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Maps e.g., etc.

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Posted by 22111
Jun 5, 2022 at 12:30 PM


I recently read some other lines about maps,

Using a relationships map is very easy - just create characters, configure them (photo, name, story role) and then you can order them on the virtual surface and add relations between them.
What about planning stories - in the current version such tools are unavailable, but we plan to create a lot of useful tools for outlining (beats, cards & timeline) in the future updates.” ( https://www.reddit.com/user/dimkanovikov/ )

You know that I have written in this forum, extensively, about “TheBrain” (or whatever they call it currently), and you know that I qualify it “promises not met”...

The above citation isn’t but just another proof of “maps are your static trap” - they just represent some situation at point “time 0000:00:00:00” (to follow our Gregorian calendar), and then nothing - if you “follow” maps, you’ll be pitied…

And yes, you could do a “suite” of such maps (“snap shots”), and even them would hold-you-back, believe me… (since the members of a choir should sing in sync… (which doesn’t imply, unisono) whilst your figures-in-a-landscape should not…)

Thus, in the end, you can just rely on your brain, and its facility to (more or less reliably and/or “impressively”, in fact “traceably” for your further thinking) retain “development”, in its memory / memories; in other words, relying on maps will even hinder your thinking, instead of fulfilling your dream of “back-up” it.

I also came along, recently, by https://www.pureref.com/ , the developers of which will be happy with your contribution of 5 or 10 bucks, and indeed, if you rely upon e.g. “Ulysses” for your writing, you might have some use for such additional software, whilst in Ultra Recall e.g., you would just insert a “pic” item within your natural “suite” of items, and then UR will, whenever you “activate” that item, provide an in-house pic viewer to admire your “idea / mood pic” - OMG (for both situations)!

Speaking of “Ulysses”, my initial appreciation had been guided by my misinterpretation of its title, and indeed, it’s NOT a writing tool promising some Ariadne (sic! you learn a lot about language and other things, once you’ll open your mind!) to their subscribers - and that had been Theseus, not Ulysses indeed: my fault again! -, but “Ulysses” stands in there just for the same reason as that - aforementioned by me, for some other “writers’ app” - “Hemingway mode” exists: it’s just there for selling the app, by comforting the buyer, “yeah, you too, dear subscriber, will become immortal in the end! - my “OMG” here being much more clarion than the one above, obviously.

Over there, I suggested that Ul subscribers kindly asked for “tree formatting”, and all I got - from a “contributor” whose “contributions” might be qualified a little bit of “stalled”, quality-wise, in the end -, was something like “OMG” (I cite from memory) - be it!

Since if you’re happy with Ul, everything’s fine, even when those hideous “**”, etc. are NOT hideable, for the time being, and whenever you wanna see your formatting - and obviously, Ul isn’t made for also holding your “material”, in numbers, and whatever its developer may pretend about his specific “material” item format.

Also, there ain’t no “corkboard” functionality, as it’s in “Scrivener”, but then, but then, I think that ugly “corkboards” are just needed whenever the tree functionality is sub-standard…

So, let’s look at Ul’s core functionality, it being the ace (!) frontend for WordPress and similar web site tools, and here, yes indeed, it might be your tool of choice?!

They claim - not owning any Mac, as said, and thus not being able to verify - that Ul not only can POST to WordPress, etc., but that it also enables you to EDIT your WP, etc. posts, and IF they’re right, Ul should be THE WP, etc. frontend of your choice indeed.

Thus, you would freely edit, in some Ul tree / file - btw, Ul seems to be multiple-XML (with every Ul “page” being its own XML file on your file system or wherever, haha!), a very interesting IM concept which its developers currently and obviously have not yet followed to its very promising extremes! -, your faithfully replicated - WP web site, with just local “saves”, and then, whenever you click on “Reload” (or whatever), Ul would update your web page, wherever that need would apply.

So far, so ideal - for the time being, I doubt that it’ll function that way, since for “publishing” (a single item) to web, they have published a vid, whilst I haven’t found the corresponding proof for edit sessions’ bulk upload…

Whatever: language is your friend, and parallel timelines in / from MS Excel are possible, from Excel tables (but it’s not that easy I admit, advanced MS functionality never having been what they call “user-friendly”)... whilst e.g. Aeon Timeline is a mess, most such software is subscription now, and Timeline Maker Pro, whilst being “eye-friendly” on first sight - their examples being visually appealing indeed -, seriously lacks functionality, just compare with MS Excel (and what it can do “for free” in that field instead - once you’ll have got MS Excel bought / installed anyway, that is).

At the end of the day, everybody, I think, would be happy to pay even $ 100 a month, or more, for some tool that finally enhanced their thinking / imagination, but that isn’t to come soon.

