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Posted by JJSlote
Mar 20, 2011 at 03:08 AM


The Smereka TreeProjects is very fine stuff. Yaroslav, I especially appreciate the multi-window concurrent editing with smart splits, so the user doesn’t lose momentum window-wrangling.  References, aka aliases, to put the same item in several spots on the tree. Independent zooming in each pane! Way ahead of the pack in many respects. If I were still running myBase, I’d be looking to trade up.

But I don’t see a way to print or export a branch to a single document. Perhaps that’s a tough go with so many item types permissible on the tree. And I don’t see a live spell check, which I think is a must on a premium product.

Bill, another great find. I’ve committed wholeheartedly to Piggydb, your February discovery. (Of course the author in Tokyo is going through an agonizing national trauma. He and family are fine, at last word.)


Posted by Cassius
Mar 20, 2011 at 04:30 AM


JJSlote wrote:

If I were still running myBase, I’d be looking to trade up.

I have to ask why you’ve stopped using myBase and what, if anything, you’ve replaced it with.


Posted by Graham Rhind
Mar 20, 2011 at 07:51 AM


Who Bill?  Me Bill?  Negative Bill?  Nooooo!

Information management is just management of information.  The way we choose to do it depends very much on our own requirements and which parts of the process have to have our emphasis.  I, for example, only write original work or opinion pieces, so I never need software which manages references, for example.  I also never get involved in projects which can’t be held in my head, possibly aided by a few jottings on the back of a matchbox, so I don’t have the same need to manage files by project that others have.

I skimmed through TreeProjects’ help file and I didn’t find anything in there which I can’t do with Ariadne, WhizFolders, Personal Brain or OneNote - though not necessarily in the same way or with the same degree of speed.  There are also some things I found a problem - no internal viewer for most file types, for example, and an awkward way to save web pages (which doesn’t work for me).  I do appreciate it’s at version 1, though, which is why I agree it’s worth watching.

Without any disrespect to Yaroslav at all, there are loads of people who write products for their own uses and then release them (I’ve done the same…), and that’s as it should be, but there are also so many that have just been abandoned when the author moved on, despite their promises and protestations to write bug fixes and make improvements - just a few I’ve been burnt with would be Priorganizer, TaskPilot, BrainStreamer, FusionDesk, ITSD Organizer (and if any of those are in development again, apologies!) There are also many where progress is so glacial it might as well have been abandoned (no names, as many of those developers are part of the group ;-) )

It might just be me - I’m still waiting for the killer information manager that would allow me to do all my work in one program…



Posted by JJSlote
Mar 20, 2011 at 11:49 AM


Cassius wrote:
>I have to ask why you’ve stopped using myBase and what, if
>anything, you’ve replaced it with. 

Actually, dragging out myBase 5.5, it does seem to match TreeProjects in the features discussed, with just a bit less sophistication in the multi-edit window management. And with compensating virtues such as a scriptable DLL and one document output. So I’d have no good reason to switch.

I’ve moved (through Scrivener and Citavi) on to Piggydb. Total satisfaction at last, on about my twelfth primary outliner/organizer since ‘06. What the three since myBase seem to have in common is the ability to click multiple items into a single scrolling window for reference, while editing in another window. And that live spell checker. Piggy is ideal in part because Firefox affords, through add-ons, complete customization of the style sheet and the layout. Plus your browser and your writing tool aren’t perpetually contending for screen priority. And it really seems more productive not to pluck through a tree to pull up the items you want, but to get to them through recently viewed items, their parents and their siblings.



Posted by MadaboutDana
Mar 20, 2011 at 01:11 PM


Ah Graham, you did make me laugh! You’re quite right, so many promising projects fall by the wayside. But Yaroslav has kindly confirmed that he does have a roadmap (including a collaborative version, eventually), and he’s also got a very nice Error report function set up in the software (I’ve come across a number of minor issues when searching). In my experience, programmers who invite user feedback with this degree of efficiency are less likely to drop their development work. Nevertheless, many a promising product has vanished in the deeps of time.

What I particularly like about this product is its sheer speed, and - as Jerome has remarked - the very elegant window management. More advanced file preview would be nice, and spellchecking is, I think, an essential next function (plus all sorts of little author-friendly tweaks such as e.g. word/character count, export templates, note templates and so on). But as you say, it’s still only version 1.0, and it’s an impressive start. I don’t usually get very excited by a new product, but there’s something about the sensible design and stability of Smereka that has caught my imagination. I like OneNote too, but it’s a cumbersome thing that relies too much (IMHO) on the Windows Search function to be regarded as a truly independent piece of software. Whereas Smereka relies on widgets that could easily be used for cross-platform development (apart from Visual Basic, of course), ? la Writers Cafe.

Besides, conceptually I’m currently working on the Ultimate Information Manager, and I’d love to assemble a team prepared to take it on… but more on that anon. The concept is (a) collaborative and (b) pretty darn complex! so I’ve still got a lot of work to do just in terms of drawing up the specs. Apart from anything else, I hate software (pace OneNote) that LOOKS complex. I prefer it to BE complex, but LOOK really simple! Which is probably another reason I like Smereka.



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