[MLZ] New release

MLZ users will have noticed a recent upgrade to the client.

The latest release incorporates two major improvements:
  • The code behind the right-side panel has been completely rewritten. The original code was written before I fully understood how the Zotero UI itself works, and it showed - the new code is much more stable (and easier to work with from a programming standpoint). The multilingual menus are now both available under right-click, and various bugs in the old interface have been fixed.

  • Legal support is now driven by a new system of jurisdiction and court identifiers. Free-text entry is permitted for courts, but unrecognized entries are highlighted in yellow. Both recognized and unrecognized entries will render normally in citations.
These two revisions are a major milestone for the project. If you find bugs or have ideas on how the interface can be improved, please don't hesitate to post!
  • edited February 9, 2015
    This looks great! Excellent work.

    A couple of thoughts (all of these coming from a Mac installation):

    1. There is a weird extra space between Jurisdiction and whatever field follows it for various item types.

    2. For journal articles, I would expect the Status field to be used relatively infrequently, and it is conceptually very similar to a publication date. I think it might be better to place this field after Date, as that would put these two similar fields together and move an infrequently used field mostly out of the way.

    3. Many fields (e.g., Short Title, Jurisdiction), highlight when hovering over them, suggesting that they can be clicked, but nothing happens when clicking them.

    4. Sometimes, when changing item types, the item type field disappears and is replaced by a second Author field. This stays when changing items or libraries, but is fixed when closing the MLZ window and reopening. It happens consistently with changing to and from Case and Hearing, but I can't see a pattern for other item types.

  • Thanks for these pointers. I'll work on smoothing these out. Item (4) is obviously top priority. I uncovered a bug in item type switching this morning, caused by some early, unnecessary MLZ code. My readjustments after removing it were obviously not quite right.

    On (3), do you mean the labels? They should receive a border on hover. If that's happening, it's according to design, but I can see that it could be confusing.

    The aim is to have a consistent operation for the multilingual menus (right-click, because it's available on all field types), and to provide a hint of which fields are multilingualize-able (and hence recognize a right-click on the label). I'm open to suggestions and mock-ups for how to represent that on the label.
  • Here is a rundown of small adjustments to the release:
    1. Issue (4) above is fixed. MLZ restricts the implicit panel rewrite on item.save() to the creator fields. It's a small performance tweak to keep the panel from becoming sluggish if it contains many multilingual variants. When switching between items, a full refresh of the panel is forced, so that the correct fields appear in the refactored item. This bug was caused by forcing the refresh after the save - it needs to happen before, and with that change, the bug goes away.

    2. Issue (2) has been resolved by moving the Status field below Date in the Journal Article type.

    3. On issues (1) & (3), I'll need to take a look on a Mac sometime soon.
  • On (3), yes I meant the labels. If it serves a purpose, then the highlighting obviously makes sense. I hadn't set up any of the multilingual features when I was testing, so perhaps that's why right-click didn't do anything?
  • Oh, if no languages are defined, the labels shouldn't change on hover. I'll look into the Mac CSS, and test on a local machine.
  • Ah. It wasn't a Mac thing, the label borders were just not being disabled when no languages were present. I've fixed that, and made some adjustments to align the menuing behaviour on creators and ordinary fields.

    Looks like the remaining issue is the weird extra space you're seeing below the Jurisdiction field.
  • As a note, the space I'm talking is visible in your picture here:

    There is more space after Jurisdiction than after any other field.
  • That's the surplus space occupied by the open field. That extra space appears on every field when opened (on my system, at least), but the Court and Jurisdiction labels are behaving a little differently from the others - they top-align, instead of centering, so the added space is more visible.

    I'll fix that glitch in the CSS, then get ahold of a local Mac to take a proper look.
  • MLZ should now be level with Zotero 4.0.26.

    Meanwhile, I've made a small change to the behaviour of the creator labels. When a creator is open for editing, clicking on the label will close the field, as it does for the others. Clicking on the label with fields closed opens the creator type selection menu as per normal.

    I'm not sure how the change will be received, but close-on-label-click is a handy operation, and it seems nice for it to be available across all field types.
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