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Biz Graphics or Outliners' mix-up between just-grouping and order (and Scapple being about your-getting-what-you-pay-for)

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Posted by 22111
Mar 20, 2023 at 02:41 PM



I had then spoken of that “mesh” of mine (1) ... having previously spoken about “outlining by essence” (2a), not by your traditional notion of “time-line”, of “plot”... (2) - sorry for the weird numbering, but it’ll be the definite one, not only for me, but for any not-debrained person writing.

It’s obvious that your - secondary - outline will be about the “presentational timeline” (or whatever you call it) will follow “what people will see”, be that on screen (by their attendance), be that in your textbook (by them turning your pages), but as I had said “above”,  you’ll need somewhat else (1) in front of your (traditional) outline (2) - call it “mesh”, “the core”, whatever you like, but do NOT call it “the agenda”, since, as said, the “agenda” would have been the “things to do”, i.e. the “realization” of your “core”, and oh so sorry about that further upside-down of your traditional notions… going back to the roots - Aristote et al., or then, what language really means, beyond today’s aberrations, has always been one of the very best ideas supposedly coming to you… as a base for then any “creational ideas” you might have on top of those basics…

Now, and I’ve said that already, my writings here are just sketches, but then, most alleged “contributers”’ writings here are just dispendable as we all know, so even some serious contributor’s “sketches” might then be acceptable in the end?

And my (2a) above obviously was just an intermediate “finding”, since I had said, do your outline by the essence, not by the “realization” / “illustration” / whatever you call it for “what people will see / read”...

Whilst in fact, the solution is obvious:

level0 - the source item of your tool, be it displayed or not, then:

_level1 Your project’s/case’s/whatever “plan”‘s name (and identification number/string if necessary…)

(__level1 Your outline, NO! This instead, as simple as it gets:)

__level1 (1) Essence/Core/Whatever you like to name it, but please: do NOT call it “Agenda”: you’d “out” yourself as a real moron… ; with:
___level2 Some min. count of ESSENCE identifications (which more or less, yeah, form a mesh, as explained above, and:), every one as concise as possible, and be readable without “scrolling” the “item” in question; number: up to perhaps 15 at most…
____level3 those up to 15 “essence”* items

___level2 Your “agenda” as it had been originally devised, i.e. the “illustration” of your essence, the “timeline” as you will expose it to your audience, with
____level3 Up to several hundreds of “items” (i.e. “sub-subjects”, whatever) here, and for convenience or any other reasons, you will probably sub-organize them in some what we call “further sub tree”...

* = I once called this “the presence”, just for myself, since that “essence” has to be present to you all the time - which sometimes might prove kind of a memory / memorization challenge, but then:

It’s obvious, too, that whenever you deviate, in (2) (and its descendants…), from (1), you will have to reconsider if you rather adjust (1) (with its descendants: in case your (2) work will have brought some new light into (1)) - and, obviously, sometimes (what do I say?: regularly!) re-thinking your (1), will certainly be a really bad idea…), or if then, your (2) deviation from (1) might be just have been a caprice, a “deviation” from your “essence” indeed, and that you should not follow that fad - at least here, in your current context that is (sic!), and thus you’ll have to be willing to “throw away”... which obviously shows the innate interest of some “(meanwhile, or then - who knows, maybe even definitely?, discarded” format: a format that even expensive (Devonthink) or subscription-only (Ulysses App) Mac tools obviously do not offer today…


Now, it’s obviously that in any outliner’s (tree (hierarchy) or list (“siblings”)) “order”, the notion of “order” plays a role, at least implicitely… when in many, or even most specific, use cases, we just want to group elements / items / even sub-trees, an’thus, what to do?

From my personal experience, my (albeit more and more failing) memory helps me with making the (implicit) distinction when I see my groups-by-separator-lines (I had explained them “above”, even years ago…), but yes, there currently has not been invented (or introduced into obtainable software) a clear distinction…

(And the same is true for explanation points, which currently serve TWO - very different indeed! - purposes: 1) “oh: (i.e. identified) problem!”, but then, also: 2) “Do!” - and that’s not the same thing indeed! (I help myself in distinguishing these by using the traditional “!” for 1), and then the double “!!” for my ToDo’s, and here again, your milage might vary, but be(come) aware of your simple “!” not clearing up things…)

And so, having - very shortly indeed! - been tempted by buying “Scapple”, at its incredibly low price of 21$ plus VAT minus 25 p.c., I quickly realized that “in my time”, i.e. in those times, 25 years ago, I coded software (without being “on par” for also selling it: acknowledged!), I had some MUCH, VERY MUCH better at my disposal, in the form of “ABC Flowcharter” (3.0), which I had bought at a (nowadays seemingly) obscene price of several hundred bucks… and yes, it was a piece of crap: it was buggy as hell… and so, Micrografx, at the time, then sold it (with the bugs not attended…) for about 20 bucks in the end… (And yes, Scapple developers’ incredibly non-intuitive “writers”’ software, “Scrivener”, is always available half-price, while I am not a “crimper” - I’m not an idiot, see? -, but just saying, for “crimpers”, hahaha…)

