I’m going to try to help, but don’t get me wrong : for me it’s not important whether someone likes SQLNotes or not.
That was long… Sorry.
Thanks for the response and your time. Certainly not too long - gives me(us) a better chance of understanding. I wouldn't be posting in the thread at so much length if I were not intrigued by the idea of SQLnotes and the enthusiasm of its users.
Definition? To me SQLNotes function and purpose is fairly easy to summarize: as a freeform database with a very flexible UI, its function is to allow you to store, organize, search, filter, display a great variety of data type (numbers and text and even images and eventually other media -- that's already possible in a way through links) for different purposes. SQLNotes probably works best if you are willing to be a bit creative. Does that help??
Certainly does. Suggests to me that it is an all-purpose database/spreadsheet tool.
Will presumably have the advantage of all such tools in being very flexible, and the disadvantage that it will either be relatively simple in what it can do or relatively complex in how it does it (or somewhere in the middle of the two). My guess is that you would not use SQLnotes for all jobs where you might think of using Excel or Access and that it therefore falls in the relatively simple group. This is not meant to be a derogatory comment - I have far more uses for a tool to tackle relatively simple tasks than I have for an ultra powerful freeform database. From what you say, I would see it as a tool for managing, questioning and viewing information of personal interest. Do I want to keep track of my blood pressure, my weight or my exercise regime? Or what seeds I have planted and where and what happened to them. Potentially much bigger and more complex - I can see from your description that it could even be set up to imitate a program such as Liquid Story Blender.
Yes, some of the programs you cite have a very specific purposes and some of them "force" a fairly specific vision of how one should structure or display a particular type of data.
True. Maybe it is just the way I think, but I find it easier when I have a very clear idea of a program's function and how I would use it ... and I've never been tempted to be a coder.
As for me, I find I often (but not always : it depends on the tasks and the purpose of the software) spend more time trying to circumvent and creatively overcome software limitations than spending time trying to understand how to use more flexible ones.
Oh so true.
Ease of use is important, and I hope that SQLNotes will become more and more easy to use (Pierre will possibly start working on a beginner interface). But what appears easy is often very dependent on the context and the individual. And so I don't find SQLNotes particularly hard to grasp, but YES, it does lack good documentation right now, and some icons can be a bit unfamiliar. But the documentation already available should still help you with the first steps. Then there's the forum.
I accept that it is a Beta in very rapid development. The documentation won't keep up (and that's fine as it would only have to be changed again as the prog changes). If I know what I'm trying to use it for, that gives me something to work with.
You can link images to the database. Drag and drop anything into a grid and it will create an item or subitem. If it's an image, just open the image viewer (view--> image viewer), and you'll be able to see your image.
I tried this with a png file and a jpg file. The file name appeared in the grid, the image viewer opened up when I clicked on the menu item - but nothing appeared in it even though the image file was selected.
And when you say link, does that mean it is only a link? If the original file moves location will that mean that SQLnotes will lose it?
But Drag and drop (files to the grid) works very well. What do you mean when you says "drag and drop stuff from outside to within the prog" ?
That something could be selected from anywhere and dragged and dropped (or cut and pasted) into SQLnotes. Did not seem to work for images, only for files already saved on to the system.
I had really expected to see the images appear in the html pane rather than a separate undocked viewer (assuming they had appeared). I would really expect to see them in a pane. And I would prefer not to have to go through a menu to see them. I'd really like a choice in settings - 'text only', 'text + images' etc. I really like the Dopus and ToDoList approaches where there is a huge amount of power and customisation available in configuration settings and nearly everything else you want to do can be done by visible buttons.
I suppose that means I probably prefer the ribbon to the old MS menus.
SQLNotes will be able to import/export more easily very soon. Pierre could probably say when...
I'm eagerly waiting for better import export functionality too. But one thing at a time. Outlook is next on the list. And much more coming.
That's very good. Hopefully will support The Bat too. Though I think I've already come to accept that I will have to use Outlook even if it is just as a portal to communicate between programs and devices.
I'd certainly want items to be hierarchical and tagable.
Hierarchies? Well, nothing could be easier in SQLNotes.
Tags? There are different way of tagging right now (using fields, or keywords in the category field), but Pierre is working on yet another method with a special "multi selection" field.
Hierarchies accepted. I could drag and drop the items on the item menu one to another. Very good.
Will be glad to see tags coming into use.
Easy additions to data and easy changes of views.
I find it incredibly easy to add data. Click (or press f2) in a field and type! Add as many columns/fields as you want.
I suppose my idea of adding data (in any form) is taking it from one place and putting it in another. Mostly my keyboard just lies to my side and I do everything with the mouse. If I'm creating stuff myself, I may type (I do touch type at a pretty good speed) as I do with posts like this, or may dictate with Dragon.
I'd quite like a 'View' grid/filter where I could specify what I wanted shown and it did it. I can understand the prog as a huge personal database; but to use it, I would need many input and output templates.
Change views : For that, you can either create as many grids as you want, and/or use the column filters, the date filters, the alphanumeric filters, etc.
You can have as many input or output templates as you want. There are forms for input.
Again : create grids for output, and/or you could learn how to use the numerous filters.
More user friendly filters are in the making. But there are already many easy to use filters using the GUI : date, Alphanumeric, column filters, etc.
Sounds good. I'm clearly going to have to put stuff in so I can try all these ways of getting it out.
I think we're all working to make suggestions to improve SQLNotes' user friendliness.
I think this really matters for an all purpose tool. A specific tool for a specific job can afford to be more complex and convoluted because your understanding of the specific job will give you an understanding of the types of thing the tool must do.
It can use different backend and Pierre is already working on a SQL Server version.
I'm glad about this. When I bought IdImager, I bought the Pro version just because it was based on SQLserver rather than JET. (Though the latest version has stopped using JET and uses SQLite and SQLserver - and I decided to use the SQLite version
If it doesn't do all of this, then I would need to be clear about what it does better than any competing product (and be clear that I needed this).
All what? I'm not sure I understand... I can tell you though that I've tried Ultra Recall, Mybase, and many other "freeform" database, and SQLNotes is the only one that I actually believe in. It's still in beta, but IMO it's already got more potential... So I'm willing to wait and give support to help it become the great application I hope it will become.
Does appear to do it all, so no probs.