Cornan
How to reproduce:

1) Maximize a thought's Notes
2) Create several tables of 2 columns and about 20 rows.  Put in some text, generally not wrapping the cells.
3) When you have enough text that the Notes window scrolls when maximized, select a row somewhere near the bottom and cut it to the clipboard (I used a Windows keyboard shortcut).
4) Paste that row into one of the tables higher in the note.

When the Notes Editor finishes pasting the row, on my system I see the Notes content "jump" upward, so that I may see the bottom of the text.

The new position of the text pointer is neither at the point where I cut the row nor at the point where I pasted it.  Instead I have to "hunt" for my position.

I see this symptom on Windows Vista with both 5.0.4.0 and 5.5.0.7b; therefore I posted this message here.

Please pass this on to the Notes Editor vendor for support.
Quote
dyslucksia
I'm interested to learn that your experience was similar to mine here:

Quote:
Alternatively, we can try keeping it in Notes by using its Table "feature". Having tried this while preparing my AHK macros Brain, I can confidently recommend against attempting this in v5.0, as this bug-ridden implementation at times defies the laws of physics, logic and just about everything else.


Tarnation!

PB 5.5.2.1 on Windows XP, J-1.6.0_17
Quote
Cornan
Thing is, after keeping tabs on PB for a year or more, it was Normal View + Notes that made my buying decision, or in other words two of the things receiving only incremental attention right now

Having said that, I have begun to think we need a "transforming PersonalBrain" website or thread or forum that we could "somehow" scrub of all the little nuisances (or at least aggregate them into "big issues"), especially given all the little tweakettes in 5.5 and the alarming retrograde motion on virtual thoughts I just discovered.

While I do care about these Notes issues and "empty plex syndrome" / grandparents in Normal View (would getting a few more points in UserVoice really help?), there are much bigger things that would transform PB.

For example, PB could "explode" its use cases with better import and synchronization, beginning with a true thought merge (not just "Overwrite" or "Skip") as a foundation for other capabilities.

To take advantage of this there could be a "plug in" import / export / virtual thought API.  (The current Brain API is expensive and only an API for the plex; I want to get data into the database).

We could then access things like database and code dependency trees (business data?  photo albums?) either as "snapshots" (import) or by direct access (like Brain EKP).

True integration of time into PB thoughts (including the much sought timeline view) would transform it for another whole group of users (time as sequence, time as "generations" or "versions", time as "events", all out in the plex).

Though I'm really pressed for time (I feel almost guilty spending this much time in PB-land) I've given serious thought to assembling a team to create something "like" PB but starting with what would be transformative features in PB as the base feature set.

Then we'd have to work down to all the little stuff, versus looking up.

You know, PB is really a bargain, but I'm not just looking for a bargain.  I'd gladly pay a little for real upgrades or for a "momma bear" brain somewhere between pappa bear EKP and baby bear PB.

So, what do you think?  Can we transform PB, or will we need to write our own or jump ship in the end?






Quote
Moe
Cornan, Thanks for the post. I have noted this for the notes editor vendor.

Best regards,
Moe

Quote
dyslucksia
We don't often see purple prose in this forum, but I have to agree with Cornan on the need to make PB a great deal more user-friendly in Normal View, for it seems from our recent poll that that's where most users stay, and I can't say I blame them either.

I thought Feature Suggestions was our "transforming PB" section.

Quote:
For example, PB could "explode" its use cases with better import and synchronization, beginning with a true thought merge (not just "Overwrite" or "Skip") as a foundation for other capabilities.


I'm not 100% clear what you mean, but you seem to be suggesting that PB be better at importing data formats from other applications. If so, why would you need to import data unless you were going to stop using the other application and use PB alone? Or did you mean PB should interface better with other applications, letting them activate thoughts in PB and vice versa? I would support that.

I don't think the developers are in any hurry to release a SDK for PB any time soon, so you'd better get busy improving your macro skills.

I sense you are extremely frustrated with PB's irritations and limitations, something we all experience from time to time.

PB 5.5.2.1 on Windows XP, J-1.6.0_17
Quote
Cornan
dyslucksia, thanks for the response to my "purple prose".

I started thinking about transformation as a distinct topic in response to all the small changes I see in our discussions and in 5.5.  For example, I was surprised that the developers chose to revamp color dialogs when many other larger scale items could be addressed.

