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Posted by Alexander Deliyannis
Jul 15, 2006 at 05:37 PM

 

The discussion re WhizFolders’ URL feature got me thinking; this could be _the_ solution to the question of holding/accessing information across different programs. Which brings me to the next question; what other information management programs do you know that offer this kind of functionality?

Outside wikis, it seems to be a much desired (by users) but under-implemented feature. For me it’s not really a mystery why it’s so hard to get; most information managers file formats are little more than text/RTF/XML documents, that maintain data in a serial form; insert a new item and the previous order gets lost, so there’s no way of pointing to a specific item.

Wikis are database-driven as is a minority of the information managemers discussed here; the ones I know of are IDEA! and UltraRecall. Interestingly, I am aware of at least two clipboard managers that also employ such technology. Outlook is another example and this is the reason that one can create permanent links to its items.

UltraRecall users have been asking for it for ages but it’s still not in the roadmap; nevertheless, I expect it to be eventually implemented since the infrastructure is there.

alx

 


Posted by Stephen R. Diamond
Jul 15, 2006 at 11:23 PM

 

The clipmanagers that I think use a database technology are ClipCache 3 beta; ClipMate; ClipMagic, and Smartboard. Are your two among those?

I think OneNote 2007 beta might allow external hyperlinks. There was a change in the file format. I don’t know whether this represented a cross-over from a file-based organization to a database technology.

Alexander Deliyannis wrote:

>Outside wikis, it seems
>to be a much desired (by users) but under-implemented feature. For me it’s not really a
>mystery why it’s so hard to get; most information managers file formats are little
>more than text/RTF/XML documents, that maintain data in a serial form; insert a new
>item and the previous order gets lost, so there’s no way of pointing to a specific item.
> >
>Wikis are database-driven as is a minority of the information managemers
>discussed here; the ones I know of are IDEA! and UltraRecall. Interestingly, I am
>aware of at least two clipboard managers that also employ such technology. Outlook is
>another example and this is the reason that one can create permanent links to its
>items.

>
>alx

 


Posted by Derek Cornish
Jul 16, 2006 at 12:46 AM

 

Alex -

The ones I know about are Biblioscape and Contentsaver (now Web Research). They both provide special URL address hyperlinks to items in their databases. [I wish I knew the proper technical term for this…]

Unfortunately, some Windows programs are picky about which types of external address links they will recognize. Most can use http hyperlinks, of course. Zoot recognizes Contentsaver’s document addresses, but not the new Web Research ones, nor those generated by Biblioscape. MS-Word seems able to handle them all, but because of security concerns, using them is a two-stage process.

Hyperlinking like this does seem to be the way to go. Being able to receive and use address hyperlinks doesn’t seem to be much of a problem for programs, and requires only minor adjustments to allow the program in question to recognise a range of hyperlink types.

The main hurdle is on the address generation side, as you point out - whether and how database and other programs are able to provide stable internal addresses for their data to which external hyperlinks can be pointed.

In practical terms, it’s Zoot’s failure to read the full range of hyperlink addresses, and other programs’ failure to provide them that is keeping me away from some of the programs I might otherwise use with it, especially database ones. This is why, at the moment, I’m tending to use Windows’ own filing system as my file repository rather than, say, Web Research. That way, given that I use Zoot as my HQ, I can exploit Zoot’s file linking abilities to best advantage.

Hope that makes sense.

Derek  

 


Posted by Alexander Deliyannis
Jul 16, 2006 at 10:02 AM

 

Stephen,

ClipMate and ClipCache 3 beta were the ones I was aware of. I actually have a license for X2Net Smartboard but haven’t used it for a while; it has a client-server architecture so it makes sense that it’s database based (pardon the pun), though they don’t mention this in their info as far as I can tell. I didn’t know of ClipMagic.

All in all it is interesting that some of the most popular clipboard managers rely on a database, whereas only the most modern outlining information managers have such an infrastructure. I think it’s basically an issue of “roots”, i.e. classic outliners (especially one-pane ones) originally dealt with structuring documents and additional features were built on that premise. Examples include Ecco, Inspiration, InfoRecall, Treepad, etc.

I think another approach has (potentially) been taken by AskSam, MDE Infohandler and Zoot. I am mainly considering this by their database-like interface and access to data. One more database candidate is GrandView but I have never even glanced at the program. On the other hand, an obvious candidate would be Brainstorm but I know that it hasn’t taken that route.

The dividing line between document-oriented and database-oriented programs seems to be an emphasis on structuring/visualising, i.e. on a tree outline, vs storing/categorising/searching.

IDEA! and UltraRecall are modern programs built from scratch with a broader concept in mind and so can have the best of both worlds; i.e. a visual tree on top of a database infrastructure. Another example is TheBrain.

The advantages of the database infrastructure can be summed up in scalability, data integrity and speed; see for example Kinook’s explanation for their approach on UltraRecall http://www.kinook.com/blog/?p=18 or TheBrain’s massive WebBrain demo at http://www.webbrain.com/

alx

 


Posted by Alexander Deliyannis
Jul 16, 2006 at 10:10 AM

 

Derek,

I think that, as long as the special URLs are recognised by Windows itself, overcoming the launching program’s limitations should be easy, i.e. a simple macro should enable all links to be launched from within Zoot even if they are not recognised and coloured.

alx

 


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