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Author Topic: SQLNotes...what is it exactly?  (Read 406217 times)
superboyac
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« Reply #375 on: January 11, 2008, 03:22:23 PM »

OK, I'm starting to explore the pivot tables now:
--Is there a way to save a pivot table once it's made?  I don't see where it is stored once I make it and try to get it back later.  Also, it would be cool if I could view the pivot table in along with the grid simultaneously (maybe make it a pane like the fields and html pane).

--Also, I'm trying to make a pivot table that shows how many of each grade I got over the course of my years.  But because the grid is setup in a hierarchy, the children subitems don't seem to be counted.  How can I get the pivot table to read all the sub-items.  It works fine in flat outlines.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2008, 03:27:14 PM by superboyac » Logged

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« Reply #376 on: January 11, 2008, 03:24:23 PM »

Pivots are automatically saved. To see simultaneously, right-click on the tab and select new Hoz/Ver tab group  huh
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superboyac
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« Reply #377 on: January 11, 2008, 03:31:14 PM »

Pivots are automatically saved. To see simultaneously, right-click on the tab and select new Hoz/Ver tab group  huh
awesome!  OK, what if I close that pivot table.  How can I reopen it?

I was modifying the post above right when you responded, I don't know if you saw the last part.

bug alert:  If I press "Enter" in the HTML pane, nothing happens.  This was fine before.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2008, 04:13:20 PM by superboyac » Logged

superboyac
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« Reply #378 on: January 11, 2008, 04:18:51 PM »

More for pivot tables:
Can I have the pivot tables auto-hide?  Can I have more than one open at once?  Can I save the pivot tables somehow?  When I close the pivot table after I had docked it horizontally split, when I reopen, it opens full-screen again.  Is there a way to save the last used setting?
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« Reply #379 on: January 11, 2008, 05:12:53 PM »

--Also, I'm trying to make a pivot table that shows how many of each grade I got over the course of my years.  But because the grid is setup in a hierarchy, the children subitems don't seem to be counted.  How can I get the pivot table to read all the sub-items.  It works fine in flat outlines.
Simply create a grid called CourseGrade (or something else and set the source to CourseGrade) and use that grid for your pivot table/chart (charts will look pretty neat for this transcript stuff)

There are other ways (i.e. modify the source of your original grid) but this way will work.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2008, 05:16:11 PM by PPLandry » Logged

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« Reply #380 on: January 11, 2008, 05:21:12 PM »

bug alert:  If I press "Enter" in the HTML pane, nothing happens.  This was fine before.
I'll check it. When this happens, click on the source text box (top left) and then back to the HTML pane. Enter will work (the grid is eating up the key  Angry)
« Last Edit: January 11, 2008, 05:23:31 PM by PPLandry » Logged

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« Reply #381 on: January 11, 2008, 11:20:29 PM »

As part of the GTD implementation, new quick Add Item form is now available. CTRL-N to open it. A system-wide shortcut is also available to open it from anywhere (CTRL-ALT-N):

You can enter item text, decide into which folder to put it in (normally, the inbox) and put a due date if required

Plus... now you can show/hide an HTML box. SQLNotes can now much more easily be used as a web-clipping tool:

  • browse to a web page
  • Select some text
  • copy (right-click or CTRL-C)
  • CTRL-ALT-N (will open the above form)
  • paste (right-click or CTRL-V)
  • click Add Item (or Alt-A). An item has been created with your clipping, put in the inbox, ready for you to file it appropriately later-on
  • focus is then restored to the browser (or whereever you were before hitting the hot-key.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2008, 09:38:24 AM by PPLandry » Logged

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« Reply #382 on: January 12, 2008, 09:35:59 AM »

More for pivot tables:
Can I have the pivot tables auto-hide?  Can I have more than one open at once?  Can I save the pivot tables somehow?  When I close the pivot table after I had docked it horizontally split, when I reopen, it opens full-screen again.  Is there a way to save the last used setting?
1- To open the same pivot more than once, open the grid more than once and then show the pivot for each one. To open a grid more than once, shift-click on the grid button
2- Grids and pivots currently open in the tab-workspace. There are improvements coming to grids and pivots:
  • Pivot grid/chart views: currently you must open the grid to then open the pivot. You'll be able to open the pivot directly
  • Combo-views: a view with any number of grids/pivots arranged as you wish. Configuration will be saved
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« Reply #383 on: January 12, 2008, 02:46:27 PM »

Pierre : the "new quick Add Item form" is really nice. This is a great addition which will contribute to close the gap between SQLNotes and other note taking/Web clipping programs, and it will certainly achieve its aim of... boosting productivity (ahem... in my case, nothing computer related ever boosts my productivity...  embarassed).

