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Author Topic: IDEA: Plain text checklist manager  (Read 5895 times)
superboyac
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« on: February 22, 2011, 03:52:35 PM »

I just learned that the program TuduMo is not doing the plain text checklist thing the way it originally used to.  Here's what wraith said in the other thread:
Quote
In the old format, each todo was a line in the file.  Tags were @tags at the end of the line.  When a task was done, it was flagged with a - before the line.  The app interpreted all of this into its interface, but it was beautiful.  But now it's an example of what happens when someone decides to do too much with their original idea.
The beauty of it was that everything was just controlled by simple characters and symbols int he text file, and the program interpreted them in a  functional way that allowed you to use it as a dynamic checklist.  I was wondering if someone would be interested in a coding snack that revives this idea.  It doesn't sound too difficult if it is kept simple, but what do I know?
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skwire
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« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2011, 04:09:41 PM »

If I may be so bold...if the TuDoMo app does what it did originally, who cares what the backend is like.  I mean...you're not interacting with the backend, are you?  If so, you really have no need for a frontend, right?  Something like this is trivial to write...but why reinvent the wheel if TuDoMo still does what you want on the frontend?
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superboyac
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« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2011, 04:51:38 PM »

If I may be so bold...if the TuDoMo app does what it did originally, who cares what the backend is like.  I mean...you're not interacting with the backend, are you?  If so, you really have no need for a frontend, right?  Something like this is trivial to write...but why reinvent the wheel if TuDoMo still does what you want on the frontend?
Ha!  It's a good question.  I'm going to have to be honest to answer it.  I want to say because the original idea was better, but that's to vague.  here's the real answer:
Tudumo costs $30.  My company will make me go through so many hoops for me to get that, that it's basically impossible.  So I can't use it at work.  And I don't need it at home.  So if it's not freeware, I won't be able to make use of it.

And I do think the original idea was a bit cooler.  To go into a text file and do things just like the program would was a neat idea.  But not neat enough to say the new version sucks.  It's still good, probably better in some ways.  So the real reason is the selfish one above.
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skwire
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« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2011, 05:05:12 PM »

Tudumo costs $30.

Good enough.  Wraith mentioned he might want to write this one; if he doesn't, I can.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2011, 05:06:58 PM by skwire; Reason: Spelled Wraith\'s name correctly. =] » Logged

superboyac
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« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2011, 05:17:32 PM »

Tudumo costs $30.

Good enough.  Wraith mentioned he might want to write this one; if he doesn't, I can.
You guys are awesome.
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wraith808
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« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2011, 09:51:45 PM »

Tudumo costs $30.

Good enough.  Wraith mentioned he might want to write this one; if he doesn't, I can.

I do want to... but there's no reason we can't have more than one approach.  How about if we settle on the format, and if you want to tackle it also, we'll have two separate ones that read the same file format?

Quote
Just as a start, the format I have in mind is something pretty simple.  Each line is one item of the format

-Task @Context +Project

where "Task" is the description of the task, "@Context" are the contexts of the task, "+Project" is the project the task should be assigned to, and "-" denotes that the task is completed.  There can be more than one "@Context", but only one "+Project" per line, with the "-" having to be at the beginning of the line, and the "@Context" and "+Project" having to be at the end.  The only problem that I can see from the format is the inability to have the @/+ sign next to a word, but I don't think that should be too limiting...

Thoughts?
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superboyac
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« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2011, 10:18:54 PM »

Regarding the "+Project", would it be possible to have more than two levels in the hierarchy?  For example, what if I wanted to make:

Project1
  task1
    task2

For task2, would it have to be parented to "+task1", and task1 is parented to "+Project1"?
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wraith808
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« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2011, 11:16:54 PM »

^ I can't offhand see a way to do that without making it overly complicated- something that I was trying to avoid at all costs.  One reason for avoiding it is that I want the plain text version to be readily human readable.  The other reason is that I want it to be dead simple to use.

