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Use Project Builder as an organizing tool Apps
There's about a jillion little to-do-list/scratch-pad apps out there. I've been using one for a while that suits me pretty well, but today I had a yen for something closer to my ideal. I considered doing yet another search on Version Tracker. Then I realized, Dorothy-like, that I had the solution within reach all the time: Project Builder.

Officially, Project Builder is the whiz-bang programming tool for OS X (and as such it is wonderful), but that doesn't mean you have to use it that way. Here are the features I think make PB an excellent note pad:
  • PB remembers your place in every document (this alone sold me).
  • PB remembers your window locations between launches.
  • PB has good search functionality (another biggie for me).
  • You can put many kinds of documents in PB, including plain text, rich text, images, and sounds.
  • You can group documents into virtual folders independent of their actual location on disk.
  • PB comes FREE with every Mac -- so even if you only use 1% of its functionality, it's not like you're paying extra for the 99% you don't use.
To get Project Builder, just install the Developer Tools that should have come with your copy of OS X [or download it after registering for free on Apple's Developer Site - editor].

I created a PB project called ThisAndThat, and dragged it into my Dock for quick access. I'm in the process of transferring a bunch of junk to it now -- to-do lists, lists of facts I always need yet always forget, song lyrics, Earthlink dial-up numbers, etc. Now if only I had a corresponding app on my Handspring Treo and a conduit to hotsync it...
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Excellent!
Authored by: alajuela on Dec 31, '02 12:59:41PM

What a great suggestion! I had previously only used PB for some programming tutorials, but I love using it as a "random organizer." Thanks!



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Sweet!
Authored by: patjensen on Dec 31, '02 02:01:26PM

That's a pretty damn cool idea. I've used PB as well, and didn't realize you could use it for that. A good way to store and organize project releated stuff. Cool!

Pat



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Thats Nothing! Check this out!
Authored by: drsoos on Dec 31, '02 02:20:42PM

I use PB for making websites it really shines for making simple user interfaces!
Check out http://www.digirockdj.com



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Your Site Is Bad.
Authored by: dave1212 on Jan 09, '03 07:43:17AM

It is a good example of how the tools that Apple offers can so easily be misused.. sad to see.

You could do much better by looking at the regular mac sites.. resexcellence.com, macslash.com, etc.. Your site is one of the least standards-compliant pieces of trash on the web. Check out www.w3c.org for more information. You can run your pages through an HTML validator there.

Cool business, but terrible site.

I can only hope that you will use more tools than just the Interface Builder, taking screenshots and/or copying and pasting into Photoshop.. I did that myself for a small while, but soon realized that it is actually counter-productive to proper web design.

If you want to learn more about web design, check out webmonkey.com for good tutorials and stuff.

peace.



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Some get-you-started notes?
Authored by: sn00py on Dec 31, '02 02:32:45PM

Opening PB the first time can be daunting, especially to those who aren't programmers and wouldn't be using it otherwise; also especially since the labels, tabs, icons and menus aren't arranged and labeled in such a way that lends itself to be used as a personal organizer. I hope we'll see some simple hints sufficient to get started, such as...just how do you group documents into virtual folders? Or can you show us a screenshot of what your arrangement looks like?
Many thanks,
Ken