Perhaps if we were to coin a word for what I'd like to see (and perhaps, was expecting) it would be to "de-isolate" PersonalBrain from its surroundings.  Yes, there should be an improved (not degraded) real-time "interface" for virtual thoughts, an improved interface to external schedulers (e.g. Outlook / Exchange), perhaps at a higher priority than attempts to duplicate those functions within PB, and I would like to see an interface to relational data, most likely (initially) through a facility to let users provide SQL queries to provision "virtual database thoughts", to which they could then add their "personal" notes and relationships.

I'm working in a very small company right now, but I've spent years in the "flood of emails and meetings" world of H-P and Citrix, where it would have been great to be able to create notes and relationships between emails and meetings (in Outlook / Exchange) and other work items.

For those things that are not accessed real-time there is still a need for synchronization rather than simple import.  One of the best parallels is in software development, where source control systems have "merge" capabilities to combine changes from two or more developers into a single file.

This would let me synchronize thoughts between my "work" and "home" brains, where inevitably some thoughts will change on both brains, and the blind choices "Skip" or "Overwrite" are inadequate.

This seems very basic to me.  Most PB databases are not analogous to single PowerPoint presentations or Adobe Illustrator files, where I might want to "import" a piece of text or graphics into a dedicated, static assemblage.

Instead, a PB brain is a database that changes over time, and change tends to lead to a need for synchronization.

Viewed as a navigation tool, I would like to see PB "spread its wings", so that I can attach notes and relationships to existing entities outside of my PersonalBrain disc folder.

Otherwise, useful as they are, PersonalBrain databases will continue to live in a world where PB data "inside" is largely isolated from the ever-changing data and systems "outside".

Quote
dyslucksia
Quote:
Otherwise, useful as they are, PersonalBrain databases will continue to live in an world where PB data "inside" is largely isolated from the ever-changing data and systems "outside".


Hmm. Wonder why an image of Tibet keeps coming to mind?

One of the main problems, I think, is that "fortress PB" is based on absolute, rather than relative, addressing. It's time to let down the drawbridge before the enemy starves us into submission.
PB 5.5.2.1 on Windows XP, J-1.6.0_17
Quote
Darkstar
Some interesting points and posts, Cornan. I certainly agree that PB could do with a WHOLE lot more developer love paid to many aspects, such as the timeline view, merging, and other suggestions and observations.

However, I would think that you'd easily see how "minor" items can get worked before "bigger" items or issues. Just a few items that come to mind: New hire (you give them small stuff to get them used to how you work and how the application is laid out/designed), sick devs (they didn't feel up to the mental challenge of bigger work at the moment, and knocked out a group of smaller items), short on time devs (they are wearing several hats, working on PB while supporting other endevors, so they went for some smaller items where the constant switching of attention or focuse wouldn't hurt, or where they'd be able to produce useful improvements/enhancements to meet development windows), dev taking a break from big issues (sometimes, when you've been working a BIG piece, you occasionally take a break and do something small for your own personal enjoyment or moral boos), or--- boss said to do it (cause, it irritates him, or he has a VIP that would like it handled soon). And there's plenty of other ways that smaller stuff can get worked.

Have you gotten around to poking at the database? It's an open source standard, so if you really want to get into dealing with the database, as long as you manipulated it in the same fashion that the app does, everything would be hunky doory. Of course, use a test brain first for your experiments.

But--- would seriously messing about with the database count against our end-user license agreement not to reverse-engineer PB? If so, people doing so might not legally be able to discuss their findings and tips on the forums.
-Darkstar
Quote
Cornan
Some of those those reasons for small changes have applied to my own work over the years; I've also wondered about the PB team having needs to "get out from under" component licenses or interface limitations.

Though I've spent my career in DP / IT rather than commercial software, I've always tried to give some time to moving forward in some area no matter how busy I was with daily distractions.  Of course it doesn't always work out that way. 

You mentioned that the PB database is open source but didn't mention the name.

My first thought was to produce one or more (SQL Server) database queries that would create brain XML files for import.  In mere moments I could visualize relationships that would take hours to enter by hand.

Your comments about reverse engineering and the license are interesting.  I definitely would want to share.  It might be generic enough to simply share with PB (say, an import of relational database objects and dependencies).

Given the many hours I've expended with four brains (two at work, one "biographical" and one "workhorse") two recent red lights for me have been the emphasis on "only little stuff" (ergo my purple prose) and the elimination of jump links to virtual thoughts (moving away from better integration instead of moving towards it). 

