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Re: [jasspa] Reference card - suggestions

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  • Jon Green
    ... Are you using the new 05 notes command (M-x notes) to store this sort of stuff? If not I suggest that you give it a go, this is where I put all sorts of
    Message 1 of 9 , Oct 29, 2005
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      Thomas Hundt wrote:
      > Here are my quickref notes, some of which are more useful than others.
      > Some of the stuff is out of date. Test it before you publish.
      > I'd definitely add the rest of the commandline startup options.
      > Also, explanations for more of the setup options might be nice.
      >

      Are you using the new 05 "notes" command (M-x notes) to store this sort
      of stuff? If not I suggest that you give it a go, this is where I put
      all sorts of fragments of information now, typically bits of O/S
      information, programming information, machine configuration, software
      license keys etc. It just means that there is one place that I look for
      bits of knowledge that I have accumulated. I'm not sure that anybody
      knows what "notes" does (or even that it exists).

      Jon.
    • Thomas Hundt
      First I ve heard of the notes command. Or maybe I tried it once and couldn t figure it out. I ve really, really been wanting some kind of outline-based
      Message 2 of 9 , Oct 29, 2005
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        First I've heard of the 'notes' command. Or maybe I tried it once and
        couldn't figure it out. I've really, really been wanting some kind of
        outline-based tool. Not sure if this is it. I would use such a tool
        for developing spec documents and everything else. Right now, I have to
        resort to Word, which is unfortunate. (How do you guys do structured
        documents like long specs?? I'd like to know.)

        I think I want to be able to have some text, and then a piece of
        outline, and then some more text. (At the moment, I can have a list of
        bulleted paragraphs, which ME reformats for me nicely [provided there is
        more than one bullet!], but indentation and sublists are beyond it.) So
        I can have stuff like this:

        Here we look at the Notes functionality
        - Keys
        - Plus and minus collapse/expand
        - Return toggles collapse
        - Insert adds a new note
        - Del deletes one
        - Help
        - cmd avail in detail pane
        - not even avail in tree pane
        - Buffer behavior
        - not in buffer chain??

        But since I can't do this, I have to have a couple of levels of headers,
        with varying levels of decoration to show their places in the heirarchy.
        This is not perfect. (My quickref.txt file is 10,936 lines and 348kb
        long. And I have several files like this: for example, I have one with
        all my magazine subscriptions, and one with all the maintenance info and
        logs for my motorcycle, and another [encrypted!] one with software
        license keys. So, the need for something like 'notes' definitely exists.)

        * * *

        Comments on notes mode:

        Help for the current mode ("Notes mode help", M-h) doesn't display
        anything when run from the right pane; it is not even available from the
        left pane.

        I have issues with the key bindings (so what else is new). IMO they
        should be similar to other common software, so that users don't have to
        re-learn.

        Take a look at Windows Explorer, with the folders pane on the left side
        and the contents of the current folder on the right. (View>Explorer
        Bar>Folders.) This has really nice usability. You can use the mouse,
        you can use simple arrow keys, you can use more sophisticated
        cut/copy/paste to move files around. You can select multiple items by
        holding down Ctrl and clicking one at a time; you can select a range by
        using Shift. Arrow keys move around, and in particular left/right
        arrows collapse/expand a subtree (as do +/-). Tab/S-Tab move you
        between panes, as does C-Tab/S-C-Tab. Holding down Ctrl-Shift and using
        arrows, you can pan the folder pane around.

        The notes buffer does not seem to be in the buffer list available to
        next-buffer and other commands. The only way to get back to it is to
        use the 'notes' command. (This might be because I ran the 'hide notes'
        command. I can't figure out what this does -- it's not in the help, and
        there's no unhide-notes command once hide-notes has been run, so I'm not
        sure it did anything at all.)

        I'd map the + and - keys to open and close a note subtree.

        I hate the use of the Insert key to do anything: what am I supposed to
        do on a Unix box with a dumb terminal, where there is no Insert key?
        I'd map 'i' to Insert a new note. Or maybe 'a' for Add. Or maybe
        something more Emacs-like, such as a carriage return or C-o (open-line).