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Some get-you-started notes?
Authored by: snoozer on Dec 31, '02 05:49:02PM
Opening PB the first time can be daunting, especially to those who aren't programmers and wouldn't be using it otherwise; also especially since the labels, tabs, icons and menus aren't arranged and labeled in such a way that lends itself to be used as a personal organizer.
Good point... I'll take a stab at some initial hints. You might want to try this with three or four scratch text files until you get the feel of it. The first thing to do is create a new project. You can do this using Command-Shift-N or by selecting "New Project" from the "File" menu. Choose "Empty Project" from the list of options. (Any of the options will work fine, but will generate extra files you don't need.) PB will ask where on your disk you want your project to be. It will create a folder with the same name as your project and a couple of files inside. The file called YourProjectName.pbproj can be double-clicked to open the project again later. PB has a lot of menus, and its main project window has lots of tabs and gadgets. You can ignore the "Build", "Debug", and "CVS" menus, and most of the items under the "Project" menu (though a few of them may be useful). In the project window, the only tab you need is the "Files" tab, which is selected by default. You don't need the toolbar, so you can just hide it by clicking the oval window icon; later you can fiddle with it and maybe find something useful, but for now I'll treat it as a distraction. No harm will be done if you click on any toolbar buttons, so don't worry about that. Now you'll want to add files to your project. You can drag existing files into the "Files" tab from the Finder, or you can add them by selecting "Add Files..." from the "Project" menu. You can add a folder full of files by dragging the folder to the "Files" tab. You can create a new file by hitting Command-N. I recommend selecting "Empty File" from the list of options, though no harm will be done by selecting any other file type -- they're all text files. Pretty soon you'll have a list of files in the "Files" tab and you'll see that by clicking on a file name you get to edit the file in the main editing pane of the project window. If you jump around and later come back to a previously opened file, that file will be scrolled to the position where you last left it, and the text selection will be where it was as well. By default, files are grouped in the "Files" tab according to how you drag-and-dropped them. You can reorder files in the list using drag-and-drop. You can also select a handful of files, right-click on them, and select "Group" to create a virtual folder that is independent of the file's location on disk. If you right-click a file and select "Rename", the actual name of the file will be changed as well as its name in the project. If you move or remove a file using the Finder, its name will automatically show up in red in PB. Of course you can re-add the file from its new location. A convenient way to move a file and have PB know about it is to do a "Show Info" (Command-I, under the "Project" menu), and then where it says "Modify Referenced File", select "Move File To..." You can search within the currently opened file using the standard Command-F command. For global search, use Shift-Command-F. Hope this helps. --Andy

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Re: Some get-you-started notes?
Authored by: sn00py on Jan 01, '03 10:00:39PM

Aaaaaahhhhh.....(doing it just now)
I get it now...
I think this might work
Thanks!
Ken



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Thanks... :(
Authored by: DSHwrd on Dec 31, '02 02:58:30PM

I released a program back in February called ideaSpiral. Since early October (I stopped for Nov. and Dec. worked on another program) I've been working on porting it to Cocoa. I had the intentions of including everything that Project Builder has (Folder support, Find functionality, picture in text, multi-document support, etc...) and now you've just gone and ruined it all. :(

Want to see a beta of it? www.dshwrd.com/ideaSpiral/ideaSpiral2a03.sit
(Not near completion -- Folders don't work and drag and drop don't work either.)

::Cries some more::



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Thanks... :(
Authored by: oink on Dec 31, '02 06:03:33PM

Don't worries! It happens all the time. Next time if you have a new idea, I can offer GUI assistance for free... hope that help sooth the pain. :)



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Thanks... :(
Authored by: snoozer on Dec 31, '02 06:15:06PM

Ouch! :)

FWIW, I believe there is still room for an app that is targeted specifically to this purpose, and does a good job of it. As has been pointed out, PB can be too much for a non-programmer to want to deal with -- sometimes less is more. Also, PB lacks a couple of niceties like clickable URLs and easy creation of bulleted items. I don't believe in feature bloat, but I do believe in adding carefully chosen features that are aimed at a specific type of user.

Good luck in your endeavors!

--Andy



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just need TEX
Authored by: mudhiker on Dec 31, '02 11:25:40PM

Now if it could do TEX or LaTEX it would be just what I need.



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just need TEX
Authored by: pythagorous on Jan 02, '03 09:01:45PM

TeX is just raw ASCII files...do you mean you need syntax coloring? If you need something graphical you can apt-get install LyX (if the Fink folks ever fixed the install problems)



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bookmarks
Authored by: bhines on Jan 01, '03 07:02:42AM

If you like the position-in file remembering feature, check out PB's "bookmarks" tab. Right click on a line in a file and choose "add bookmark". You now have a bookmark to that place in that file, in the bookmarks tab and window. (you can easily make a separate bookmarks window)

You can have separate windows for every task, see the preferences, template settings.



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Does it save Unix Text Files??
Authored by: macman13 on Jan 01, '03 01:38:48PM

Couple of questions:

1. Will it save Unix Text Files?

2. How do I get PB to compile plain ol' C source files?

I currently use BBedit for all of these functions and
can make a File Group using BBedit to do the same thing.
So how would PB benefit me over this?

