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Author Topic: Text program with good search for tablet? (Windows, Android, iPad)  (Read 875 times)

ital2

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I cannot find a good solution for my mobile needs.

Hardware

Tiny Windows tablets (7-8") - when available in Europe - seem to be all of very bad quality, see the amazon and other reviews, the brake (without falling) within some months it seems, and get much too hot (which could explain them breaking). It seems there is no real market for them so there is just a niche left, without much money for production since they are sold between 70 and 230 Euros (80-240$ even including VAT between 20 and 25 p.c.); good quality would cost then 400 Euros, for which there is no market. Good Windows tablets are too big and too heavy (Microsoft, from 10"). Windows smartphones seem to be ok for some of them (from Microsoft again), but they do not run Windows (8.1 or 10, as the Windows tablets do), but Windows Mobile, a telephone tool, which means you cannot run regular Windows programs on them but almost nothing.

With Android or iOs, there are available good tiny tablets, with external memory for Android, without that for iOS, so for the latter you must check how much internal memory will suffice even in the long run, which can become difficult, considering the prices for additional internal memory and which is only available upfront.

Since I need geographical map functionality only here and there, but would need a tablet to be really lightweight and easygoing, I am not that fond of tablets of 10" and more, also because for map functionality, Windows would be far from ideal, and with Android or iPad, you don't need to buy a 10" tablet in order to get a good tablet, so Android or iPad 7-8" seems to be the ideal solution if it weren't for the text software.

Software

As I said some months ago, I use ListPro for some lists, and my agenda also with it, on my pc, and that's available for iOS but not for Android, but I discovered that the iOS version does not do alarms anyway, so that doesn't make sense, and I cannot put all my lists into ListPro since as a database, it's just too basic: No good search, no global replace.

But anyway, I would like to avoid to put all my lists into a database since that would be manual work for a week for some of them, or I would have to dig deep into RegEx replacements.

Currently, I have those lists (on my pc) in an editor with good search functionality, which means I can search for some entry, and it displays all the lines with a hit in them in a table-like extra list, as would do a database frontend, and this is exactly what I am looking for for mobile use.

Currently, I print out those lists and take those printouts with me, which is not only lots of paper stuff, but much worse, and since it's all that much paper, I only print out those lists, which I need mobile, here and then, and in-between, I update the lists on my pc, and also, by hand, in the printouts. More often than not, I forget the manual updating, which regularly causes problems, and it even occurred that I forgot to update the pc list, so I have to visually check the printouts and their manual additions in order to be sure that my pc lists are up-to-date. Let alone only very basic search functionality in the print-outs, in fact only alphabetic search possible for one aspect, none for others. So my current overall system is a complete mess.

I tried to find some good text program (with rtf which I would prefer) or text editor (without rtf) on Android, reading into the descriptions and reviews for hours, but there does not seem to be any, while for iPad, there does not seem to be such a thing either, but here I'm less sure, my searching having been less intensive, for lack of information if you don't have an iPad and cannot try those programs.

I do not understand why all those Android text programs of which many are praised as being sophisticated, do not offer good search but ask for manual browsing all the occurrences of some search term one by one, by "go to next", BUT
- I hope I may have overlooked some which does do it better, OR
- I hope there may be such a program in the iPad side

So that I finally could solve my problem which system make of mobile tablet to buy, and solve my mobile data access problem. I am aware of the fact that I could solve it, less the maps, by buying and taking around a Microsoft Surface (10" or bigger), which would then run the same programs as my pc for these needs, or, when it's a database, I could probably choose Android as well as iPad, but would need to put all my lists into a SQLite database, with the manual work that this way would need. Here, I suppose that the same databases in SQLite format would run, without transformation (but just copying over the current version by WLAN), on the mobile device as on the pc, but this could be an error on my side.

In fact, what I would really need would be such a HP mobile pc of some years ago, weighting about 500 g and with a physical keyboard: The iPad unfortunately killed that market of really mobile real, fully functional computers, but regrets over that will not make them available again so I have to get something of the available builds.

dr_andus

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Re: Text program with good search for tablet? (Windows, Android, iPad)
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2017, 08:51:51 AM »
There are now convertible Chromebooks that also run Android, such as the Asus Chromebook Flip, Asus C302CA, and the Samsung Chromebook Plus.

They are fully functional computers (with built-in keyboard), if you can live within Chrome OS and Android.

For your list you could use web apps such as WorkFlowy.

You might need a mobile broadband dongle, when you're away from wifi.

tomos

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Re: Text program with good search for tablet? (Windows, Android, iPad)
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2017, 11:27:22 AM »
a full word processor for Android is Textmaker -
this page compares it with other possibilities on Android:
http://www.softmaker...textmaker-comparison

Seems you cant just get the Word Processor: the full office suite (Softmaker) for Android is 20€ (here) prob. cheaper in US$, but may still be worth it to you.

