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Qiqqa - Reference Management System - Mini-Review

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IainB:
@Contro: I took a look at the details on the DocFetcher website, and it seems to be purely a document Search/Index proggy - could be an alternative/replacement  to (say) Windows Search/Index. Thus apparently not the same thing as Qiqqa at all.

40hz:
(Possibly semi-OT)

I've recently started experimenting with PiggyDB. It's not really so much a 'reference management' system as an 'information annealing' type tool.

Piggydb is a flexible and scalable knowledge building platform that supports a heuristic or bottom-up approach to discover new concepts or ideas based on your input. You can begin with using it as a flexible outliner, diary or notebook, and as your database grows, Piggydb helps you to shape or elaborate your own knowledge.
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Interesting essays about some of the thinking behind it here and here.


A little rough around the edges and limited in certain areas at this point. But it has some promising thinking behind it. Very similar to some of Neil Larson's concepts that drove such (sadly gone IMHO) products of his as: Transtext, Houdini, HyperLAN, HyperBBS, Hyplus, and HyperRez.

More on Neil Larson here
From Wikipedia:

In 1984, expanding on ideas from futurist Ted Nelson, Neil Larson's commercial DOS Maxthink outline program added angle bracket hypertext jumps (adopted by later web browsers) to and from ASCII, batch, and other Maxthink files up to 32 levels deep.[citation needed] In 1986 he released his DOS Houdini network browser program that supported 2500 topics cross-connected with 7500 links in each file along with hypertext links among unlimited numbers of external ASCII, batch, and other Houdini files.[citation needed]

In 1987, these capabilities were included in his then popular shareware DOS file browser programs HyperRez (memory resident) and PC Hypertext (which also added jumps to programs, editors, graphic files containing hot spots jumps, and cross-linked theraurus/glossary files). These programs introduced many to the browser concept and 20 years later, Google still lists 3,000,000 references to PC Hypertext. In 1989, he created both HyperBBS and HyperLan which both allow multiple users to create/edit both topics and jumps for information and knowledge annealing which, in concept, the columnist John C. Dvorak says pre-dated Wiki by many years.[citation needed]

From 1987 on, he also created TransText (hypertext word processor) and many utilities for rapidly building large scale knowledge systems ... and in 1989 helped produce for one of the big eight accounting firms[citation needed] a comprehensive knowledge system of integrating all accounting laws/regulations into a CDROM containing 50,000 files with 200,000 hypertext jumps. Additionally, the Lynx (a very early web-based browser) development history notes their project origin was based on the browser concepts from Neil Larson and Maxthink.[4] In 1989, he declined joining the Mosaic browser team with his preference for knowledge/wisdom creation over distributing information ... a problem he says is still not solved by today's internet.
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superboyac:
(Possibly semi-OT)

I've recently started experimenting with PiggyDB. It's not really so much a 'reference management' system as an 'information annealing' type tool.

Piggydb is a flexible and scalable knowledge building platform that supports a heuristic or bottom-up approach to discover new concepts or ideas based on your input. You can begin with using it as a flexible outliner, diary or notebook, and as your database grows, Piggydb helps you to shape or elaborate your own knowledge.
--- End quote ---

Interesting essays about some of the thinking behind it here and here.


A little rough around the edges and limited in certain areas at this point. But it has some promising thinking behind it. Very similar to some of Neil Larson's concepts that drove such (sadly gone IMHO) products of his as: Transtext, Houdini, HyperLAN, HyperBBS, Hyplus, and HyperRez.

-40hz (September 07, 2013, 01:41 PM)
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This is something I'm really interested in, specifically for my music studies.  My teacher has strongly advised that I keep a daily journal of the tidbits I learn and practice.  He does it on staff paper, but being a computer geek, I want to see if I can do more.  Plus, paper doesn't appeal to me for this sort of thing.  I also want to incorporate video, audio clips, etc. all into it.  I like the idea of piggydb being able to evolve with the tags and concepts instead of most knowledge databases where it's really difficult to reorganize once a lot of data has been structured.
I've played around with programs like The Brain, which is similar to concept mapping and piggydb.  But it was again difficult to reorganize on the fly, so in the end it wasn't that much more convenient than a normal tree hierarchy, or a simple tag based tool (like evernote).

Then there are practical concerns, like how easy is it to link non-text items to the db.  Video clips, audio clips, pdfs, websites.  Being able to link is one thing...being able to link easily is another.  And then how do those links show up in the database?  Having a "chain link icon" is one thing (tells you there's a link there), then accessing it or seeing it in the middle of everything else is another.

Also, being able to print or export the stuff in a useful way is important. Let's say there's a specific topic I want to review, like "major seventh chords".  It would be nice to select that topic, then print a pdf with a hodge podge of your notes, knowledge fragments, links to articles, audio, etc. presented in an interesting way, maybe with arrows or onenote-like blocks of stuff around the page.

This would make for a really interesting journal.  It can help people like me while learning a complex topic and seeing what road we have travelled.

Contro:
@Contro: I took a look at the details on the DocFetcher website, and it seems to be purely a document Search/Index proggy - could be an alternative/replacement  to (say) Windows Search/Index. Thus apparently not the same thing as Qiqqa at all.
-IainB (September 07, 2013, 12:24 PM)
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Ahp. But search inside PDF. Does that windows search ?
 :-[

IainB:
@Contro:
^^ Good question, though a bit off topic.
In response:

* As I wrote above, I took a look at the details on the DocFetcher website, and it seems to be purely a document Search/Index proggy - could be an alternative/replacement  to (say) Windows Search/Index. Thus apparently not the same thing as Qiqqa at all.
* Qiqqa is a fairly specialised (for PDFs) and self-contained reference management system. I think it makes its own copy of every PDF documents file that it finds in the  directories you tell it to monitor, and it searches/indexes them and OCRs any image content, and builds metadata about all documents.
* Windows Search in Win7 can, by default, index/search hundreds of file types, and for those it can't by default, all you need to do is install the appropriate iFilter - e.g., here are some instructions for installing the PDF iFilter.
* Unlike Qiqqa, I don't think Windows Search can OCR images with embedded text in PDF files, though it can OCR and index any embedded text in images in TIF/TIFF files.

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