Recently Used Histories

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Recently Used Histories

Jonathan Strickland-2
Hello all!

I've recently started using Galaxy, and it's a fantastic piece of
software. However, I had a question about a possible feature, and any
suggestions on how to implement it.

My use case involves working with a lot of histories, and I need to
jump back and forth between them fairly frequently. However, it's a
bit inconvenient to have to click on the "Options" button on the
rightmost pane, "Saved Histories" in the drop-down menu, and select my
history on the main pane. An easier way to switch between histories
that were recently used could definitely benefit me, and perhaps other
people too.

I propose an easily accessible list with links to the 5 most recently
visited histories.

I took a look at the source, but as I'm unfamiliar with Django and the
Galaxy codebase, I thought it might be best to come here for advice.
My initial thought was to show the last 5 most recently updated
histories underneath the "History Lists" in the options menu.
However, that would probably cause trouble when working when Shared
Histories that other people are working on, jumping up to the top of
the list whenever anyone edits them. The best solution I could think
of was to have some sort of list of the histories visited. When the
user selects a history, that history is pushed to the top of the
stack, and if there are more than 5 items in the stack, the least
recent history is popped off. Ideally, the user wouldn't need to go
back to the "Saved Histories" or "Histories Shared With Me" grid when
working with a few different histories at once.

I'm also not sure where the user's state is stored, so I don't know
where I would put this variable. I'm also not sure if there's any
hooks or anything when selecting a history that I could take advantage
of to push it to the top of the user's stack.

An issue with this approach is that an item from a history may be open
on the main pane, and the user can select another history without
going to either grid of histories. This problem doesn't currently
occur, because the only way to select a different history is by
opening up the history list on the main screen. The main pane needs to
be changed to something else upon changing histories, but I don't have
any ideas as to what would be best. Perhaps the default "Analyze Data"
screen?

Sorry for so many questions! Any answers or suggestions would be much
appreciated :) I'm also curious if anyone would benefit from this
feature besides myself!
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Re: Recently Used Histories

Jeremy Goecks
> My use case involves working with a lot of histories, and I need to
> jump back and forth between them fairly frequently. However, it's a
> bit inconvenient to have to click on the "Options" button on the
> rightmost pane, "Saved Histories" in the drop-down menu, and select my
> history on the main pane. An easier way to switch between histories
> that were recently used could definitely benefit me, and perhaps other
> people too.
>
> I propose an easily accessible list with links to the 5 most recently
> visited histories.

This seems useful if implemented well. I envision a drop-down below the 'saved histories' menu item that appears on extended hover and provides links to recent histories. To implement I suggest:

(a) create a SQLAlchemy query of user's histories sorted by last update time with limit N (e.g., 5)

(b) provide this list to the index.mako template in the root.py/index method

(c) refresh the middle frame using handle_refresh_frames() code in message.mako

To get started with Galaxy, you'll want to create a fork of galaxy-central and work locally. Once you have something that works, please issue a pull request.

Thanks,
J.
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