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Last post Author Topic: SQLNotes...what is it exactly?  (Read 485894 times)

Armando

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Re: SQLNotes...what is it exactly?
« Reply #850 on: March 25, 2008, 06:30:15 PM »
superboyac : I've added one issue to mantis : http://mantis.sqlnot....net/view.php?id=192

And updated (added a note... in the mean time) issue 146

Armando

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Re: SQLNotes...what is it exactly?
« Reply #851 on: March 25, 2008, 06:33:54 PM »
Then I realised that the easiest and most comprehensive approach would actually be to photograph the fronts and backs of the bottles and just load the photos into Evernote. No need to write, no need to type, no need to worry about fields etc.

Nice idea.

Dormouse

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Re: SQLNotes...what is it exactly?
« Reply #852 on: March 25, 2008, 07:16:03 PM »
Nice idea.
Thanks.

I've always been amazed how people focus on cameras as ways of taking pictures rather than as tremendously versatile and portable data capture devices. One of my daughters once complained of the amount of time she was spending copying up notes she'd borrowed from friends after a few weeks off school when she was ill. I suggested that she just photograph them, and even demonstrated and showed how they could be searched in Evernote and that she could print them if she wanted, but she still seemed to feel it would only be right if she wrote them out by hand.

Darwin

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Re: SQLNotes...what is it exactly?
« Reply #853 on: March 25, 2008, 07:28:46 PM »
still seemed to feel it would only be right if she wrote them out by hand

[Off-topic]This is how I learn, or at least memorize, best... The act of writing out my notes - or someone elses notes - when I was in university seemed to "fix" the information in my mind... [/Off-topic]
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Armando

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Re: SQLNotes...what is it exactly?
« Reply #854 on: March 25, 2008, 07:54:05 PM »
I've always been amazed how people focus on cameras as ways of taking pictures rather than as tremendously versatile and portable data capture devices.

At some point I tried "scanning" parts of very wide books like that (they wouldn't fit in my scanner). Quite a hard endeavor... I guess I just didn't have the right equipment -- if I had, it would've been damn quick!

I tend to digitalize everything...  :-[

@superboyac : I've seen on one of your screenshots that you seemed to have transfered your EverNotes notes... Is that really it? And if yes, how did you achieve that?

Dormouse

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Re: SQLNotes...what is it exactly?
« Reply #855 on: March 25, 2008, 08:03:47 PM »
At some point I tried "scanning" parts of very wide books like that (they wouldn't fit in my scanner). Quite a hard endeavor... I guess I just didn't have the right equipment -- if I had, it would've been damn quick!

I find that with a decent camera there's no book that is too big or wide. By far the fastest way of digitising that sort of item. Also good for stuff that other people have and don't want you to borrow to take a copy.

For most letters etc, I just rely on my document scanner which is very fast and automatic.

superboyac

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Re: SQLNotes...what is it exactly?
« Reply #856 on: March 26, 2008, 01:25:34 PM »
What does the Grid>Column Filter>Auto display mode option do?  I turned it on and I don't know where it applies.
In auto mode, the column filter buttons are only displayed when there is space for them (calculated for each column, based on the caption and the column width)
I can't seem to get the buttons to appear for any column on any of my grids, even when I adjust the column width to ridiculously large widths.

Also, when I use the "filter column button" on the toolbar, it automatically goes to the first column to filter.  How can I use that button on other columns?

PPLandry

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Re: SQLNotes...what is it exactly?
« Reply #857 on: March 26, 2008, 01:32:43 PM »
You must check Grid>Column Filter buttons to see column buttons (notice that it is a split button + menu)
Real generosity toward the future lies in giving all to the present -- Albert Camus -- www.InfoQube.biz

superboyac

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Re: SQLNotes...what is it exactly?
« Reply #858 on: March 26, 2008, 01:46:27 PM »

Yep, I've asked for this a couple times... ALmost exaclty the same thing.

