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Re: [NTB] What is NoteTab for?

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  • Clueless in Seattle
    ... Why not use a word processor indeed! That very question was what prompted my original post in this thread a few days ago. I used to use a word processor
    Message 1 of 11 , Jan 1, 2001
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      Carl Swann wrote:

      > Both Jody and Jim Hall replied concerning this... Jody's idea would
      > get you to where you want to be (albeit in HTML) but why not use a
      > word processor.

      "Why not use a word processor" indeed! That very question was what
      prompted my original post in this thread a few days ago.

      I used to use a word processor in my CP/M days. It was called
      WordStar. But it had one big drawback, and that was that it could only
      have one file open at a time. So each time I wanted to refer to another
      document, I would have to manually save the file I was in, hunt for the
      file I needed, open it, find the data, copy it to a third file, close
      the 2nd file, hunt for the first file, open it, read in the data from
      the third file. Whew!

      When I switched from CP/M to MS-DOS I also switched from WordStar to a
      "text editor" called VDE which was modeled on the WordStar user
      interface. It had a nearly identical "look and feel" to WordStar and
      used a nearly identical command set, including the commands for
      inserting markers for italics and underlines. But the MS-DOS version of
      VDE had one feature that the CP/M version lacked: it allowed you to have
      multiple files open at once. So I could have my cake (WordStar
      commands) and eat it too (have multiple files open)!

      VDE became my most used program, and I only reverted to WordStar for
      complex formatting, mail merging and stuff like that. And the beauty of
      this system was that both my text editor and my word processor used the
      same keyboard command set, so I never had to interrupt the flow of my
      work to stop and ask myself: "um, which program am I in and which
      command set do I need to use to move the cursor over to the next word?"

      But when I finally threw in the towel and grudgingly switched from
      MS-DOS to Windows (for the sake of compatibility with the computers at
      work) I found that running VDE in a DOS box under Windows was too
      frustrating and limiting. And Eric Meyers, the author of VDE, had no
      interest in writing a Windows version of his text editor. He loathed
      Windows.

      So I began shopping around for a VDE-like text editor which would run
      under Windows 95. And that's when I stumbled upon NoteTab Pro. I
      happened on the NoteTab scene just at the time that Eric (Fookes) was
      expanding the WordStar command set for his final version of NoteTab Pro
      4.xx, and I jumped on the bandwagon with a list of my favorite WordStar
      text editing commands. (I still regret that because I got in at the last
      minute, and hurriedly compiled my list for Eric, I overlooked what is
      probably the most useful of all WordStar commands, Ctrl-N, for inserting
      a blank line in the text).

      I came to NoteTab from an MS-DOS program, VDE, whose author called it a
      "text editor." And this so-called text editor had commands for marking
      italicized and underlined text. So I spent a decade or more using a
      program I had been led to believe was a "text editor" and just assumed
      that having the ability to mark text in italics was one of the things
      text editors do.

      So, as you can probably imagine, I was totally unprepared for, and taken
      aback by, the hostility that my naive question about italics in NoteTab
      provoked.


      > A text editor (like NoteTab) edits text, a word
      > processor processes words. NoteTab bakes a cake, while a word
      > processor puts on the icing, the sprinkles, and the candles.

      I have a word processor (Word97) but I seldom use it because it is such
      a system hog and it seems like such overkill for my purposes. All I
      really need is the computer equivalent of my old Smith Corona portable
      electric typewriter.

      And since I always have NoteTab running anyway, it just seemed like the
      logical choice for my writing projects. I mean, why run two programs in
      this crash prone "house of cards" Windows operating environment, when
      you could get by with running only one?

      Whoa! I really have prattled on, haven't I?

      Well, if you've read this far you deserve a medal for effort above and
      beyond the call of duty.
    • Dr. Paul Harder
      ... ... And now we know the rest of the story... It seems you have an affinity for programmers named Eric ! In this light, your request for italics
      Message 2 of 11 , Jan 1, 2001
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        On Mon, 01 Jan 2001 08:15:40 -0800, you wrote:

        > And Eric Meyers, the author of VDE, had no interest in writing a
        > Windows version of his text editor.
        <snip>
        > So I spent a decade or more using a program I had been led to believe
        > was a "text editor" and just assumed that having the ability to mark
        > text in italics was one of the things text editors do.

        And now we know the rest of the story... It seems you have an affinity
        for programmers named "Eric"!

