(I did a GA search for ‘index import’ - no quotes - and read everything… but filtered out similar results so it was only 10 or so I may dig deeper later…)
As mentioned in the subject, I’ve used DTPO for a little over five years, and I’ve always imported.
I’ve recently started using Ulysses for writing, and I love it - and if I want my writing to show up in DTPO, I need to use Ulysses’s “external folder” feature, and index that folder into DTPO. No problems there.
Here’s the scenario that bugs me…
Ever since I started using DTPO, I’ve wanted it to “see also” across multiple databases.
I know, Bill D. considers the single-database “see also” restriction to be a feature - but my brain doesn’t work the same as him, and I don’t agree.
I want the “see also” pane to list the open databases, with checkboxes alongside each one, and let me select which databases to include in see also on the fly. No reason Bill can’t check just one db (or “current database” to maintain existing functionality)
Alas, every time I upgrade, I comb the release notes for this feature… only to be disappointed.
So, why do I want this feature in the first place? Well, I like to scope “see also” to different levels, on the fly. I would like to, anyway. Consider this setup:
- Primary sources database
- Notes database
- Project A database
- Project B database
I’m working on project A… and at any given point, I’m curious about the following things relative to a document in project A.
- What other documents have I created for project A that relate to the current document?
- What documents from my old project B relate to the current document?
- Which of my previous notes relate to this document?
- Which primary sources relate to this document?
Basically this lets me widen the net a bit… starting with only the stuff I’ve created for this project, then looking at other projects, notes, and eventually my widely-captured sources. And then zoom right back in on only project A.
That’s the dream… and should DTPO ever implement see also across databases, where I get to choose the databases, I will be even more in love with it than I am now.
But it doesn’t, so I’m left wondering what to do…
Should I move all of my database contents to external folders, and then index them into DTPO databases?
Here’s what it would let me do:
- Maintain same database structure as before, but with everything indexed instead
- Create an Active project database, and duplicate folders from relevant databases to the Active Project database.
So for example… I’m working on Project A. I duplicate the indexed Project A database folder to Active Project. Now I can answer “which project A documents relate to this?” (same as I could do before…). But now I want to see which project B documents relate, and so I duplicate the Project B database folder to Active Project, and now I see the document in relation documents from both contexts.
It will be a lot of duplicating and deleting, but I’m sure I can script parts of it to speed it up…
This has the added bonus that I can actually “zoom in” even farther, by duplicating only a particular folder from a given database.
I don’t really want to give up importing - I really like the fully-contained nature of DTPO databases, and with indexing I pretty much have to give up on replicants (replicants disappear if I move a file, unlike tags which seem to track the file id instead of path). But… my killer usage scenario for DTPO is to be able to “see also” across multiple databases. And I think the only way to do that, for now, is to move everything out of DTPO and index it instead.
Is this the right way to go about it?
There’s also the possibility of using DEVONsphere for wider “see also”… but I haven’t really used it, and don’t know how well it works. Plus now I’m intrigued by the finer-grained possibility of duplicating specific folders to an Active Project database.