Quick Search (ctrl+q) is already pretty good, but I suggested a couple ways of "improving" it there :

http://www.sqlnotes....e/posts/Default.aspx
and
http://www.sqlnotes....e/posts/Default.aspx

I also put something in mantis : http://mantis.sqlnot....net/view.php?id=146
OK, Armando, I went back and read your suggestions, I guess you've pretty much covered everything I wanted to say.  I am with you 100% about the "quick and lazy" method of searching since that is probably the kind of search I'll be using 90% of the time.  Personally speaking, I am not a huge fan of the Search grid in SQLNotes, although it is powerful.  I'm just not one of those people that do crazy and complex searches with Boolean or regular expressions.  Once in a blue moon, I'll do something with a couple of AND OR commands, but extremely rarely.  That's why the EverNote search is perfect.  There is no better search engine.  It's just a little box that sits in the toolbar and you just type anything in there and the list will instantly pare down to the relevant items, with the matching terms beautifully highlighted.  If SQLNotes had the same thing sitting there on the toolbar for the grids, it would be perfect also.
The Quick Search feature in SN is much more useful than the Search grid, but I also have the same issues that you stated in your suggestions (especially the thing about unique item display).  Here's how I see myself using the search features in SN, assuming the Evernote-style grid box gets implemented:

By percentage of usage:
Evernote-style single-grid filter -- 85%
Quick Search (for searching entire database) -- 10%
Search grid -- 5%

The cool thing about the Search grid is that it keeps a history of what you searched.  Actually, it might be nice if the Search grid also kept a history of recently searched items using Quick Search (and others).

superboyac

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Re: SQLNotes...what is it exactly?
« Reply #859 on: March 26, 2008, 01:46:58 PM »
You must check Grid>Column Filter buttons to see column buttons (notice that it is a split button + menu)
OK!  I got it, thanks.  I had those there before, but they went away and I couldn't figure how to get them back.

iphigenie

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Re: SQLNotes...what is it exactly?
« Reply #860 on: March 26, 2008, 02:32:04 PM »
I went back to the sqlnotes site recently and now i'm way impressed, will have to try it for some of those datbasey tasks i always end up doing

Armando

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Re: SQLNotes...what is it exactly?
« Reply #861 on: March 27, 2008, 11:04:46 PM »
By percentage of usage:
Evernote-style single-grid filter -- 85%
Quick Search (for searching entire database) -- 10%
Search grid -- 5%

For me it would be more :

Evernote-style single-grid filter -- 40%

Quick Search (for searching entire database) -- And actually uses the search grid too to display choices -->  50%

"Search grid" (I guess that you meant the "find" feature?) -- 5%

I actually do a lot of "full database" search : when I search I often don't even want to bother opening the right grid first, so quick search is the best option. Just a matter of habit I guess. (And, thinking about it : EverNote's search is a full database search too)

Searching inside the grid is convenient when I want to instantly find specific text strings inside the current grid. In this case Switching to Quick search feels a tad awkward, and typing
TextFields ALIKE "%whatever%"
works but is not exactly quick. Still : Quick search works very fast, and I'm usually able to find stuff very rapidly.

when it comes to real filtering power though... Evernotes searching features are rudimentary in comparison!

The Quick Search feature in SN is much more useful than the Search grid, but I also have the same issues that you stated in your suggestions (especially the thing about unique item display).  Here's how I see myself using the search features in SN, assuming the Evernote-style grid box gets implemented:

Did you try the newest build? More reliable than ever, and the quick search window has been tweaked : there's now a "non detailed" view that's (IMO) much easier to "read". Other features are to be expected soon!  :)

PPLandry

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Re: SQLNotes...what is it exactly?
« Reply #862 on: March 27, 2008, 11:47:41 PM »
I've rolled all daily build changes into version 0.9.22.7.

And yes, the new Quick search (now CTRL-F) has a non-detailed mode which is exactly what Armando and superboyac have requested: items only appear once, even though more than one field match the search criteria.

