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Re: ZIm and handling of plain text files


On Mon, 19 Sep 2011 09:59:24 -0400
Brendan Kidwell <snarf@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
| On Mon, Sep 19, 2011 at 1:01 AM, Anthony Thyssen
| <A.Thyssen@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>wrote:
| > I have looked at a lot of different 'text note browsers'.
| >
| > That is a way of storing simple notes that can be brought up on screen
| > for making notes, cuting an pasting templates (code and so on), and
| > storing those notes where I want them.
| >
| > Zim does all these things and I am quite happy with it -- mostly.
| > It certainly beats a lot of other 'note browsers' I have looked at,
| > including gnote and the newer 'postitnote' programs I checked out.
| >
| > The main failing with the others have been there heavy handed behaviour
| > in text formatting or where or how the files are saved.
| >
| > I like and prefer to use PLAIN TEXT whenever posible.
| >
| It sounds like you might be better served by an "Orthodox File Managers".
| http://www.softpanorama.org/OFM/index.shtml
| http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File_manager#Orthodox_file_managers
| You want something with hierarchical directory browser and quick view/edit
| function for text files -- preferably integrated into the main application
| as a panel that doesn't go away.
| It's a bit of a long shot, but you -- I assume you're using a Unix -- might
| want to try out ZTreeWin under WINE if you can run WINE. I can't find a
| relevant screenshot at this time, but I know it has a mode where after you
| choose a working directory, you can have a file list panel on the left and a
| contents viewer on the right, and 'E' transitions to an editor window, or
| something like that. (Incidentally I'm not sure I'd call ZTreeWin an OFM,
| but it's in a related genre.)
| That having been said, I've had good luck pasting text from any source into
| Zim and having it come out mostly unchanged. As the manual says, Zim
| currently uses markup that requires at least two repeated characters to open
| and close markup tags. If what I'm pasting is not semantically or visually
| marked up to begin with, I'm usually fine.
| Brendan

I agree with you, its ability to cut and paste cleanly and has been one
of the major reasons for my use of zim (now 3 years or so).

I just find it annoying that when making edits of plain text, it
suddenly adds extra unwanted formatting.  Especially to the saved file,
which I often access from the command line as well as from zim.

I never really liked Orthodox File Managers, though I am much more of a
command line user than a file manager user, I use both, often in
conjunction.  As for using a more GUI filemanager (such as gnome
nautilus), I also found access to these 'notes' less useful than via a
dedicated program such as zim.

However I'll have a try of ZTreeWin under wine

I should have mentioned, that I am a UNIX user from way way back (late
'80's) and while most of my editing is done using vim, for cut and paste
of large block of text (often into a vim editor, email, or web form)
I found best sourced from some GUI template popup, such as provided by

ASIDE: I use the plain text for many things
+ code blocks,  templates, 
+ shell sequences (that need small tweeks for varying situation)

one unusual example I use zim for is the copy-pasting of actual VIM
keystrokes and 

For example....

:" Reformat all paragraphs

The :" is equivalent to a VIM command comment :-) the next line
does the task described 

The hardest part of that technique is the inability to add an 'escape'
character to vim sequences.

In fact by creating a copy-paste sequence I can very very quickly
edit 100's of files with specific or complex edits!  As a bonus
the 'macro' is saved where I can see and find it again quickly.

Everything from english text file conversions (such as one line
paragraphs vs blank line end, 72 column paragraphs), to HTMLize
or de-HTMLise files, to sorting, or even specific data conversions.

In this type of work, any extra formatting just gets in the
way. especially if I need to access remotely via ssh (command line)

  Anthony Thyssen ( System Programmer )    <A.Thyssen@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
   Writing software takes twice as long as you expect it will take...
                  Even if you keep this in mind!
   Anthony's Castle     http://www.ict.griffith.edu.au/anthony/

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