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Re: Managing the notebook list


--- On Tue, 11/24/09, Jaap Karssenberg <jaap.karssenberg@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> From: Jaap Karssenberg <jaap.karssenberg@xxxxxxxxx>
> Subject: [Zim-wiki] Managing the notebook list
> To: "Zim" <zim-wiki@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> Date: Tuesday, November 24, 2009, 10:19 PM
> Hi,
> I'm looking at the way we manage the notebook list.
> Currently this is just a static list in an ascii file, which
> has it's limitations when you use many notebooks. If
> only because you need to add each notebook to the list
> manually.
> I have been thinking about this a bit and it seems to me
> that it would be good if zim searches for notebooks in
> certain standard locations. So there would be a configurable
> search path, by default something like "~/Notes"
> and "~/" and any notebooks found (identified by
> the presence of a "notebook.zim" file) would be
> shown in the list. The search would only be one level deep,
> so no recursive searches.
> This makes the situation much easier for users that put all
> their notebooks in a standard location (or in a few standard
> locations). I fully expect someone to propose to make
> "~/.zim" the default, but I do not want to do
> that. However this mechanism would make it perfectly
> possible to configure that.
> In addition there could be a "bookmark" list of
> notebooks in other locations for those users that have
> notebooks all over the place.
> In addition we could clean up the notebook dialog a bit by
> making it open notebooks on single click and have a seperate
> "manager" dialog to modify the list. The "New
> notebook" dialog would assume the first directory in
> the path ("~/Notes" by default) unless you specify
> something else explicitly.
> Any thoughts on this ?
> Regards,
> Jaap

Well, now that you ask, I will say that I like the idea of having the notebook list auto-populate itself, and the idea of the base directory for the notebook listing being configurable (hopefully with a text file, at least - I don't really prefer one file system naming convention over another, I just like to pick one and stay with it.  Since I use Windows about half the time, still, I usually stick to to the lowest common denominators - and if it's text it will still e.g. replicate when I sync the configuration directories between machines.

I also like the idea of a list of locations to search for notebooks - in a perfect world, I could use mayeb sshfs:// urls in that list - I think I could make that work in Windows if the voices in my head drive me to tilt at that particular windmill again, so I will be looking at installing whatever Python is required to run this under Cygwin, at least, and stand-alone if possible - under Win* - I'm very sure there are others who have already been there, so I will be interested in finding out how that went...

The only think I would add to all that is this: 

I think it would be nice if I didn't have to deal with dialog boxes for this - I'd like to see the controls e.g. for manipulating Notebooks (files) show up on a Zim notebook page - or something that looks very like it.  Maybe using a web-form type style? 

A. This would translate more smoothly to the PyWebZim branch (which I suspect will quickly become the most popular branch) than would the dialogs, since web dialogs are [as a user interface navigational element] weak at best, and unreliable with disturbing frequency, imo.

B.  Dialogs tend to unecessarily (imo) break up a workflow that (in my case, at least) is centered around the keyboard to an extent that makes reaching for a mouse really aggrivating.  

Note that it will be interesting to see if this last - the ability to smoothly and efficiently operate Zim without resort to pointing and clicking - will survive the transition to the browser interface - I guess that's one thing that could slow adoption of the web interface or drive people to the standalone version...

Anyway - thanks again for all your work on this tool (Zim) - I really like it and look forward to new developments.  I hope my blathering here is some use to you ;)