While the Quick Search is great for searching for text, the advanced search (Shift-CTRL-F), it is still useful to search for dates and numbers and supports AND, OR, *, etc and you can limit which fields are searched.

Checkout release notes for details: http://mantis.sqlnot...t/changelog_page.php
Real generosity toward the future lies in giving all to the present -- Albert Camus -- www.InfoQube.biz

Armando

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Re: SQLNotes...what is it exactly?
« Reply #863 on: April 03, 2008, 09:55:54 PM »
I need some suggestions. I do have some ideas, but I'd like to know how you (SQLNotes users) would do it. Here are the elements that I have to organize... pretty basic).

1) 21 students, identified by their names (mostly) and other caracteristics (I'll create special fields for that)
2) Around 60 different tests, evaluations, papers, etc. (will be marked using letters or numbers)

(Each student is of course evaluated for each test, paper etc.)

My problem is that... 1-Well it's a LOT of fields if I treat tests as fields, 2- and some fields should actually be "sub-fields", but it's not possible to do that... at least now... 3- Using fields would also be fairly limiting in terms of how much info I could enter for each test field (hard to insert comments of any sort, if I'm using numbers as my grades)

And if I enter tests and other evaluation types as subitems of the students items, 1- it would look nice and I could create hierarchies of tests depending on the different themes, etc. (french, math, geography...) 2- it would allow me to put more than just an evaluation for each test (since I could use the HTML pane  to write some comments for each test), 3-  but it'd become kind of awkward to manage because I'd have to copy all the different tests subitems in each "student item" repeatedly to keep the structure uniform (ie : all students are marked for the same tests and criteria). 4- Also, using this way, it would be harder to see all student marks at once for one specific test since that specific test would in fact be... many different subitems (even if they share the same name...) -- possible though, with filters.

Opinions ?

PS : IMO, one feature that could be useful would be to be able to reverse the items/fields axis.... But maybe that's already possible?

So I guess I'm left with the tests/marks as fields... But I wonder how to do that elegantly... I could also use excell, but I  feel that SQLNotes will probably allow for better searching and filtering. What do you think?
« Last Edit: April 03, 2008, 10:07:30 PM by Armando »

Armando

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Re: SQLNotes...what is it exactly?
« Reply #864 on: April 03, 2008, 10:03:09 PM »
(Edited previous post...)

Armando

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Re: SQLNotes...what is it exactly?
« Reply #865 on: April 03, 2008, 11:10:15 PM »
Ok. I think I'm finally going to opt for solution #2 (enter tests and other evaluation types as subitems of the students items). Seems like the most convenient way to do it after all. The only problem is the replicating or modification of subitems under all items-students. The copy/paste feature makes it a bit cumbersome as it is now.

PPLandry

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Re: SQLNotes...what is it exactly?
« Reply #866 on: April 03, 2008, 11:52:56 PM »
Being on holidays with little time to really think about it ([edit] and no computer to test it out [/edit]), my initial hunch is that I would :
1- Create items for each of the students
2- Create 1 text field to store the test name (i.e. Math01) or 2 fields for course and test id (Math, 01) (or both where the combined field has an equation = Course & TestID)
3- For each student, add a sub-item for each test and enter the info.
4- Forms could be used to fill-in common test info (Math and 01) automatically. Changing the form default values when changing test

Then using the ItemParent field, the new grid grouping (outlook-style) and pivot tables/charts should allow all the flexibility required (calculate group average for each test, student average, etc)
If you need to calculate credit-based weighted averages, the transcript sample could be instructive. Talk to superboyac.


