Can the menu bar icon indicate that current document has hooks?

I think it would be useful if the hook icon bar could indicate if a document (or file selected in finder) has other documents hooked to it. Currently it appears one has to click on the hook icon, then click on the hook symbol in the drop down menu to get the list of documents connected. Since most of the time for me the answer is “none” (at least as I start using hook), that is a time consuming task. I’d rather have the icon indicate quickly that there is more context to the current document.


Ottmar’s suggestion is a good one, but I think the problem is a more central issue (for me, at least) with Hook. As he points out, you have to open the Hook window to see if the current selections has hooks. After doing this for a while, I am tempted to stop using Hook. It is too much overheard. Ottmar’s suggestion is good, but it requires that a selection be made before one knows whether there are hooks involved. Another, for me more useful way, would be to change the file icon (somewhat as Dropbox used to do, maybe still does?). Really, what Hook does should be an OS function; hooray that CogSciis filling in an OS defect here, but the closer you can get to the file system UI, the better.

I like @ottmar’s suggestion – though I wonder if it would introduce a lot of useless computing cycles since Hook might have to be monitoring lots of activity on the compute just for the occasional “hey, I’ve been here before” message.

Maybe a different approach would be to let us invoke the Hook window with the keyboard shortcut, and have the window remain persistent (and on top of other windows) as we browsed through files in Finder, of in DEVONthink, or OmniFocus, etc. The Hook window would update with hook info for the current item selected. With this approach, once we close the Hook window, then the monitoring would cease.

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Thanks for bringing this up as a separate request. In another topic, I alluded to this kind of feature:

We also intend to provide a preference to enable/disable: the menu bar icon reflecting whether the current item has any links (or the number of links). E.g., suppose you’re reading a PDF that has 3 links, the menu bar icon would reflect that somehow (possibly showing the # of links).

That is also a concern of mine.So I should not have said “we also intend to provide” but “intend to investigate”. We haven’t delved into it deeply yet. The feature would need a lot of thought and testing. And the user would need to be able to turn it off (as @quorm mentioned), and possibly configure it further (e.g., excluding certain apps from such monitoring).

And we will listen to the community to make sure we develop the best way of meeting the requirements.

I like quorm’s suggestion about a persistent window. It would be something like a system sidebar. It could work like the persistent Info window in Finder (the one you get when you type Cmd-Option-I), which gives detailed if for the currently selected file, and changes as you select different files.

I just looked at ScreenCastsOnline’s video about Hook. Though it makes things very clear, what stands out for me is how much Hook cries out for a visual representation of the connected network. Maybe even an actual diagram of connections. I guess I really want Hook to be kind of a part of the Finder, showing me connections, if any, whenever I’m working with any file.

In the screen cast, Don is working with a Pages file, but there is nothing that shows him the links between that file and other files. Instead, he has to open Hook and look at the info it contains. I think in a real (not beta) production environment, I just wouldn’t do that.

What is the status of the investigation? :slight_smile:

After partially implementing this and lots of internal back and forth our current plan is to put the info in a separate window, as @Broadway suggests, rather than a menu bar icon. I don’t want to put an ETA on this but I can say it’s near the top of a list – but we are juggling multiple lists.