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Re: Evernote/Footnote-like UI change?


On Sun, Jan 8, 2012 at 5:09 AM, Adam Porter <adam@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> For a long time I've been thinking of some kind of Evernote/Zim
> hybrid, one that could display and tag notes separately, but display
> more than one "note" in the right-pane, rather than a single large
> page.  I just discovered this:
> http://bassultra.deviantart.com/art/Footnote-Note-Taking-Application-273031292
> I'm sure it's nowhere near Zim now, but the UI is very close to what
> I've been imagining.  It would be great if Zim could display a subtree
> of notes in the right pane, instead of just a single note.  Then it
> could have a dedicated tag strip, dedicated date field, dedicated
> title field, stars or flags, etc.  Or, if a single note was displayed,
> it could look like it does now.
> This would make tagging so much more useful.  It would also let notes
> be organized in a more detailed way, like Evernote.
> I'd start coding this myself, but I know very little about Python and
> Gtk.  So this message is just my throwing the idea out there to see
> how it's received by the Zim crowd.  I know there are plenty of
> wishlist bugs already.  I'm interested to hear your thoughts!

I really like that screenshot - it looks like a very nice and clean
user interface!

But making zim do something similar is easier said than done. As you
pointed out in the other mail, zim is tuned towards "page size" notes,
not small snippets. To get in this direction there are basically two

1/ add snippets as paragraphs in a single page
2/ add snippets as separate pages under a namespace

If I understand correctly you propose to go for option 2/ and have a
special view where all notes in a particular subtree are scrolled in
one view. My main concern is how to make this scalable. It will work
fine for a few hundred small notes, but it will have hard limits as it
starts taking more memory etc. once you start loading thousands of
notes. So it would need some nice cruft to load pages on demand, while
presenting it as a continuous widget.

Correctly zim supports option 1/ much better. For example tags are
supported inline instead of as a bar along the bottom of the page, so
you can add tags per paragraph and use "find" to locate them. In
addition you could take the new Table of Contents plugin [1] to get an
overview of all snippets in the page. Admitted, this has the same
limitation in scalability if you dump everything in a single page, but
it doesn't require new code and you can subdivide over as many pages
as needed.



[1] https://bugs.launchpad.net/zim/+bug/373280