Thus, just avoid, at least, all those “apps” that might even hamper what you intend to do, e.g. Ul - just my advice, take it or leave it;

alleged-beauty-by-minimalism on-screen being one thing… some end-product which really comes-to-real-life, i.e. not just being published-and-quickly-forgotten, but revealing itself as to be charming, enchanting… being some quite other category… and thus, you should not deliberately do without the necessary functionality that might help indeed… notwithstanding lazy developers’ “elegant visual style” claims of literally no value if you start to think’em over.

P.S. As for the maps, well, even vids won’t help: You just have to FEEL the development of figures, of phenomena of all sorts, entrenched within their respective “environment”, and then try to “make sense” of those (individual, then “outgrowing”) “developments”: try to encompass what you feel (the French word being “cerner”), and then balance it up, “match” it with what you’ve already got, and even more so, with what you can derive-of-it-then:

Pics-n-graphics on-screen won’t help; it’s the blurred ones in your head which’ll do, and let me close with a citation of my beloved, genial Allen (from his - “inferior”, just by his (!) standards, “Magic in the Moonlight” - the “proposal scene” of which is pure joy e.g.! - and citing from memory, again:)

“So, it seems like yoghurt, but in fact it’s your gone husband.”

An’then, especially people who’ve got nothing to say, should never try to resume many lines within a dozen of letters… just trust me, here again.


Posted by 22111
Jun 5, 2022 at 01:02 PM


Typo: ace (!) > ace (?) - but indeed, if it works, in that specific (but broad) use case, as expected, then for most bloggers and other would-be journalists, it’s the ideal “blogging tool”, so the developer should optimize this functionality of his alleged “writing” software indeed.

And yes, there might be happy (i.e. fiction) “writers” who like to do all their construction work, all their “material” gathering, outside of their “writing tool”... after all, that had been the way of doing things half a Century ago, hadn’t it? ;-) But no, that’d be ok, it’s just a totally different way of working… perfectly doable nowadays, with today’s screens.

But then again, I wouldn’t be that happy with Ul’s “alternatives management”, (at least that sort of) “writing” less being bound by “archiving”, and more by “rewriting”, and Ul obviously tends to the former, making the latter quite unwieldy, currently.


Posted by 22111
Jun 5, 2022 at 07:16 PM


I like childish humor, so this made my day:


1 yr. ago
I just use the demo version and then white out the watermarks in microsoft paint.

1 yr. ago

And here, some contributor found a highly distinct “what will become of my tool?” alternative to the standard “if he gets run over by a bus”:

5 mo. ago
Also, the FadeIn Bros don’t seem to care that FadeIn is a one-man company, and the guy running it wants to become a film director. So if anything happens to him, including getting a job offer, what’s going to happen to FadeIn? Does anyone remember Sophocles?

Soph being another, defunct, tool, of course, and FI costs 80 bucks plus VAT - one time…


Posted by Amontillado
Jun 6, 2022 at 02:43 AM


When I first decided I needed to learn to love outlines if I wanted decent productivity I went a little crazy.

Now, I’ve decided that making a hierarchical model is a good way for categorizing facts and not so good for planning the linear experience the reader will have.

I couldn’t imagine a day without Devonthink. The model for planning a story for me is a list of notes.

Which, of course, you can achieve in DT or my new favorite, Curio.

Of course, just my opinion on half-price sale at a web browser near you. Probably overpriced.


Posted by 22111
Jun 9, 2022 at 11:59 AM


This thread is a follow-up to the (originally) Ulysses-thread https://www.outlinersoftware.com/topics/reply/9752/41640

From what I have understoodfrom some third-party web resource, Ul is NOT a db, but a collection (!) of single xml files (together with other xml files for the administration of the former) - whilst even with xml, the regular way of doing things would be / would have been for the program to create BIG xml files, e.g. one per “book” (or whatever they call a collection of them “pages”); thus, if the information I’ve got is not wrong, there ARE ways to separate your different kinds of stuff, AND they are separated, technically, by the program, it’s just that - according to what I interfere from the info I got - the Ul gui is then a general interface to ALL your stuff (probably all in the same “general” parent folder (desktop or web); this then would be a function of its general xml files and indexes, in order to make available search scope, if wanted, over ALL technically distinct data ; in the line of this “philosophy”, there should be an “export” function, in order to “export” just SOME / ONE of those “areas” / “books” / whatever to a “new installation” of Ul, but it seems (?) that currently, at least, Ul does not allow for such distinct “installations” to run on the same device.

