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Author Topic: CHS feature request: smart copy/paste of hyperlinks  (Read 4119 times)

IainB

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CHS feature request: smart copy/paste of hyperlinks
« on: May 06, 2012, 03:10:28 AM »
If I copy a hyperlinked piece of text from (say) OneNote or Firefox, and then paste it into (say) another page in OneNote or a MS Word document, then the paste results in the correct hyperlinked piece of text being pasted.
It's a two-step operation.

However, if I paste it into some other application that is not "hyperlink aware" (e.g., a .txt file editor), then the paste results in the text only being pasted, without the hyperlink.
This can be really tedious if you are copying and later pasting several links. It means you may have to:
  • copy the text and then
  • copy the link, and then
  • paste the text and then
  • paste the link
- each separately.
It's a four-step operation.

What could be really useful is a "smart copy/paste" feature in CHS, that, whenever it comes across one or more hyperlinks embedded in a piece of captured text, it saves it/them in the database as plaintext strings in the form:
   text of link to news - http://news.daily.com/ (but without the underline)

Then, either before or as you paste it out from a CHS record, you can preselect whether hyperlinks are to be pasted as one of the 6 forms below:
CHS Smart copy-paste request - options.jpg

The first one could be the default (say).

Hope this makes sense.
« Last Edit: May 06, 2012, 03:30:00 AM by IainB »

rjbull

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Re: CHS feature request: smart copy/paste of hyperlinks
« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2012, 11:40:57 AM »
There are Firefox extensions that can copy both text and link, e.g. "Re: CHS feature request: smart copy/paste of hyperlinks - http://www.donationc...ex.php?topic=30908.0"  That's not really what you wanted, but it's helpful if you habitually use plain text rather than fancy formatting.

Oops...   :-[  looks like you already know about that one.  See screenshot.
« Last Edit: May 06, 2012, 11:53:03 AM by rjbull, Reason: Added screenshot »

rjbull

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Re: CHS feature request: smart copy/paste of hyperlinks
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2012, 02:56:24 PM »
Thornsoft's ClipMate has a template feature, whereby you can change the format of the clipped material on pasting.  The author warned me not to put too much reliance on it, but it can be quite useful.  For example, here's an area of the CHS page clipped:

CHS_Snap5.pngCHS feature request: smart copy/paste of hyperlinks

Here's the template:

#TITLE#

#URL#

Web site visited #DATE#, #TIME#

#CLIP#


and how the same clipped material looks when pasted via the template:

Clipboard Help+Spell is a text-based clipboard utility with

http://www.donationc...pandspell/index.html

Web site visited 06/05/2012, 20:42:03

Clipboard Help+Spell is a text-based clipboard utility with the following features:

    * Database stores history of all past text clipboard entries for easy viewing, modification, and search
    * Use it for keeping hierarchical notes - search, sort, filter by text, modification date, last view date
    * Super easy and super fast search function - or use complex filters if you need them - you'll never have a problem finding a note again!
    * Organize your notes and clips any way you want - show them all or view by group or category; view your clips any way you like
    * High-quality spellcheck - underlined mistakes; learning spellchecker
    * Configurable hotkeys for common functions
    * Powerful text formatting options - make your own presets for common functions
    * Simple functions for copying and pasting into and out of other applications

If you like Clipboard Help+Spell, check out Find+Run Robot and Screenshot Captor


In other words, ClipMate knows something about the page title and URL of a section clipped from a Web page, and can rearrange them for you.  CHS must also understand them because of the way you can choose columns.  I seem to remember requesting something similar to ClipMate's template system for CHS.  That might go some way to giving you your URL functions.

Hmmm...  methinks I'm adding irrelevant responses today.  Time to rest the little grey cells...
« Last Edit: May 06, 2012, 03:27:04 PM by rjbull »

IainB

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Re: CHS feature request: smart copy/paste of hyperlinks
« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2012, 06:21:48 PM »
There are Firefox extensions that can copy both text and link...
...
...Oops...   :-[  looks like you already know about that one.  See screenshot.
Yes, there seem to be a few add-ons around that do something of what I am requesting in this regard, but nothing that does all of it. I think you might have one such in your FF (per image), because I don't get that in my FF. Another is, I think, CoLT that was in @Curt's post of his Waterfox add-ons, here:
« Reply #446 on: 2012-03-22, 09:52:05 »

I don't want the feature as a transient record just in Firefox or just in any other application though - I want it as a defined data record in the clipboard manager (CHS), so that all the relevant hyperlink data is saved in the CHS database and can be recalled later.

This would be feasible, because, if you have just done a Copy of something with a hyperlink in it, then that hyperlink data is in the current clipboard's current store. You can prove that by pasting, and you can inspect it in that store with (say) something like Nirsoft's InsideClipboard.