The latter post has been viewed 63 times to date but has had no replies.  Perhaps to most of my fellow user and PB friends a PB database really is [only] analogous to a PowerPoint, MS Word or PDF document with a nifty navigation front end.  Or perhaps some PB databases are simply self-contained topic databases.

Beyond that "self contained" aspect of personal "with a small p" I'm looking for an "umbrella" tool that will let me navigate pre-existing data structures [files, websites and both schema and "user" database data], capturing notes and relationships that are "personal" even if the "data" itself lives outside the boundaries of my tool's database.

Things change.  Orphan data will arise (and may even be useful as breadcrumbs for moved or deleted external data).  I'm not at all sure that the vagaries of "external" data should stop us from creating advanced capabilities to manage that "personal" / "external" boundary.
Quote
Darkstar
It has been reported in the forum that the database is apache derby. I've been meaning to go digging into it, just for my own curiousity, but I've been busy doing other things.

I use PB as my "umbrella" collector. Files, project documents, URLs for research or fun, etc. I also use it to do a lot of software design and analysis work.

However, it isn't my only tool. For information STORAGE, I use Zoot for textual only information; For graphics and text mixed, I use EverNote.

I use ConnectedText as my personal wiki, keeping my work and personal journal. I still use WikidPad for some wiki/journals I haven't yet migrated, but those are only used occasionally.

The right tool for the right job.
-Darkstar
Quote
jarendt
Quote:
It has been reported in the forum that the database is apache derby. I've been meaning to go digging into it, just for my own curiousity, but I've been busy doing other things.

At least with 5.5 it appears that PB is not using apache derby. None of the included jar files includes the apache derby packages. Interestingly, they have three different database jars referenced: HSQL, H2, and sqlite.

Taking a peak inside one of the .db files seems to suggest they are using H2 for the main database files.


Added: The above is based on preliminary observations of looking around for about fifteen minutes or so. More exploration and experimentation would need to be done to know for sure.
PB 5.5.1.0-b | Mac OS X 10.6.1
Quote
dyslucksia
Thanks jarendt for the heads-up on this one. At least it's an open-source database. Probably one reason we were asked to upgrade our Brains.
PB 5.5.2.1 on Windows XP, J-1.6.0_17
Quote
Middleway
Cornan if you are looking to discover or map data relationships you may want to take a look at the new Touchgraph product http://www.touchgraph.com/navigator.html . I enjoy reading the groups rather esoteric (to me) comments on the development of PB.  I stopped using it for a single reason I can't arrange thoughts in normal view to my own defaults. A feature that was available in PB 3 and has been number three on the suggestion list for months. I continue to stop back here looking to see if that feature has been added but to no avail. I'm not a programmer and don't have the time and inclination to brush up on my macro skills or develop esoteric strategies to arrange data displays. Perhaps one day I'll be able to select "user defined" for my display again.
That would be transformation for me!

Quote
dyslucksia
Middleway, have you checked out PB's latest Expanded View? It's very similar to TouchGraph.

After reading your post, I thought I'd take a look at TouchGraph online. It seemed to me like PB's Expanded View, but with no way of anchoring any of the nodes and no way of adjusting relationships between nodes - only the application's clustering algorithm seemed to be allowed to do this. The links between nodes are identical lines, so we have to guess what each link is supposed to mean. There is no hierarchical structure to the nodes, and no intelligent line breaks - although multiline titles are allowed, the break comes anywhere in the word, which I find confusing. The blurb in the LH column did not include any additional instruction. I could not find a view equivalent to Normal View, though the search results appeared static.

The overall effect was like finding myself struggling in a cobweb with a very large spider just out of sight. As difficult as Expanded View is to love, I think I'll continue learning to love it.

PB 5.5.2.1 on Windows XP, J-1.6.0_17
Quote
Darkstar
TouchGraph itself is an open source application for displaying a web of node data.

Navigator seems to be a pay to use application that allows you to import data into a TouchGraph based viewer. Considering how many applications have been "inspired" by the TouchGraph open source code, I'm glad to see that it seems to have finally secured a method of funding its continued development in the future.
-Darkstar
Quote

Newsletter Signup  Newsletter        Visit TheBrain Blog   Blog       Follow us on Twitter   Twitter       Like Us on Facebook   Facebook         Watch Us on Youtube  YouTube       

TheBrain Mind Map & Mindmapping Software     Download TheBrain Mind Mapping Software