Note there is a free version for Android smartphones -- I'm immediately confused: I presume this can also be used on tablets then (?)
http://www.freeoffic...ffice-mobile-android

Disclaimer: the version for Windows I find very good, but I have not used it on Android.

ital2

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Re: Text program with good search for tablet? (Windows, Android, iPad)
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2017, 05:42:46 AM »
Thank you for the Chromebook hint.

I had not thought of that line of product indeed. Unfortunately, they don't do anything really tiny but all come in full format, from 10,1" on, with a keyboard part of again that same size. I don't know where their weight starts, but it's evident they are in the Windows subnotebooks or Netbook range, not in the size and weight range of 7" or 8" tablets or then, that defunct HP mini pc.

Thank you for the full office application suites for Android hint.

I had not thought of those either, had been focused on text-only. On that SoftMaker comparison page, I do not see the term "search" though, so I suppose they do not display all search results in a list either. I understand this is more a feature of some more sophisticated desktop text/programming editors so it cannot really be expected elsewhere, but for me, as said, it would be only function in the text program/editor I would really use so it's quite special or simply too special.

Thus, logically, I should discard that editor idea but get acquainted with the possibilities to get my data from text files into an SQLite database which I then would shift around, by WLAN, from desktop to Android tablet or iPad and back to desktop. After all, handling data with databases is natural, while handling them in editors may be practical in some use cases but quickly becomes unmanageable when extending the use case, as we clearly see in my case here.

Android/iPad instead of Windows tablet.

As I said in the thread I began with my FF bug and which then switched to the problems of buying second-hand hardware, it's very surprising an i5 processor is so lame. Thinking on it, upon the introduction of Windows 10, they said it was even light on load and good for old hardware (Dual Core etc.) - I now suppose that was marketing speak, and fact probably is that each new Windows, exactly as in the old days, more or less eats up most or at least much of additional processor power you buy in new devices.

And this means that if I'm not completely mistaken, Windows 8.1 or 10 simply aren't good mobile OS, for underpowered i3/i5 notebooks - and with i7 you get into heat problems - and all the less so for even more underpowered tablets - the lesser expensive Surface 3/4 which do not even have an "i" processor. Fact is, many user reviews speak of lame response with those Surface 3 devices, and even with Surface 4 i5 - and of heat problems with Surface 4 i7 which is not surprising at all.

In other terms, MS simply do not have an adequate modern OS for mobile devices, their Windows eating up too much memory and too much processor power which simply cannot be available in really tiny devices - and not speaking of battery time sharply going down by this, too.

Which brings me to the question if iPad/iOS or Android is the better, lighter, more effective - or do they say efficient? - system for tiny mobile devices?

Sorry for almost systematically deviating from my original questions!

cranioscopical

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Re: Text program with good search for tablet? (Windows, Android, iPad)
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2017, 12:48:40 PM »
Perhaps this will satisfy your need. I use it but can't vouch for how it handles seriously long documents. It claims 1,000,000 characters but, try as I might, I cannot muster that many with which to test it.
https://sites.google...ome/jota-text-editor



xtabber

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Re: Text program with good search for tablet? (Windows, Android, iPad)
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2017, 07:45:34 AM »
Take a look at NoteCase Pro - a tree outline information manager in the vein of many others available for Windows, but cross-platform on desktop PCs, with a separate and compatible version for Android.

NoteCase Pro has some rough edges, but also a number of features that might fit your needs, including a "flat" view of databases that might approximate what you get from your PC text editor.

wraith808

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Re: Text program with good search for tablet? (Windows, Android, iPad)
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2017, 08:57:25 AM »
^ Your links are a bit munged above.  Just FYI for you and anyone clicking through.

wraith808

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Re: Text program with good search for tablet? (Windows, Android, iPad)
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2017, 10:06:39 AM »
And to put a bit into the actual topic, I use ema personal wiki.  It's on PC and android, and includes a pretty robust search, uses dropbox for sync, and is open source.

http://janwillemb.gi...o/Ema-Personal-Wiki/

http://jwbs-blog.blo...for-android-and.html

http://jwbs-blog.blo...ows-application.html

He's varied in his support of the program, but the open source bit is enough to make me not care about that.


ital2

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Re: Text program with good search for tablet? (Windows, Android, iPad)
« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2017, 03:15:42 PM »
Cranioscopical, if I'm not very mistaken, I even trialled that editor, and it does not display all occurrences of a search string at the same time. If I'm mistaken, please rectify.

NoteCase Pro is what they call an outliner, right?

And then a wiki even.

I had not thought of such alternative software forms. So here the task would be "display all items which have one or several key words/strings in them" - I currently do not see their advantage over a more traditional database, all the more so since the latter could be queried by simple sql queries, and a general translation problem would subsist.