Do you have any idea- considering also that I'd prefer to make project and contexts one word descriptors and tasks multi-word descriptions- to do that in that syntax that you wouldn't find overly complicated if you looked at the plain text version of the notes?
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« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2011, 01:44:11 AM »

I started working on porting my FarrMilk plugin to the plain-text todo format suggested by Gina Trapani sometime beginning of this year. Although it's already quite far developed, it is not ready for release yet. The format, described here, seems to be very similar to the one you guys are discussing here. Actually that similar, that one was probably influenced by the other Wink

If you guys are going to implement an application, please consider using the todotxt.com file format. What it would buy you is compatibility with FarrTodo (which is what I'm calling the plugin) as well as compatibility with Gina's command line interface (available for Linux and Windows using cygwin) and (the main reason why I started working on FarrTodo), the Android app which she is working on with some other guys at the moment.
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superboyac
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« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2011, 08:59:36 AM »

I started working on porting my FarrMilk plugin to the plain-text todo format suggested by Gina Trapani sometime beginning of this year. Although it's already quite far developed, it is not ready for release yet. The format, described here, seems to be very similar to the one you guys are discussing here. Actually that similar, that one was probably influenced by the other Wink

If you guys are going to implement an application, please consider using the todotxt.com file format. What it would buy you is compatibility with FarrTodo (which is what I'm calling the plugin) as well as compatibility with Gina's command line interface (available for Linux and Windows using cygwin) and (the main reason why I started working on FarrTodo), the Android app which she is working on with some other guys at the moment.
Yes, that sounds like a good idea to me.  But it's up to the programmers to see if it makes sense.  I say, why not?  It's already been figured out.

Warith, about your comment, yes, you are probably right.  It could get complicated if unlimited nesting is allowed.  So does that mean the hierarchies are going to be maximum two-levels?  It's limiting, but it doesn't mean it shouldn't be that way.  Probably best to keep it simple.
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superboyac
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« Reply #10 on: February 23, 2011, 09:12:39 AM »

OOO:
http://widefido.com/products/todopaper/
That program is perfect for what I was looking for.  Man, i wish it were free  Sad.
If I detailed the characteristic features, do you think we could mimic it here?
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superboyac
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« Reply #11 on: February 23, 2011, 09:16:51 AM »

One thing that ALL of the listmakers I've tried are not very good at is printing.  Including MLO, which is expensive.  I've soured on it a little because I've been using it for years now, and the printing is still extremely shabby.  People overlook that part, but remember.  People at work and stuff have to take their lists to meetings with them and show it to others and talk about it.  These printouts from software are so bad that I'm embarrassed to show it during meetings.  So i have to take it to excel, massage it, then bring it.  It would be really nice to have some nice GUI controls for modifying and tweaking how the printouts of these lists look.  At the very least, if it looks really nice on the screen, it should be one-click solution to print that.  We need to be able to present the lists in front of people.

It seems like people just use the standard IE print preview/print component in their software.  It's probably easy and cheap or something to do that.  What are the better alternatives out there for printing and print preview components?  If it's a matter of money, maybe I could donate it to DC for the programmers to use.  Hey!  That's a good idea...instead of making donations to individuals, could we donate development tools to DC, as a kind of site license that developers can use to create programs?
« Last Edit: February 23, 2011, 09:18:58 AM by superboyac » Logged

app103
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« Reply #12 on: February 23, 2011, 09:29:06 AM »

One thing that ALL of the listmakers I've tried are not very good at is printing. 

Oh, that was something I failed to mention about mine...

When you print out the ToDo side, it gives you little check boxes next to everything.

Also, being plain text files, you can just open it in the text editor of your choice and print it from there, changing the font & size, margins, etc. if you want more control over the appearance of the printed document. (you just won't get the nice little check boxes if you do). This was one of the reasons why I chose to use 2 text files for it, one for ToDo and the other for Done, instead of combining it into a single file.
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superboyac
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« Reply #13 on: February 23, 2011, 09:36:52 AM »

Thanks app, I do like your application.  If they start breaking my balls about my task schedule here at work, I'll probably use yours since it's simple.

