Yeah, that’s some interesting thinking. I would say that the solution probably has to be unique to Fibery, but should still be more intuitive/obvious/accessible than what we have now. What we have works just fine, for the most part. It’s just really unintuitive for anyone coming from any other more traditional tool.
The other thing I do want to point out, though, is the problem with the rule-based approach is it becomes complicated if you want to offer the user some flexibility. Let’s say, for example, you want to use Fibery as a task tracker, so you have 1 Database for tasks. You setup an automation for reminders. But if you want some to remind you 1 week beforehand, some 1 day beforehand, and some only (or additionally) when it’s after a due date, those all have to be separate automations/rules. You could setup buttons to enable each kind of automation I suppose. Or even one that takes an input value from the user. But it’s just clunky compared to a normal task manager, many of which have all of those options built-in to a simple, easy to use task scheduling dialog. They’re also easier to update/change reminder settings for a task later.
Of course there are workarounds, for example you could have another field in that Database to hold a “Days Before Due Reminder” value that you can easily change. But that likewise is clunky, and clutters up your Entity view. Perhaps I am missing a better/simpler way to do this. If not, it’s definitely something that should be considered for dedicated functionality. Obviously a line has to be drawn, you don’t want to create custom functionality for every possible function, or even a few, but there are just a couple (like Date, which has options for Start/End or single date, and enable/disable Time) that might well justify some special affordances.