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  #1  
Old 11-24-2004, 04:09 AM
Jedimaster Jedimaster is online now
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Wink File/Folder Restructuring: Can UR Handle This?

Hi, I just tried UR recently and it looks like a great piece of software, particularly as it allow child records and multiple parent records, just like PersonalBrain.

I've got some reservations though. UR looks very promising but seems to lack a critical feature: Windows Explorer functions of copy/move/rename. If a file or folder has been changed/moved/renamed, it looks like the link will be broken. I found this to be quite a drawback because I restructure my files and folders regularly. An information organizer will be just another ordinary information organizer if it cannot accomodate a flexible underlying windows directory.

Comments are welcome.

Gilbert
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  #2  
Old 11-24-2004, 10:26 AM
bkonia bkonia is online now
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Gilbert,

Can you please explain how Ultra Recall (or any application for that matter) is supposed to know that you have renamed a file in Windows?

No software application is psychic and if you rename a file using Windows Explorer, there is no way that any application will be able to locate that file unless you manually update the link. I've also used PersonalBrain extensively and I know for a fact that PersonalBrain is not able to do this automatically.

On the other hand, one feature that would be nice is an option to automatically rename the file in the Windows file system if you rename the link in Ultra Recall. Actually I think it's kind of strange that UR doesn't do this by default. Renaming the file in UR doesn't break the link to the original file, but it results in the file having a different name in UR than it does in Windows, which is pretty weird.
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  #3  
Old 11-24-2004, 10:51 AM
bkonia bkonia is online now
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One other idea that you may want to consider. I'm thinking about simply importing ALL my data into Ultra Recall and eliminating the Windows file system altogether. This may sound kind of scary, but the fact is that Ultra Recall is a much better document manager than Windows Explorer and it would remove the whole issue of maintaining links between the two.

One concern I have is how UR's performance would be affected as the database size increased. However, I've talked to the developer about this and he's indicated that they've tested UR with database sizes as large as 5GB without any noticeable performance degredation.

Now I wouldn't go importing an MP3 music library or video clips into UR, but for standard Office-type documents, I think it would be fine.
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  #4  
Old 11-24-2004, 07:47 PM
Jedimaster Jedimaster is online now
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Hi Brad,

Yes, I know I'm asking for something that is quite demanding but I don't mean renaming a file in Windows Explorer. What I mean is having WE functionality built in directly into the information management application itself, meaning that the copy/rename/move function is done within the application itself, not using WE.

A very good file organizer I found is Atlast! File Notes Organizer. It is a WE replacement and allows comments to be added to each file/folder as well as the creating of virtual catalogs and bookmarks. These comments do not disappear if the copy/rename/move function is done within FNO itself but will instead be "carried over" to the resulting file/folder. But unfortunately FNO does not have much of UR's information management capabilities such as building knowledgebases and interlinking files/data.

Another reason why I prefer not to import all files into UR and replace WE altogether is that very frequently in my work, I write programs/macros to achieve certain tasks and these programs contain references to other folders where data files are stored. If all files have been imported into UR, then these programs would not work. In my opinion, a WE-like structure will always be needed for the above reasons.

Of course, a possible solution is to create a central folder and dump everything into it but this makes things very messy.

The above seems to be a dichotomy between file organizers and information managers. To be truly flexible, an organizer needs to have the capabilities of both file and information managers. I've searched the net for such an organizer but have found none so far though UR is near to what I've been looking for. If there is such an organizer, I wouldn't even hesitate to get it (of course, provided the price is reasonable!)

Gilbert
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  #5  
Old 11-24-2004, 10:13 PM
bkonia bkonia is online now
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Yes, I understand what you're saying now and you do make an interesting point. Presently, UR does not make any attempt to stay in sync with the Windows file system. When you copy/move/rename files within UR, that has no effect on the "real" files according to Windows. UR provides you with the ability to link to a Windows folder (and its files and subfolders) primarily as a convenience, so you don't have to link each file indivdidually.

What you're looking for is a way to use UR as an actual replacement for Windows Explorer. The problem is, since you're dealing with two completely independent file systems, this could become very confusing very fast. For example, what happens if you link to a Windows folder and then move a subfolder of that folder into a section in your Data Explorer that is not linked to Windows? Where does the file go in Windows? You've moved it somewhere, but the place you've moved it to is not accessible by Windows.

Conversely, what happens if you move a Task Info Item into a Windows folder that you previously linked to? For the sake of consistency, UR would then have to create a real file object in Windows. However, Windows doesn't support the creation of Task objects, so what would this file look like in Windows? The other option would be to not create a file in Windows and just leave it in UR, but then when you view this folder, you would have objects, perhaps entire folder hierarchies, in UR that don't appear when you view it from Windows Explorer.

