programs I have little or no use for the feature (at least on a decently sized monitor, on the little MacBook Air 11", it is nice to use every available pixel), but for something like this having a huge space available and no distracting interface around it is perfect for thinking.

Good idea in regards to a screenshot though. It would be good to show a stack in practice.