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Author Topic: Jarte Review or Why sometimes an originally brilliant idea falls almost flat  (Read 724 times)


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Jarte is the (free and paid) text processor for people who like Liberace. (But on that awful gui, you'll find 3 sets of icons; click on the left one in the central group, and then choose "Minimal design", and you will have got something far from beautiful, but perfectly palatable.)

Now even the free version has got a unique feature: By Alt-F7, you theoretically can trigger its "Hot Connect" command. For this to work, there's two steps:

Tools-Options-Hot Connect > dialog "Hot Connect Options", and there you first must check "Enable Hot Connect"

Then, it's important to know that the hotkey (Alt-F7, can be changed in that dialog) will not work within Jarte, for fetching the content of that other text window, but will work in that other text window, to duplicate its formatted (rtf) text into Jarte.


Now what is this feature good for?

Many 2-pane outliners just have got 1 text/content field (= the one of the currently selected item in your tree), very few have got 2 such panes (= a second one from some other item, not current any more from then on), by option, but even those almost never allow for concurrent editing in both panes.

Independently of this prob, many such outliners don't offer a good text/content pane, i.e. their respective component is primitive: just very basic rtf, but not much more. There are even former Ultra Recall users (or to be exact, at least one who told us so) who, for that reason of getting better text processing, switched to RightNote, an otherwise quite terrible applic which I wouldn't have for free (= so this proves the degree of suffering with substandard text panes).

Now there might be many other possible setups where "Main applic plus Jarte" could really and highly be useful, please list them if you find any (and yes, even writing such posts in Jarte, instead of the DC text entry field might be a not-that-bad one of an idea, especially when you live in the Congo and have frequent electricity breaks (Oops, I didn't find an automatic save all x minutes in Jarte, but I might have overlooked it, and then, you always can save manually, or so you think then...).


Again, what is it good for, finally?

Whenever you press Alt-F7 (see above), the rtf text will be replicated to Jarte (if it's running then), and instead of editing in the original applic, you do the editing in Jarte (and with Jarte's assumed better capabilities - of course, there will remain the question how many / which ones of Jarte's additional goodies will then translate back to (e.g.) Ultra Recall's content field.

In theory, you do this by saving the text in Jarte (control-s), by which it will (in its then current state) replicated back into the original applic: Brilliant!


And now for the probs:

This replication back into the original applic will put it back there, not trigger a SAVE there (which in the case of a browser would be not applicable anyway).

And your control-s does the replication into your original applic INSTEAD of saving in Jarte, not additionally to it (= so much for our Congo prob). (I then did Alt-F4 in Jarte, and it closed down without any warning, and when I reopened Jarte, among the recent files, there was no trace of this buffer possibly having been backed up somewhere, under perhaps some automatically-given name.)

In most? (very many) cases, you will not need the Jarte replica for better editing, but for editing an ALTERNATIVE text, i.e. you will want to switch the current text in your main applic to something else, for some combined source-and-target setup, including Jarte:

I've got really smart readers here, so I could end my little review here, but just in case google brings some additional readers to this one, I feel obliged to explain further:

Control-s in Jarte will (and of course I tried this, and no warnings / "Do you really want to..." dialogs whatsoever ever appear) overwrite the current text in your currently displayed item/file/tab/whatever in your main applic, and which in many a case (and in most cases in every workflow I could imagine) would be some of your "source" items/etc. (And totally independant of your using a 2-pane outliner as that source applic, or any more traditional sw.) (Ok, then you could try your luck with some control-z: best of British!

And in most outliners, if by chance focus is in the tree (or in some other pane) when you press control-s in Jarte, that Jarte text will be put into the tree, but not as a new item, but, e.g., as dozens of new tree entries, one tree entry for each Jarte text paragraph.


Now as you see, this INTERNAL Jarte "macro"/routine should have been done in a much more elaborate way, with lots of security sub-routines, checking the respective names of files/tabs/items, and then perhaps even switch over to those stored "names" defined as target in such a routine, then switching back to your current source (and also, triggering a save of that source-target applic).

But since the respective commands for such a thing highly depend on your respective main applic, you'll quickly that in Jarte, internally, this would only be possible for some standard applics (e.g. Word, and perhaps some), whilst done by an EXTERNAL macro, all this would be possible, more or less easily, depending on the respective accessibility of these "name" infos above, for AHK or other tools, and also on the respective accessibility of "go to" commands "from the outside", implying the (not always given) existence of such commands in that given applic.

E.g., not every outliner has got commands "go to item x", or "visited items' history", but even then alternative solutions are perfectly possible with tools like AHK, e.g. you make another file/tab, within the source applic, just to contain the target item (to be frequently updated from your secondary, editing applic, e.g. Jarte); then, your macro will just to have switch between applics, and between different tabs in one of them, and after the update there, it will shift back to your (then current) source tab - all this is easily possible in most applications "doing" tabs (i.e. for AHK, the respective file names at least, of those tabs will be accessible).

Of course, if you build such a macro yourself, you won't need Jarte as target-editing sw, but any other such word processor with formatting will do.


I don't have to say that such probs arise because you want to have source and target before your eyes, concurrently, but in applics that don't allow for a second window, and neither for a second instance to be loaded into memory. E.g. FF has got a very useful feature, which is accessible by right-click menu on a tab: "Move to new window", and voilĂ , FF windows on two screens, without even running a second instance for that (but which would be possible, too).

So we're speaking here of overcoming limitations of applics which at the end of the day are more or less inexcusable... but where for one reason or another, we're stuck with some bad prog since we rely on features not otherwise available (= in that particular combination, perhaps)...

But my point here is, with AHK (or similar), you can overcome such limitations rather easily... and now I'm going to write the macro... which will be around 50 lines, but just for the necessary (see above) security checks our Jarte routine evidently does NOT do. ;-)

P.S.: In rare cases, it helps to try to install the (crippled, but not time-restricted) trial version, too, of your respective main applic, or then, a former version of that, but from my experience, most progs don't allow for such "in-house combinations", registry-wise or for whatever reason.