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I don't know of any case when the pseudo-state "Unspecified" is used. This means that it's always unvisited and therefore provides no information at all.
So it would be nice to hide it from the Workflow tab.
As a bonus, it would be nice to make this tab more useful by allowing admins to configure/tailor and provide more interactivity.
For example: allow to add hyperlinks to states to link to documentation.
I have been reviewing this Idea that you have posted, I wanted to mention that there is no plan to implement the removal of the Unspecified State. I would like to know, what exactly you want to achieve by allowing States to have hyperlinks to documents?
If this was ever done (though currently, as Kartik mentioned there are no plans for that), then the visualization and display of the Integrity workflow would have to be reviewed. Right now, "Unspecified" is not a real state but is used for those visualization/workflow purposes to show that an item has to enter into an initial real state, and doesn't start out in one.
Like in the scenario of Type "Whatzit"
Workflow: unspecified -> LetsDoThis -> WeDidThis
There is a state transition from unspecified to LetsDoThis (that may, or may not be satisfied). A lot of existing customers use that transition to control through permissions who can actually create those Types, or not.
OK, I need to explain better:
1) I'm not asking to remove "Unspecified". I'm asking to hide it from the workflow display presented to users for instantiated items.
In other words, this pseudo-state is necessary to define workflows. As Michael points out, there is no question that it is used to control the creation of items. But that is an administrative function.
Once the workflow is defined, as Michael also explains ("Unspecified" is not a real state), when users create an item, the first state that is ever displayed in color is "LetsDoThis" (in the example above). From the end-user's perspective, when they look at the Workflow tab of an item's presentation template, Unspecified is never colored because it has never been visited. I believe that if you look at every item of every Integrity system out there, you will not find one item where that bubble is colored (to be fair, I did see it once in the past, but that was many years ago on a system where people had no idea what they were doing and I fixed it, so that doesn't count ;-).
We all agree that any item should always have an initial state, and that state will never be "Unspecified".
So, for end-users, the "Unspecified" bubble is just noise that takes up display space. What I ask for, is to keep it in the admin client but hide it from the presentation template.
2) The hyperlink idea: The problem with the workflow diagram is that it's too static. One idea, for basic added functionality, would be to be able to have the user click on a state bubble and get some information. One simple implementation would be a simple URL that links to some web page with help information. So I'm not asking for hyperlinks to documents (I believe Kartik may be thinking "Integrity documents", but that's not my idea. I was referring to documentation.).
In the example above, the user would click on "Open" and get to some "thisType_ThisState_Help.html" page somewhere that provides help about what that state means for that type and what the user should/could do now. All that's needed for that is a URL attribute for state definitions and a client that knows how to launch it.
Even better would be a client that passes parameters to the launcher such as the Item ID, the current user, etc. Now we could build some interactive help with that, and that would be great (something a little bit like custom actions but don't get me started on that 😉
I understand this is really a separate idea, so I'll leave it at that for now!
I hope this helps.
Thanks for the clarification. I'm now moving this to Future Consideration. About the hyperlinks, I believe you are aware that in the Swing Client, the user is shown tool tips regarding specific states. This ability is not available in the Web UI if you are using that as an interface. Does this work for you?
Thanks for the reply Kartik and for keeping this idea in the pile.
Yes, I'm aware of tool tips (I use them everywhere) and no, that is not enough. I need to be able to provide much more context-sensitive information that cannot fit in a little text box. And it has to work in all interfaces.
Regarding number 2: Hyperlink Idea
We had same discussion in our Company and solved it following ("WORKAROUND only with high effort for implementing")
We created a Questionmark-Symbol, one for each State, and have added a rule that only that is visible which belongs to State which is opened.
Each Symbol has a link to a Guide available in our Intranet, explaining how to work within that state.
It would be much better and would make our work easier, if we could configure this for a State per Type.
@LLawton: Does this cover your idea?
Yes, your workaround covers my idea for the state-based hyperlink.
But as you say, this involves tremendous effort (much more than "high" in my view); we just cannot afford it. That's why it would be good to have PTC provide at least some basic functionality that we can build on with much less effort.
Thanks for sharing with us.
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