Some years later, I had been able to get “Micrografx 2000” for somewhat of a pittance, on Ebay, and that version, at last, worked as expected - so, the rule of “you get what you pay for” had seemed to not apply here, considering my 500 Deutschmarks or some expenditure for their previous 3.0 crap… but then, it’s NOT possible to get “Micrografix Whatever” of whatever they now call their Flowcharter now… if even it’s available anymore… since it’s been sold to Corel, and which seem to have made even quite a biz model out of buying other people’s software, and then let it more or less die - and then, WinDVD, anyone? -, or then, rent it just out?


Fact is: ABC Flowcharter / Micrografx 2000 (and some later, again very expensive version of that tool I then refrained of from buying again…) came with what they had called a “Notes” field, and into which you then could, e.g. put “developments” of any sort, e.g. your “scenes” (’ markup or rtf text, or is it called “markdown”? whatever…), or your code… when writing Windows tools… and then, “export” was your friend…

Now compare with (cheap indeed, but not being worth much more…) “Scapple”, or then other “flow charters” of today’s, “online” or otherwise “by subscription only”: NO “Notes” field or whatever you, or then they, might call it, as far as my research goes…

(And I own MS Visio, while it isn’t included anymore in more recent MS subscriptions / buys, and there, I haven’t found that functionality either…)

And thus, with Scapple and the(ir) like, you are NOT able anymore to also really PUT INTO ACTION (= (2) above) your conceptional thinking (= (1) above, as it had been possible, 25, even 30 years ago, with ABC Flowcharter (buggy, as said), and then Micrografx-whatever-they-called-it-then in the early 2000’s…

BUT you have to find another, some even-nowadays-viable, solution for your task-at-hand, and that will has been UR for the last 2 years now in my case, and will be my solution for my final years I suppose - and that’s for all of the reasons given above, and despite the fact that…

whilst a flowcharter of the time - i.e. a real good one as Micrografix’ in the early 2000’s - had been able to much better realize what I call the “mesh” ((1)), because of its “graphical” = two-dimensional character, did NOT mix up order and vicinity - BOTH concepts are immensely valuable, within their own respective range of application, and then their conceptional mix with each other, in all (?) current outliners, is much more than just annoying indeed -

And no, “tightbeam” and others of the(ir) like: I give a SHIT about YOUR consideration, but I - with the implicit approval of our landlord, Chris Murtland - use this forum for publishing current’s conception’s best of outlining insights - or then, I dare anybody: give the URLs…


Let’s face it, fellows, for our scope of (more or less personal) IM:

- “Framework” was fantastic (and so, it’s not understandable that its main developer - i.e.: conceptionalist?! - hasn’t then got to be one of our now-times’ conceptionalists-of-choice…)

- askSam was fantastic (and so, it’s not understandable that their owners couldn’t - = weren’t willing to, that is?! - hire the necessary “coding-power” (to replace those now-obsolete notions of “man-power” or even “person-power”, once and for all…)

- my “Manuscript” at its time (i.e. 1996/97) hadn’t been THAT abysmally poor, considering, since it came with transclusion (avoiding (!) ) and many more so-called “features” which even nowadays have not become “standard”

- coding’s for coders, while conceptioning is for people like Framework’s, askSam’s, Manuscript’s (= I, yeah) conceptionalists, and there’s no, and there never has been any, coder, willing to code for 50:50 (of the proceeds then) for any-of-us, since those coders, those technicians, those (2)-people, dare seriously think they could do the (1)-thing accessorarily - oh my, what fools those technicians are…

(And see how bad today’s MindJet/MindManager continues to be (for conception, i.e. not speaking of just presentational uses here…), after 2 (or more?) decades of (so-called:) “development”?!)

Go to hell, “tightbeam” and similar: Some real people are able to listen, and to take profit from conceptional thinking.


At the end of the day, and, as IM / “computing” in general anyway, “outlining”‘s a tool… and to say it all: Yes, in some good 2-pane outliner, or then, any as-good 3-pane outliner (of which’s kind currently none exists, it seems to me…), it’s the possibility to ADD NOTES to my initial thoughts, and that, together with the IMMEDIATE AVAILABILITY of those “notes”, i.e. developments, of my thoughts, makes the attraction of any pc, or then Mac, tool, which promises to separate “initial thought”, and then, its “development”, which, obviously, no “loo paper” paradigm is able to convey, notwithstanding their possible “outlining” add-ons…

And for pane-outliners’ mixing up “grouping” and “sorting”: I don’t know yet, for some “final solution”... but then, except for my advice, “multiply separator-lines” (i.e. items which just contain some 10 or 20 “underlines”, even in combination (sic!)), and then, “whenever you see such separator-lines in your outline, consider they just group, and even, suppose that even that group-of-groups isn’t ordered but just assembled”...