Thanks.
SA



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Does it save Unix Text Files??
Authored by: snoozer on Jan 01, '03 04:02:29PM
1. Will it save Unix Text Files?


Yes. The default text file format on OS X is Unix. I don't know offhand how PB handles existing files with non-Unix line endings, or mixed line endings.

2. How do I get PB to compile plain ol' C source files?


One way is to choose "Standard Tool" as the project type when creating a new project. You can add your .h and .c files to this project and use the various "Build" commands in PB. Note that PB uses jam instead of make.

I currently use BBedit for all of these functions and
can make a File Group using BBedit to do the same thing.
So how would PB benefit me over this?


I don't know much about BBEdit. I've tried the Lite version -- which may well be a good alternate suggestion as an "organizer" app -- but I assume it doesn't hold a candle to the full version, which has a reputation as an extremely powerful and versatile programmer's editor. If BBEdit suits your needs and tastes, you probably have no good reason to change.

PB doesn't do regular-expression searches; PB doesn't have configurable syntax-highlighting, and in fact does weird highlighting in .txt files; and PB doesn't auto-detect URLs in your text and make them clickable.

On the other hand, I have PB running most of the time anyway; PB lets me edit rtf files (I'm only guessing BBEdit doesn't -- not as rich text -- but I could be wrong); PB is free; and I'm too lazy to learn emacs ;).

--Andy


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Does it save Unix Text Files??
Authored by: Seth Milliken on Jan 01, '03 07:40:36PM

A correction and a clarification:
- Project Builder can read and save files with Mac, Unix, and Windows line endings. Available in the Format menu.

- Project Builder does do regular expression searches. You do it in a Batch Find (Command-Shift-F is the default key binding).



[ Reply to This | # ]
Does it save Unix Text Files??
Authored by: snoozer on Jan 01, '03 09:53:20PM
- Project Builder does do regular expression searches. You do it in a Batch Find (Command-Shift-F is the default key binding).
Don't know how I missed that all this time. Thanks!

--Andy


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Other Project Builder Features
Authored by: Seth Milliken on Jan 01, '03 08:38:58PM
- Built-in CVS integration - Can execute the current selection as a shell command with a keystroke (Cntl-R by default). - Flexible key binding configuration. Comes with preconfigured compatibility sets for MPW, CodeWarrior, and BBEdit. - Highly configurable windows. - Hosts ObjectiveDevelopment's Completion Dictionary plugin.

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correct link
Authored by: Seth Milliken on Jan 01, '03 08:47:35PM
ObjectiveDevelopment's Completion Dictionary

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Great!
Authored by: Glanz on Jan 02, '03 09:48:20AM

What a good suggestion! You really hit on a good one here! I am now using it as an editor for various Window Manager & XFree config files in combo with Nirvanna (Nedit). With "autocutsel" added to the ~/.xinitrc file [autocutsel &], I can cut and paste between aqua and X. This has got to be the best "wake up" hint yet for Fink users. ThanX



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NPD
Authored by: kerim on Jan 03, '03 03:20:29AM

This is a good idea; however, I have been very happy using NotePad Deluxe. It does not have a cocoa interface, but it is very easy to use, and is one of the only note-pad organizers to fully support drag-and-drop import as well as EXPORT of your entire file (although export is not drag-and-drop, it does respect your folder hierarchy and you can export folders of folders rather than just one document at a time). It is based on the WASTE text engine, so it can handle quite a bit of different kinds of text. It isn't pefect, but I've been very happy with it.



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NPD
Authored by: snoozer on Jan 03, '03 11:06:44AM

Thanks for the pointer. NPD is pretty darn nice. It passes my #1 test, which is it remembers your place in each note (I had given up hope that any app would do this). NPD provides encryption and the ability to make clickable Web links. There are several other features that are done in a way that I appreciate them, as opposed to feeling like feature bloat.

Another app I learned about is iOrganize. It doesn't pass my #1 test, but it has an elegant UI and the best multi-file search functionality I've seen in this category of app.

I'm glad to learn my range of options is better than I thought!

BTW, if anyone else decides to look at NotePad Deluxe: I recommend choosing the Aqua background in Preferences, and choosing a nicer font (I like Helvetica 12 or greater).

--Andy



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