        Cut-note doesn't actually do anthing until you do paste-note. This is
        very inconsistent with the way Emacs does anything else. Cut-note
        should erase the note! Or at least grey it out or mark it somehow to
        indicate it's been cut. (For that matter, how can one cut multiple notes?)

        Moving up and down through the list of notes doesn't update the contents
        pane on the right. So, I have to hit Return twice (the first time it
        displays the contents, BUT all the subsidiary notes go away because it
        also collapses the subtree; I have to hit it again to re-expand the
        subtree). Again, look at Windows Explorer: the right side pane is
        updated (after a short delay to make sure you are done navigating) to
        show the contents of whatever is highlighted on the left. (This is a
        problem in ME dirtree mode, as well. One of the nice things about ME is
        that you're not supposed to NEED the mouse. But here, clicking displays
        the detail pane immediately; using keys does not.)

        Another big difference between dirtree mode and notes mode is that in
        dirtree, folders can appear on the right side. In notes, the subnotes
        never appear on the right.

        I do like the search feature, though. Incrementally searching through
        all the notes at once is kind of cool. (Too bad it doesn't search the
        notes' titles!)

        Printing could be more powerful. Right now, it prints just the contents
        (not even the title!) of the currently-selected note. Not the whole
        tree, or a selected subset. (Let's say I have a bunch of notes on ME.
        A set of them could have fragments of code and "how-to's" on macro
        development. Another set of them could have shellscripts and
        configuration howtos. What if I wanted to print the ones on macro
        development -- only?)

        IMO the problem of structured documents is very important, and is the
        biggest thing missing from ME. There ought to be one format, which
        could export to help files, word-processor documents, pseudocode... any
        number of things. There needs to be numbering of sections, and
        references (links) to sections. And a table of contents. Like Word
        has. Of course, that's what most of the world uses, and it works most
        of the time (if you don't mind a few bugs). If you guys don't feel like
        writing a word processor, I won't hold it against you :-)

        -Th


        >>Here are my quickref notes, some of which are more useful than others.
        >
        > Are you using the new 05 "notes" command (M-x notes) to store this sort
        > of stuff? If not I suggest that you give it a go, this is where I put
        > all sorts of fragments of information now, typically bits of O/S
        > information, programming information, machine configuration, software
        > license keys etc. It just means that there is one place that I look for
        > bits of knowledge that I have accumulated. I'm not sure that anybody
        > knows what "notes" does (or even that it exists).
        >
        > Jon.
      • Christof Boeckler
        Hey Thomas, although I can t say much about your remarks on the notes mode, maybe I have something useful regarding your last wish. ... Take a look at
        Message 3 of 9 , Oct 29, 2005
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          Hey Thomas,

          although I can't say much about your remarks on the notes mode, maybe I
          have something useful regarding your last wish.

          Thomas Hundt schrieb:
          > [...]
          > IMO the problem of structured documents is very important, and is the
          > biggest thing missing from ME. There ought to be one format, which
          > could export to help files, word-processor documents, pseudocode... any
          > number of things. There needs to be numbering of sections, and
          > references (links) to sections. And a table of contents. Like Word
          > has. Of course, that's what most of the world uses, and it works most
          > of the time (if you don't mind a few bugs). If you guys don't feel like
          > writing a word processor, I won't hold it against you :-)
          >
          > -Th

          Take a look at http://txt2tags.sourceforge.net/! It seems to be exactly
          the kind of language you are looking for: 1 source can be converted to
          multiple target formats ((x)HTML, LaTeX, man-page, soon: RTF!). I use it
          for simple, but structured webpages. (And it does the table of contents
          there.) You can even do the linking for apropriate targets ... it's fun!

          The only thing that's missing: a MicroEmacs mode for it ...

          Gruß / Regards
          Christof

          --
          http://home.in.tum.de/~boeckler/ http://www.spiegel.de/zwiebelfisch
          Da sie sich für weise hielten, sind sie zu Narren geworden. Rö 1,22
        • Thomas Hundt
          Thanks but there are many such languages... (this one looks similar to what is used on Wikis)... the whole point is that I want there to be an editor mode for
          Message 4 of 9 , Oct 29, 2005
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            Thanks but there are many such languages... (this one looks similar to
            what is used on Wikis)... the whole point is that I want there to be an
            editor mode for it. I could easily whip up something in Perl to take
            any arbitrary "language" and format it any way I want. The hard part is
            making the editor display it nicely.