Any list implies order… but then, any real third-dimension by far outshines our mind’s capabilies… so we have to find intermediate solutions to our brains’ limits… and any formatting, preliminary solution remains oh so welcome… whilst on the hand, TheBrain pseudo-solutions ain’t but just expensive dead-ends…

(Not edited: Say, ‘thank you’ to tightbeam and their likes… - my motivation’s just to confer the message… but then, for its molding: tightbeam and his pack have destroyed any motivation to also observe guidelines of “form”...)


That “mesh” then, and since “ABC Flowcharter” et al. would now ask for a some (incredibly complicated-to-set-up) Win-Hyper-V-or-similar-and-then…: You would have to organize it in some (1) outline, on top of your (2) outline, considering that any “list order” in (1), contradictory to any such sequence of items in (2), would just be “assembly”, not “order”, here in (1)...

But at the end of the day, conceptionalists like myself have to live with tightbeams, AND their followers, and that’s the innate reason why, 30, 40 years from now even here in the (i.e. “enlighetened”?: hahahah!) “West” nobody, really nobody, just believe me, will be surprised by our (then) having got down to the standards of… you know what I mean: A.H. and his epigones of ANY standards of lowness…


Posted by Franz Grieser
Mar 20, 2023 at 05:05 PM


Interesting. But I stopped reading when you started insulting an honorable member of this club.


Posted by 22111
Mar 20, 2023 at 05:31 PM


(To clarify: I meant recursion above; I’m losing my vocabulary, and then again, outline hierarchies help over not-so-helpful search functionalities. In fact, while it’s all in the (enhanced, with transclusion) “tree” (form), no problem, but upon export into some “flat” format (i.e. not only print-out), you will have to find a way to do away with the transclusion; in my 1996/97 effort, I resolved the problem by doing a (transferable) “natural” (i.e. “original”) “parent”, adjoined by any number of “adoptive” parents - it seems that in Ultra Recall e.g., on the other hand, and once you will have done a “logical (parent) link” to some item, there is no (?) way anymore to distinguish the “very first” parent from “adjacent, additional” ones… - I might be mistaken here though, but, e.g., even the respective IDs will not inform you, since (simplified here:) item id 8 might have been created as a child item of item id 6, but then might have “logically linked” to item id 4, which obviously had been created before the creation of item id 6 had occurred, and then, when the db, even internally, SORTS children by id, e.g., instead of maintaining the “first come, first listed” paradigm, there will indeed be NO means left to distinguish “blood” parentage from adaptive one, available creation dates just indicating the creation of the item itself, not of parentage.

This being said, it’s obvious that in different export tasks, even the parentage(s) within the tree-to-be-exported should be selectable in the end; in other words: for every impending recursion upon export, a dialog should open up, asking for the user’s decision in every such case / junction: “decision tree” here again… or then, your “export” will become unmanageable in case.)


Posted by 22111
Mar 20, 2023 at 05:57 PM


(And no, in fact it was, and is, more complicated than that. I remember that at the time, for every such “logical linking”  - let’s call it “adoption” since that term is best to make clear what I had in mind then and now -, I had a subroutine triggered which checked if the intended “adoptive parent” was independent from, i.e. outside of the current hierarchy, so I prevented recursion from even being created - probably, such a feature is absent nowadays in other developer’s offerings; I don’t see such restrictions in UR, e.g., and I remember I.Q.‘s developer having said here, some years ago, that he didn’t see the necessity for such a function.

On the other hand, even when you avoid recursion then, as I had done, and as I would ever do - recursion is a valid concept for looping, but not for IM, as far as I know, your mileage might vary as usual here -, you will need that above-mentioned “decision tree” upon export, since even when “sibling”, “nephew” sub trees then contain further-down (i.e. common-by-adoption) descendancy sub trees, you will, whenever starting your export from “higher up”, want to decide which “line” to follow - otherwise, you will not create total havoc, in my, recursion-avoiding, system, as in yours which gives a heck, but you will get, in case virtually “endless”, unwanted results, together with the data you’re after, just as in non-directed search.

And, finally, as a remark re your file system (Windows, don’t know about Mac, etc.): Some of the dedicated search tools - see my earlier thread here - now (! so there has been real development over the years in that field at least!) come with options to follow file system junctions or not, and clicking “Yes” to that will multiply your file system IM organization’s paradigm indeed… IF you did that well, on your side that is.)


Posted by 22111
Mar 20, 2023 at 05:59 PM


(“will multiply your file system IM organization’s paradigm” read: will “multiply your file system IM organization’s paradigm’s utility”)


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