Sunday, March 8, 2015

A Long-Term Usage Review of ConnectedText

I have referred to the software reviews by Paul J. Miller before. Here is one about his usage of ConnectedText since 2012. (Just for the sake of open disclosure, I have been using it since 2005.) Miller's review is thorough and honest. He does discuss what he takes to be the good points just as much as what he takes to be the best points. Thus, he finds that the implementation of tables "is one of the worst features in ConnectedText." When you design them, "you don’t get any impression about how it is going to look until it is actually rendered." I cannot disagree, but then I do not use tables very much, and when I do, I usually use only the most primitive ones. My view is that that if you want something like a spread sheet, you should an application for spread sheets. My favorite Windows word processor (Atlantis) does not do tables at all, and I have never missed them.

Another shortcoming he mentions is high memory consumption in Global Search and Replace operations. It is another issue I have never encountered because I use Global Search and Replace very sparingly, as you can easily do extensive damage to your database using such a powerful feature. But, however that may be, Miller himself notes in an addendum that this issue will be fixed in the next version, partly as a result of a discussion in the forum which led the developer (Eduardo Mauro) to finding and fixing the problem.

And that is one of the greatest advantages of ConnectedText, a lively and helpful user community and an engaged developer, in addition to a great program. Today's ConnectedText is much more capable than the program I started using in 2005.[1]

1. See also early notes about using ConnectedText by Jack Baty.


Angry Thinker said...

Putting a table in a text is not an unusual operation, in fact Markdown has a syntax for it. I am surprised CT does not use that same syntax.
In any case, I don't think that putting a table in a text warrants the use of a spreadsheet program, that amounts to "overkill".

MK said...

Well, I think Markdown was developed at about the same time as ConnectedText. Also, ConnectedText's tables work. I use them. But they can get overwhelming if you try to get "too fancy."