EDIT :
It works really well and I wonder if it'd be possible to have an option to automate it even further for web clipping : the appearing window could be shown only when another key would added to the usual hotkeys combination (win+A in EverNote), otherwise, what's been selected would automatically be copied, the default options would be instantly applied (folder, category, etc.) and a title (based on the first text line of what's clipped) would be automatically chosen... Et voilà.

For instant notes and gtd, a similar option could be selected/unselected to automate the process further : a title (based on the first text line of what's written) could be automatically chosen... It could be edited afterwards, of course...
« Last Edit: January 12, 2008, 02:58:24 PM by Armando » Logged

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« Reply #384 on: January 12, 2008, 02:59:00 PM »

Edited my previous post, Pierre.
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« Reply #385 on: January 12, 2008, 03:50:47 PM »

A bunch of questions and/or suggestions:

UI related :

-   Is there an option for the “refreshing rate” of the UI? I wonder if SQLNotes could refresh grids more often — e.g.: every time an item is moved, changed, etc. I know one can press F5, but at first I didn’t know I HAD to and I didn’t understand why, for example,  the “grid tab” said  “(5)” when there were only 4 items in the grid.

-   In the little video demo of SQLNotes, you show how the detailed texts (HTML, I guess) of your items appear inside the hierarchy, as a “normal” outlined text… That’s really nice. How do you do that?

-   Can one “force” SQLNotes to save the UI exactly as it is EACH time it exits and then restore it EXACTLY as it was on startup? Right now, all my “grid tabs” are closed except for one on restore, and I’d like to have all of them opened as they were when I exited SQLNotes.

-   Sometimes, I switch items but the html editor displays the same data, a bit like if it was stuck. For example, it’s “title” will say something like “HTML: blabla (ID=17)” and will remain like that, whatever the select item. Why? Some related questions :

  • How is the HTML “field” (I’m not even sure how to call it because it’s one of those “special fields”) treated and linked to the items : is it like an independent but “linked” item, or is it really an inherent part of the item?
  • Could the HTML field be shown in someway in the “properties” pane ? so that if there’s something in it, it shows somewhere, even if the HTML pane is not opened.


-   Shouldn’t the AlphaNumeric and Date filter toolbars be added to the “toolbars selection menu” (when one right clicks on a toolbar)?

  • Related to that… In the “View” menu, there could be a “toolbars” option where we can select the toolbars to display. I know that it’s possible to right click on the toolbars, but it would just add to the ease if use, IMO

-   It’s possible to customize keyboard shortcuts by right clicking on a toolbar and selecting “customize. I think that this “Customize” option should be added to the “tools” menu.

-   I’d like to have a “Save” feature/option in the “file” menu (not only “save as”). So if I want to save, I can… Even if I’ve set it to save every minute! smiley

-   It would be great to be able to set/have/save different views for the same Grid (a bit like Outlook “views”)

-   It would be nice to be able to dock the image viewer like other panes (property, HTML…) and have the images appear beside the HTML pane, or autohide for instance… (it can really get in the way otherwise).

  • Also, related to the image viewer, a feature to set the "resizing mode" of the picture (according to the windows width or height, or to even keep the original size) would be great.



Others :

-   Could the html pane use… MS Word as a word processor, as an option ???  Oh my god, that would be sooooooo nice… That might be completely impossible though.  embarassed

-   I find that SQLNotes is always using bewteen 2-9% CPU (I’ve got a core duo 1.8 ghz) when it’s opened, even if it’s not being used… Why is that? It’s a pretty high value for an app that’s just sitting the background. too high for my taste anyway.

