Keep Track of Exported Days When Exporting Experiments

journal

#1

Hi there!

I just had a thought about exportation of experiments, but I don’t know how hard it would be to implement. I generally have to export experiments in pieces (by date range), to upload them to another database for audits and such. It would be awesome if there was some way that the dates that have already been exported could be marked as “exported”, so when I open an experiment, I know exactly which dates I have and have not already exported.

Thanks so much, this is really an outstanding tool for scientists!

Best,
Caroline


#2

Hi Caroline,

That could indeed be useful, and I had looked into something like this. It can however get a bit complicated because it also means the app should monitor changes to content already exported and flag any such change to make sure you export it again.

One of the thing I thought about when adding the ‘Journal’ feature was that it would make it possible to have all your work automatically saved to PDF as you go, so you could then on a regular basis send the new content for exactly the kind of situation you describe. Note that you can select a range of dates in the journal to have just those pages exported as PDF, but that Findings will also maintain the page number consistent, even when the content for a day starts in the middle of a page. This way, you can rely on the page number of the journal being always the same for content in the past that does not change. It also makes it easy to see if something changed, as it would change the layout in a very visible way (you can easily compare what you sent the week before and check that it has not changed).

I’d be curious to hear if you look more closely at the Journal feature in Findings 2 for the purpose you describe. Any suggestion or feedback on that would be very useful, and it might be easier to actually implement what you want in the context of that feature. What do you think?

Many thanks for your feedback!

Charles


#3

Charles,

The journal is a great feature that I actually hadn’t spent much time investigating. It is almost exactly what I am looking for, as I could simply export the records at the end of each day. The only problem for me is that ideally, the pdfs I export should be separated by experiment, or at least collection. Is there a way to do that?

Thanks again!
Caroline


#4

At the moment, the journal collates all your entries, and groups content by day. So I guess the answer is no to your question :slight_smile: That said, you’ll notice that the content is still separated by entry within each day, of course.

Note that print and pdf export are also much more powerful in version 2. For instance, you can in fact select entries in the app, then in the export dialog, you can pick the range of days to export, as well as the preference to have each entry separate (your preference!) or collated (what the journal does).

Let me know if that helps. I want to make sure I understand exactly what you need, if there is a way to make things work differently in the future. In general, it’s best for me to understand the motivations behind a feature request, as it can be done in various ways that keep the app consistent and flexible, in a way that allows more users to benefit from the feature based on their use cases.


#5

The pdf export is indeed quite useful, because I can export just a single day or range of days.

Here’s a thought: what if there was an option to add a simple checkbox next to the date header in any given experiment? Maybe just to the right of the arrow to minimize that day? The checkbox could serve a variety of purposes, but for this purpose it would be a quick reminder of which dates I had already exported. Even better might the ability to add a colored flag. I don’t know which (if either) would be easier to implement, but users could use the flag for whatever purpose they like, so the feature would be pretty broadly applicable.

Let me know what you think!

Best,
Caroline


#6

Indeed, that’s a good idea. As you noticed, we already have a ‘delete’ and ‘fold’ buttons in the left gutter, as well as the calendar icon. We would have to think about how to fit one more… It would also be useful potentially for headers. Well, it’s on my todo list… Thanks for the feedback!