Smart groups improvement

As many of us, I often have to perform repetitive searches.
Smart groups are good to speed-up the searches but (almost always) two searches based on a smart group are very similar but not identical: 1 or 2 search criteria change from one to another.
You then need to select the smart group, access the edit panel, change the variable criteria and then close the panel.

Better than starting from scratch but maybe there’s room for improvement:

  • when building a smart group you can mark one or more of the searching criteria as “variable” (with a checkmark)
  • when opening the smart group you are immediately prompted for the variable criteria; you simply have to fill-in the fields in the pop-up window and the smart group will be built as needed.

That is an interesting proposal, @johseb.

I’d suggest a couple of tweaks to your suggestion. First, since Smart Groups can originate as saved searches from the Search panel, maybe instead of automatically prompting for variables, there could be a “Open in Search Panel” feature accessed by control-clicking a Smart Group, and which would immediately open a copy of the Search panel that’s populated with the parameters of that Smart Group. The adjusting of settings can occur then. I’m afraid I might be like other readers, and merely clicking a Smart Group and firing off a “change my variable settings” dialog would get old. It might be a bit too spring-loaded for usability. The advantage of using the Search Panel is that it combines parameters and results - and See Also, etc.

The other tweak is long overdue – the “Advanced” section of the Search panel needs to go away and those settings brought into the main sidebar of Search. If there was one unified sidebar then the kind of on-the-fly parameter adjustment that @johseb suggests (if I’m not putting words in someone’s mouth :confused: ) would be easier to accomplish.

(I won’t get into the details, but my proposal can be adjusted to accommodate database scope - local or universal.)

Hi @korm,
thanks for your interesting reply; a significant portion of it was originally contained in my post (but deleted before posting for sake of clarity) so I agree with you.

My proposal is evidently a work-around due to the difficulty to set-up searches quickly using the “Advanced” section of the Search panel.
I’m with you in saying that all search criteria (advanced or not) must be immediately and easily available in the window; I also made a few other proposal in some old threads to improve the search activities in DTPO but while waiting for a new interface I thought it would have been easier to have at least the smart-smartgroups :wink: .