-   The “show picture” feature in the “view” menu could have the option of always resize pictures to fit certain dimensions (and it the dimensions should be pretty small by default because it can really become unusabe if one has big pictures in there)


Ok... that was maybe too long -- and long to write!!!! Next time I should probably just phone you Pierre...???
« Last Edit: January 12, 2008, 03:53:19 PM by Armando » Logged

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« Reply #386 on: January 12, 2008, 04:32:27 PM »

OK, last contribution for today…
 
I mean, do you guys see how powerful this program is?  It's like I'm creating my own mini-programs here.  I bet there is someone out there selling some kind of transcript software.

I really share that love for SQLNotes. In my case, I really have to fight against my inner geek to not start using it more. And the reason for that is that it would be a bit suicidal to move my data from Outlook to SQLNotes now…. because I rely so much on my palm. I still need Outlook, UNFORTUNATELY. Sad
I told Pierre that the palm syncing thing was primordial to me (so is the calendar…), and so is the transfer of all of my Outlook data.

I think that the most important things now  to have more people trying SQLNotes (and see all its huge potential -- literally) are:

1-   In time, A better manual/- a good helpfile + even MORE tooltips (for columns, etc.).  SQLNotes is not yet exactly that... “intuitive”… Remember, superboyac : at the beginning you said that you couldn’t “get your head around it”...

So… The “getting started” page is a good… start… I like it, but I’m sure that there are still some basic and important questions that should soon be answered about data manipulation. Like:

  • Where's the data when it's not in the grids and how to populate the grids with that "invisible" data ? (An “empty” search shows all items in the data base… but…)
  • What’s the searching syntax all about ? I know its probably SQL syntax — which I admit I don’t know much about… but, eventually, a little guide for the user will be a big  +. And also, some more prefabricated syntax suggestions in a drop down menu.
  • How does one use the pivot tables (a very simple, “walk through”, guide… like : 1- right click on the “empty” pivot chart, 2- select “Field List”, etc.)
  • What does that mean exactly (in the "getting started guide") : "the basic concept is to arrange pieces of information (items) using a tree outline, put these items into folders and assign values.” Which folders ? Personally, I don’t see folders anywhere.

      Or some UI related questions like :
  • How do you "reactivate" some special toolbars if you make them disappear by mistake ? (I'm thinking of the "menu tool bars", like the "View" --> "Grids " tool bar – I now know that you can drag menus and create new toolbars, but… I mention this one because it really took me a while to find out how to restore that damn tool bar I "deleted" by mistake  Sad )

Etc.

I believe that these minor but important additions to the "getting started guide" will help.


2-   Better import of Outlook or ____ (fill with your favorite app’s name) data in SQLNotes (I’m mentioning Outlook because it’s still a pretty popular choice… and I use it everyday smiley ),
 
3-   Less stability issues. OK, it's generally pretty stable, but certain things will just crash it. Some examples of what crashed it this morning (I know I've just been somewhat unlucky -- it's never been like that before... I mean, it'S a bit like if I did all the "wrong" things  Grin):

  • mix of shortcut keys and other UI configurations : an hour ago I pressed ctrl+alt+1 (and then I also tried all other 1-9 numbers) and it crashed  SQLNotes. (Pierre : I think I now  know what’s doing  it : if you remove the Grid “menu toolbar”, SQLNotes won’t be happy about it.
  • I wanted to see the “itemHTML” field in my Grid, and the app froze (maybe because it was trying to display in the grid something that was to “big”???? Don’t know)
  • I wanted to move an item to another Grid (by drag and drop) and I got a “Runtime error ’94’ Invalid use of Null. I was then able to achieve the same thing by enabling the right field in the "properties" pane/window.
  • Some times, when the panes are docked to the right, a weird thing happens :



Resizing the “blank pane” or trying to make it disappear will eventually crash the application.

When SQLNotes crashes, some data just disappears from the grids, and customized columns (and UI customizations in general) usually disappear too… I know it's not all necessarily gone for ever (especially the data), but it can be a bit traumatizing when you don't know where it's all gone and how to get it back.
For now, I’m sure these crashes could discourage someone with a busy schedule… smiley  It’s still beta software though, so it’s normal to have stability issues.

4-   Some other important (and soon coming, I know) features like a good calendar, gantt charting and easy tagging will be major attractions.