As for the linked screenshot in the other thread - https://www.outlinersoftware.com/topics/reply/9752/41640 - some of the SEARCH functionality is helpful indeed (”“: include footnodes, annotations, citations, comments / comment blocks, quote…) but others (”“: just subheadings of level 1/2/3/4) seem doubtful when applied overall, i.e. the real life use cases where you would want to find text in specific-level subheadings over non-related “books” or whatever seem quite limited to me.

When I see the screenshot / list, I immediately discover that we’ve got just another case of “what’s technically easy, code-wise, I’ll offer, may it be useful or not to the user, whilst what’s technically complicated or even impossible in my concept, even when it would be of high usefulness, I’ll leave out, not even mentioning it”:

All the “finer details” in the Ul search ARE easy, because of its XML format, it’s just the different xml codes which make all these generically distinct and thus available - on the other hand, I do NOT see any setting to just include “pages” (items) of specific kinds in the search, not even “regular pages” vs. “material pages”, and all the less “pages with specific icons” (i.e. those little, colored symbols I spoke of in the aforementioned Ul thread, then hijacked for almost anything else) - on this latter point, I may be mistaken though, since it might be possible that Ul first lets you FILTER for these icons (i.e. for one or several, specific ones), then allows for applying its search settings (as from the screenshot) upon this SELECTION?

It goes without saying that UltraRecall allows for a filtering for its 8 different item “flag” formats (as they are called over there, 7 plus “no flag”, and yes, that’s less than I would wish it had), in combination with all other, also quite specific search settings;

also, UltraRecall’s - more or less detailed - searches can be stored, so I hope for Ul users that they can apply a given set of “Finer Details” (see the screenshot) again and again, without fiddling with the mouse anew, each time.

Today, I read that for the European Union at least, Apple LOST its “exclusive” claim “Think different”, for most or all of its hardware, and of course, even to begin with, that had always been a fetish claim (I wrote about that here) in the lines of “this totem will make you think better” or “using Ul can make you as big as James Joyce”, since there is no indication of any sort world-wide that using Apple hardware will make you think different, it’s just that in general, Apple users have got more money than Windows users, people with money want to distinct themselves, be it by car, by computer hardware or by their jacuzzi, and IQ / inspiration / “gifts” lead to more income, so there is more Apple than Windows output in the entertainment field, but that doesn’t come from the hardware make use, but from the fact that Apple has succeeded in convincing even otherwise smart people it was “the best”; if it really was, offices worldwide would have “upgraded” to it, which they obviously have never done.

The claim to “think differently” becomes laughable, of course, when “creators” adopt Apple-only software which LIMITS their creativity, and I personally suppose that most “writers” will benefit from NOT “thinking” the way Ul allegedly tries to make them work, by making them accept missing functionality, to be another “feature”... we all know that ages-old Apple claim indeed: whatever you might miss, it’s a feature that it’s not there. (Research if Apple-over-Windows users might tend more to masochism could be interesting, but then again, people with more money tend to live out their masochism, so such research wouldn’t be as easy as it might be be seen at first sight.)

Above, I even read that the (e.g. Ul’s) hierarchical concept, according to the contributor, might not be that much appropriate to the (novel’s) readers’ sequential reading experience, but my impression of Ul rather goes in the opposite direction: It’s hierarchical functionality seems, according to me, being quite sub-standard, i.e. if you “work in the hierarchy”, you should rather flee this “app”, since you wouldn’t become happy with it… whilst, on the other hand, if you rather write sequentially, but need just “some little bit more” than e.g. MS Word or Atlantis WP have on offer, hierarchy-wise, you might probably love Ul - for all three latter programs you will have accepted from start that you better put your “material” into some other repository, of course, and none of the three either comes with cloning or some “alternatives / rewrites management” worth of the name (whilst in Ultra Recall and other generic (more-than-one-pane) “outliners”, that’s easy, in the last-mentioned program not only because of the “flags”, but also for its relatively well-implemented transclusion functionality: in a (key) word:

Ul, according to me, is far more adequate for pantsers (so that’s the key word here, since pantsers will much less need, much less “touch” the “tree”) than for plotters… and then, the “reception” will be “flat” for almost any “literary” work but is not linked to the way the latter will have been created (even some film directors in the past were said to direct strictly in chronological order!), whilst on the other hand, the production of (e.g. technical, medical, legal…) reference works would appear overly complicated nowadays, was it done with a rather “flat and sequential-by-its-nature” tool.

Btw, “folding editors”, and - if I’m not mistaken - even KEdit and such (and their above-mentioned and other rtf-etc. counterparts (“text processors”), and most / all (?) one-pane “outliners”), do NOT allow for “filtering” by “just show the titles / subtitles where the text beneath (! and then above the next title/subtitle of course) contains ...”, so even Ul is a big step beyond those indeed.


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