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Messages - Dormouse [ switch to compact view ]

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Via OPML, the formatting doesn't work properly but the headers are there
And using manual markdown when writing maintains all the formatting when the OPML is exported  ;D Not interpreted correctly in Workflowy, everything but italic recognised in Dynalist.
It's what I should have expected really.
So that's the answer for me, for formatting anything I might want to export via OPML.

And, I suspect, that anything originally written in a markdown program will already have it.

I'm sure there's a lot that can go wrong
Update 1 - Snag for some

It doesn't affect me, but formatted export from both Dynalist and Workflowy is a bit of a mess. I'm unaffected because I don't use formatting; I'm only interested in the colour export from Workflowy and I know how to fix that. And the bullet hierarchy translates perfectly to a header hierarchy through OPML.

But Workflowy formatted exports in notes don't maintain paragraphs (I've reported) even in Word.
Dynalist is supposed to be markdown based, but it seems to use a double underline for italic!?!

I've not tested systematically, since formatting is not something I expect to use. But anyone considering using exports from either should test their own use case before committing.

Small test
Exporting my full text Formatted Text via copy/paste from both Dynalist and Workflowy shows bullets and not headers. But does maintain italic and bold formatting in Typora.

Via OPML, the formatting doesn't work properly but the headers are there.

But I'm thinking of switching to WM's project design. Will take me maybe five minutes to switch into that, and maybe half a minute to switch back again, so I'm hardly switching at all. Mostly a question of which view I use to write in.
It's not amazing that I have changed my mind again. When mind changing is so easy.
But the reason isn't so obvious - it's to make more use of web-based databased programs. And very surprisingly - since I have never used them previously, and never liked the way they worked - it's down to Dynalist and Workflowy. And Mindomo, which I was already using.

It starting when I delved into Aeon Timeline 3. Looked very good, but only synced with Ulysses (which I couldn't use) and Scrivener (which I could, but didn't want to) with import/export to CSV (workable, but much configuration required to use everything). It felt as if I was faced with trying to herd data scattered to the four winds of incompatibility. Matt (Timeline Dev) was open to the possibility of markdown import/export, and, in practice manual entry may be as efficient as anything else, but my mind was on the path to available options. Mindomo has many import/export options, so that wasn't a constraint, but I was looking for a common currency. Markdown is common (though most text apps are still into rich text), but lack of ideas on structure make it an unsuitable currency for databases; presumably why apps that use markdown internally still require arcane contortions for import/export. Plottr and Aeon Timeline both sync with Scrivener, but I can't like it as a permanent middle man/person/thing. Scrivener also does OPML; I haven't tested it, and some forum posts question how well it works, but it's an option nevertheless. Mindomo naturally does OPML, as do all(?) mindmappers; and outliners. Dynalist has the same developers as Obsidian and I know it uses markdown internally, so I thought I'd poke around.

I learned that either Workflowy has improved massively since I last looked, or I wasn't paying attention when I did. Or maybe my needs have simply changed, but Notes, hoisting, folding - and colour in Workflowy. Felt very easy and very nice. And remarkably similar to a markdown document. And Dynalist better in many ways. So OPML? Looks like a structured plaintext format; not obviously less human readable than markdown. So my million dollar question - how well can I get it into and out of markdown. How easily. And it turned out that it was both easy and well. Typora would do it. Logseq apparently does it. Even Dynalist. Not forgetting Mindomo. So I had to try the copy of my old whole MSS, prior to splitting - just an OPML export in Typora - and there it was in Dynalist and Workflowy. Complete in bullets and notes.

Going back the other way was straightforward from Dynalist, but not quite so from Workflowy - their colour syntax doesn't seem to work in markdown editors, so that would need a global search and replace. But doing that gives me all the colour in Obsidian. I am used to colour for editing, and this means I can stop most of my active use of word processors. So I can have my cake and eat it. D&W are very quick and easy on all devices. I have colour editing in W. I can use them for other things. They have none of the nice writer oriented features I like when writing, but I can write on anything and they are anyway fine for ad-hoc bits and very accessible. And I can still do my writing bulk in WriteMonkey. I see WriteMonkey 3 as having a very similar underlying approach (.json + attached .md files) to the outliners (database with .opml import/export.; nothing locked in a database but plaintext files supported by some database functionality - Obsidian itself is rather like that too.

So I'm going back to my whole document approach. I still see myself as based on files rather than databases, but now the files include OPML as well as markdown, txt, pdf etc

Of course, I haven't properly worked with it yet, only tried it out, and I'm sure there's a lot that can go wrong. But on we go.

General Software Discussion / Aeon Timeline 3 is launched
« on: September 29, 2021, 06:35 AM »
Aeon Timeline 3 is launched. A buy outright with optional update subscription pricing model.
I think it is much improved over v2.

The Aeon Timeline 3 beta program is nearly at an end. I don't think they have sorted out prices or upgrades yet. I like the program and feel it is a considerable step forward in usability from v2.

I've decided to experiment by trying to write a complete book in only one file.
I wouldn't try it with anything except plaintext.
And maybe I wouldn't try it without WM3, which makes restructuring easy.
It's actually gone very well, which is interesting.
So perfectly practical. Making a lot of use of WM3's awesome folding capability.