        In this light, your request for italics and such almost makes sense.
        I'm not sure it's technically feasible though. You'd have to check with
        Eric to be sure. I do know that he didn't write the Windows programming
        control that displays text in any of his editors. It may not be
        possible, in these display controls, to actually display italics. I
        know it can display underlining (Eric uses that to underline URLs), but
        I can't recall having seen it do boldfacing.

        If the controls can display these effects, then it shouldn't take too
        much of Eric's effort to make NoteTab be able to use them at your
        behest. And if the controls can display the effects, it's probably easy
        to apply those effects to text being sent to a printer.

        But if they can't display the effects, then it would probably take Eric
        a LOT of work to implement some way of marking a range of text as being,
        say, italicized. And then it would take a LOT MORE work to enable the
        program to impose the italicization upon the data being sent to a
        printer.

        Happy New Millennium!
        PH



        ----------------------------------------------------------------------
        Dr. Paul Harder Houston, Texas, USA pharder@...
        ----------------------------------------------------------------------
      • Clueless in Seattle
        ... And, would I be correct to guess that you have an affinity for radio broadcasters named Paul? :) ... I wouldn t need to display actual italics on the
        Message 3 of 11 , Jan 1, 2001
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          "Dr. Paul Harder" wrote:

          > And now we know the rest of the story... It seems you have an affinity
          > for programmers named "Eric"!

          And, would I be correct to guess that you have an affinity for radio
          broadcasters named "Paul?" :)

          > It may not be
          > possible, in these display controls, to actually display italics. I
          > know it can display underlining (Eric uses that to underline URLs), but
          > I can't recall having seen it do boldfacing.

          I wouldn't need to display actual italics on the screen. Just some way
          to mark which text needs to be italicized. Underlining would do (that's
          how I used to do it on my typewriter). Or highlighting or a different
          color type face. Anything to set the italicized text off from the rest
          of the text. For that matter it wouldn't even have to display
          differently. Back in my WordStar days, it just displayed a ^Y character
          (I think that's what it was) at the beginning and end of each string of
          italicized text. And that told the printer to italicize the string.

          Most everyone who has who has responded to this question has said pretty
          the same thing: first type the text without any italics markers, then
          transfer the file to a word processor and then manually go through the
          text and look for text that needs to be italicized and manually
          italicize it using the word processor's commands.

          To me that seems like a tedious an unnecessary step. I mean, isn't one
          of the key concepts of computing the idea that computers were designed
          to do just such tedious and repetitive tasks for us? So couldn't there
          be some simple way to insert markers into my text as I type it and then
          have my computer go through the text, find those markers and convert the
          text between them markers into italics?

          At least one of the respondents mentioned that that is the job of
          editors. But I don't write for publication, just for my own amusement,
          and so I don't have an editor who will go through my text and find every
          string that needs to be italicized. That's a job I'd like to turn over
          to my computer.

          It just occurred to me that I could probably write a program in BASIC
          that would do just what I've described. But that would require that I
          run everything through a BASIC program.

          Maybe the HTML trick that one of the other respondents suggested might
          do the trick. I'm just coming off some meds that had me so whacked out
          I could barely sit up at my computer and read my messages. But I'm
          feeling a lot better today (second day without the drug) so I may have
          the stamina and concentration to give that a try.

          I'm grateful to all of you who are being so patient with me and
          apologize to those whose patience I sorely try. To the latter, all I
          can offer is a reminder that either the delete key or adding me to your
          twit file could save us both some grief.
        • Jody Adair
          Hello Dr. Paul, Eric said one time something to the effect that he would make a special edition of NoteTab that would read/write RTF. That will/would, solve
          Message 4 of 11 , Jan 1, 2001
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            Hello Dr. Paul,

            Eric said one time something to the effect that he would make a
            special edition of NoteTab that would read/write RTF. That
            will/would, solve the "problem." Version 5 will have some of the
            highlighting and bold capabilities, but I do not know if it will
            print like that. There will also be a very fast reader/editor
            probably something like the Linux VIM editor - I would guess much
            better - geared towards programmers. I believe that is next on
            the agenda, but things often change. We hoped 3-4 years ago that
            the Gold version would be released in a year. Need I say more? <bg>

            >In this light, your request for italics and such almost makes
            >sense. I'm not sure it's technically feasible though. You'd have
            >to check with Eric to be sure. I do know that he didn't write
            >the Windows programming control that displays text in any of his
            >editors. It may not be possible, in these display controls, to
            >actually display italics. I know it can display underlining
            >(Eric uses that to underline URLs), but I can't recall having
            >seen it do boldfacing.


