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Author Topic: Document shortcut organiser - Does such a thing exist?  (Read 3967 times)
mnemonic
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« on: September 01, 2008, 01:29:26 PM »

I'm looking for a simple little program that allows for the organisation of document shortcuts from disparate folders into projects.

As a quick mock-up, it might look a bit like this:



In the perfect world, it would have the following features:
  • Drag and drop a document into the window and a new row is created
  • Ability to quickly and simply move the rows up and down or assign projects (or have a simple text interface like Todopaper)
  • Ability to rename the files inside the organiser without renaming the target file
  • Be free or relatively cheap
  • Be small and portable

Does anything like this exist?

Thanks,

David
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tomos
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« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2008, 04:06:18 PM »

I'm using SQLNotes that way but it does a lot of other things & it's in beta at the moment but I believe it wont "Be free or [relatively] cheap" but will be portable.
I also use it for time-tracking related to each file and also for keeping track of the "stage" the file is at
see http://www.donationcoder....10432.msg102074#msg102074

that's definitely overkill for your request but just thought I throw it in there in case you might consider taking the idea further
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Tom
tranglos
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« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2008, 06:02:42 PM »

I'm looking for a simple little program that allows for the organisation of document shortcuts from disparate folders into projects.

Interesting idea, mnemonic. I don't know of a program that does what you need, but for quite a while I've been carrying a project in my head that would accommodate that. I'll probably never write it myself, so this is an [IDEA] post really - but I'd like to see if anyone would be interested in using (or writing) such a program.

The codename is Hunter-Gatherer, or Hunt & Gather (HG for short, and you can already see I've taken tips on naming projects from Mouser smiley The basic idea is to allow users to create filesets - arbitrary lists of files, named and stored in a lightweight db. Your lists could contain shortcuts and/or any other files. You would be able to create aliases - which meets your requirement to be able to rename files in the list only, without affecting the targets.

Two main modes of operation: manual and auto. In the manual mode you create a fileset by adding files manually to the list: by click and drag, by pasting filenames or by the usual Windows file selector dialog. In the auto mode you would specify one or more rules, and the program would automatically build and refresh your filelist based on the conditions in the rules. The simplest rule could be something like  "find *.doc *.xls in c:\docs", but the rule syntax could be quite powerful to allow including or excluding files on a number of properties.

So in a way this is a "virtual folder" program, akin to the file collections in Directory Opus. (And oh by-the-way! Directory Opus does collections, which might do what you need. Have you considered that? I don't use DOpus, I'm TotalCommander all the way, so all I know is that DOpus has this feature.) But this is only the first half of the program.

Because here's the quandary: once you can build the filelists, what can you do with them? What good are they? This is the second half, and I haven't quite figured that out. Originally my idea was to have a plugin-based program, so that users could write plugins to do things with the collected files: zip them up, encrypt them, convert to mp3, burn to CD, etc. Or the program could serve as a multipurpose front-end to various commandline tools (to do all these and other tasks). However, this approach is impractical; it seems like a lost cause to try to create a generic interface to work with any and all commandline tools. And often it wouldn't work for the simple reason that you cannot feed dozens or hundreds of filenames to a program via the command line, since there is a max length for command line arguments in Windows. So, no good.

Also, it's no good to have the file lists available only in a single, special program. What's the point of collecting files, naming them and all, if you cannot access those lists anywhere else?

Solution: This should really be written as an Explorer shell extension -  a so-called namespace extension. There would be a single root folder in Explorer, on the same level as My Computer or directly below My Computer, which you would double-click to display a list of your file collections. Then your collections would be available wherever the shell is accessible, i.e. in practically every application. *And* in Directory Opus, *and* in Total Commander... so that's the way to do it.

But I've never written a shell extension in Delphi and don't know where to begin; this would be a fairly involved project. There's a component that supposedly makes it easy, called ShellPlus, but it has a nasty pricetag. So my idea is merely vaporware, but I still think it's kind of neat, and I certainly would find plenty of uses for such a program.

Meanwhile, you may want to try Directory Opus smiley
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Shades
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« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2008, 06:42:06 PM »

Go and take a look in this forum for the term: LinkChanger

In that post you will find a link to a piece of software that allows you to edit multiple shortcuts at once. It's freeware smiley
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mwang
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« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2008, 01:24:58 AM »

In the perfect world, it would have the following features:
  • Drag and drop a document into the window and a new row is created
  • Ability to quickly and simply move the rows up and down or assign projects (or have a simple text interface like Todopaper)
  • Ability to rename the files inside the organiser without renaming the target file
  • Be free or relatively cheap
  • Be small and portable

I believe Freemind (along with other mind mapping software) does all of these, if its way of organizing things fits your need. Not exactly a "simple little program", though.