But I'm thinking of switching to WM's project design. Will take me maybe five minutes to switch into that, and maybe half a minute to switch back again, so I'm hardly switching at all. Mostly a question of which view I use to write in.
The motivation is being able to work more closely with Obsidian and some of its newer plugins, kanban in particular. Also ProWritingAid is much faster working on smaller files.
In practice, I will 'compile' to a single file weekly to save as a backup. Belt, braces and buttons.

I use a minimum number of Obsidian plugins (reducing security and stability risks). But I'm just starting to experiment with those that might be helpful with writing.

Longform allows sequencing of 'scene' files in a project. Thus enabling a feature common to most outliner design apps such as Scrivener, Scribbler etc. Allows a final compile into a single .md file.

Kanban allows notes to be put together in a kanban design.
Looks quite nifty because the cards can be used to outline and sketch scenes etc, each having links to the text of the scene and any associated research.

I'm still examining multicolour highlighting options.

The overall number of plugins is escalating rapidly. Most people seem to be having difficulty in keeping up or finding ones they want.

General Software Discussion / Re: Question, suspicion of a keylogger
« on: September 02, 2021, 06:57 AM »
Just by chance, I was emailed this morning about this:

And the number of subscribers to the Obsidian subreddit now exceed Roam's for the first time. With more than twice the number online usually. Notion vastly bigger of course.

It's been interesting to observe what feels like a flood away from Roam-Research. Roam's first engineer has moved to Athens as second engineer. RoamHacker and other plugin developers have also moved. As well as users, including some erstwhile believers. To Athens, Logseq and Obsidian.

Maybe the numbers aren't significant in the overall context, but they include some of the big names in the Roam ecosystem. And maybe they are substantial; I don't follow Roam at all, so I wouldn't know. But I have noticed their arrival elsewhere, especially Obsidian. And a fair chunk aren't concerned about Roam's cost.

General Software Discussion / Re: Windows 10 Announced
« on: July 20, 2021, 05:41 PM »
I can see an attraction in Shadow. Depending on what you go for you can have a reasonably or very powerful Windows PC, for as many months as you need it and no more. Accessing it from any internet connected device you already have whatever its age and OS. It's the same as taxis and hiring a car for holidays can be better value than buying a car and being responsible for maintaining it. Advantages and disadvantages according to your needs.

And their financial viability isn't really your problem since you only commit for a month at a time.

General Software Discussion / Re: Windows 11 Announced
« on: June 26, 2021, 05:28 AM »
I daresay we'll have more that aren't on the list than are.
I'll not switch unless forced, and then go to Linux instead. The programs I use 95% of the time now will work happily enough on Linux.
afaics MS is going the way of Apple. I see their benefits, but think they'll find a price to pay. It opens the chromebook door a little wider. Google will look for other chinks in the MS armour, and the Linux distros will sniff around for further opportunities.
Personally I'm not keen on the idea of the Amazon Android store either, however pointless the MS store is. Google will, rightly, see that as a deliberate challenge.

So Apple Vs MS/Intel/Amazon Vs Google.
I'm not sure that the MS friendship with open source will last.

I've decided to experiment by trying to write a complete book in only one file.
I wouldn't try it with anything except plaintext.
And maybe I wouldn't try it without WM3, which makes restructuring easy.

Previously I have done shorter stuff - up to maybe 10k words - in one file, with longer done in sections.
That's quite easy when everything is straightforward, and it is obvious where all sections and sub-sections fit. But not otherwise.
WM3 offers two options to deal with this:
  • standard markdown file using different heading levels for organisation;
  • organisation through projects and sub-projects etc, which is effectively very similar to the Scrivener et al system.
The downside of the second is that it can be more complicated to with using other editors (it requires also setting up a folder system to make all files easy to find); the downside of the first is simply that of navigating a very long document.
The advantages of a long document include easy file maintenance and management; ease of reading and reviewing any part in context; easy access with any editor; find and replace all simply using any editor.

We'll see. There will be an ideal size for each file. It is bigger than I have been doing so far, but may well be smaller than a whole book. If sections were clearly discrete, I'd do those - but that's not the case here.

General Software Discussion / Re: What's the future of OneNote?
« on: June 04, 2021, 04:28 AM »
irc 365 saves notebook on OneDrive
In 2016, using the same account, you can access the cloud file and then save it locally.

Luckily I'm not in the US so wouldn't affect me anyway (yet) & I don't have any Amazon speakers or doorbells etc (ditto).
And now, for sure, I never will.

General Software Discussion / Re: What's the future of OneNote?
« on: June 03, 2021, 05:50 PM »
I used to know the answers to some of the questions. I'd use both the 2016 version (all the old functions + Onetastic macros) and the latest version (for better cross-platform & mobile access). Couldn't answer the questions when I saw them, because, it seemed to me, that the best answer was to stop using OneNote, which is what I have clearly done.

I always had a love/hate relationship with it anyway.

