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1251  News and Reviews / Mini-Reviews by Members / Re: WikidPad - an IDE for your thoughts on: January 31, 2008, 07:33:51 AM
That's GREAT review!

Thanks  Thmbsup

One similar app is ConnectedText.

I think you've just jogged my memory, I have looked at ConnectedText previously but never downloaded and tried it.

It's an impressive website! Beats WikidPad's hands down!!  Cry

It's also US$30 plus US$68 for an additional USB license! It would want to be good  huh

I have chosen it over Wikidpad mostly because I wanted web export, and didn't want CamelCase, but regular space between words in exported html.
ConnectedText supports other scripting languages as well, besides Python, through Windows ActiveScripting. So you can have Ruby, Perl, etc. And it has plugins - I use CT to store code snippets, and it comes with Highlight plugin so my Ruby code is nicely highlighted.

That certainly sounds impressive.

There is also TeX plugin and some graph plugins - just enter some data and graph is created on the fly.

WikidPad also supports some graphics generation:
Quote from: WikidPad Help
WikidPad allows access to some graphical applications which take some sort of script to generate images. You can include the script in a wiki and let the applications generate the appropriate image to show it in HTML preview and export.

The supported applications are:
  •     MimeTeX to generate mathematical formulas
  •     GraphViz which is a set of applications to generate directed and nondirected graphs
  •     Ploticus to generate plots and charts (as you might have seen in your favorite spreadsheet program)
  •     Gnuplot to generate mathematical plots

But I have not played with it (so didn't mention it  embarassed)

If Wikidpad didn't insist on CamelCase, I would have used it now, but ended with CT instead and I'm happy with it as well.

You can enclose your text with square brackets to Wikify them:
[copy or print]
[This will be a Wikified link]

In WikidPad the keyboard shortcut is CNTRL+J, for example:
Editor:
[attachimg=1]

HTML:
[attachimg=2]

Thanks for reminding me of ConnectedText (did you find both programmes similar to use?)

edit: Added ConnectedText purchase price
1252  Other Software / Found Deals and Discounts / Re: Bits Du Jour and GAOTD one-day deals on: January 30, 2008, 09:05:16 AM
I was envisioning a child board of Found Deals and Discounts called something like: "Daily Deals". Perry's idea is good as well, though - have a Bits du Jour child board and a GiveawayoftheDay childboard. But then what do you do with short term deals from other sites/vendors?

No you're right Darwin, I don't think you'd really split them: having a Daily Deals type thing is more what I was thinking (just not typing); then all the short term deals can go together (which is really what we want isn't it?)
1253  Other Software / Found Deals and Discounts / Re: Bits Du Jour and GAOTD one-day deals on: January 30, 2008, 08:19:49 AM
As there are a couple of places on the web that offer daily deals (GAOTD and Bits being just two), would it suit to have them as child boards of Found Deals and Discounts?

I agree about any automatic scraping of those sites though, I'll visit if I've time or I appreciate a DC member recommendation.
1254  News and Reviews / Mini-Reviews by Members / Re: WikidPad - an IDE for your thoughts on: January 30, 2008, 08:00:56 AM
Thanks guys: my first mini-review... I think I should have shrunk the graphics a little embarassed?

Rats: I just realised I was going to include KeyNote as a similar software (which is the other application I use for notes), Oh well.

Actually, Version 1.9b15 has just been released as well...

@Justice: Can't agree more (machine getting in the way): which is where I've found WikidPad to excel (though it did take a bit of time for the penny to drop).

@Ampa: I was so surprised when I realised that I'd missed it for so long!
1255  News and Reviews / Mini-Reviews by Members / WikidPad - an IDE for your thoughts on: January 30, 2008, 07:26:00 AM
Basic Info

App NameWikidPad
App URLhttp://www.jhorman.org/wikidPad/
App Version Reviewed1.9 beta 14
Test System SpecsDesktop: PentiumD 2.8 / 2Gb / WinXP Pro SP2
Supported OSesWindows All; Linux (see notes); MacOS
Support MethodsYahoo!Group;Google Dev Group
Upgrade PolicyWikidPad is an Open Source Project (since June 2005) and all upgrades are free.
Pricing SchemeOpen Source BSD License
Author Donation LinkThere is a PayPal donation link on their WebPage.
Disclaimers:I have no relationship with any of the authors of this product, (except enjoyment over using their software) and have received no compensation for this review in any way.