Real generosity toward the future lies in giving all to the present -- Albert Camus -- www.InfoQube.biz
« Last Edit: April 04, 2008, 01:13:51 PM by PPLandry »

Armando

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Re: SQLNotes...what is it exactly?
« Reply #867 on: April 04, 2008, 08:31:17 PM »
Thanks Pierre!  (But hey, tututut! you shouldn't bother while you're on holidays!  :) )

I ended up trying a solution similar to the one you suggested. The main obstacle with this solution -- otherwise very elegant! -- is that every time  I change the  structure under one item, I have to manually change the structure under all other items. So that means that I really have to think about the main hierarchy under each student-item before committing to anything if I don't want to end up moving and editing subitems over and over. Overall though, I must say that SQLNotes is a pleasure to use in a classroom context! All the filters become incredibly useful and allow a lot of different data presentations. I can't wait for the calendar and the gantt charts to do all my project management in there.

(PS : I could eventually share my grid template for the student marking, etc.)


superboyac

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Re: SQLNotes...what is it exactly?
« Reply #868 on: April 07, 2008, 10:21:01 AM »
Exporting to Excel doesn't work that well.  Is it me, or is it a bug?

I have a grid, with a couple of sublevels in the hierarchy.  Whenever I export to Excel, only the top level items get exported (even though I have all the items selected).

PPLandry

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Re: SQLNotes...what is it exactly?
« Reply #869 on: April 07, 2008, 10:26:33 AM »
Exporting to Excel doesn't work that well.  Is it me, or is it a bug?

I have a grid, with a couple of sublevels in the hierarchy.  Whenever I export to Excel, only the top level items get exported (even though I have all the items selected).
Export to Excel exports the items that meet the grid source (i.e. the flat view). Do a copy-paste (tab format) to copy sub-items. Excel does not support hierarchy so you'll get a flat list

The Excel export will be expanded with more options.
Real generosity toward the future lies in giving all to the present -- Albert Camus -- www.InfoQube.biz

PPLandry

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SQLNotes: the next generation information organizer
« Reply #870 on: April 13, 2008, 12:46:38 AM »
A new page was added on how to use SQLNotes to manage your personal finances:

http://sqlnotes.wikispaces.com/Finances

It also shows how to use Excel with live data from SQLNotes. Yes... Excel can read SQLNotes live data (This is not an import/export, but live data link). Configure it once and a single click is then sufficient to refresh  :Thmbsup:
Real generosity toward the future lies in giving all to the present -- Albert Camus -- www.InfoQube.biz

Armando

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Re: SQLNotes...what is it exactly?
« Reply #871 on: April 21, 2008, 12:19:05 AM »
Thanx for the feedback on SQLNotes.

You're welcome

I'm wondering... is there a quick start guide somewhere?

You should find most of what you'll need to start in SQLNotes website's help section. The "Getting started" page can found there.

One thing I found difficult right away was the inability to adjust font sizes.

Font size can be adjusted manually in the HTML pane, and for each grid in the "view" menu --> Grid--> yellow square icon with two lines under it. That will open the "manage grids" window. There you can set the fonts for each grid, . But if you want to set the  defaults for all grids, use the "tools" menu --> options, then, in the window,  General --> view.


The thing with Info select that's so powerful for me is the ability to set up smart folders that will take any search strings, and I just add tag words to text items, and it filter them into a folder. This is the same basic functionality that Evernote has. It will also allow automatically filtering based on keywords that you set using boolean operators.

Well, I'd say that SQLNotes is all about that, and much much more. EverNote is very basic in comparison. Info Select is probably much closer in terms of filtering goodness -- but not as powerful as SQLNotes. The thing with SQLNotes grids and fields/column system is that it uses filters for everything that has to do with displaying data. The Grids (where you see your data) and the data are clearly differentiated : Grids are just like smart folders : they show what meets the defined source (the grid's main filter) and the different secondary filters (keywords or any text you want, numbers, YES/NO values, dates, etc.).

Basically, you can create as many grids (views, or "folders" if you will) as you want, to be able to display your data in multiple ways. Or you can even use only a few grids and filter the data these grids on the fly, using the filter text box and other UI tools (Currently, advanced filter use is not that user friendly as it uses SQL queries, but the UI does offer some  functionalities for date filtering and basic text filtering; you can also learn how to use the filter textboxes for SQL queries by using the quick search and advanced find tools : look at what these tools write in the filter textbox (when the results appear in the search grid), and you'll start to understand how to directly write your own filters on the fly).