As you say:
Thornsoft's ClipMate has a template feature, whereby you can change the format of the clipped material on pasting.  The author warned me not to put too much reliance on it, but it can be quite useful...
...
...In other words, ClipMate knows something about the page title and URL of a section clipped from a Web page, and can rearrange them for you.  CHS must also understand them because of the way you can choose columns.  I seem to remember requesting something similar to ClipMate's template system for CHS.  That might go some way to giving you your URL functions.
I seem to recall that ClipMate (when I last played with it) did something like that and that it seemed a little kludgy. In any event, it is not what I am requesting here. It's another tool anyway, you see, and having it does not get the feature/functionality into CHS, which is my de facto main single most useful tool-of-choice for all things related to copy/paste data and clipboard information management.
CHS is already a brilliant clipboard information manager, and if it could do what I am requesting, then it would become even more useful to me.

[RANT]
I didn't produce that user-editable Google docs spreadsheet User Requirements for CHS just for fun - it took me quite a bit of work to pull together (being pretty ignorant about CHS when I started it), and still needs more work to become comprehensive, accurate and updated. It could provide a useful picture of the status of CHS at any given time you wanted to know it, and it could give a compressed summary of the prioritised requests users had for changes to CHS, which might be of assistance to @mouser - if the thing were maintained/updated for him by users.

It would not be correct to call it an easy, accurate or efficient process to understand CHS' development status by trawling through the DC forum to discover what features have been requested, moaned about, or put in to CHS.
[/RANT]
(I could put that spreadsheet into EditGrid - e.g., like this List of Outliners, if people preferred.)

rjbull

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Re: CHS feature request: smart copy/paste of hyperlinks
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2012, 05:06:26 PM »
Yes, there seem to be a few add-ons around that do something of what I am requesting in this regard, but nothing that does all of it. I think you might have one such in your FF (per image), because I don't get that in my FF. Another is, I think, CoLT that was in @Curt's post of his Waterfox add-ons, here:
« Reply #446 on: 2012-03-22, 09:52:05 »
Yes, the one I'm referring to is indeed CoLT, which claims to be fully customisable, though I've only tried the basic options.  I have several similar things installed as well.   If you forget exactly which FF extension does what, it's actually rather hard to work it out afterwards from FF itself.

I don't want the feature as a transient record just in Firefox or just in any other application though - I want it as a defined data record in the clipboard manager (CHS), so that all the relevant hyperlink data is saved in the CHS database and can be recalled later.
EverNote and practically all the other notekeeper/outliner/PIMs I've see do it.  So yes, the information is clearly there.

I seem to recall that ClipMate (when I last played with it) did something like that and that it seemed a little kludgy. In any event, it is not what I am requesting here.
Well, I did belatedly add "methinks I'm adding irrelevant responses today" ...

[RANT]
I didn't produce that user-editable Google docs spreadsheet User Requirements for CHS just for fun
But it's only useful if mouser commits to it, and he's got a myriad commitments already.

IainB

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Re: CHS feature request: smart copy/paste of hyperlinks
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2012, 09:01:14 PM »
...Well, I did belatedly add "methinks I'm adding irrelevant responses today" ...
...
...But it's only useful if mouser commits to it, and he's got a myriad commitments already.
I wasn't complaining and didn't feel your response was irrelevant. In fact, your comment made me go off and double-check ClipMate later.

I wasn't thinking it needed @mouser's commitment so much as I think he could find the spreadsheet (or something similar, contributed to by the CHS users) useful, but probably only if the users displayed an interest in taking on responsibility for something like that. What I did (the spreadsheet) was a demonstration of what might be worth considering in that regard - as an aid to collecting the requirements together, for analysis and prioritisation in an orderly fashion.

rjbull

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Re: CHS feature request: smart copy/paste of hyperlinks
« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2012, 03:16:45 PM »
I wasn't complaining and didn't feel your response was irrelevant.
I think it was more relevant to other suggestions I made in another thread.

I wasn't thinking it needed @mouser's commitment so much as I think he could find the spreadsheet (or something similar, contributed to by the CHS users) useful, but probably only if the users displayed an interest in taking on responsibility for something like that.
I think I feel that mouser's programs, for all their quality and "donatability," belong to a hobby-programming culture rather than to a commercial one.  In such a situation, I felt it would be polite to avoid putting something that might potentially feel like pressure on him.  That's just my perception, of course.

IainB

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Re: CHS feature request: smart copy/paste of hyperlinks
« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2012, 08:32:37 PM »
...I think I feel that mouser's programs, for all their quality and "donatability," belong to a hobby-programming culture rather than to a commercial one.  In such a situation, I felt it would be polite to avoid putting something that might potentially feel like pressure on him.  That's just my perception, of course.
Ahh, I see.
Oops. I had the same thoughts, but they led me in a different direction - thinking about workflow queuing to reduce pressure and improve communication.

