Disclaimer

The content of this blog is my personal opinion only. Although I am an employee - currently of Imagination Technologies's MIPS group, in the past of other companies such as Intellectual Ventures, Intel, AMD, Motorola, and Gould - I reveal this only so that the reader may account for any possible bias I may have towards my employer's products. The statements I make here in no way represent my employer's position, nor am I authorized to speak on behalf of my employer. In fact, this posting may not even represent my personal opinion, since occasionally I play devil's advocate.

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Saturday, July 05, 2014

I wish that EverNote / OneNote had 1990s era Infocentral's linking

Why InfoCentral?'via Blog this'



For the umpteenth time, I am trying to use EverNote to collect shopping research.  And it sucks because Evernote doesn't really have hierarchy.



Evernte has notebooks. And stacks. And tags.



OneNote is slightly, moderately, better than EverNote.  It has books, folders, groups of folders, and notes can have subnotes.  But that's it.  Oh, yes, it has tags.



Gmail has tags, aka labels.  Or are they folders?  Really, folders implemented by constraining the labels system.

 Better, but\the tree structured folder constraints make non tree structured labels harder to use.   Some labels want to bve tree structured, some do not.



I think the problem is that developers are trying to maintain a paper mindset, using "abstractions" that behave somewhat like real objects.  Real paper manila folders cannot be arbitrarily recursively nested, and hence EverNote // OneNote should not. Bzzt!!! Wrong!!! I want to take advantage of what a computer can do that paper cannot do.



  And, yes, tags in theory can be used to implement everything that a folder hierarchy has - but only in theory.  Because to really accomplish this you have to create a really ugly tag naming system.



I have elsewhere posted about how I even want my tags to be organized, possibly in a hierarchy.  Because just plain searching through the approved list of tags can be a pain, when you have a lot of tags.





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Gnashing my teeth about this, I reminisced about InfoCentral.  The very first note organizng software that I used on a tablet PC - way back in 1996-7.



InfoCentral was by no means perfect, but it was better than tags, better than hierarchy.  Infocentral was all about links between objects. Links that were reversible, unlike in hierarchy.  But where you could use hierchical browsing up to the point where it faild, abd then "shale the tree"



So you could look at a family as



       Father - John

           Son - William

               Grandson - Simon

               Granddaughter - Evelyn

           Daughter - Sonia

                Grannddaughter - Mildred

Or shake the tree to look at it from somebody else's point of view

       William
           Father - John

           Son - Simon

           Daughter - Evelyn

           Sister - Sonia

               Niece - Mildred

and then continue browsing.

OK, so InfoCentral wasn't smat enough to know that son's son = grandson.

Or to group sons and daugters as childrewn.  Or sisters and brothers as siblings.

And Infocentral wasn't smart enough to do the classic pivoting:
          Sales/Year/Month
          Sales/Month/Year   for month comparisons between different years

But Infocentral allowed me to do a lot of what I wanted.





I wish something like nfoCentral were available on the web, in Evernote or OneNote.



I'd love to have the time to extend the approach.