Another suggestion (I just thought about that while writing) : I wonder if grid could be displayed as a kind of folder hierarchy. So we could also group grids according to themes, etc. What do you think?

« Last Edit: January 12, 2008, 04:44:00 PM by Armando » Logged

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« Reply #387 on: January 12, 2008, 05:39:18 PM »

Pierre :  Ok… Last last comments... (I hope you find these useful  embarassed)

about the « tagging” feature. I think that this "terminology" can be a bit misleading . But it might well be just MY OWN misunderstanding.


This is how you explain the tagging option:

Quote
The Tagged list: Tagging items is a bit like selecting items. Except that they remain tagged until you explicitly un-tag them. Many operations can be performed using selected items or tagged items.

....I still don’t really get all you can do with what you call “tagging”. It seems to me that tagging in SQLNotes is more like linking or even bookmarking. (If so, couldn’t you change the “tag” term by something like “bookmark” or "Link" ? IMO, it’s more a bookmarking feature than a tagging one. Bookmarking-tagging something could also be shown by an asterisk beside the Item #, or a color change, or even HAVE ITS OWN FIELD... Right now, I believe it appears only in the properties pane, as somekind of special “non-dragable to the grid” field.)


As for “web 2.0” style tagging (like the “book index” metaphor I mentioned earlier in this thread... or somewhere else), will that be implemented in a way that’s more directly usable?
Yes, the present “category” field allows tagging in a broad sense (as would any field used for that purpose, in fact), but the categories inserted there form a “sentence” so to speak and each term is not inherently differentiated  (to allow proper sorting and complex manipulations).

For example : in Outlook, by inserting “;” between terms in the category window or field, you get clearly diffentiated  terns/categories. Then :

- “Items-tasks-events” can be dragged dropped from one category (or tag) to another when viewed in a “grid”
- “Items-tasks-events” can be clearly sorted according to each individual tag term,
-  users can also choose tags in a list that’s updated everytime a new category/tag is created -- so that (for example) a theme is not tagged differently multiple times,
- etc.

I’m pretty sure that there are already ways to do some of that… I just don’t know how (I don't fully understand all the field's parameter).

(BTW : I think EverNote has created one of the finest categorizing/tagging system. Tag2find’s one is also pretty neat.)
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« Reply #388 on: January 12, 2008, 06:39:39 PM »

Wow Armando, you a all or nothing kind of guy. It will take me a few hours to digest (and reply) to all that you wrote.  Thmbsup

If I could summarize in one word, it would be : Yes (to all you said)... but I'll respond one by one later on!
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« Reply #389 on: January 12, 2008, 08:32:37 PM »

Attention all... I created a Wikipedia page to explain what SQLNotes is. The page is not very different from pages of numerous other software.

However for some reason (I know very little about Wikipedia rules/regulations), it has been marked as proposed for deletions in 3 days. One reason given is that only one person contributed... hence the appeal to all to add to the page. Thanks.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sqlnotes

p.s. grap a reference of what you write (and put it ironically into SQLNotes if you wish) in case the deletion is eventually done.
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« Reply #390 on: January 13, 2008, 01:42:15 AM »

Pierre : reading your answer on the other thread (GemX ), I’ve been thinking about Ultra Recall… Which you’ve probably tried… or not ?
An in depth comparison of Ultra Recall and SQLNote should be very interesting.

I think I find SQLNotes less restrictive, but maybe more “geeky”… They're somewhat different beasts though, as UR tries to be the database for everything on your hard drive, and almost encourages you to store-import documents (word documents, etc.).

Pierre, I hope you don’t mind… but I feel like giving it a short shot…. It's been a while since I tried UR, but off the top of my head I'd say that some advantages over SQLNotes are :