            The idea being: a structured format that is somewhat WYSIWYG, because
            probably half the time it will be viewed in the editor.

            The other thing that would be nice, and which I don't see ever being
            able to get from ME, is being to have diagrams, drawings, and sketches.

            -Th



            Christof Boeckler wrote:

            >>IMO the problem of structured documents is very important, and is the
            >>biggest thing missing from ME. There ought to be one format, which

            > Take a look at http://txt2tags.sourceforge.net/! It seems to be exactly
            > the kind of language you are looking for: 1 source can be converted to
            > multiple target formats ((x)HTML, LaTeX, man-page, soon: RTF!). I use it
            > for simple, but structured webpages. (And it does the table of contents
            > there.) You can even do the linking for apropriate targets ... it's fun!
            >
            > The only thing that's missing: a MicroEmacs mode for it ...
          • Steven Phillips
            A while ago I created a similar format called JST (see hkjst.emf), based loosely on Jon s Doc mode, JST had the advantage of being able to generate html & rtf,
            Message 5 of 9 , Oct 29, 2005
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              A while ago I created a similar format called JST (see hkjst.emf), based
              loosely on Jon's Doc mode, JST had the advantage of being able to generate
              html & rtf, you could also create tables, links, images, and source code from
              many languages which would all be hilighted; it also generated a table of
              contents.

              However, it never took off and it fell into disuse.

              Recently I have been looking at the wiki text formats which are similar in
              concept and thought I really should convert JST to use a 'standard' text
              markup format. But that's the problem, there does not seem to be a single
              recognized standard, only lots of good suggestions (like txt2tags and JST).

              So if we can agree on a standard then I'll port the JST hook and support over
              to that format.

              txt2tags does look good, the format seems to be simple enough to remember and
              not get in the way but powerful enough to do most things (doesn't support
              hilighting of source code, only verbatim sections which is understandable). It
              has the further advantage of being able to generate 10 different formats and
              is under GPL.

              Are there any better formats out there?

              Steve

              > Subject: [jasspa] notes feature
              > From: Thomas Hundt <thundt@...>
              > Date: Saturday, October 29, 2005, 7:53:57 PM
              > To: jasspa@yahoogroups.com
              > Thanks but there are many such languages... (this one looks similar to
              > what is used on Wikis)... the whole point is that I want there to be an
              > editor mode for it. I could easily whip up something in Perl to take
              > any arbitrary "language" and format it any way I want. The hard part is
              > making the editor display it nicely.

              > The idea being: a structured format that is somewhat WYSIWYG, because
              > probably half the time it will be viewed in the editor.

              > The other thing that would be nice, and which I don't see ever being
              > able to get from ME, is being to have diagrams, drawings, and sketches.

              > -Th



              > Christof Boeckler wrote:

              >>>IMO the problem of structured documents is very important, and is the
              >>>biggest thing missing from ME. There ought to be one format, which

              >> Take a look at http://txt2tags.sourceforge.net/! It seems to be exactly
              >> the kind of language you are looking for: 1 source can be converted to
              >> multiple target formats ((x)HTML, LaTeX, man-page, soon: RTF!). I use it
              >> for simple, but structured webpages. (And it does the table of contents
              >> there.) You can even do the linking for apropriate targets ... it's fun!
              >>
              >> The only thing that's missing: a MicroEmacs mode for it ...



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            • Christof Boeckler
              ... I vote for txt2tags. ... I haven t found any. ... Gruß / Regards Christof -- http://home.in.tum.de/~boeckler/ http://www.spiegel.de/zwiebelfisch Da sie
              Message 6 of 9 , Nov 1, 2005
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                Steven Phillips schrieb:
                > So if we can agree on a standard then I'll port the JST hook and support over
                > to that format.

                I vote for txt2tags.

                > Are there any better formats out there?

                I haven't found any.

                > Steve

                Gruß / Regards
                Christof

                --
                http://home.in.tum.de/~boeckler/ http://www.spiegel.de/zwiebelfisch
                Da sie sich für weise hielten, sind sie zu Narren geworden. Rö 1,22
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