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Author Topic: At last, KeyNote done better :)  (Read 8290 times)
tranglos
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« on: January 03, 2012, 01:22:24 PM »

I know this isn't news to many here, but I wanted to come right out and say it: I'm pretty sure that RightNote is the better KeyNote.

After all these years I feel like the burden has passed on to someone else and I don't have to feel guilty about not updating KeyNote anymore.

Now, I've only installed the trial version and played with it a little. I am not vouching that RightNote will not fry your computer and scare off your cats. What I'm saying is that, for better or worse, RightNote is essentially what I intended KeyNote 2.0 to be.

I really only found out about RightNote recently, even though it's been out a few years now. It's eerie how closely RightNote follows KeyNote - from using the same default activation hotkey to the same (sub-optimal) design of the "resource panel". Even the name "resource panel" is the same, though nobody calls them that way. I know I didn't invent the name, but can't recall where I got it from. Everyone else has been calling it a "sidebar" for ten years or so, but in RightNote it's still the "resource panel", and it uses the same F9 key to open it :) And, it has the same implementation of "virtual nodes" (edit an external file as if it were part of your data file), which AFAIK was a feature unique to KeyNote, at the time as well as today.

So it's fun to look at RightNote now, because it's exactly what KeyNote was going to be and it happened without me doing anything about it :) RightNote has all the things I wanted KeyNote 2 to have: a database back-end, RichView notes (hence tables and true hyperlinks among other things), spellchecker, an Excel-like grid, and tags. And it has pretty much the same resulting downsides I was expecting: with database reads, it's nowhere near as snappy as KeyNote when switching between notes, for example.

I won't be registering it, since I do think the KeyNote design (can I say this? "KeyNote design"?) is quite obsolete - just compare how the search works in RightNote vs. Evernote or even CintaNotes. (Although the wretched resource panel does work better on today's widescreen displays.) But now when I get asked about KeyNote, and I still get asked, I can happily direct everyone to RN and be at peace with the universe!

« Last Edit: January 03, 2012, 09:32:13 PM by tranglos » Logged

rgdot
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« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2012, 02:34:06 PM »

What I have read on DC in recent months is begging me to give RightNote a try  cheesy
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rjbull
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« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2012, 04:01:18 PM »

Slight difference in price, though  Wink
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tranglos
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« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2012, 05:29:57 PM »

Slight difference in price, though  Wink

Yeah, there's that. I never intended to charge for KeyNote, but I did once entertain the idea of making a living by writing (other) shareware. Pipe dreams!
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tranglos
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« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2012, 05:35:32 PM »

What I have read on DC in recent months is begging me to give RightNote a try  cheesy

It seems pretty good. What I think it needs is a more modern, "instant" search (and AFAIK it is possible to temporarily highlight matches in the RichView component it uses, unlike the standard richedit dll, in which you cannot really do that) and an alternative way of viewing the tree: as virtual folders, where each folder has a set of filtering rules that decide which items to display - pretty much the way "smart playlists" work in iTunes and similar software (and pretty much like Zoot, TheBat and Mouser's CH+S).

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Tuxman
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« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2012, 12:52:53 AM »

So, what's with KeyNote-NF?
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tranglos
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« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2012, 07:11:21 AM »

So, what's with KeyNote-NF?

I have no idea, I'm sorry.
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Tuxman
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« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2012, 09:30:50 AM »

Damn.

I would surely change to something different if there was a way to import from it. I use Evernote, but side-by-side...
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I bet when Cheetahs race and one of them cheats, the other one goes "Man, you're such a Cheetah!" and they laugh & eat a zebra or whatever.
- @VeryGrumpyCat
tranglos
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« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2012, 10:17:30 AM »

I would surely change to something different if there was a way to import from it. I use Evernote, but side-by-side...

Import from the old or from the new one? RightNote does import KeyNote files well. You just need to create a new RN database or open an existing one, and import knt files into that.

Caveat: I've just found out RN will crash if you import a knt file which contains virtual nodes and the files for those virtual nodes are missing. The error prevents RN from saving the newly imported notes to the database. The workaround is either to delete the offending virtual nodes in KeyNote, or to open the knt file in a text editor and manually fix the paths so that they point to existing files.