- Better export/import features (for now): for example, its Outlook import/export was/is outstanding.
- Better and more mature tagging (Keyword) features (for now…)
- More stable, I believe (maybe) (for now, again…)
- Better proofing tools (for now?)
- A find and replace tool (until soon… I hope)
- Able to internally show external (linked) document
- More mature “logical linking” features (for now)
- Better Undo/redo…
- Somewhat lighter on resources… I think (I noted in my Utra Recall document : 0% of cpu power and 30-40mb with a minimal database. Right now, with a pretty minimal database too, SQLNotes consumes between 5-10% cpu and about 60mb of RAM…)

and maybe :
- UR has a somewhat more polished and intuitive interface (for now ... but I DO like SQLNotes’ interface : there's something that's more coherent about it); I liked UR’s data explorer pane where there was a kind of folder view of the data, but it didn’t seem convenient for huge amounts of items
- UR has VERY accurate Web Clipping... ALTHOUGH in some ways, Web Clipping is better in SQLNotes ... last time I tried Ultra Recall, you couldn't edit what you clipped! It might have changed, but I doubt it (I checked their forum and release history…)


Some UR’s disadvantages now…in other words : some less powerful aspects of Ultra Recall (IMO) :
-   Displaying of numerous nested items can be somewhat less "clear or convenient” than SQLNotes “outlined grids” model. Hierarchical representations of items in grids is just very very convenient. SQLNotes’ "Ecco style grid" approach allows for an incredibly coherent and flexible way of displaying data (mind mapping abilities, or export feature to mind maps softwares would be fun too... but that's another story...) .
-   In Ultra Recall, the calendar is really not that great... SQLNotes future one looks MUCH more promising,
-   No "Immediate note taking" in UR, if I’m not mistaken... now MUCH better in SQLNotes.
-   If I remember well, table and formulas, etc. are better in SQLNotes and are underdeveloped (or non-existent?) in Ultra Recall... Am I right?
-   UR doesn’t offer SQLNote’s sophistication for data analysis, filtering, etc. (like pivot tables, etc.)
-   UR offers no quick "search as you type" feature
And…
-   Developer is not as accessible and… quick to make changes! Wink

Those who use Ultra Recall on a regular basis, what do you think of these comparisons? smiley

(I'll shut up for a month now...)
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« Reply #391 on: January 13, 2008, 04:20:41 AM »

I can only speak about UR as I don't have much experience with SQL Notes yet.

As for the webclipping, you can't edit if you import whole webpage into UR (well you can, but most probably only through opening in an external editor), but you can edit if you just copy the text.

UR has search as you type.

Developers are not as accessible and quick, but they are still way above the standard ini that aspect IMHO, and UR has rather frequent releases, they have 5 out of 5 from me.

Calendar is in plans, can't comment on immediate notetaking as I have yet to explore what that means in SQLNotes.

I hope both apps will find their own way so that they can coexist alongside. The world needs more such great software solutions in PIM area, not less.
 Thmbsup
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« Reply #392 on: January 13, 2008, 08:37:11 AM »

Wow Armando, another great post! I'll need to get that 36" monitor to view it Grin (or turn my 21" to portrait mode)

I agree with most of what you wrote. URp is definitely a much more polished product (being in version 3) than SQLNotes (beta). I'm getting close to the end of the feature addition phase of SQLNotes and will then concentrate on polishing it before version 1.0 release.

Again, I hope my post on the GEM/X didn't come across as being negative regarding URp. URp is a great product. IMO SQLNotes and URp have different objectives and can actually complement each-other. Being both database-based, each could eventually pull information from the other (much like SQLNotes being able right now to pull information from SQL Server databases)
« Last Edit: January 13, 2008, 09:52:03 AM by PPLandry » Logged

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« Reply #393 on: January 14, 2008, 10:47:51 AM »

First of all, Armando!  Wow!  That is some posting.  Your points are right on, and I think my experiences have been very similar if not exactly the same.  I'll have to reread it 5 more times before I digest everything!  Actually, I think I should print it out!  I know I have experienced the grey box thing before, I just forgot to say anything.

Pierre, thanks for the pivot information, that helps.
Quote
Simply create a grid called CourseGrade (or something else and set the source to CourseGrade) and use that grid for your pivot table/chart (charts will look pretty neat for this transcript stuff)

There are other ways (i.e. modify the source of your original grid) but this way will work.
So, am I to understand that the pivot tables will not work when the list is structured as a hierarchy?  Does it have to flat for the pivots to read the information?
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« Reply #394 on: January 14, 2008, 11:42:24 AM »

Does it have to flat for the pivots to read the information?
No it doesn't need to be flat. Some explanation is required here. Items exist independant of the Hierarchy. I like to say that items are like individuals. The fact that you have parents or children does not change the fact that you are a person. The same in SQLNotes. To determine what the pivot table of a specific grid can see in terms of items, set hierarchy, context parents and save item states to Off. Those items are the only ones which "belong" to the grid. The rest were added to help you manage your information.