Intro:

Quote
WikidPad is a Wiki-like notebook for storing your thoughts, ideas, todo lists, contacts, or anything else you can think of to write down.

In fact, it's even good for writing reviews! This review was written in WikidPad and I hope this demonstrates some of the neat functionality that I think sets WikidPad apart as, what I describe as, a Thought Processor.

[attachthumb=1]

One of the things that make wikidPad different from other notepad type applications is the speed and ease with which you can cross link your information. Links in a wiki are created by typing in WikiWords using CamelCase; cross links can also be created by using keywords.

WikidPad has a choice of database back ends to use and is also portable.

It is still under active development and went Open Source in June 2005.

User Interface
WikidPad has two viewing formats: Editor and Preview (which is an HTML preview).

Editor:
[attachthumb=2]

Preview:
[attachthumb=3]

Who is WikidPad designed for:

Anyone writing or collecting words that wants to process or access them.

WikidPad is "Super Flexible" and can do almost anything with text, which is not meant to say that it's the best tool for everything.

WikidPad also has a scripting interface, so it may also be of benefit to developers who want to bend it to do their personal will.

Personally though, the main advantage of WikidPad is its ability to help "Thought Development". I've searched for many, many years for some software that is able to work with me and help me develop my thoughts, ideas, etc: WikidPad is the closest to a good match I've ever come across! That is probably why it's mentioned on mind-mapping.org.

The Good
I've based these comments around its main asset: its ability to help develop and use my thoughts.

To help me 'think'
  • On the fly WikiWord linking: Just so easy-peasy and quick! Just type a CamelCase word or enclose some text in square brackets and access the new page with a keyboard shortcut and keep typing.
  • Dynamic Views: (Keyword lists): A fast way to tag, re-tag, class and sub-class pages.
  • Attributes: Typed-in Attribute-Value pairs: flexibility to the max!
  • Outlining
  • Rename WikiWord: If your WikidPad page is a thought, it often wants to change its title during its development. Rename renames the page and all links to that page.
  • Page Inserts: Reuse the contents of wikipages in other pages.
  • Convert to WikiWord: A great time saver when your original thought has developed into a couple of separate sections and you want to export them to their own page.
  • WikiWord Auto-Completion: Great when you have heaps of pages! You can also drag and drop a page from the Tree to the editor.
  • Easy WikiWord Navigation: double click or CTRL+Click or keyboard shortcut.
  • History Navigation: standard Back and Forward, great for zipping around your thoughts.

To help me find stuff
Once you've got your thoughts down and developed, you'll want to find them again...

Document Tree:
The document tree not only lists the WikidPad Pages in hierarchical order, it also has some dynamically generated views.

[attachthumb=4]

Views:
  • Special Keywords: (Todo, Question, Action, Track, Issue, Project, Done) all support sub-categories. In my example above, I have todo.annoyance and todo.features as well as a plain old todo.
  • Modified Date Range: helpful when you've forgotten where you wrote something but remember when
  • Parentless Nodes: These nodes may be Insertions, or they may have just been orphaned.
  • Undefined Nodes: These are WikidWords that have not yet been created.

Incremental Search
Incremental Search allows you to search and display based on content or title:

[attachthumb=5]

To help me stay 'connected'
  • Portable: this is of great benefit at work where I can't install anything on my workstation!
  • Export to HTML: Whole Wiki or just a branch.
  • All your data can be stored in plain text, which also means it can be searched by a desktop search application.
  • URL and file linking

Needs improvement
Text wrapping does not indent the wrapped lines:

[attachthumb=6]

The above indicates the mess that is generated when the indented list contains paragraphs rather than just lines (Mind you, this isn't the only application that doesn't wrap indented).

The list management is a trifle fluky: adding numbered list items only really works from the last item.

After reading the very mixed reviews on FileForum I nearly didn't have a look at this programme, but I guess the penny isn't dropping for a lot of people. And that is probably one of the areas that needs attention: user guides. The web page is one page with one screenshot for goodness sake! Doesn't even come close to doing it justice.

Why I think you should use this product
Idea Development
WikidPad lets the genesis of an idea start anywhere, develop into any number of directions, and link to anything; and then pull it all together using various textual "strings" (excuse the intended pun).

