Should TaskPaper auto-indent items under the current project?

Continuing the discussion from TaskPaper: when I "focus" on a project, all of the existing tasks are hidden?:

Good point, I hadn’t noticed that difference. And if you were expecting one behavior I can certainly see how this would be confusing. With that said, the current version of me, feels like the current behavior is the correct one. I’ll listen to arguments for auto indenting after projects… but at the moment I’m firmly in the camp of leaving things the way they are.

I was confused by this behaviour, too and would expect auto-indentation.
I was also expecting that repeated use of the return key on empty lines would reduce the indentation level.

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The TaskPaper 2 behavior feels like the correct behavior to me. Every outliner I’ve used does it this way as well.

@jessegrosjean — I’m curious as to why the new behavior feels like the correct one to you. When you make a new project, wouldn’t the first thing to follow be an indented child of that project? Or do you make a list of projects one after the other? I’m just trying to get a sense of why the new behavior feels better to you.

Truth is I don’t create new projects all that often. But yes, at times I have created a list of projected before adding tasks, especially when first starting to use an app.

To me it feels correct because it’s the simplest behavior.

Press Return, creates a new line at same level as previous line. This is what I’m used to from most text editor. And also (I think anyway, I’m not sure now that you say they work different) I think this is how most outliners work. For instance I just tried:

  1. Tree
  2. Fargo
  3. Outlinely

They all just created the next item at the same level after the current item. I don’t think any of them have the notion of a project/header so maybe in outliners that have that notion it’s different? I guess can you give me an example of what outliners do it this way.

I do special case one Return behavior… that’s when you press enter on a line that has child items and they are expanded. Most outliers that I know about do indent the new line in that case… and TaskPaper does to. But indenting auto indenting under a line that isn’t expanded and doesn’t have children still doesn’t seem right to me.

I’ll check my outliners for an example when I get home tonight.

If you don’t want to go back to the TP2 behavior, please consider an alterative, like Shift-Return performing the TP2 behavior.

FYI—I checked my outliners and they don’t do the TP2 behavior. I might be remembering project or task management software, or some of the web-based task managers. I am sorry for misremembering.

I’ll still stand behind the TP2 behavior. I think you had it right.

Maybe make this a preference setting that each user can set themselves?

I have an app called Listacular on my iPod that I can use with Taskpaper files, I’m pretty sure it doesn’t relate tasks to projects by auto-indenting. On a small screen indenting takes too much space, I could imagine that I would ‘lose’ backwards compatibility with Listacular if this were implemented, it would just be too annoying trying to deal with the formatting. I sync with Dropbox.

@jessegrosjean May I suggest a compromise then. As @Jim suggested, pressing cmd+return or shift+return would create a task and auto-indent. That way, those coming from regular text editors won’t be surprised by auto-indentation, and once they become more familiar with the app, they can benefit from the quick shortcut.

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Hitting Tab after a project is just part of my normal flow. Has been for years. TP 2 confused me because it was different.

I have to admit it has gotten me a few times. I could probably get used to it but I prefer the TP2 behavior.

You’ll probably get fewer support questions when auto-indent is the default…haha. As someone unfamiliar with other outliners, I had to find out why my lists didn’t show up when selecting a project in the side bar, too. Is there a benefit to keeping list items at project-level? Also, while keeping the indent is the simplest behavior, I’d argue that automatically adding an indent after a project is just another case of easing one into list-making and similar to automatically adding a hyphen or adding to a numbered list.

Anyway, now that I’m more familiar with TaskPaper I don’t mind either way, but still, +1 for a setting.

You forgot to try FoldingText. As soon as you type “-” It automatically indents and gives you a bullet. If you’re in .todo mode it gives you a checkbox, which is essentially Taskpaper.

The larger issue is that in Taskpaper 3 visually there is an implied hierarchy when in fact tasks are not subordinate.

I would argue that in FoldingText terms the behavior of hitting Return when the cursor is on a heading line is a better match to what we are talking about… how should new items get created and where should they be put.

The typing of a dash at the start of a line in FoldingText is just changing an existing item to another type. Similar I would suggest as typing Tag to adjust the indentation of an item in TaskPaper.

I wasn’t using TP2 since a while and, must confess, got confused at first when I saw TP3 wasn’t auto-indenting

after a while, though, I find the new behaviour more “natural”: I rather prefer hitting “Tab” when I need to indent (the first line, following ones follow by just hitting Return) than have to remember a key combination that gets me out of indents