Guidelines for text format

harets's Avatar

harets

29 Apr, 2011 03:34 PM

Is there a guide or example of formatting text files that can be imported into ThinkBook? I would appreciate guidance to facilitate creating compatible files on my desktop that can by imported into ThinkBook.

Thanks,
Timothy

  1. Support Staff 1 Posted by emolina on 02 May, 2011 04:56 AM

    emolina's Avatar

    Hi Timothy, not at the moment, I've not written one up. I think the best way to get up to speed on this quickly is to export a file from TB and that's what it will be looking for on import.

    I'm sorry I've not had time to document this better for you.

  2. 2 Posted by Shannon on 03 May, 2011 06:37 PM

    Shannon's Avatar

    A helpful tip to anyone else learning how to do send/get/import of text files from Dropbox (a very powerful feature):

    Smart quotes and smart apostrophes will make a get/import fail entirely.

    Smart quote is curly-style ' that Windows apps make by default. Even in Notepad.
    Smart double-quote is the curly-style " that Windows makes by default.
    Smart apostrophe is the curly-style ' that Windows makes by default.

    The only way I know to easily find and fix these in, for example, a copy-pasted chunk of text from Microsoft Outlook, is to open your Dropbox text file using some Mac OSX or Unix machine (or perhaps from a Dropbox-capable editor on an iDevice), and then find the strange-looking foreign character versions of the letter "i" that unix sees these smart characters as being. Change them to normal unix-style ' and " characters. Then retry your get/import.

  3. 3 Posted by farra on 06 May, 2011 11:55 PM

    farra's Avatar

    Can I offer a suggestion for the text file format? You would become my hero if it used Emac's org-mode format: http://orgmode.org

    I know that suggesting anything associated with emacs can cause people to run in fear (and for good reason), but I beg you to hear me out. org-mode uses a simple plain text format for outlines and tasks. As such, it's a perfect plain text format for ThinkBook. Moreover, anything you expect to implement in ThinkBook has been done in org-mode.

    The current format is actually parseable by org-mode, so it's close, but not quite right. Here's an example of a notebook with TODO items and tags formatted in org-mode. I'm including two options for specifying pages and notebooks, one using org-mode properties, the other using org-mode tags. I'm also including a task finder using in-document hyperlinks supported by org-mode.

    
    * My Notebook
      :PROPERTIES:
      :TYPE: NOTEBOOK
      :END:
    ** Next Actions
       :PROPERTIES:
       :SEARCH:NOTEBOOK
       :TAGS:
       :DISPLAY:1
       :END:
    **** [[*Some%20action][Some action]]
    **** [[*And%20that][And that]]
    **** [[*Write%20a%20document][Write a document]]
    
    ** Tasks
      :PROPERTIES:
      :TYPE: NOTEBOOK
      :END:
    *** TODO Write a document                                        :work:today:
    *** TODO These both have tags                                          :work:
    *** Multi-Step Project [1/3]
    **** DONE Do this
    **** TODO And that
    **** TODO Then done
    ** Status Reports                                                  :notebook:
    *** Some Meeting I Slept In
       :PROPERTIES:
       :TYPE: PAGE
       :END:
    **** Date and time: 
    **** Attendees:
    ***** Me
    ***** You
    **** Minutes:
    ***** We did stuff
    ***** More notes
    ***** QUESTION Why?
    ***** TODO Some action
    ***** ANSWERED Should we?
          - Yes, we should
    ***  And just mixing it up with a note here
    ** Meeting Minutes Template                                            :page:
    *** Date and time:
    *** Attendees:
    **** 
    *** Minutes:
    ****   
    
    #+TODO: TODO(t) | DONE(d)
    #+TODO: QUESTION(t) | ANSWERED(d)
    

    And here's the ThinkBooks version:

    
    * [NOTEBOOK]  My Notebook
    
    - [TODOFIND]  Next Actions
    -- [ ]  Some action
    -- [ ]  And that
    -- [ ]  Platform document
    
    - [NOTEBOOK]  Tasks
    -- [ ]   Write a document
    -- [ ]   These both have tags
    -- [PROJECT]  Multi-Step Project
    --- [X]  Do this
    --- [ ]  And that
    --- [ ]  Then done
    
    - [NOTEBOOK]  Status Reports
    -- [PAGE]  Some Meeting I Slept in
    ---  Date and time: 2011-05-06
    ---  Attendees:
    ----  Me
    ----  You
    ---  Minutes:
    ----  We did stuff
    ----  More notes
    ---- [QUESTION] Why?
    ---- [ ]  Some action
    ---- [QUESTION] Should we? 
             ANSWER Yes, we should
    --  And just mixing it up with a note here
    
    - [PAGE]  Meeting Minutes Template
    --  Date and time:
    --  Attendees:
    ---  
    --  Minutes:
    ---
    

    I know the org-mode format isn't always as pretty as others, but it's incredibly flexible. Even if you don't use org-mode, there are other existing plain text formats, like TODO.txt or TaskPaper. Interoperability with at least some plain text format would be fantastic.

  4. 4 Posted by farra on 07 May, 2011 12:07 AM

    farra's Avatar

    Not to harp on the subject, but here's one more org-mode example, this time a bit prettier and closer to the existing format, though it takes some liberties with org-mode (for example, dashed lists don't have tags in org-mode).

    
    * My Notebook                                                      :notebook:
    ** Next Actions                                                    :todofind:
     - [ ]  Some action
     - [ ]  And that
     - [ ]  Platform document
    ** Tasks                                                           :notebook:
     - [ ] Write a document                                          :work:today:
     - [ ] These both have tags                                            :work:
     - [-] Multi-Step Project [1/3]
      - [X]  Do this
      - [ ]  And that
      - [ ]  Then done
    
    ** Status Reports                                                  :notebook:
    *** Some Meeting I Slept in                                            :page:
        - Date and time: 2011-05-06
        - Attendees:
          - Me
          - You
        - Minutes:
          - We did stuff
          - More notes
          - [QUESTION] Why?
          - [ ] Some action
          - [QUESTION] Should we? 
             ANSWER Yes, we should
    
    *** And just mixing it up with a note here
    
    ** Meeting Minutes Template                                            :page:
       - Date and time:
       - Attendees:
         - 
       - Minutes:
         -
    
  5. Support Staff 5 Posted by emolina on 09 May, 2011 12:08 AM

    emolina's Avatar

    Farra, org-mode is what I was aiming for. I really like it but I just run out of time to implement the reader properly. There were just soo many things to do in the last few months that I couldn't fit it all in.

    I'd like to have another got at it once things settle down.

  6. 6 Posted by ccahua on 15 May, 2011 07:58 PM

    ccahua's Avatar

    +1 to Farra on org-mode text format direction, great suggestion

    I just picked up ThinkBook and in the first minute phase of review.

    Congrats to emolina on beautiful UI and bringing something unique in this crowded space.

    The Thinkbook icon reminds me of an old Miquelrius notebook. Me likes!

  7. Support Staff 7 Posted by emolina on 16 May, 2011 01:58 AM

    emolina's Avatar

    Thank you!

  8. 8 Posted by Marc on 30 Jun, 2013 08:10 PM

    Marc's Avatar

    has there been any progress over the last two years on using the org-mode format as ThinkBook's text format? In fact, the format right now seems similar, but not identical to org-mode's.
    Also, any more complete documentation on what works and what doesn't in the ThinkBook text format would be great?

    Thanks in advance for any further information on the issue.

    And, yes, ThinkBook is impressive

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