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Clipothèque's 'Smart Drop'

Some call it revolutionary but it's only a hack.

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Clipothèque offers a unique opportunity to streamline data input - especially if you're using a data sheet to edit your data.

One of the developers called the feature SmartDrop™.

And yes it's clever but it's not something immediately applicable to all applications. Nevertheless it's a good hack and it serves Clipothèque fanatics well.

Three Fields Well Defined

A Clipothèque record has three fields: an arbitrary text title, a direct link, and an embed code; a direct URL is going to start with file://, http://, or https:// whilst an embed code will always begin with a '<'.

Before the Sheet Opens

The Clipothèque user doesn't have to open the data sheet to begin input: data can be dropped directly on the document window. Clipothèque figures out what type of data is being dropped and signals the class running the sheet accordingly.

This can also be overridden. A drop in the upper third of the document window fills in the 'title' field; a drop in the middle third fills in the URL field; and a drop in the bottom third fills in the embed code field. All the user does is hold down a shift key to override default behaviour.

By default the application works as follows. The document class gets wind of a drop, sees the pasteboard has the proper type of data (NSString) and then calculates in which third of the document window the drop took place.

The document class then passes this information onto the data sheet class.

The data sheet class will determine whether this information should be used.

-(BOOL)performDragOperation:(id )sender {
    /* * */
    if (pasteboard has NSString) {
        divide drop y by frame height by 1/3;
        start sheet, pass result of above division;
    /* * */

The data sheet then determines whether the user overrode default behaviour and if not sends the dropped string on for processing.

A separate snippet analyses the dropped string and returns a value easily transformed into a pointer to the appropriate text field.

Out of bounds checking is easy here as default is always the first or title field.

The sheet now opens with one of the fields already filled in.

Once the Sheet Opens

The user can fill from one to three fields in the new record; one field is already ready. The title has to be typed in no matter what; there can be two further drops. But the drops will now occur on the data sheet itself.

Drops can occur on any field of an open sheet regardless of contents but Clipothèque makes it once again a bit easier. If the drop seems to be on the right field the field is temporarily coloured green; if it's the wrong field the field becomes red.

This too can be overridden by holding down a shift key - in which case the target field is temporarily the system colour for 'selected text background' (a powder blue). This because the operating system can at times lose the resources necessary to keep its own visual clues on screen.

The same snippet previously used to determine drop type is used again.

 1. Dropping plain text on the upper field is OK.

 2. Dropping a link on the upper field is not so OK.

 3. Dropping a link on the middle field is better.

 4. Dropping an embed code on the bottom field is a really great thing to do.

Not Just Easy - Too Easy

Clipothèque becomes not just easy but 'too easy' to use - which is the whole idea. Reduce the number of work moments and get the data stored as smoothly and as efficiently as possible. You're supposed to enjoy your clips - not play with them!


For the month of July 2008 Clipothèque is only €7.99 ($12). Clipothèque is also available in the ACP and the Xfile packages.

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