On Tue, May 24, 2011 at 3:12 PM, Johannes Eichner
<johannes.eich...@uni-tuebingen.de> wrote:
> Dear Galaxy-Dev Team,
> is it possible to display the headers of the columns which can be
> selected in a data_column parameter? Currently, only the column index
> (e.g., c1, c2, etc.) is displayed in Galaxy. If it would be possible to
> additionally display the column headers, the selection of the desired
> columns would be easier for the user. Is there a way to do this using
> the current version of Galaxy?
> Kind regards,
> Johannes

I completely agree that in general the UI for column parameter isn't
as user friendly as it could be. The filter data UI is even worse for
non-programmers, but due to its complexity and flexibility, that is
harder to improve too.

This was one of the things I wanted to bring up with the Galaxy team
at the conference (starting tonight). Unfortunately due to the Grimsvotn
Volcano's cloud of ash I won't be there.

In some cases yes, Galaxy knows the column meaning. In many of my
data files there is a # header line with tab separated column names,
which could be detected and shown.

Given there may or not be suitable column meta data, what I was
picturing was an expanded column picking dialogue that could show
the first few rows of data in each column (not using a simple HTML
widget anymore), or simply the first value (less drastic change).

So, rather than having as now something like: Pick column(s):
[ ] c1
[ ] c2
[ ] c3
[ ] c4
[ ] c5

If Galaxy has names in the column meta data you might have
Pick columns(s):
[ ] c1 - Identifier
[ ] c2 - Start
[ ] c3 - End
[ ] c4 - Strand
[ ] c5 - Sequence

Or, showing the first data entry: Pick columns(s):
[ ] c1, e.g. "gi|12345678"
[ ] c2, e.g. "123"
[ ] c3, e.g. "456"
[ ] c4, e.g. "+"
[ ] c4, e.g. "ACGTACTGT..."

In the final example I envision truncating very long values with
an ellipsis.

Both the above proposals don't require drastic changes to the
HTML widget and layout.

I guess we should file an enhancement issue on bitbucket:

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