Interesting. (I was purely curious, not asking those questions as a prelude to an attack or anything. I love knowing more about how other people use DTP)
IIRC, the first response to my first post on this forum begging for new features for DTP was by Bill DeVille. Bill said that DTP can’t be all things to all people. I see this response lurking frequently in others’ posts
There are dedicated genealogy apps, even though the one or two I’ve used didn’t seem to be very good. (I haven’t tried MacFamilyTree, which seems [from some casual Googling] to be the leader… maybe I should. Any recommendations?) I’m not very interested in genealogy aside from how it could enrich my writing, but I’d expect to see some basic features in a genealogy app:
- Ability to view and filter and search within large amounts of data, probably in a table view.
- Ability to contain/display varying forms of data (pictures, biographical notes, etc).
- Ability to export family trees of varying sizes to a variety of formats.
- Ability to handle complex/non-traditional relationships, such as illegitimate children, cohabitation, incest, multiple marriages, homosexual relationships, etc.
- A UI that doesn’t make Baby Jesus cry.
I’d like to see the first and second items within DEVONthink – which would also work for a complex mini-database of Inuit mythology, or my address book, or lectures for a college class, or the houses my wife and I are looking at buying, or the tricks we want to teach our dogs, or a small encyclopedia of Apple products, or whatever.
I view those features as being general purpose – things that almost any DEVONthink user could potentially benefit from.
You raise a good point concerning Filemaker; but Filemaker is a cross-platform application and will never be able to implement many of the features I find desirable. A UI that doesn’t stink, for instance, but I’m being catty. It’ll never support RTFD, and embedding BLOBs will always be more complex and less satisfying than in a native Cocoa app. I believe that’s why they created Bento, which seems from my limited usage to be a beautiful but rather unimpressive application in terms of database features. It might start being a usable solution around v5, but they’ll probably just add more iApp integration
Filemaker has other hurdles that DEVONthink does not – it’s built to be multiuser, to be used basically by professionals and contractors (I mean, have you tried to make a Filemaker database look like something designed in the past twenty years?), to deal with demand and performance standards that DEVONthink will never have to handle, to make runtime/kiosk versions of its solutions, and so on. Filemaker can handle field data in excess of 2GB per field per record, if I remember correctly. DEVONthink would never be called upon to do that.
Now, I tend to get ahead of myself when babbling about features. Fundamentally, I’d like Sheets to be real spreadsheets – which includes almost by definition the ability to handle embedded calculations. This in itself is not new or overwhelmingly difficult – the first “killer app” for PCs was VisiCalc, and it had embedded calculations. Borland shipped spreadsheet source code as a sample for their C compiler. I’m not particularly interested in things like pivot tables (though they’re nice) or multidimensional spreadsheets or cutesy banners or graphics or anything like that. Just spreadsheets with typed fields and embedded calculations, which is about .0001% of the Excel codebase and about 99% of what Excel is actually used for.
I hope that makes sense. If I didn’t make this clear, these aren’t 2.0 requests. 3.0 or 2.5 possibly.