misc. reflections

I’d always imagined one of the key potentialities of computing technology to be precisely along the lines of what DEVONthink sets out to do. Yet it seems that few other developers have actually explored such potentialities, at least in such an elegant and user-friendly way, which is perhaps both surprising and predictable.

Besides using it as a nonlinear, associative database, I have been experimenting with its elegant semantic capabilities, for example, using its keywords, concordance, and see also functions to tease out associations between literary text fragments. These capabilities are of great value for any project, literary or otherwise, involving complex, nonlinear interconnections and syntheses of ideas (and what doesn’t?).

Following from this, a few observations immediately come to mind. One feature, neither urgent nor necessary, but possibly interesting, would be somehow to conveniently display a graphic illustration of the whole database or portions of it, showing the hierarchies of groups at the same time as the interconnections between them, for example the groups linked by replicants. Different kinds of connecting lines could illustrate the strength or status of the connections between nodes. Just an idea…

This came to mind, however, in relation to one feature which I do think is necessary: a way of keeping track of where all the replicants of one object are located, when you display that object. I think this may have already been mentioned in the forum…

One question at this stage: in the concordance, I am unsure about what principle the "weighting" of a word is based on.

Additional views will come but have low priority at the moment (e.g. we want to add a "word map" based on contextual similarities of words, see search panel). The second request should be implemented soon. And to answer your last question - the weight is an heuristic value and strongly depends on your database.

Thanks. I am finding this forum useful as part of the "feedback loop" between user and developer, and for getting an idea of how others are adopting and adapting the novel software.

Looking forward to the next installments of DEVONtechnologies! ;D