What do I mean by that?? As is standard in all Wikis, the linking between documents is not hierarchical based, so each topic can link across to any other topic (i.e. more of a network). Wikis are pretty much free form linking of information. When this is implemented at the idea generation stage it provides a powerful medium to not just record information but process, link, develop your ideas. WikidPad achieves this in a very non-structured way.

As the ideas develop questions can be posed, issues raised, and the ideas moved to their own pages.

As questions are answered, they can be added and the ideas classified using attributes.

WikidPad provides this functionality in a responsive programme that is wonderful easy to use.

Dynamic Views
WikidPad has several dynamic views that make processing and viewing of your thoughts an intuitive process.

Special keywords are used to define items such as todo, done, action, track, issue, question, project.

[attachthumb=7]

As the ideas develop and change, the attributes and keywords can be changed accordingly, sub-classed at will, which will present a different view of your project.

It's not too suited for keeping of static data (there's even is a note in the help file not to edit the help file, which is a WikidPad!!) Although, it could be handy to add some personal usage notes there all the same  smiley

Ability to be Customised
Each Wiki can have its own set of display definitions that are easily edited within the wiki itself. The TreeView can have its icon, text colour, weight, etc which can be changed on the fly!

The whole application is also able to be extended with Python scripts, there are some available at http://wikidpad.python-ho...om/wiki/ListOfUserScripts

I'll have to dust off my Python books and have a hack...

Technically, there's probably not a lot that couldn't be done (whether it was a good idea or not is another issue...)

For example, there are scripts to turn it into a GTD application. Personally, I'm happy with ThinkingRock for that task (I like the structure in that environment), but I can see where WikidPad would have some benefits (it's very loose).

How does it compare to similar applications

Similar:
ZuluPad
I think I fiddled with ZuluPad a wee while ago, but obviously not long enough for it to make an impact. There is a DonationCoder Review in which Carl gives it a big wrap, so it must be OK. From memory, I wasn't taken with its interface.

TiddlyWiki
(and variants): I really loved TiddlyWiki and enjoyed the whole concept, but found it a little too slow in practice.

Not So Similar:
SurfuLater. I'm a long term SurfuLater user and lover. These two applications are not trying to do the same thing. SurfuLater is a much more structured environment (which is great), WikidPad just goes with your flow wherever it may run...

Conclusions

I've almost become a true believer in WikidPad, although not to the point of keeping everything in there (though it may start in there before being moved somewhere else).

WikidPad offers a responsive application that is able to harness and help develop ideas into a structured network that is easy to explore and make sense of: it really is an IDE for your thoughts (at least if you think like me  Wink )

Links to other reviews of this application

Other interesting 'word' links
1256  News and Reviews / Official Announcements / Re: January 2008 Software Drawing Winners on: January 28, 2008, 05:12:04 AM
Wow. Lots of new voices. Welcome and congratulations to all of you. I hope you all come to like DC as much as I have.

I think this has summed up a great effect of these give-aways: the new voices (Congratulations and welcome!!  Thmbsup )

Concerning tweaking: I'd have make the winning history count forever but on a reducing scale: so that those that had never won would, in terms of the winning history, have a better chance than those that had won.

For pure randomness, I don't think if someone won last month that they should be excluded from wining next month, but it should be rare.

How about: if you had the chance of winning as inversely proportional to the weighted number of times you'd won (where the weighting decreased the further you went into the past)?
1257  DonationCoder.com Software / Post New Requests Here / Re: Write on Windows Desktop on: January 07, 2008, 06:14:51 AM
Probably, the following post here on DC is VERY relevant Wink
Is there a way to directly write notes onto the Windows desktop?

Now I gotta ask, why was that page so far down on Google?  undecided
1258  DonationCoder.com Software / Post New Requests Here / Re: Write on Windows Desktop on: January 07, 2008, 04:09:52 AM
What about http://www.desktop-messager.pro.tm/  undecided

Edit: found this one too: http://greetsoft.com/desktop-notepad.phtml

Note: I've used neither of them!
1259  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: DonationCoder powered by logo's on: January 07, 2008, 02:22:09 AM
i think it should be as small as possible so people actually feel like putting it on their web page.