In fact, I have tried to do some planning for exporting my text files into a database, and I have found that this task is not that easy, because, as described, I currently organize my data into "pages", for - 3-column - printing and also for searching/looking up on the screen: When I see some entry, it's within a vicinity of similar entries, and all of which are below some title or some title/subtitle titling/header hierarchy (1-3, sometimes 4 only).

If I put my data into a database, this titling/subtitling will be lost, or I will have lots of work to do: For every text line/record, I need the hierarchy of its respective titles in additional fields - or spread over several several tables, with foreign keys -, and if then I want to look at some record together with similar records, I would need an sql query with the respective titles AND subtitles, OR I refine the titles/subtitles in a way that I need less hierarchy for these, or in other words, I could try to replace my title hierarchy by flat tagging, with some tag combinations when necessary, in order to simplify the queries and especially in order to simplify the "typing" when searching for some group of entries.

In other words, I had not been aware before that if I want to transfer my titling hierarchy into a database, my queries would become very worded, since I the subtitles are neither unique nor do they come with sufficient info, that info being within the titles higher-up. In other words, I become aware of a difference in the organization of a hierarchical text file and a database: The database can select by many more criteria, but the criteria in your subtitles will be lost if you don't recode all info which has been in your titling hierarchy, now optimized for database usage - it's simply not realistic to put, and then into a mobile device, sql "where" strings which add up to 150 characters, while in title/subtitle combinations, that many characters do no harm.

So I will have to find very short codes/tags instead, but which I can memorize at the same time, or/and even reorganize my current titling hierarchy and with that the textlines grouped by them. This is fascinating, but comes totally unexpected.

If I put my data into an outliner or a wiki instead, these titles/(sub)categories were either lost, or then, instead of putting each line into an outliner/wiki item - as I would put each current line into a distinct database record then -, I would need to create the titles/subtitles as items, and put multiple textlines into those items, in other words, they would remain grouped as they are now in the text files. This would be quite messy, as it is now - but with better search IF the outliner or wiki displays lists of search results - and I would not take advantage of what databases could do additionally.

SQL allows for searching/grouping of any records that contain value x in field a, value y or z in field b, and so on, and at the very least value x or/and value y in LINE a; RegEx search provides the latter functionality at least also for text files. But if I put my textfiles into an outliner or a wiki, I even lose this functionality of combining values x and/or y in the same line, meaning the same record, since the records in an outliner or wiki are not the text lines in an item, but the items, and "search for value x and/or y within item a" would NOT display just the corresponding textlines then, but any outliner/wiki item in which ANY of the textlines/records would comprise these values, which is obviously not the needed result.

So outliners/wikis seem to be an alternative, but a lesser one, or then, you put every text line into its own item, which technically would be possible I suppose, but which probably doesn't make too much sense since these instruments seem to have been created for more developed texts, not for single text lines - but for processing text lines, editors are a very natural solution.

Of course, there is always the problem of currently having combined info in ONE text line, an example from just one of my files being one author for several book titles but which are separated by ";" which do not occur otherwise, so technically it should be possible - if not easy - to distribute this info into several text lines, each with its own, repeated author information, there being a ":" after the author. Then, often, there are several authors, in my example file, but here again, RegEx probably could help, since in other cases, there is no "," before the ":".

Similar for other such files: All of them are sufficiently organized (some with special characters like "[]" for example) in order for some automatic reorganization appearing possible, before translation into database.

But it's quite a project.

So in my requirement above for a Android/iPad text editor - just a list for the search results all together -, I mistakenly had left out my requirement for Boolean search, so there should be "or" and "any" and perhaps "not", and all that for the line, not for the file/grouped item.

It's evident that's too much asked for in a mobile editor, and it also brings to light the enormous advantages of a database - or an Excel/spreadsheet file, but to a lesser degree, since as I said above, a flat database would need a descriptions hierarchy to replace current titling, while in a correct database, you would put the descriptions into additional tables, then just put the keys into the core table. I do not know yet what the creation of such a mobile database would imply, but I currently play around a little bit on my desktop, SQLite and several frontends being available. In fact, it's from trying to plan the database that I discover that my source file is far from being database-ready, it's really two very different formats, from the conception on.

wraith808

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Re: Text program with good search for tablet? (Windows, Android, iPad)
« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2017, 03:48:41 PM »
SQL allows for searching/grouping of any records that contain value x in field a, value y or z in field b, and so on, and at the very least value x or/and value y in LINE a; RegEx search provides the latter functionality at least also for text files. But if I put my textfiles into an outliner or a wiki, I even lose this functionality of combining values x and/or y in the same line, meaning the same record, since the records in an outliner or wiki are not the text lines in an item, but the items, and "search for value x and/or y within item a" would NOT display just the corresponding textlines then, but any outliner/wiki item in which ANY of the textlines/records would comprise these values, which is obviously not the needed result.

The wiki I referenced above does have RegEx search over all of the contents.  The contents are also stored plain text- wiki-fying is up to you if you want it.  It just renders based on that syntax if it exists.