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Tuxman
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« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2012, 10:19:05 AM »

Import from the old or from the new one?
From KeyNote-NF. Not sure if they are compatible enough.
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I bet when Cheetahs race and one of them cheats, the other one goes "Man, you're such a Cheetah!" and they laugh & eat a zebra or whatever.
- @VeryGrumpyCat
tranglos
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« Reply #10 on: January 04, 2012, 10:21:38 AM »

Import from the old or from the new one?
From KeyNote-NF. Not sure if they are compatible enough.

Right, I should have understood that in the first place smiley I'd say give it a try. I really don't know if KeyNote NF changed the file format in any way.
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Tuxman
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« Reply #11 on: January 04, 2012, 10:23:58 AM »

It has been changed, but I don't know if this affects import functionality:

Quote
To implement some of the new features included in KeyNote NF I had to extend sligthly the format of KeyNote (.knt) files. All new elements are optional so that new version can open without problems a file corresponding to version 1.6.5. Also, with KeyNote 1.6.5 it is possible to open a file created with a later version, but in this case, if the file is saved, the alarms and information about checked nodes will be lost.
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I bet when Cheetahs race and one of them cheats, the other one goes "Man, you're such a Cheetah!" and they laugh & eat a zebra or whatever.
- @VeryGrumpyCat
TucknDar
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« Reply #12 on: January 04, 2012, 11:43:33 AM »

Looks very good. Would love a discount, though Wink
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rjbull
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« Reply #13 on: January 09, 2012, 10:20:43 AM »

I won't be registering it, since I do think the KeyNote design (can I say this? "KeyNote design"?) is quite obsolete - just compare how the search works in RightNote vs. Evernote or even CintaNotes.

Do you think that "live search," "search as you type," "walk down the list" or whatever you want to call it, is a good match to a tree-structured notekeeper?  Aren't they rather different paradigms?  If you do a live search in a tree-structured outliner, what should you show?  Only the nodes that match, or their parents that might not, and in either case, temporarily lose the tree-structured organisation?
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tranglos
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« Reply #14 on: January 12, 2012, 05:05:07 PM »

Do you think that "live search," "search as you type," "walk down the list" or whatever you want to call it, is a good match to a tree-structured notekeeper?  Aren't they rather different paradigms?  If you do a live search in a tree-structured outliner, what should you show?  Only the nodes that match, or their parents that might not, and in either case, temporarily lose the tree-structured organisation?

Yes smiley I think you should show a flat list of matching items. There really isn't anything else you can do, and this solution has the obvious downside of losing the hierarchical "context", but when you design things, you're always making trade-offs.

Whether it's instant search or a "press Enter to go" filtering, it's a very powerful feature that helps you narrow down the scope of what you're looking at and concentrate on the results. So IMO the trade-off is totally worth it, especially that the flattening of the tree is only temporary.

In fact, apps like RightNote (all serious note-takers) need instant search (or filtering) in two places: not just for the text of the notes, but for the tree as well. I have a couple of KeyNote files with thousands of nodes in the tree (archives of code snippets, for example). It's next to impossible to locate one node among so many; even harder to find multiple nodes that would match some imagined filter.

I only wish I had realized all that 12 years ago smiley

In RightNote and other database-backed applications there is the problem of performance. You just can't beat direct memory access for speed. With a large database, no matter how indexed, a true instant search may not work very well, as the search will introduce a perceptible delay. So it might be perfectly OK to wait until the user finishes typing the search terms and hits Enter - that way there is only one small delay instead of many (in-between pressing each key).

(Sorry for the late reply. TheBat! filters messages containing "KeyNote" in subject into a separate folder for me and I haven't looked in there in a while.)
« Last Edit: January 13, 2012, 05:51:47 AM by tranglos » Logged

Jibz
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« Reply #15 on: January 13, 2012, 05:39:01 AM »

It seems they released a freeware version with (slightly) limited functionality now.
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tranglos
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« Reply #16 on: January 13, 2012, 05:56:26 AM »

It seems they released a freeware version with (slightly) limited functionality now.