Pivot table/chart views will be possible later on. Right now, you need to open the grid first. So setting a new grid source to CourseGrade will do 2 things for you:
1- get you the grade
2- isolate the actual courses from the summary parents (semester, year, etc)

I hope this helps.
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superboyac
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« Reply #395 on: January 14, 2008, 12:47:59 PM »

Does it have to flat for the pivots to read the information?
No it doesn't need to be flat. Some explanation is required here. Items exist independant of the Hierarchy. I like to say that items are like individuals. The fact that you have parents or children does not change the fact that you are a person. The same in SQLNotes. To determine what the pivot table of a specific grid can see in terms of items, set hierarchy, context parents and save item states to Off. Those items are the only ones which "belong" to the grid. The rest were added to help you manage your information.

Pivot table/chart views will be possible later on. Right now, you need to open the grid first. So setting a new grid source to CourseGrade will do 2 things for you:
1- get you the grade
2- isolate the actual courses from the summary parents (semester, year, etc)

I hope this helps.
OK, this works.  But if you don't mind, let me argue this from an efficiency standpoint.  I would rather not have to create a new grid just for a pivot table if I don't have to.  Wouldn't it be better if i could take the columns from the existing transcript grid (including the parent items which do not have grades) and be able to use them in a pivot table?  Because in MS pivot tables, you can turn certain items on/off, so if some data doesn't apply, you don't have to have it show in the table.
When I made my pivot table using the existing transcript grid, I didn't get any of the items listed in the list like would normally appear in a pivot table in excel (see below):

That list should show a list of all the grades (A, A-, B+, etc...).  I'm just saying that it would be better and easier if I could create that pivot table without creating a new grid.  Sorry, what I meant was it would be easier if I didn't have to MODIFY the existing grid (because I can turn off the hierarchy, save states, context parents, like you said).
« Last Edit: January 14, 2008, 12:51:53 PM by superboyac » Logged

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« Reply #396 on: January 14, 2008, 12:55:42 PM »

>Wouldn't it be better if i could take the columns from the existing transcript grid (including the parent items which do not have grades) and be able to use them in a pivot table?

Yes columns are no problem, the issue here is which items to take?
---------------

Unfortunately, this is rather complicated. The pivot needs a data source.

One possibility, would be to create a pivot based on the selected items, however it would be complicated when users add items.

Another possibility would be to allow users to set the data source of the pivot (currently it is set automatically). I think that pivot table/chart views will help as far as this issue is concerned.

[edit] After thinking about it, I could use the current item list as a datasource. I'll see how this could work [/edit]
« Last Edit: January 14, 2008, 01:09:03 PM by PPLandry » Logged

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« Reply #397 on: January 14, 2008, 01:09:28 PM »

I've modified my earlier post!
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superboyac
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« Reply #398 on: January 14, 2008, 03:01:35 PM »

>Wouldn't it be better if i could take the columns from the existing transcript grid (including the parent items which do not have grades) and be able to use them in a pivot table?

Yes columns are no problem, the issue here is which items to take?
---------------

Unfortunately, this is rather complicated. The pivot needs a data source.

One possibility, would be to create a pivot based on the selected items, however it would be complicated when users add items.

Another possibility would be to allow users to set the data source of the pivot (currently it is set automatically). I think that pivot table/chart views will help as far as this issue is concerned.

[edit] After thinking about it, I could use the current item list as a datasource. I'll see how this could work [/edit]
I don't see why it's a problem.  Let's take my transcript grid again.  Why can't the pivot table just read all of the Items regardless of their position in the hierarchy (without having to adjust the display of the grid using the menu-->grid options)?  Furthermore, for the items that have no grades associated with it (year, semester) all you have to do is uncheck the "blank" box in the screenshot I showed above.  I guess I'm not understanding why it can't work this way.
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« Reply #399 on: January 14, 2008, 03:05:35 PM »

Checkout my edit at the bottom. I basically say that it is possible. It is actually an excellent idea.
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