Is there a software out there that only does styling?  Like, if certain programs spit out text files in a certain way, you can use another program to stylize it based on rules?  For example, when it sees the string "@done" in front of a line, make the font 16, background color, etc.?  Is there something that can do that?
It would be like a css styler that you setup one time and use automatically to print things from then on.
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app103
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« Reply #14 on: February 23, 2011, 09:42:07 AM »

Is there a software out there that only does styling?  Like, if certain programs spit out text files in a certain way, you can use another program to stylize it based on rules?  For example, when it sees the string "@done" in front of a line, make the font 16, background color, etc.?  Is there something that can do that?
It would be like a css styler that you setup one time and use automatically to print things from then on.

I don't know of anything like that but it sure sounds like a fantastic idea for an app.
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40hz
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« Reply #15 on: February 23, 2011, 09:49:03 AM »

Emacs Org Mode does something along those lines.

(Plus - being Emacs - about ten billion additional things most people couldn't care less about.  undecided)

Might be worth looking at for ideas.

Non-technical intro article can be found here.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2011, 09:50:45 AM by 40hz » Logged

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superboyac
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« Reply #16 on: February 23, 2011, 11:42:32 AM »

Emacs Org Mode does something along those lines.

(Plus - being Emacs - about ten billion additional things most people couldn't care less about.  undecided)

Might be worth looking at for ideas.

Non-technical intro article can be found here.
emacs is still around?  I used that in college for a programming class.  I wrote a bowling scoring program.
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bob99
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« Reply #17 on: February 23, 2011, 12:56:26 PM »

OOO:
http://widefido.com/products/todopaper/
That program is perfect for what I was looking for.  Man, i wish it were free  Sad.
If I detailed the characteristic features, do you think we could mimic it here?

I see on his blog that last spring and again this past winter (unfortunately expired Feb 1st, 2011) he offered specials and TodoPaper was available for $9.99. Though not free, looks like a good deal to watch for in the future.
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wraith808
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« Reply #18 on: February 23, 2011, 01:18:47 PM »

ToDoPaper is actually the one I was thinking about- I'm glad he stuck to the simple format.  Using the ToDoTxt.com format seems like it would be the path of least resistance, though the suggested format wasn't really inspired by it at all- more by GTD than anything else as I hadn't heard of todotxt.com smiley
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superboyac
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« Reply #19 on: February 23, 2011, 02:48:31 PM »

OOO:
http://widefido.com/products/todopaper/
That program is perfect for what I was looking for.  Man, i wish it were free  Sad.
If I detailed the characteristic features, do you think we could mimic it here?
I see on his blog that last spring and again this past winter (unfortunately expired Feb 1st, 2011) he offered specials and TodoPaper was available for $9.99. Though not free, looks like a good deal to watch for in the future.

Definitely.  I would have gotten it just now, but the printing is still weak, as in all other programs.
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40hz
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« Reply #20 on: February 23, 2011, 03:18:05 PM »

Emacs Org Mode does something along those lines.

(Plus - being Emacs - about ten billion additional things most people couldn't care less about.  undecided)

Might be worth looking at for ideas.

Non-technical intro article can be found here.
emacs is still around?  I used that in college for a programming class. 

It's very much still around. Most of its fans are a little 'rounder' too. And they're more insane about their little pet than ever! Grin

Quote
I wrote a bowling scoring program.

Well...I can't think of any task that could show it's able to do anything better than that. Bravo SB! Thmbsup

Seriously - that is pretty cool. How many apps out there are equally at home as a programming editor, an email client, an FTP client, a biorhythm calculator, an ASCII adventure game, a personal organizer - and a bowling score program?

I used to say EMACS wasn't a program - it was a geography.

Probably the only true virtual reality that ever ran completely in text mode. Cool
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superboyac
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« Reply #21 on: February 23, 2011, 03:58:34 PM »

Interesting info, 40!  I never knew all that about emacs.  it sounds like a mini operating system.  is it portable?  If I learn a few things, it can be a portable OS!
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