            See ya in the funnies!
            Jody

            ...he that is of a merry heart hath a continual feast...
            See ya in the funnies!
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          • Carl Swann
            ... And so we come full circle... ;-) ... Just send it C.O.D.... ha! -- ... (o o) Starting slow, and coasting downhill from there oOOo-(_)-oOOo
            Message 5 of 11 , Jan 1, 2001
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              Clueless in Seattle wrote:
              >
              >
              > "Why not use a word processor" indeed! That very question was what
              > prompted my original post in this thread a few days ago.

              And so we come full circle... ;-)

              > Well, if you've read this far you deserve a medal for effort above and
              > beyond the call of duty.

              Just send it C.O.D.... ha!

              --
              ==============================================================

              ||||| Carl Swann, Kingsport TN
              (o o) "Starting slow, and coasting downhill from there"
              oOOo-(_)-oOOo
            • Larry Hamilton
              As I was reading this thread, I remembered back to my use of WordStar 3 (I think, I still have a copy on 5-1/4 floppy, but do not have a drive for it.), back
              Message 6 of 11 , Jan 1, 2001
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                As I was reading this thread, I remembered back to my use of WordStar 3 (I
                think, I still have a copy on 5-1/4" floppy, but do not have a drive for
                it.), back in college in the mid-80's. It is basically a text editor with
                commands like ^Y, or whatever, wrapped around the desired text. We also had
                some funky editor on the mainframe that was a major pain to use. Anyway,
                the way WordStar wrapped commands around desired text, made it easy for me
                to make sense of HTML. Currently, NoteTab only allows such "command
                wrappers" in HTML documents, which are just plain text files, but the
                HTML/HTM extension tells the browser that it needs to interpret the
                document as a web page. In WordStar the "command wrappers" told the printer
                how to print the document. If you look at a WordStar file, it looks much
                like an HTML file, but with ^ instead of <>.

                As Paul Harder wrote, unless Eric adds a method of adding such printer
                control, and/or display control, NoteTab will not do what you ask. One
                option I have seen on the list is to save it as an HTML document then open
                it in your browser and print it. That would save having to copy it to Word
                and then format and print it.

                If all you want is underlining, Eric has a clip in the Utilities library
                that comes with NoteTab, called underline. Basically it puts an overline on
                the line below the text. I use it often, when I need an underline, but do
                not need any fancy formatting. I also use it in web pages to have an
                underline in text with <pre></pre> tags so that I can keep space or tab
                delimited text lined up without any fancy tables, that slow down the
                loading of the page.

                My wife earns herself lots of frustration using Word, because she wants to
                format it as she goes, and cannot get it the way she wants it, then I have
                to fix it. (For some reason, I cannot say the words that there is an easier
                way, without her hearing some value judgement about her. But that's WAAAAY
                off topic!)

                I think as has been pointed out, in its current state, NoteTab does not
                have the features you desire, for the way you work with documents. For now,
                patience for the Gold version, or a change in procedures would get you
                closer to what you desire. (I started off working with "format as you go",
                and it is hard to unlearn. It affects the way I do web pages, if I get
                rushed. So I, and many others know how hard that way of working with
                documents is to unlearn.)

                At 10:22 AM 01/01/2001 -0800, you wrote:
                >I wouldn't need to display actual italics on the screen. Just some way
                >to mark which text needs to be italicized. Underlining would do (that's
                >how I used to do it on my typewriter). Or highlighting or a different
                >color type face. Anything to set the italicized text off from the rest
                >of the text. For that matter it wouldn't even have to display
                >differently. Back in my WordStar days, it just displayed a ^Y character
                >(I think that's what it was) at the beginning and end of each string of
                >italicized text. And that told the printer to italicize the string.

                Larry Hamilton, Jr.
                lm_hamilton@...
                http://notlimah.tripod.com/
                Hamilton National Genealogical Society, Inc.
                http://www.hamiltongensociety.org/
              • Carl Swann
                ... If Eric can program a clip or routine that will placate/pacify spouses, he will be able to retire tomorrow! ... from a very happily married guy! --
                Message 7 of 11 , Jan 1, 2001
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                  Larry Hamilton wrote:
                  >
                  >
                  > My wife earns herself lots of frustration using Word, because she wants to
                  > format it as she goes, and cannot get it the way she wants it, then I have
                  > to fix it. (For some reason, I cannot say the words that there is an easier
                  > way, without her hearing some value judgement about her. But that's WAAAAY
                  > off topic!)