Zotero, a Firefox extension, does these, too, and then some -- again, if its way of organizing things works for you. Also not a "simple little program" though, since it's tied to Firefox.

The main problem with this approach of project management lies in the fact that the links are static. If you move the source files, the links are broken.

OTOH, SQLNotes--mentioned by tomos--above, promises dynamic link tracking (not sure if it's implemented yet).
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brett
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« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2008, 06:39:47 AM »

Don't dismiss a favorite among some DC users.  (non associated, but a fan)

ToDoList

In the perfect world, it would have the following features:
  • Drag and drop a document into the window and a new row is created
  • Ability to quickly and simply move the rows up and down or assign projects (or have a simple text interface like Todopaper)
  • Ability to rename the files inside the organiser without renaming the target file
  • Be free or relatively cheap
  • Be small and portable

Drag and Drop -
- multiple files to the comments area creates a shortcut.  (Activate link by holding down 'Ctrl' whilst Left Mouse click.
or
- a single file to the file Link Field (adds a icon in the task list)

Move Up and Down
- by holding down 'Ctrl' and uses arrow keys Up, Down and also Left Right

Ability to rename the files inside the organiser without renaming the target file
- ?
Free -
- freeware, but donations can be made, so in the DC tradition......

Small and Portable
- Happily runs on portable drives, but relative file links between machines might be troublesome

Screenshot one shows Mockup with multiple shortcuts in comments window
Screenshot two shows shortcut in FileLink






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PPLandry
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« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2008, 09:13:20 AM »

I'm using SQLNotes that way but it does a lot of other things & it's in beta at the moment but I believe it wont "Be free or [relatively] cheap" but will be portable.
Personal licenses is set to $49.99 for the full featured version, IMO quite affordable. A free, feature limited version may come after V1.0 release.

OTOH, SQLNotes--mentioned by tomos--above, promises dynamic link tracking (not sure if it's implemented yet).

Dynamic link tracking (basically not linking to the actual file, but to an automatically generated shortcut) is not yet implemented, but easy to do. The first one to ask gets it  Wink
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mwang
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« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2008, 10:15:21 AM »

Quote from: PPLandry link=topic=14664.msg127276#msg127276
Dynamic link tracking (basically not linking to the actual file, but to an automatically generated shortcut) is not yet implemented, but easy to do. The first one to ask gets it  Wink

I certainly would ask if I'm committed. For now, however, I'm steering clear of SQLNotes. Not because it's bad. It's very good, according to my own experience a few betas back. It's so good that I'm afraid I'll be hooked if I keep using it.

And it's not because I'm too frugal to pay. It's just at this moment in time as I'm getting ready to set myself free from Windows (at least I hope so), I really don't want something that would keep me leashed to the system.

By any chance there will be a linux version in the future?
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mnemonic
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« Reply #8 on: September 02, 2008, 12:22:23 PM »

Thanks for the replies all, much appreciated  Thmbsup

I've tried ToDoList for this and it seems to do the best job out of the lot - never got on with it as a todo list manager (I'm a committed todo.txt man now), but it works well for the document management purpose.  I'll give it a go and see if it stands the test of time - as with all these things, they're great until you get to the point where you don't have time to maintain it for a few days and at that point you lose trust in it...

tranglos, I'm a Directory Opus user at home, but I wanted something for work where the use of personally licensed software is a bit of a grey area.  What you've proposed for your "vapourware" sounds like a great solution though!
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PPLandry
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« Reply #9 on: September 02, 2008, 04:03:40 PM »

Quote from: PPLandry link=topic=14664.msg127276#msg127276
Dynamic link tracking (basically not linking to the actual file, but to an automatically generated shortcut) is not yet implemented, but easy to do. The first one to ask gets it  Wink

I certainly would ask if I'm committed. For now, however, I'm steering clear of SQLNotes. Not because it's bad. It's very good, according to my own experience a few betas back. It's so good that I'm afraid I'll be hooked if I keep using it.

And it's not because I'm too frugal to pay. It's just at this moment in time as I'm getting ready to set myself free from Windows (at least I hope so), I really don't want something that would keep me leashed to the system.

By any chance there will be a linux version in the future?
- As in a native Linux: No
- As a Windows app running on Linux (VMWare or other): We're working on it.
« Last Edit: September 02, 2008, 04:24:31 PM by PPLandry » Logged

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