Don't forget:
  • Email
  • Tag Lines
  • Forum Signatures
  • Can SMS's have footers?  Wink

It's clickable isn't it? What page should it open?
1260  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: multi-edit 2006: the excellent editor you have never heard of on: January 01, 2008, 07:59:52 AM
Not just that, no, if I understand it correctly: if you update a snippet, it'll update all the uses of that snippet, too.

That's how I understand it too, but you could set up something similar yourself using macros, or use something like PPWizard to do something similar (plus lots of other things as well). I don't use it now, but I have done before (it's been around since 1998!) and it worked pretty flawlessly.
1261  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Getting started with Access? on: January 01, 2008, 07:35:37 AM
For applications of, say, 1-5 users, Access is a great DB platform. As a RAD platform, if you can do the job within its confines, without writing code, it's great. But if you do need to write code, the restrictions of Access's forms model become frustrating very quickly.

I both agree and disagree here: I think the trick is not to fight Access, but to think in the "Access way". It's a toss up between flexible and frustrating... but I'd go with flexible. My most adventurous Access development was a local DB that integrated with a web enabled DB off-site via Web Services (sounds odd I know, but at the time there was not the budget to get the developers to implement everything in the web site so I did some bits locally in Access)... but it worked a treat! That's flexible!!  Thmbsup

If you expect the amount of custom coding that will need to be written is non-trivial, and if you have any programming experience, I would consider a different route. Continue to use Access as the database engine, but forget about its RAD development capabilities. Instead, download one of the free Express editions of Microsoft's Visual Studio, and you'll have a free development environment for VB.Net or C#. They can interact with an Access database just as well as code you write in Access.

This is another good suggestion if it fits your restrictions.
1262  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: post your 5 most used applications in 2007 here! on: January 01, 2008, 01:35:35 AM
Stats from http://wakoopa.com/ [although it's not just 2007, it's still pretty indicative except I don't use Maxthon anymore]
  • Firefox: Used for 140 hours, 1 minute and 36 seconds
  • Microsoft Visual Studio: Used for 43 hours, 20 minutes and 42 seconds
  • PSPad: Used for 31 hours, 34 minutes and 43 seconds
  • Maxthon: Used for 30 hours and 14 minutes
  • Microsoft Office Excel: Used for 18 hours, 19 minutes and 58 seconds
1263  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Getting started with Access? on: December 30, 2007, 08:18:55 PM
As F0dder said, Access is pretty simple, but to do something specific that's not provided out-of-the-box, you'll generally need to write some code to automate forms, etc (which J-Mac seems to be having some issues with - I know I did when I first started with Access).

There's lots of stuff that's on-line that will be of use: you've probably already found those though...

Like most people here, I don't mind answering questions smiley When I first started with Access I bought one of those Teach Yourself books:[attach=1], that I wouldn't really recommend (well, if you buy a used one for $0.37 it's hard to go wrong - and at the very beginning it can be better to be reading from a physical book rather than the screen). I generally find them not much more than a reformatted help file... and I find that Google provides good enough answers.
1264  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Ideas to make DC even better on: December 26, 2007, 09:45:49 PM
I'm not too much against ads either. I live with them on other sites and on google. But what I really love about DC is that it is Ad Free: it makes it feel much more like home. So for that reason (selfish as it is), I'd hate to see Ads everywhere.

Thinking about things that would help people donate, your How Much To Donate page is helpful, what's missing maybe is a statement of need (selectable currencies would be good too  Wink ).

Veign suggested a goal, which is sort of a statement of need. I think something like that would be helpful, as I'd think for most people, need is part of the equation: amount = income * appreciation * need.

1265  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Your top 3 favorite portable software programs on: December 22, 2007, 05:51:35 AM
RoboForm2Go: Makes my on-line life too easy!
AutoIT: Use it for custom solutions at work
PSPad: Use it for XML, HTML, etc editing at work

...And USBStart that holds it all together
1266  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Fantastic: XsX Alphablended Cursors on: December 14, 2007, 10:03:07 PM
You had to go and point that out, didn't you..  Wink Now all I see is the missing shadow.. I'm interested in your shadow tweak of the cursors...

Ditto  embarassed
1267  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Noah is almost fantastic, but what is it? on: December 14, 2007, 07:41:45 PM
No offence taken - I understood your question the same way you explained it.

That's very good then!!  Thmbsup

Frankly I am the one who should apologize, because sometimes Curt really is too curt... in particular when I am to express myself in (my kind of) English!