The great thing in SQLNotes is that an item can be anything you want, and be in several grids at once. It can be cloned, put under several parents, etc.


So, I can just dump a big word research note document into Infoselect and break it up into card sized chunks of info by tagging it with two dashes, and then filter however I wish using keywords. If I could get SQLNotes up and running with this sort of simple filtering I'd love to have a look at it. Is this difficult to do?
Can you breakup text items easily or join them easily?


It depends what you mean esactly  SQLNotes was not primarily made to compose novels etc. But I know that Pierre is working on a feature to provide a "unified view" of several items in an Outline and allow people to write long document more easily. (Currently, you can achieve a unified view of several items easily by exporting selected items with the HTML export. Nice.)

Now, if by "breaking items" I believe you mean to split a previously whole item (like a whole document) into 2 different items, yes you can... But you'd have to do that manually. Ahah.  ;) Of course, most other applications (except info select, it seems) like Evernote or Word, won't automatically split "items" in different parts. But you can of course copy parts of a document into a grid and split them into as many pieces/subitems as you want (that’s what I do…) I don’t think it’s much slower than putting “----“ in a text… But I can see the use and it would be an interesting feature to add to SQLNotes (probably not that hard...). "Automatic" splitting/joining : if you can describe exactly what you'd want, I wouldn't be surprised if Pierre includes it in SQLNotes.

(also : if by "breaking items" you also mean to split a previously whole document but consisting of several items and sub-items, well... nothing could be easier. Because SQLNotes is a great outliner and the same items can be used in multiple grids (wheter by copying it or duplicating it -- by duplicating I mean that it is actually the very same item that you find in different places, and modifying one will modify all others ; by copying I mean creating 2 identical but independent items). Also, the filters (as in EverNote) allows you to work and see only the items you want to work with, and only those, hiding all others.)

The other thing I noticed was the inability to just import a .doc file. I gather this will be added soon.

Well, I can't really answer that one...  But right now you can certainly link any documents or file to SQLNotes (drag and drop inside a grid), or import html documents (just save your document in html format). You can also load any external HTML documents into the HTML pane.

I tried converting Word documents into HTML format, and it works. Pierre might add the ability to "import" the doc format when the MS Word will be integrated to SQLNotes as an HTML editor. But I don't know...  :-[ (SQLNotes works very well with Excel though.)

So far I think InfoSelect is definitely the most powerful thing I've seen. I think it's true that synching is poor and it's not pretty, but it's bloody powerful. I was going to also thank you for the Evernotes tip.

Info Select is most probably all around "more powerful". BUT... it depends on what you're looking at. I don't think I'd use info select to write a thesis or anything like that, for example. well... it depends... Can Info Select "duplicate" items as SQLNotes can (as I explained before) ? Can an item be anything at the same time (an event, a task, a project, the first paragraph of a novel, a pivot chart's value, an address, a reference, an item in a formula, a item in a spreadsheet, etc. -- I know an item can be MANY things in Info Select, but I think that SQLNotes' database field/grid system is more flexible) ? Can an item be linked and edited with another Office application (like excell or word) ? Does Info Select support Wiki links between items ? And what about full Rich text in the outline ? I'm not so sure... Does it have gantt charts for project planning and a pretty calendar (ahah, I'm saying that because I remember hating Info Select's calendar) ? Can you have a flat view of all items ? etc.

It's been too long since I've trialed Info Select though... So it could be that it now has all these features. Info Select's got all kinds of templates for writing letters and stuff (but I'd use MS Word anyways), it's got proofing/spelling, image editing capabilities and importation, and an email client. But these are the main differences IMO, and I don't need them. I can get a separate email client, a good image editor and a good picture organizer (like ACDsee or whatever), and word for the main spelling.