My guess is that they had a strategy. Then they changed it. Then they modified their stance, a bit. For now.
Next there will be another strategy.
I think their problem is that OneNote is a large and complex program that few Office customers use. And the free cross-platform giveaway has probably not gained huge traction, but those users will make only simple demands of it.
But those customers who do use the complexity are often very keen indeed.
afaics, it will either die, be killed, mutate into something different and simpler, or will become an add-on to Word.
(The last mightn't be okay if they did it properly - first time for everything - option for better file management for some files via a ON database, more tools, and a couple of different views.)

Mini-Reviews by Members / Screenplay software
« on: June 02, 2021, 01:27 PM »
Since I'm not a screenwriter, I didn't consider the screenplay options. I'm aware that Final Draft has a nifty looking Storyboard attached to the venerable program, that looks like a creaker. (Though I'm also aware that one screenwriter uses Scrivener for all the plotting up to the writing stage!) All database programs, but with the formatting requirements of screenplays and the ubiquity of the PDX format, I'd probably stick with database myself.

I don't intend to look at all the software options here, but I did notice Prewrite which is a Plottr-like program for screenplays (novels apparently coming soon; poor old fact writers will have to get by as they can). Felt a bit rigid, and without outstanding ideas, but I did appreciate its Statistics view. I couldn't see anything automatic about it, but I have always liked tracking a variety of parameters cross timelines. Problem here is that they seemed to be predefined (I'll need to check that). In practice, input of the figures would likely be much easier into a spreadsheet which would give total flexibility and multiple graph views.

I really like it so far.

I'm glad you like it. Seemed worth mentioning.
I'm afraid that I only looked at their webpage and the videos. Once I could see it wouldn't work for me, I looked no further

What did you use to make that diagram?


Just seen Speare mentioned on the Obsidian discord. For writing in snippets and organising them into larger documents.
Pretty, but no idea how it would stand up to real use. Web app + iOS and Android. Expensive ($60 a year or $15 monthly).
Some aspects remind me of Gingko but prettier and less useful.
Wouldn't suit me at all, but might interest some.

I like FocusWriter. No learning curve, does what I need, integrates well with everything else.

Despite my shift to simple files, it's paradoxical to note that this troublesome project is now being worked on with three programs, all using databases.
Mindomo, despite its good exporting is still a database program. And primarily a web one at that.
WM3 is using a json database. I have a linked file, but I'm using the database because I want the folding specificity (this arises from the chosen first draft sequence, not my normal practice).
And, for good or ill, I'm using Plottr for some of the lifting.
I never minded using databases for processing, and most of the underlying data is in plain files, but nevertheless I'm using databases. But they'll all go when (if) I finish the project.

General Software Discussion / Minor irritation
« on: May 18, 2021, 06:58 PM »
Plottr notes, including the notes for scene cards, can contain links.
I naively thought it would be neat to be able to use these links to open the document in the program used to write them.
So tried with WriteMonkey (3) and Obsidian, and No and No. Obsidian opens the program, but only the most recent file. WM3 doesn't open at all (maybe because it's not an installed file?).
There are many programs that I could use, and I suppose that the best choice will depend on what I would usually want to do in that workflow (and I can't know that yet). But it is disappointing, especially if it turns out that I'm likely to want to write; most editors are entirely usable, but I don't like many for writing. Atlantis possibly best after WM. But a bit heavy for a little txt file.

And the link only opens with the default program; there's no right click open with.
But easy enough to change default, so I'll just switch when I know what I want.

I'll have a look at Jarte Plus (no longer being developed, but now free) and have downloaded FocusWriter (no zoom!) as options. I've no idea how much I will use file links as an access method or what I'll be doing if I do, but I'd rather establish my options sooner rather than later. Setting the default colours up is key, and both these do that well enough. So they're reasonable alternatives to Atlantis. I would have looked at Write! too if it had a free trial, though it doesn't really sound like what I'm looking for.

General Software Discussion / File Management
« on: May 14, 2021, 03:09 PM »
I have OneCommander installed (v2 + v3 beta), and look at it from time to time. The attraction is Miller columns, and that does offer a genuine alternative in the way the file system is presented.
My heavy use of nested vaults (folders) requires easy navigation through many layers of folders.
Solutions to this include the many tabs of most file managers and the four pane view of Q-Dir, but I have found the Miller Column implementation in One Commander v3 far superior. As a mouse user, the key feature is being able to move the mouse quickly through the layers with hover giving a full expanded view of all the file details in that folder.

I noticed that X2 introduced Miller Columns with v5 earlier this year and thought I'd test it out, but afaics its implementation isn't half as useful. It does add the columns, but full details are only in the furthest right and I found no setting that allowed me to change this behaviour. I will admit that my search could have been more thorough, but going through the menus and features seems even more complex than DO and I couldn't find a dark mode which means automatically that I won't buy it.

DO 12 is fighting its last battle here, early Summer of 2019 should see DO 13.
Just noticed this prediction.
As of May 2021 DO is on 12.24

To ease the pain, I thought this might help:
How to Learn Regular Expressions
Thanks. I'm gathering a list of resources, just in case, so I've added it to that.
I'll avoid regex while I can, because normal search does everything I want for now, and probably would be good enough for 99% of the time anyway.

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