Sunday, June 29, 2014

How Many Clicks to Create a Link?

I recently tried out Cherrytree 0.3.3.4. It's available on Linux and Windows and is described as follows:
Cherrytree is what's referred to as an "hierarchal" note taking application, meaning it's designed to store your entries in containers, which some programs call "notes" or "pages" and Cherrytree calls "nodes". If you envision the Cherrytree document as the root of a tree, and each "node" as a branch in that tree, sub-nodes as branches off that branch, you will start to get the idea. If you have ever used outlining programs like OmniNote, Kjots, Keepnote and others, then Cherrytree will feel very familiar. However, Cherrytree is not just about having a place to write notes and to-do items and keeping them organized, it's also a place you can store links, pictures, tables, even entire documents. It can be your one program for all the miscellaneous information you have and want to keep. All those little bits of information you have scattered around your hard drive can be conveniently placed into a Cherrytree document where you can easily find it.

It is quite capable as a two-pane outliner that does rtf, plain text, and automatic syntax highlighting in each node, but I was interested mostly in its capabilities of inter-linking notes in its own database, and I found it seriously lacking in this respect. It takes five clicks or operations to get a link:
  1. Ctrl_L or Edit|Insert or Edit Link
  2. this brings up a dialogue, in which you sepcify a link name, and click O.K.
  3. another dialogue comes up in which you have to select what kind of link you want, you select "To Node"
  4. a list of all the available nodes comes and you must scroll to and click on the one you want (and this can be tedious, if you have many nodes)
  5. you click the OK button
Only then do you have a functioning link.

I was interested in this software because I had seen it described on the Web as a wiki-like application. Nothing could be further from the truth, however. Five clicks is four too many.

I might have been interested, if it included the ability to create [[free links]]. Your demands may be different, however.

1 comment:

Michael Leddy said...

MK, I don't know your e-mail address. So consider this an e-mail of sorts. I just happened upon a title that may be of interest to you: Richard Yeo, Notebooks, English Virtuosi, and Early Modern Science (U of Chicago P, 2014).