Nice! Although without the RichView component you don't get tables, proper hyperlinks and other advanced formatting, so it's more like KeyNote then smiley
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Tuxman
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« Reply #17 on: January 13, 2012, 06:47:19 AM »

Great, "like KeyNote" smiley
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I bet when Cheetahs race and one of them cheats, the other one goes "Man, you're such a Cheetah!" and they laugh & eat a zebra or whatever.
- @VeryGrumpyCat
rjbull
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« Reply #18 on: January 13, 2012, 03:01:25 PM »

I think you should show a flat list of matching items. There really isn't anything else you can do, and this solution has the obvious downside of losing the hierarchical "context", but when you design things, you're always making trade-offs.
I wondered if the modern preference for live search, showing a flat list, might eat away at the older tree design...  Also about an optional display mode showing the hierarchical context rather like XYplorer's Mini Tree, which shows only the branches of the directory tree that you used recently.  In this case, showing an expanded version of the branches that contain matches, with the nodes that individually don't contain matches not so much greyed out as "lowlit" in some way.  But I don't know how easy that would be to program  smiley

Whether it's instant search or a "press Enter to go" filtering, it's a very powerful feature that helps you narrow down the scope of what you're looking at and concentrate on the results.
I still like to see full Boolean searching, because of my work history of searching Derwent World Patent Index on the Dialog host system.  I've mentioned this in the thread NoteFrog Pro (clipboard information manager) - Mini-Review.

In fact, apps like RightNote (all serious note-takers) need instant search (or filtering) in two places: not just for the text of the notes, but for the tree as well. I have a couple of KeyNote files with thousands of nodes in the tree (archives of code snippets, for example). It's next to impossible to locate one node among so many; even harder to find multiple nodes that would match some imagined filter.
That much data reinforces my argument in favour of Boolean searching  Wink

I only wish I had realized all that 12 years ago smiley
I never much used KeyNote (which I discovered late), because I didn't think it had searching powerful enough  smiley

In RightNote and other database-backed applications there is the problem of performance. You just can't beat direct memory access for speed. With a large database, no matter how indexed, a true instant search may not work very well, as the search will introduce a perceptible delay. So it might be perfectly OK to wait until the user finishes typing the search terms and hits Enter - that way there is only one small delay instead of many (in-between pressing each key).
NoteFrog works as an array in memory. 
I sort-of agree about speed, but with Windows as slow as it is, isn't everybody conditioned enough to waiting?    And if your data set is big enough, won't it be database time anyway?
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rjbull
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« Reply #19 on: January 13, 2012, 03:09:10 PM »

It seems they released a freeware version with (slightly) limited functionality now.
I see their comments about the free version - thanks for mentioning that - but where's the file, please?  I don't see a separate file on their download page.  Or is it only one file, with different levels of unlocking?
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Tuxman
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« Reply #20 on: January 13, 2012, 03:11:49 PM »

Yes. The Register screen has a "skip me to the free version" button now.  Thmbsup
Goodbye, KeyNote-NF. smiley
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I bet when Cheetahs race and one of them cheats, the other one goes "Man, you're such a Cheetah!" and they laugh & eat a zebra or whatever.
- @VeryGrumpyCat
rjbull
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« Reply #21 on: January 13, 2012, 03:14:50 PM »

Yes. The Register screen has a "skip me to the free version" button now.

Thanks!   Thmbsup
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superboyac
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« Reply #22 on: January 24, 2012, 05:34:48 PM »

An update:

I'm still loving RightNote!  i was afraid that I was going through a honeymoon phase (as I often do with notetakers), but RightNote seems to be sticking.  So it's still  Thmbsup for me.

I'm not even really sure why I like it so much.  It really doesn't do any one thing better than anyone else, but taken as a whole, it feels great.  it feels like a girl-next-door type of software.  I especially like the powerful and easy to use custom style presets for the note editor.  Not only can you save and use custom character styles, but paragraph styles also...and all with the click of a button.  Nothing convulted or a pain in the butt to do.  That's probably the most unique feature that I'm aware of.
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johnk
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« Reply #23 on: February 18, 2012, 07:36:09 PM »

Since I last tested RightNote, they've added full web page capture in addition to the "Clipper" (snippet) option. Based on brief tests, both appear to "just work", with the web page capture making a faithful capture of fairly complex web pages. Which puts RightNote in competition with all the other apps fighting for the "information dump" market (Ultra Recall/TreeProjects/MyBase/EverNote/Surfulater/etc).
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sword
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« Reply #24 on: January 05, 2014, 11:43:11 AM »

KeyNote-NF has been made available for use in Puppy Linux and is described on the Puppy forum www.murga-linux.com and reportedly runs well in Wine.
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