lunatrix Show full post »
HanBav
rhodes, interesting tip, thank you.

I as well leave my files outside in their places where I used to store them before I got addicted to PB.
My problems would already be big enough if some defect would creep into my digital brain. I do not need to loose my legacy file structures as well.

Up to now I could find attachments inside brain without problems by searching for the name of the document. Do I miss some additional feature of your way to "mark" the filename?
... Furthermore I think TheBrain is unique
regards Hannes from Bavaria
Brain Junky V6.x Pro / WebBrain / V7 Beta /
Win 7 Prof 64 & 32, MS Office 2010 & Outlook & Firefox & IE
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rhodes

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Up to now I could find attachments inside brain without problems by searching for the name of the document. Do I miss some additional feature of your way to "mark" the filename?

Thanks Hannes for pointing that out. My suggestion of including the ID was to make the filename unique by reducing false positives, and also to speed up going from the file to the thought. For example, if the user happened to have a template file named myideas.txt which he would copy and attach to whatever thought needed an extra file attachment to hold his ramblings, then internal attachment to that particular thought would be sufficient to distinguish them. But if multiple files all named myideas.txt were to be housed in the same external folder there would have to be some other method for making them unique. For a start, directory structure forbids two files with the same name. 

Three solutions which come to mind are:

1) Making sure the filename is unique without requiring including a code such as the ID. This is your suggestion, and also the simplest as the file manager (e.g., Windows Explorer) would prevent you from creating a file with the same name as an existing file. The only downside is that you might have to type in, or copy and paste, a considerable part of the filename into Extended or Advanced Search to prevent many false positive results, whereas typing a 4-digit number (the ID) is much more likely to be unique.

2) Marking the filename by including a unique character string (my suggestion) - why not the thought's ID to help locate it? Then you could have  files named 2037 myideas.txt, 5028 myideas.txt, etc. A possible extra problem is that two or more thoughts might need to access the same external file, so maybe that file would need to include more than one ID in its name. It depends how much extra effort you would want to put into adding such a code, though with a little programming skill you might be able to create a macro to relieve you of all this drudgery!

3) Creating a separate subfolder named after the ID to house the external file. E.g., within the main folder there might be ones named 2037, 5028, etc., each containing myideas.txt. Again, a little more work required.

There must be more ideas that can be applied here so more suggestions are welcome. It's important not to make the solution too complicated, otherwise maintenance becomes a chore.

Alan Rhodes
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lunatrix
Hmmm - this all seems like a lot of extra work for not much extra gain. Like HanBav, when I want to locate a file from outside the brain I am quite happy to search on filenames or content with the very efficient Mac finder.

I would really like to see a command 'import all attached' and an option on 'export' to 'maintain links' from the exported files to their thoughts.

Please support this!
Luna
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rhodes

Hi luna

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I would really like to see a command 'import all attached' and an option on 'export' to 'maintain links' from the exported files to their thoughts.

A commendable suggestion, but:

1) If there was a command such as 'import all attached', what would stop PB from attaching all these files to the currently active thought, or is that what you would like it to do?

2) If there was a command 'export to', how would you expect PB to handle the issue of duplicate file names or duplicate thought names? This situation is bound to occur sooner or later, which is why I suggested adding unique IDs.

Moreover, if you use your Mac finder to locate names of internally attached files, they would be inside files with unfriendly 32-character GUID names. I can't think of any simpler workaround to this dilemma, although I too would dislike having to add and put up with seeing these ID codes which are better off hidden.

Alan Rhodes
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zenrain
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Moreover, if you use your Mac finder to locate names of internally attached files, they would be inside files with unfriendly 32-character GUID names. I can't think of any simpler workaround to this dilemma, although I too would dislike having to add and put up with seeing these ID codes which are better off hidden.

This isn't necessarily true. It's easy to browse to the Files folder in the PB database and do a search in Finder. Then change the source (in the top bar) from This Mac to Files, click the + and add Kind is Documents. This will show all documents in the folder without having to look into subfolders. You can also save the search as a smart folder, for easy access. 