Right now Info Select is hopefully more polished and more optimized (quicker) than SQLNotes. It's also got better documentation. Normal : it's been there for a long while! it also costs 250$... SQLNotes is still beta (and will have an introductory price of 50$ for individuals — a tad cheaper than 250$... Granted, it does not have an email client…). But I predict that in a very short time, it will give Info Select and other PIMs a serious challenge...

I do like EN, but somehow it seems too crude for serious research writing. I'd love to hear how you use SQLNotes for research. If the details are too much for the list we can always take it to email or chat. I concur that Endnote is amazing, and I'm using it.

I agree completely. I only used EverNote to gather webclips and jot some notes. SQLNotes, INfoSelect, Ultra Recall or OneNote are much better for research or data analysis. I used to love EverNote -- especially its taging system and speed. But, in the end, I found it to inflexible.

I'd love to hear how you use SQLNotes for research. If the details are too much for the list we can always take it to email or chat. I concur that Endnote is amazing, and I'm using it.
Yes Endnote is pretty usefull… :)
The basic way I use SQLnotes for research is fairly simple :
- I enter every notes, thoughts, web clips, etc. in it. I usually use the add new item window for it : ctrl+alt+n, like evernote ; Every item is then assigned a specific field corresponding to a specific grid. I also enter info directly in the grid — this is very quick once you know your way around the keyboard shortcuts.
- As I review each item (but this can be done for multiple items at a time) I add different fields (that I created myself, or not : SQLNotes allows you to create as many fields or attributes you want — and any item can have as many fields as you want) : categories-keywords, dates, author…
- I create grids to see data in different ways, and I classify them hierarchically in an outline. I use filters to reorder items and redisplay them at will, according to different filters.
Etc.
Once you get used to SQLNotes functioning, I find it very quick and powerful. There a 2 little quirks with the display of hierarchies (in only 2 specific cases that you might not encounter anyways — and these little bugs are going to be fixed real soon).
Not everybody likes it though… The learning curve can be steep… But, IMO, it’s more a question of being willing to understand the basic principles and build up from there. The start up guide is a good start. Then create your first grids…

** PS : An simple example of the SQL syntax would be : "textfields alike "*my super grid*" " : that would search all text fields for "my super grid" and show the corresponding items. Another example : "order > 10" : that would show all items for which the "order" fields has a value > 10. So you see, it's not that hard. Just takes a bit of learning.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2008, 12:20:57 AM by Armando »

Armando

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Re: SQLNotes...what is it exactly?
« Reply #872 on: April 21, 2008, 12:25:18 AM »
I saw that Pierre answered your post at the SQLNotes forum and basically said similar things.

I'd like to add that I use AHK (AutoHotKey) a lot and created a tagging system with it. I use the same tagging "system" or syntax in SQLNotes (and used it in Evernote too) and it works well.

Dormouse

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Re: SQLNotes...what is it exactly?
« Reply #873 on: April 21, 2008, 04:05:55 AM »
Pierre might add the ability to "import" the doc format when the MS Word will be integrated to SQLNotes as an HTML editor. But I don't know...  :-[

If I had a robot attached to the computer, I think he'd add the ability to do the washing up from inside SQLnotes  ;D

I'm not sure that adding the doc format would necessarily be that helpful in the end. There are so many versions of the doc format and all different so, unless they were all added, someone is likely to end up frustrated. Adding them all would probably be good, but a lot of work, and neverending; then there would be OO etc too.

I have to say that I do enjoy reading the Q & A s in this thread. I know at some stage I will attempt the learning curve, and I'm hoping that this prepares me. But while I have other stuff that works, and while it is still in rapid development, I can always afford to wait another few months.

tomos

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Re: SQLNotes...what is it exactly?
« Reply #874 on: April 21, 2008, 10:45:47 AM »
SQLN site seems to be down (here anyways)

Server Error in '/' Application.
Runtime Error etc.
Tom