Not at all, I guess it's all part of being part of a multi-cultural, multi-lingual community. (I just wanted to make sure...)

1268  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Noah is almost fantastic, but what is it? on: December 14, 2007, 06:02:13 PM

I am not playing at all....
Sorry Curt, didn't mean "play" in a derogatory sense, but more in "investigation, experiment"

But I was still impressed with it.

Thanks  smiley
1269  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Noah is almost fantastic, but what is it? on: December 12, 2007, 05:38:41 AM
I am very impressed with this program, and considering it merely is version 1.0 I believe Noah has great potential!

Are you still playing with this Curt... and what are your impressions?
1270  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Any old Amiga users among us? on: December 11, 2007, 07:11:51 AM
Memory being a funny thing, I'm certain the article is more accurate than my recollections about crashes & instability:

Quote
Because the OS lacked memory protection, a fatal error in the OS or even in an application could lock up the system completely, forcing a reboot.  [...]  As a result, the Amiga gained a reputation for instability that would stay with the machine for many years to come.

Ouch.

Well, unless my memory has failed too, I seem to remember that the crashes followed poorly written software, like it does on Windows. Endeavoring to keep your system stocked with well written software brought its own rewards. But the old Guru Meditation was as sudden as it was quick when things did go wrong.
1271  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Fantastic: XsX Alphablended Cursors on: December 11, 2007, 06:17:47 AM
Anyone seen these before?

[attach=1]

I discovered it on LifeHacker and followed the lead to Aaron's  Blog which has a nifty install utility...

Anyway, that was yesterday, and today I'm still impressed with these cursors: they are easier on the eyes!

The semi-transparent and brightly coloured cursors meld into the background and jump to the front of the monitor - at the same time: it's fantastic.  Kiss
1272  Special User Sections / GOE 2007 Challenge Downloads / Re: CFDButton - GOE Challenge 2007 Entry on: December 10, 2007, 06:32:59 AM
I have not really addressed the portable issues yet.

Another wee issue I bumped into today... when trying to run the programme from my USB Drive at work, my computer required the C++ Runtimes, but I lack the privileges to install them.

True portability will be hindered by this requirement  Sad
1273  Special User Sections / GOE 2007 Challenge Downloads / Re: CFDButton - GOE Challenge 2007 Entry on: December 09, 2007, 07:24:45 AM
Nice changes to your website!!

Adding version history is a good idea.
1274  Special User Sections / GOE 2007 Challenge Downloads / Re: CFDButton - GOE Challenge 2007 Entry on: December 07, 2007, 08:59:06 PM
I see.. so you basically want to manage the menu in a folder tree structure.. I would have to re-work the way you manage the favs list, but it is do-able, and I think the feature makes sense.. I'll add it to the wishlist for the next release.. Lots of good suggestions have been made.

I agree, it's adding a lot to the way the list is managed, reordering, drag and drop from FileSystem?; but it would help make the favourites more ordered.


I have not really addressed the portable issues yet. Most of my favs are to truecrypt volumes that go with me so the drive letters never change. I could use UNC paths to pick up the computer name, but I'm not sure what can be done to handle paths on USB drives, relative paths to the program may work, like you say.. I'll add this to the list of features also..

It was just a thought I wondered about... as I was thinking of putting it on my USB but then my work situation is different to home. Having the entries filter by computer name may also be a solution as all the non-USB file locations wont be applicable in the different situations. It's not an easy scenario.

I also wondered about keeping the history separate from the menu/recent list? That way you can keep your history list quite large (eg larger than what you'd want displayed on screen), but the recent and/or most used lists are taken from it. Therefore changing the number of Recent to Show to a higher number would instantly be populated. That may be overkill though  undecided
1275  Special User Sections / GOE 2007 Challenge Downloads / Re: CFDButton - GOE Challenge 2007 Entry on: December 07, 2007, 07:55:37 PM
Just a thought... Being portable, would it be sensible to include the computer with the path?

Also, When used on a portable solution (generally a USB Drive), I wonder if the path was to a file on the USB Drive that that should be indicated, as the Drive letter will most probably change when moving from computer to computer. Or maybe it should be saved as a relative path (to the programme?) if possible?

Or are you already handling these issues some other way (that I have not discovered)??
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