I’ve been reading ATPM for about a year, and I really enjoy it. I’m a common sense guy. I do enjoy a personal touch, and some “color” in my computing. Hence, my Mac. ATPM delivers on all these. I’m always impressed with the quality—and lack of hype—in the series. I hope you can keep ATPM going forever (a tall order).
Has there been a series on programming? I’m a naval architect and engineer. Apart from high-end CAD and Mathematica, there’s little commercial software in my fields. I’d like to code my analysis and synthesis methods, add a good interface and throw in such exotic things as genetic algorithms, neural networks, and chaos stuff. However, I’d start with the basics.
Thanks again for ATPM. It’s one of the best.
—David Morris, Nepean, Ontario
Roll Your Own teaches introductory programming using AppleScript. —Michael Tsai
The Macintosh Community
I am presently using a PC. I had a 603e with 8.6 for the longest time, and I still maintain that the Mac is the better platform, but taking the computer tech class that I’m in is not a possibility on a Mac. There is, by far, a better feeling amongst Mac users than there ever will be on the PC.
I will return to the Mac, so I keep in touch with the Mac community and my old Mac. It’s good to get ATPM; keep up.
Ah the perfect outliner…the Holy Grail of writers. I own licenses for ideaSpiral, ZWrite, OmniOutliner, Inspiration, and have tried many more. OmniOutliner is pretty close. I just wish it had a Palm conduit.
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I’ve outlined in both Word and AppleWorks. I would argue that any outline of a document would be necessarily contained within a document.
Considering the amount of effort you’ve put into “stretching” some of the other (clearly) non-outlining applications (i.e. e-mail clients and Keynote) into outlining service in your previous installments, I’m surprised at how little you’ve discussed AppleWorks. It’s a disservice to your readers (especially when you mention the “W” application in a predominantly Mac article).
Five facts about AppleWorks that should not be overlooked (besides the fact that it can, in fact, outline):
- It is pure Apple/Mac.
- It comes with most Macs (i.e. free).
- It is a single-pane outliner. (In a previous installment, the author only knew of two single-pane outliners: Inspiration and Word).
- It supports named styles. (In a previous installment, the author notes that only Word supports named styles).
- It supports a reasonable number of import/export formats. (Including Word and HTML.)
These facts alone make it worthy, in my opinion, of greater attention than it has received so far in this column.
Great series! I look forward to the NoteTaker/NoteBook Showdown.
I agree that AppleWorks has been shorted in prior columns, and I am sorry for that. For what it is worth, I have a constant flow of e-mails with similar complaints about the attention all the others are getting as well.
But I stand by my characterization. AppleWorks is not an outliner designed to outline a document like the ones I mentioned (and this month surveys FullWrite and WordPerfect). In those, you can use the outline functions as a skeleton to progressively “fill out” an entire document. When finished, you can then remove the outline functions (labels and—importantly—indents) and be left with an “ordinary” document.
AppleWorks’ outline function is designed to create internal outlines as part of a document, just like it and others support lists and tables. You cannot remove the indents in AW. I suppose you could write a long document in it as you could in any of the ones we’ve surveyed—and you would have named styles in a single pane. But in that case, unless I am mistaken, you would never be able to end up with a document rather than an outline even by exporting.
Note that in the styles, document headers are different from outline headers. I think this shows the intent of the designers. It makes outlines in a document, not of one.
That’s why it was overlooked earlier. I noted it in last month’s column because of the curiously and uniquely un-Mac like way it handles labels. —Ted Goranson
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Ease of use in implementing drag and drop reorganization varies a lot between outliners, but I haven’t noticed a correlation with their way of representing collapsed structure. The drag and drag in Microsoft Word, for example, is relatively hard to use, because of a defect in its outlining logic. Word physically allows dragging to a discontinuous hierarchical position, so that a heading might find itself orphaned at level 4, despite the absence of any level 3 headings. Microsoft corrected this defect when it implemented the outlining in OneNote, which is otherwise identical in outlining feature set.
—Stephen R. Diamond