The List pane
The Lists pane is third pane of the MicroContent client. The first pane is the view-pane, where the contents of a MicroContent item can be seen. The second pane is the item-pane with an overview of MicroContent items. The Lists-pane is the pane where lists can be maintained. Selecting a List by clicking on it will reveal the content of the list (the items) in the Item-pane. The Lists-pane can have other names as well, such as Bookshelves (Delicious Library), Accounts (pmPost), Workspaces (OmniWeb), Groups (Address Book), Playlists (iTunes), Albums (iPhoto), Subscriptions (NetNewsWire), etc.
Lists are sets of MicroContent items as defined by the user or the application. One sees several possible lists types:
- Library Lists - these are basically the lists that contain all items. For instance all recipes in MacGourmet, or the Library with all songs in iTunes;
- Connected Lists - these lists reside on other devices, but are connected via the network. The great example is here the iPod in iTunes or music on other computers, which are detected by Rendez-Vous;
- Subscribed Lists - there are few clients that subscribe this. Basically these are feeds (RSS, Atom, whatever) and are thus published on Internet by other people. The MicroContent-client is able to view these items. NetNewsWire is the example, but this application is only able to view subscribed lists. However this idea can easily be extended to other types of MicroContent as well. In a sense the iTunes Music Store is a list as well;
- Smart Lists - The content of these lists are calculated on the fly and depend on a set of rules defined by the user. These rules use the Metadata-fields of the MicroContent. In iTunes these can be the songs a user has rated with five stars. In MacGourmet these might be the recipes a user has prepared, all unread items in NetNewsWire;
- User-defined Lists - Users can create new lists give them a name and filling them by dragging a MicroContent item onto the List;
Lists help the user to sort and manage his MicroContent and function as a kind of filter: show me only these items, the ones that I selected, the ones that fulfil certain criteria.