A mass export would be useful, saving the file as a link in PB but moving them to a specified location for the selected thoughts. Just having the OS do it's usual append numbers for duplicates should suffice. Having the reverse would be useful also, if they are already attached as links, you wouldn't have to specify which attachments go to which thought, it's already designated. Just the attachments into the thought.
Windows 7
J-1.6.0_22
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OSX 10.6.3
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rhodes
@zenrain:

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This isn't necessarily true. It's easy to browse to the Files folder in the PB database and do a search in Finder. Then change the source (in the top bar) from This Mac to Files, click the + and add Kind is Documents. This will show all documents in the folder without having to look into subfolders. You can also save the search as a smart folder, for easy access. 

We Windows users can also do this, in Win XP by opening Windows Explorer to C:\Brainfiles (using this example as posted earlier in this thread) and using Windows' native Find command (Ctrl+F) to search for all files with names matching the search string (e.g., myideas.txt) in any of the subfolders. Windows apps such as ZtreeWin (formerly Xtree) are very good at this too.

My point was not that these internally stored files can't be found if PB puts them within subfolders, but that once they're found, the user can't relate the 32-character GUID name of the enclosing folder to the thought to which they're attached, without copying the GUID and searching on that, which makes it all very tedious for us (but simple for the computer!). Apologies if I didn't explain myself clearly enough, and thanks for explaining how to do it on  the Mac.

This is another example of where an accelerator to copy a Thought's GUID to the clipboard would be really handy. I suggested this here in post #11 and zenrain responded, so I won't discuss it further in this thread.

See here for a suggestion regarding this feature.

Alan Rhodes
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lunatrix
Guys check out what the 'function' already does! 'Export to folders' makes a beautiful set of folders named in human language with the attachments inside. All I am suggesting is a small addition to retain the link from the attachment in the folder structure to the thought in the brain.

'Import all' would of course be intended to import each attachment to its relevant thought, not all to the active thought.

I may be missing something, but it seems these two small additions working together would allow a much more seamless interaction between the brain and the finder/explorer, with less dependence on the ugly brain-labelled folder system.

Having said all that I totally agree being able to copy the GUID to the clipboard would be a good idea for other purposes (as I understand PB 6, it gives the ability to copy a thought ID for use in other programs which also sounds great). 

I just feel the ability to move files en masse in and out of the brain without losing their structure would be excellent.

Luna
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rhodes

Luna, I agree with you that 'Export to folders' makes a beautiful set of folders named in human language with the attachments inside.

However, this can only be a one-way street if we are to avoid duplication of data. I originally thought that what you were seeking was a one-step method of moving internally attached files out of your Brain into folders (and vice versa), maintaining the links with your Thoughts. My answers were directed to that. This, however is different. Here one is using the hierarchy of Thoughts to copy them as a set of external folders containing their notes and attachments. Since this is a copy, it follows that all editing must be conducted within the Brain, otherwise to alter anything in the copy creates non-identical but dangerously similar sets of data. If you need to edit this data, do so in the Brain, delete the existing export and replace it with a new export. I don't think this is what you want.

What I think you mean is that you want the editable files to remain outside the Brain and for any edits made within the Brain to be transmitted to them. The only way to do this is via shortcuts to external files to be attached to the Brain, so when the time comes to edit the material, it is the external files which are edited and they are linked to the Brain's structure simply by shortcuts. Is this correct? Sorry for being long-winded here.

Alan Rhodes
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lunatrix
Thanks Alan - My plan would indeed be to have files stored mainly OUTSIDE the brain - but to be able to move them in and out easily to help with organisation and maintenance.

I really do prefer to have my files stored externally - so I can find them myself and also so I can attach the same file into several other programs I use, not just the brain. 

Maybe the export function isnt the way to achieve this (in fact I just went to test it and it kept giving me error messages about exceeding 5 nested folders, even when I wasnt exceeding 5). But I for one would very much like to have more control over where my attachments were located and how easy they are for me to find.

Cheers
Luna
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