                  If Eric can program a clip or routine that will placate/pacify
                  spouses, he will be able to retire tomorrow! ... <VBG> from a very
                  happily married guy!

                  --
                  ==============================================================

                  ||||| Carl Swann, Kingsport TN
                  (o o) "Starting slow, and coasting downhill from there"
                  oOOo-(_)-oOOo
                • Jody
                  Hi Clueless in Seattle, ... What am I missing here? Why can t you press the return/enter key? Happy Topics, Jody The NoteTab Off-Topic List
                  Message 8 of 11 , Jan 1, 2001
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                    Hi Clueless in Seattle,

                    > I still regret that because I got in at the last minute, and
                    > hurriedly compiled my list for Eric, I overlooked what is
                    > probably the most useful of all WordStar commands, Ctrl-N, for
                    > inserting a blank line in the text.

                    What am I missing here? Why can't you press the return/enter key?

                    Happy Topics,
                    Jody

                    The NoteTab Off-Topic List
                    mailto:ntb-OffTopic-Subscribe@...
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                  • Jody
                    Hi Clueless in Seattle, ... Well, then, the HTML solution I provided is the easiest for you, perhaps, and I or somebody could build you a small simple Library
                    Message 9 of 11 , Jan 1, 2001
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                      Hi Clueless in Seattle,

                      >I wouldn't need to display actual italics on the screen. Just
                      >some way to mark which text needs to be italicized. Underlining
                      >would do (that's how I used to do it on my typewriter). Or
                      >highlighting or a different color type face. Anything to set the
                      >italicized text off from the rest of the text. For that matter
                      >it wouldn't even have to display differently. Back in my
                      >WordStar days, it just displayed a ^Y character (I think that's
                      >what it was) at the beginning and end of each string of
                      >italicized text. And that told the printer to italicize the
                      >string.

                      Well, then, the HTML solution I provided is the easiest for you,
                      perhaps, and I or somebody could build you a small simple Library
                      for it to get started with. Once you learned the code, you could
                      manually type it like many people do.

                      But hey, you want ^Y, then you can have it, if you get me the
                      printer control codes for bold, italic, underline, and some
                      colors for your printer. Most all, if not all, at least home use
                      type HPs will use the same code. I do not expect you to
                      understand the following, but it would be the approach I would
                      take if I were to build a script to do it.

                      ^!DirectPrint "Title" Data
                      Prints text directly to the printer, bypassing NoteTab's print
                      procedure. Uses default printer settings. Title is the text shown
                      in the Print manager and Data is the text to send directly to the
                      printer. Data can contain printer control codes.

                      Eric posted this Clip which does italics on his and my HP. One
                      would just need to replace your characters first with the correct
                      printer control codes.

                      ^!Set %Esc%=^$DecToChar(27)$
                      ^!Set %Landscape%=^%Esc%&l1O; %Italic%=^%Esc%(s1S; %Normal%=^%Esc%(s0S
                      ^!DirectPrint "Testing..." ^%Landscape%Hello ^%Italic%sunny^%Normal%
                      World^%PAGE%

                      ---

                      The italic code would be the control character "¬" (ESC) plus "(s1S"

                      Dec Hex Oct Binary Chr % HTML Name
                      27 1B 33 00011011 ¬ · · ESC - Escape

                      However, it would be much easier for you to use your ^Y and even
                      more so Y^ for the stop and convert it to HTML and print from
                      your browser. :) But why not ^i?i^ <g>

                      Happy Topics,
                      Jody

                      The NoteTab Off-Topic List
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                    • Charles Cairns
                      ... At least one of the respondents was wrong. This is the job of a writer, not an editor, nor a copy editor nor a proofer. --csc (an editor)
                      Message 10 of 11 , Jan 1, 2001
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                        Clueless in Seattle wrote in part:

                        > At least one of the respondents mentioned that that is the job of
                        > editors. But I don't write for publication, just for my own amusement, and
                        > so I don't have an editor who will go through my text and find every string
                        > that needs to be italicized. That's a job I'd like to turn over to my
                        > computer.

                        At least one of the respondents was wrong. This is the job of a writer, not
                        an editor, nor a copy editor nor a proofer.

                        --csc
                        (an editor)
                      • Bill Scott
                        How about a language interpreter from male left brain to female right brain .... I have the same problem Margie gets something exactly opposite from what I
                        Message 11 of 11 , Jan 1, 2001
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                          How about a language interpreter from male left brain to female right brain .... I have the same problem Margie gets something exactly opposite from what I said ... hmmmm is this an epifany ...

                          Bill


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