Well, to digress further off-topic:    :)
I am well aware that @mouser is an army of one, and I wanted to help to simplify the management of the queue of workflow of potentially infinite user change requests that he might be bombarded with for the applications he has developed.
Being aware of this was why I have made so few CHS-specific requests of @mouser, and why I provided a provisional copy/paste workaround using AHK to meet one request, and told him not to give it any priority if it looked like I was the only person who seemed to have raised that particular requirement.
Spoiler
From long experience as a programmer, and later as an applications development manager and as a project and a programme manager, I have been obliged to study and apply/devise methods of dealing with the waterfall of incoming change requests and new development requests.
The main issue is nearly always "Resources". In fact, a ROT (rule-of-thumb) in project management is:
Quote
Unless you have resources committed to the project, don't bother to plan for it.

That's because hypothetical plans do not help you get a job done. Furthermore, they can induce a subconscious feeling of pressure that the potential future that they predict is something that must now magically be achieved. It is of course irrational to believe that you can or must achieve an imaginary or phantasmagorical future state. Que sera sera. It is dreaming, yet that is precisely the thinking trap that many people fall into (cf. Deming's 14-point philosophy re targets and MBO).
I found this simple truth difficult to grasp when I first heard Deming lecturing about it in a seminar, because it went quite against: my training and indoctrination; my belief; and the received wisdom on the matter.

Hypothetical plans are at best good for time/cost estimating, but are useless for pragmatic work/project planning.
A pragmatic work/project plan states how you actually intend to set about doing something. (That does not predict that you will achieve it.) Hence the ROT. Before you can set about doing something, you generally need to have a clear picture of the resources you actually have committed to do the work.
Always, your resources to deal with the potentially infinite waterfall are finite, so you have to prioritise the queue to help guide you as to how best to go about "eating the elephant". You then allocate the prioritised work tasks to the resources committed to doing it. However, if your resources can only give a spotty or part-time effort without definite commitment, (say) because they have already been given other/higher priority work to do, then the plan fails the ROT test - i.e., you don't/can't have a pragmatic/workable project plan, because the resources cannot be committed to it (QED).

In that spreadsheet - which I did quite a while back - I provided a prototype of a suggested approach for establishing and organising a group-accessible and documented queue of prioritised user change requests (which could include bug changes also). That's all it is - a queue.
Nowhere does (or should) that spreadsheet say "When will this work be started/completed?" This is deliberate. It would be irrational to suppose a date because (in @mouser's case) - the resources cannot be committed to it (QED).

So, in such a situation, far from putting any pressure on anyone (the developer or anyone else), the queue could do quite the reverse. It could relieve any subconscious/conscious pressure from phantasmagorical deadlines, leaving you free to focus your now less cluttered/confused attention on what requests/bugs need to be addressed first, given their priority. So priority becomes the issue - not the now irrelevant "when".
In the spreadsheet, the developer could take 3 factors to assess the queue of change requests:
  • 1. The priority:
    Quote
    A = Mandatory ("must have").
    B = Highly desirable.
    C = Nice-to-have.
  • 2. The reach of effect:
    Quote
    Estimate of of users who potentially could and would make use of this.
  • 3. Relative ease: The ease/time that the developer imagines would be achievable for implementation of a change to meet a given requirement. (It is not recommended that this ever be stated as a commitment.)

Of course, it is up to the developer, but I would recommend a Kepner-Tregoe approach where you go for a points-rating of these 3 (or other relevant) factors. They are all pretty subjective, so taking the approach of (say) ascribing a value/weight to each and then adding or multiplying them together could give you a useful semi-rational outcome (a numeric score). This might be the best (most rational) that you are likely to be able to achieve under the circumstances.

You then treat this as a task order - you pick off the work in the order of highest points-score first, as and when you have time to put some work into it.

When people can only afford to give an ad hoc (i.e., not committed/dedicated) work effort to something complex, you cannot have a real work plan (QED), and there is potentially a great deal of time/effort involved/wasted in picking the thing up each time to see where to start and what to do. So - in this busy world - this kind of approach as suggested could be very useful for minimising the "pick up" time. By doing the spreadsheet in the first place, you will probably already have put a good deal of thinking into considering relative ease of work and which to do first (dependencies), for example, in establishing the queue's points-scoring/weighting. If you have documented that, then you may only need to review it rather than do it all again from scratch each time.

For all I know, @mouser already has such a scheme in place. (He seems very much on the ball.) It might already all be done in his head, for example. In that case, the spreadsheet would then probably only be of use as a communication from developer to users as to the status of the change queue, whether in his head or otherwise.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2012, 08:49:17 PM by IainB, Reason: Minor corrections. »

rjbull

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Re: CHS feature request: smart copy/paste of hyperlinks
« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2012, 04:41:41 PM »
It's been niggling, but I still don't have a solution to your problem as stated.  I think it's to do with the way that Windows handles the clipboard, and whether target applications "know" to handle incoming clips as plain text or HTML.

