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5825Re: [pfaf] Permaflorae : FEEDBACK for NICOLAS & others: New offline and portable way of consulting PFAF

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  • Nicollas
    Nov 14, 2011
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      Hi,

      Thank you so much Christohper for your feedback, very appreciated !


      [About instructions]

      So true, i use to forget that not all people are computer scientists, i'll write an instruction file,

      To see features, sceenshots, etc :
      http://www.permaculture.eu.org/permaflorae/

      To donwload the file :
      http://sourceforge.net/projects/permaflorae/files/Package%20%28win%20only%29/alpha/permaflorae.zip/download



      First, I typed in 'Tilia' then immediately pressed the <Return/Enter> key. If memory serves, it displays 'no entries'. It took a few minutes of playing with this to realize the following:

      (a) If one enters a search word in the 'Quick Search' box, it is best to wait a little while before doing anything else or before pressing <Return/Enter>, because the program tries to come up with a drop-down list of similar word matches, from which one then selects which plant to search for;


      Yeah, i'll have to fix this,

      this box is to go directly to a plant profile if you got the name (common or botanical). Weird to use, not enough user friendly !
       
       

       
      (d) Using the 'Advanced Search' selections and combinations is perhaps far more suited to selecting appropriate desired characteristics, especially for those who do not have some word or name first in mind before they start.


      Yes, it is the best way to query the DB,
       
       
      (e) One can view images of the plants by clicking on the Thumbnail images towards the top of each database entry window for the plant's entry you are currently viewing;

      Pictures are retrieved from Flickr, so you'll have to be connected to benefit the feature

       
       
      (f) If one clicks on any of almost all of the 'UNDERLINED' Genus name or other UNDERLINED entries in the entry per plant in the database, instead of getting further information or pictures one is instead simply returned to the 'Advanced Search' window only.

      A precision, the advanced search form is pre-filled with the relevant values (e.g. the botanical genius, or medical property)
       
      However, a superb feature - though I have not checked whether or not a live internet conneciton is needed to enable this to function or not - is sited down in the 'Gardener's Corner' section of each Plant's database entry, where one has the option to 'Search nurseries in UK', which 'UK' is UNDERLINED. That particular Underlined item DOES seem to work, given a list of nurseries providing that plant Genus and Varieties in the UK...a superb feature if it tallies correctly with what nurseries actually provide, and which might additionally benefit from a regional/post-code search to identify closest/local/regional nurseries, organic status or otherwise, GM status or otherwise, whether they are open to the public or mail-order, whethe they transport or other...;

      This feature is from RHS : http://apps.rhs.org.uk/rhsplantfinder
      You have to be connected to benefit it. It is just a link to the website with pre-filled genius
       
       
      (g) There may be some inconsistencies which might be hard to systematically search for and cross-check in other than laborious ways, or missing database entries/cross-links. For example, as a test, in the 'Advanced Search' window I selected 'Edible parts' --> Seed (also tried every other 'Edible Parts' entry), and in the 'Uses' section--> Coffee. Now, one might expect certain entries, such as Dandelion, to be flung back as possibles for Coffee substitute when selecting BOTH Root and Coffee simultaneously. However, 0 entries were displayed, as compared with 226 results for 'Coffee' selected alone...so maybe Cross-linking is an issue for later development/checking of the database.

      That seems to be a bug from my program, strange, need to investigate, thanks  :)
       

       
      (i) For future suggestions, research, and developments, which could employ several people over the years, in addition to such as Lottery or Eden Project Funding or similarly, I would suggest such Additions as: Operable Root depth, Clarification of which dimensions are Height/Width/Spread and what teh relevant time-period ight be, Companion Plants, Plants to Avoid, Companion Fungi etc., Companion Animals, Animal and Fungi and Pests and Diseases to avoid and with what ranges and Treatments, Recipes, Guidance on Crafts (e.g. dyeing, basket-weaving, fibres, beekeeping, etc.), History/Breeding-History/Origins, HOW-TO of ' Plant/Animal/Fungal/Geologic Healing', and automatic never-makes-you-fat free Chocolate and Ice-Cream-of-your-choice dispenser system IV...

      Thats work on the PFAF DB itself,
      PFAF lack also of knowledge about animals fodders, etc

      But that's is a huge work, and lots of books :)
       

      In summary, all in all a very good Alpha version for this particular operating system at least, though which might benefit from a brief instruction manual/handbook Notepad, Word, or .pdf file to guide users around it.


      Thanks !

      Nicolas
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