Another approach might be to create a special type of file system link, which would allow the user to manipulate Windows files, but not to drag Windows files from within this link into UR hierarchies or vice versa. I guess this would be conceivable, but then you'd have to wonder what the point of the whole exercise would be. If you can't drag the files around freely within UR, then you may as well just use Windows Explorer.

This is a pretty complex topic and I'm tired at the moment, so maybe I'm missing something obvious. If so, please enlighten me!

I also understand your reason for not wanting to import all your data into UR. However, you did mention a really good solution to this, which is to put everything in one big folder. In fact, ever since I started using PersonalBrain and later transitioned to Ultra Recall, I've been using this approach. I got the idea for it because that's the way normal way that PersonalBrain works. They encourage you to import all your files into your "brain" which is really nothing more than a regular Windows folder that is indexed and organized within the PersonalBrain application, rather than through Windows Explorer. When I transitioned to Ultra Recall, I simply created links from UR to all the files in my "brain" and I was good to go. Of course I can still see the files in Windows Explorer, but I no longer use WE to organize them into folders, because UR has a much better organizational paradigm than the simplistic folder hierarchy of WE. My next step will probably be to get rid of Windows altogether and just import all those files into Ultra Recall.
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  #6  
Old 01-10-2005, 03:09 PM
xja xja is online now
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Quote:
Originally posted by bkonia
Can you please explain how Ultra Recall (or any application for that matter) is supposed to know that you have renamed a file in Windows?

No software application is psychic and if you rename a file using Windows Explorer, there is no way that any application will be able to locate that file unless you manually update the link. I've also used PersonalBrain extensively and I know for a fact that PersonalBrain is not able to do this automatically.
OmeaPro actually does know whenever you rename, move, or delete a file in Windows Explorer (as long as OmeaPro is running when you make the change). I was quite surprised to see that it can do that, and the update is instantaneous, so I don't think it is scanning folders and updating. Perhaps it is creating an event sink for Windows Explorer.
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  #7  
Old 01-10-2005, 07:17 PM
Jedimaster Jedimaster is online now
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Yes, Omea Pro does actually keep track of file and folder changes provided it is running and the changes occur in folders or files that are indexed. However, I find that it lacks native resources of its own and thus has significant drawbacks in organizing information. But according to its developers, this should be addressed in the next version of Omea.
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  #8  
Old 01-11-2005, 12:19 AM
xja xja is online now
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Omea's synchronization is cool in concept, but it's still a little buggy. And it doesn't have the flexibility that UR has.
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  #9  
Old 01-14-2005, 03:56 PM
Will Eatherton Will Eatherton is online now
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I am curious why UR went with a single database file Vs the approach of OneNote/PersonBrain and others were there is a directory and files imported into the PIM are copied into it. I don't have a strong position on this, but I am concerened about not having ability to have embeded links within documents in UR pointing to other docs in UR (I will probably move all my office docs into UR).

Also while I have seen the promise for scalability as my UR database grows into GB's, it defintely makes back-ups and such more overhead to have single 2,3,4 GB file.
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  #10  
Old 01-14-2005, 04:29 PM
srdiamond srdiamond is online now
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I'm just a customer like you, but I don't think UR loses actual functionality by having a single document interface (as defined in relation to files. In relation to info-items might be a different matter.) UR has the ability to open indefinitely many copies of itself at the same time. So you can divide your information between files and have them open at the same time just by launching UR again.
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  #11  
Old 01-14-2005, 07:56 PM
kevina kevina is online now
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You don't have to store your files within Ultra Recall, but can instead put your files in the same folder (or a subfolder) as the Info Database and simply create Info Items that link to the originals. Ultra Recall wiill store a relative path to these files in the Url Attribute of Info Items, making it easy to move or copy the files and Info Database together without breaking any linkages between Info Items or their related files.

We chose a single database file vs. a folder and multiple files for several reasons:
1) Compression: documents that are stored within Ultra Recall are compressed saving space (typically the documents are compressed enough to store both the document and all the additional meta data (attributes) in the same or less space than the original
2) Encryption: Ultra Recall provides optional, strong encryption of all data stored within an Info Database.
3) Transactional changes to your data: because an Info Database is a binary database file, all changes are atomic (they either complete successfully or they do not take place at all). This ensures your data integrity is maintained and cannot be accidentally or purposefully corrupted by simply moving/deleting files.
4) Ease of backup/migrate/restore: Since a single file stores your data, it is very simple to backup/restore or migrate to a different machine. The one thing it does not lend itself to is incremental backups, if this is an important feature, it would probably be recommended to not store your documents in Ultra Recall but rather store them as outlined above.
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