Please Rethink Link Default

As a long time Scrivener fan and advocate, I am thrilled to now use Scapple!

I have a request that, I believe, represents very minor programming implications with significant import to those who (would) use this awesome program.

The Scapple User Manual: “Note that connecting lines are always dotted lines unless there is an arrow at either end (or at both ends).”

I urge you to reconsider this!

In representing relationships visually, there is an important qualitative distinction between solid and dotted lines. Two main considerations.

  1. Dotted lines are often used to represent a tentative or informal relationship. For example, it is very common in organizations to refer to a “dotted line” relationship between people who work together but do not formally report to one another. Likewise, in process maps, proposed operations are often represented by dotted rather than solid lines.

  2. Forcing arrows in order to evoke a solid line is problematic. First, an arrow indicates directionality or cause. Not all connections are related in this way. In fact representing a relationship with an arrow implying directionality or cause could be detrimental as it can be misleading or outright false. Furthermore, forcing a dotted line as the alternative (as Scapple currently requires) is equally problematic as it inaccurately connotes an uncertain, proposed, informal, tentative, temporary or permeable relationship, as noted above.

Finally, forcing user compliance seems so un-L&L, so un-Keithlike! :laughing:

May I urge you to give your capable users this small choice of dotted or solid lines for their connecting links?

Empowering Scapple users to accurately represent relationships diagrammatically will really add utility and thus value to what promises to be an amazingly useful tool.

Thank you! :slight_smile:

Don Blohowiak, PhD

Hi Don,

I have nothing against making this a preference, but I don’t want to add lots of options for line styles for individual lines.

All the best,

I strongly support options of different line formats. This is not an idiosyncratic request. All organizational charts distinguish between solid and dotted lines in terms of direct reporting and indirect relationships. This carries over to concepts as well. Every program I have seen that has line functionality has opportunities for solid, dashed, and dotted lines, as well as the capacity to change the weight or thickness of these lines.

Ohhh yes, I would love to have solid lines for connections, too! (as an option in preferences).
Second Shenandoah’s arguments!