I would have liked a similar system where I could copy from a Web page, and have the HTML code as such pasted into a plain text editor.  Many editors can strip HTML, some can do it while preserving links, which would give something similar to what you want.  Still more actions than ideal.  It looks like Firefox extension Extended Copy Menu may be useful:
Quote
Provides the option to copy selection as plain text or html.

It adds a "Copy As Html" and "Copy As Plain Text" to the context (right-click) menu. It is useful if you want to copy the text or underlying html from a web page into documents, posts or other applications.

The difference between plain Ctrl+C and Extended Copy Menu on the current DC Forum Home Page is as follows.

Plain Ctrl+C:
Quote
[General Software Discussion]    Re: SrtRetime 1.1.0.0     MilesAhead     Today at 03:59:46 PM
[Soap Box]    FBI caught on camera 'returning' a server they confinscated.     SeraphimLabs     Today at 03:45:02 PM
[Soap Box]    Doconian International Party: Manifesto     Stephen66515     Today at 03:01:42 PM

Extended Copy Menu "Copy As Html":

<tr><td class="smalltext" align="right" nowrap="nowrap" valign="top">[<a href="http://www.donationc.../index.php?board=6.0">General Software Discussion</a>]</td>
               <td class="orangesmall" valign="top"><a href="http://www.donationc...;topicseen#msg288198">Re: SrtRetime 1.1.0.0</a></td>
               <td class="smalltext" valign="top">&nbsp;<a href="http://www.donationc...ion=profile;u=185796">MilesAhead</a>&nbsp;</td>
               <td class="smalltext" align="right" nowrap="nowrap" valign="top"><b>Today</b> at 03:59:46 PM</td>
            </tr>
            <tr>
               <td class="smalltext" align="right" nowrap="nowrap" valign="top">[<a href="http://www.donationc...ndex.php?board=311.0">Soap Box</a>]</td>
               <td class="orangesmall" valign="top"><a href="http://www.donationc...;topicseen#msg288197">FBI caught on camera 'returning' a server they confinscated. </a></td>
               <td class="smalltext" valign="top">&nbsp;<a href="http://www.donationc...ion=profile;u=372590">SeraphimLabs</a>&nbsp;</td>
               <td class="smalltext" align="right" nowrap="nowrap" valign="top"><b>Today</b> at 03:45:02 PM</td>
            </tr>
            <tr>
               <td class="smalltext" align="right" nowrap="nowrap" valign="top">[<a href="http://www.donationc...ndex.php?board=311.0">Soap Box</a>]</td>
               <td class="orangesmall" valign="top"><a href="http://www.donationc...;topicseen#msg288196">Doconian International Party: Manifesto</a></td>
               <td class="smalltext" valign="top">&nbsp;<a href="http://www.donationc...ion=profile;u=254145">Stephen66515</a>&nbsp;</td>
               <td class="smalltext" align="right" nowrap="nowrap" valign="top"><b>Today</b> at 03:01:42 PM</td></tr>


as pasted into Notetab Pro.  Using NTP's "Strip HTML Tags, Preserve URLs" feature on that, wrapped to fit on screen, gives:



[<http://www.donationcoder.com/forum/index.php?board=6.0>General Software Discussion]
<http://www.donationcoder.com/forum/index.php?topic=30963.msg288198
;topicseen#msg288198>Re: SrtRetime 1.1.0.0
<http://www.donationcoder.com/forum/index.php?action=profile;u=185796>MilesAhead
Today at 03:59:46 PM
[<http://www.donationcoder.com/forum/index.php?board=311.0>Soap Box]
<http://www.donationcoder.com/forum/index.php?topic=30971.msg288197
;topicseen#msg288197>FBI caught on camera 'returning' a server they confinscated.
<http://www.donationcoder.com/forum/index.php?action=profile;u=372590>SeraphimLabs
Today at 03:45:02 PM
[<http://www.donationcoder.com/forum/index.php?board=311.0>Soap Box]
<http://www.donationcoder.com/forum/index.php?topic=30970.msg288196
;topicseen#msg288196>Doconian International Party: Manifesto
<http://www.donationcoder.com/forum/index.php?action=profile;u=254145>Stephen66515
Today at 03:01:42 PM


CHS sees Ctrl+C and Extended Copy Menu clips as separate entities, as witness the screenshot.  But, of course, this only works for Firefox, and Extended Copy Menu is quite old (I'm still using an old copy of FF).  I presume it should be possible to used editor macros to convert URLs into BBcode or whatever.